Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-14-2013, 07:49 PM
polyconundrum polyconundrum is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Somewhere on the west coast of North America
Posts: 13
Default Is this whole poly thing right for me?

I realize I'm the only one who can really answer that question. But there's a lot going on in my head and I can't keep it all straight, so maybe you can help me unravel it.

I don't know where to start...

I never thought I was a jealous person. When I was in monogamous relationships, I would get jealous from time to time, but it wasn't something that completely ruined my relationships. And then I start dating someone and we're polyamorous, and the jealousy factor skyrockets. Not only jealousy, but anger and resentment, too.

Every time my partner has started seeing someone else, this has happened. I get extremely worried he is going to leave me, I get extremely jealous of whatever they are doing that I'm not a part of, and I feel like I'm a completely inadequate person because I can't provide everything to my partner. It's happened three times now. The first time, we even had to break up for a month because I was so upset.

My partner is now sort of dating someone else. They've had 3 dates, and they've fooled around. I knew about their first date, and that was fine. Their second date, he told me in the morning that he had spent the night with her the night before, which was a big surprise to me. He told me they had fooled around, and I got very depressed and jealous. I felt hurt, rejected, and kept thinking to myself "Why is he doing this TO ME?"

I realized this thinking comes from the fact that I've been hurt so much in the past. Who hasn't, right? My first boyfriend (ever) cheated on me, and it went downhill from there. I never really dated anyone who was committed to me, who thought of me before themselves or at least equally, I never felt like I was really taken into consideration about anything...I basically never had a good relationship after that first guy.

I also realized I have been such a victim of social conditioning. Again, who hasn't? But I have these feelings that I want my partner to only be sleeping with me, to only be seeing me, and I sometimes feel so selfish about our relationship. Even though when we started dating we agreed that we would be poly - because we had both decided that's what we wanted to do before we had even met, and it's what brought us together in the first place.

He saw the other girl last night, too. I was already really depressed because I kept thinking about how I don't know if I can keep doing this, I don't know if this kind of lifestyle is right for me, I don't know if I can unlearn everything I've learned and de-sensitize myself from all the experiences I've had. They were in the past, but when he starts seeing someone else, they come rushing back and it's as if they're right here in the present again. So, when he told me he would be seeing her, I started getting pissed. I was angry, and not only because he was seeing her but also because of all the confusion and jealousy I was having. It just escalated everything, and I collapsed in a sort of heap of, "I don't know if I can do this. I don't think this is the lifestyle for me. I can't do this."

I thought I could do it. Poly in theory sounded so great when I first decided to make that my lifestyle (this was a little over a year ago, but I have known about poly for much longer than that as I've had friends over the years who have been poly). Now that I'm doing it in practice, I'm questioning if I can do it.

I'm seeing someone else, sort of. I'm so busy with my life it's hard to see her often. But the fact that I'm also seeing someone else doesn't seem to be helping with the fact that my partner is also seeing someone else. I thought it would, but it doesn't seem to be.

There are some other factors involved, like my feelings for my partner are stronger than his are for me, and he doesn't want to think about "the future" with another person and basically I don't have any hope of us being in a more committed relationship while still being open because he just doesn't want to commit, but I'm at the point in my life where I'd like to develop more of a life partnership with someone. Not being on the same page in that way seems to be really messing this all up for me in my head.

Well, this was a long winded post, and I'm sorry for that. But I'd like to hear people's thoughts and welcome any (thoughtful, respectful) advice.

Thank you for reading.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-14-2013, 08:22 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 138
Default

Welcome to the forums. I'm sorry you're hurting, and I understand the doubt. When I read your post, I almost felt you were answering your own question. You talk about the jealousy and resentment that occur EVERY time your partner plays with another. Those feeling are deep-seated, I know. Everyone in polyamory deals with this from time-to-time, but in your case they happen every time, and no amount of educating yourself or trying to talk yourself into polyamory seems to change those feelings.

That's why it seems, from my perspective, that you're really a monogamous person. At least, right now you are. People often change. I've read many posts from people who were monogamous for years before making a change to polyamory. Still others went in the opposite direction. Some went monogamy to polaymory to monogamy to polyamory, etc. The point is that we are not necessarily "wired" one way or the other (although there is still a lot of debate about this) but we go through periods when we are one way or the other.

If polyamory hurts this much, then you're not where you need to be to pursue it. You'll be happier with a person who wants you and only you. You'll feel better about yourself, and maybe down the road, when you've reached that place where your relationship is secure and you've worked on your own self-esteem issues, you can gently approach the idea with your partner.

I do wish you the best. Post often and let us know how it is going.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-14-2013, 08:26 PM
polyconundrum polyconundrum is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Somewhere on the west coast of North America
Posts: 13
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by learninginTN View Post
If polyamory hurts this much, then you're not where you need to be to pursue it. You'll be happier with a person who wants you and only you. You'll feel better about yourself...
Thanks for your input. I feel like I shouldn't have to use a relationship or want a relationship just to feel better about myself. I was also single for 2 years and was really happy with it. And I'm actually very happy with myself, it's a lot of external stuff that I'm not happy with (work being one, and yes, the struggles in the relationship, though the relationship I have with my partner is fine if you take away the problems with him seeing someone else).
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:09 PM
NovemberRain's Avatar
NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 696
Default

As I was reading your original post, I kept thinking 'monogamy is a perfectly valid choice.' You're not a 'failure' if you don't like polyamory. It's okay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by polyconundrum View Post
Thanks for your input. I feel like I shouldn't have to use a relationship or want a relationship just to feel better about myself.
That seems quite a leap to me; I didn't read what TN said as you need to use a relationship to feel better about yourself. You've also pointed out that you were fine being 2 years single.

I don't think it's about using; I think the point is you'll be happier without poly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by polyconundrum View Post
..., it's a lot of external stuff that I'm not happy with (work being one, and yes, the struggles in the relationship, though the relationship I have with my partner is fine if you take away the problems with him seeing someone else).
And yet you opened with you never had a good relationship. And also that you care more for him than he for you.

Do you have anything to lose by seeking a mono relationship with a guy who cares more for you?
__________________
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
Robert A. Heinlein

Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:12 PM
polyconundrum polyconundrum is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Somewhere on the west coast of North America
Posts: 13
Default

I'm really confused because I know that in the past, I haven't been satisfied with just one person. I often felt stifled and would be attracted to other people but couldn't act on it because I was in monogamous relationships. And that was always something that attracted me to poly - being able to have multiple relationships. But when the person I'm in a relationship with is dating other people, that's when the jealousy comes in. It's totally hypocritical and I realize that.

The other thing going on here for me I think is that I want something different than my partner does, but we've used the word "primary" or something similar to describe our relationship (yes, I know there's lots of controversy around that word). We've had the talk about how we see each other as "primaries" in terms of emotional connection because we are more emotionally connected than just being FWBs, but we're nowhere near being committed in the sense that we are going to live together and have kids or anything like that. I would like to have that with someone eventually, though, and lately I've wanted "eventually" to turn into "sooner rather than later." But my partner doesn't want that. So that adds another layer of frustration to the whole thing and makes me think I should just "downgrade" my relationship with my partner and look for someone who is more interested in that kind of relationship.

But...Can you do that? When you have such an emotional connection to someone, can you just "downgrade" how you feel about them?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:16 PM
polyconundrum polyconundrum is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Somewhere on the west coast of North America
Posts: 13
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
As I was reading your original post, I kept thinking 'monogamy is a perfectly valid choice.' You're not a 'failure' if you don't like polyamory. It's okay!

...

Do you have anything to lose by seeking a mono relationship with a guy who cares more for you?
Thanks, I know that it's ok to be monogamous, I'm not one of those people who slams it at all

What I have to lose by seeking a mono relationship is the option to see more than one person. I like having that option for myself, but apparently when the other person gets to see other people, I go kinda haywire.

I know people who are in mono-poly relationships, which sounds like a nice idea, but I feel like it's hard to find someone who would say "you want to sleep with other people? That's great, I don't want to, but you can." Especially when you also want the option of dating other males or dating other females (depending on the gender of that "primary" person). Meaning there are lots of males who say "You can date other women, but you can't date other men" and I find that silly.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:17 PM
NovemberRain's Avatar
NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 696
Default

You bring up an interesting point, one that I've been working over for myself a lot.

My sweet FBF is so much to me. (oh yah, NR, that's eloquent) He touches my soul, my very soul, in deep and profound and wordless ways. He's not likely to ever be available for living together; and if he were, we might destroy one another. I feel very sad about that.

My preferred state is living together. So, I've been trying to imagine how I could find and create a partner to live with, whilst not giving him up, and not detracting from our relationship.

It's been my challenge not to downgrade my feelings, whilst accepting the behaviours that are available, without trying to insist upon more.
__________________
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
Robert A. Heinlein

Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:18 PM
NovemberRain's Avatar
NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 696
Default

Also, I realize I've never felt stifled in mono relationships. Just always recognized that I have capacity to love more than one.
__________________
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
Robert A. Heinlein

Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:37 PM
polyconundrum polyconundrum is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Somewhere on the west coast of North America
Posts: 13
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
So, I've been trying to imagine how I could find and create a partner to live with, whilst not giving him up, and not detracting from our relationship.
You know, it's interesting...I actually don't want to live with someone right now, I like living alone. But I'd like to know that there's a possibility of it with someone, and my partner right now even says he doesn't think he could ever live with someone he's in a relationship with. He says it would be cool to have separate apartments in the same building or separate houses on the same street, but not living together.

I feel like what you said that I quoted above should be possible. I feel like we should be able to do that kind of thing, but it's a huge mental hurdle to get over when you're the one who isn't happy with your "status" with the other person...how would you do it? Just not see each other for a while and then decide to start seeing each other again but taking it very slowly?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-15-2013, 01:18 AM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,130
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by polyconundrum View Post
I never really dated anyone who was committed to me, who thought of me before themselves or at least equally, I never felt like I was really taken into consideration about anything...
Do you put yourself first? It's not wrong of other people to not put you first. They need to put themselves first, as you have to put yourself first. I like to use the analogy of the oxygen masks on an air plane. If you pass out while you're helping someone put their mask on, you're not going to be any good to anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by polyconundrum View Post
it's a lot of external stuff that I'm not happy with (work being one
I've found that whether I hate or love my job has a huge impact on every single aspect of my life. Do you have any room to manoeuvre there? I know it's a tough economy right now, but that might be a good place to look for change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by polyconundrum View Post
And that was always something that attracted me to poly - being able to have multiple relationships. But when the person I'm in a relationship with is dating other people, that's when the jealousy comes in. It's totally hypocritical and I realize that.
It's not hypocritical to feel jealousy, only to put restrictions on your partners that you yourself won't agree to follow.

Quote:
The other thing going on here for me I think is that I want something different than my partner does, but we've used the word "primary" or something similar to describe our relationship (yes, I know there's lots of controversy around that word).
It's not so much controversy, as some people have chosen not to use hierarchical labels to refer to their own relationships. Too few people to create a "controversy" actually reject the idea that others should be "allowed" to use them.

Quote:
We've had the talk about how we see each other as "primaries" in terms of emotional connection because we are more emotionally connected than just being FWBs, but we're nowhere near being committed in the sense that we are going to live together and have kids or anything like that. I would like to have that with someone eventually, though, and lately I've wanted "eventually" to turn into "sooner rather than later." But my partner doesn't want that. So that adds another layer of frustration to the whole thing and makes me think I should just "downgrade" my relationship with my partner and look for someone who is more interested in that kind of relationship.
Of people who do use Primary/secondary labels, it generally doesn't limit the kinds of feelings you can have for one another, i.e. the emotional connection you're talking about, but rather practical matters like time commitments and level of "intermingling" between your lives (i.e. living together, kids, shared accounts). You can love your secondary just as much as you love your primary.

There are solo-poly folks who think of themselves as their primary partner, and all their other partners as secondary, regardless of the level of emotions involved. I've also met monogamous people who are familiar with polyamory and refer to their job as their primary partner. Although they date people and have romantic relationships, they make it clear that their job is always going to come first. Obviously that's not you because you hate your job, but my point is just that you don't have to have a Primary partner in order for someone else to be considered your secondary.

Quote:
But...Can you do that? When you have such an emotional connection to someone, can you just "downgrade" how you feel about them?
Well, I can, but I'm pretty fickle and self-involved. I can't say whether you can. In general, yes, it's "allowed." But not everyone is capable of staying with someone while downgrading their emotions. Some people are "all or nothing" lovers, others can tone it down but need time apart to let the emotions settle. Only you can determine where you fall on that scale.
__________________
Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."

Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 02-15-2013 at 01:21 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
confusion, questioning, relationships

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:55 AM.