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Old 11-19-2010, 03:03 AM
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Default Intimate vs. Friendship

Something I've had in my head for months now is, how do I tell the difference between someone I want to be intimate with and someone I should just stay friends with. My main example is being torn between 2 mono girls whom I love dearly, but really couldn't "choose" one over the other. My common sense says just stay friends, because I wouldn't want to hurt the other by doing something like that. I would love to be with them both and even talked to them both about it, but they are straight and only want 1 person to be with. They even said they would not feel comfortable with me being with someone else whilst I was with them. That bit is fine, as I have been in mono relationships always, but recently, really wanted to just do what has felt natural for as long as I can remember and just love. I think it would be hard for me to just be friends with people I care for so much, but I suppose you get used to it when you live a poly lifestyle. I'm just guessing here. I'm new to this and only just starting out with it all. Any and all advice is appreciated greatly. =]
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:30 AM
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I have a boyfriend that I don't have sex with. I love him and care about him as I do my other partners, but having sex would cause many issues for us that we are not wanting to have to deal with. We decided that it would be best to figure out other ways to find intimacy. We have done a good job so far and are content with what we have.

I suggest that you look for sex elsewhere and keep them both as good friends...

I am not so sure mono folk would get the intimacy without sex thing as it really is close to being together. I can't imagine a mono partner being okay with there partner having a friend that is that close, but I am not mono, so what do I know. Mono, my SO, gets it and he is mono, but I don't know if it is a popular choice in monoland. If you see what I mean.

I think I might let them know that you are moving on to other choices of women because you don't want to hurt them by getting sexually and emotionally involved, but that you are really keen to be close friends.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I am not so sure mono folk would get the intimacy without sex thing as it really is close to being together. I can't imagine a mono partner being okay with there partner having a friend that is that close, but I am not mono, so what do I know. Mono, my SO, gets it and he is mono, but I don't know if it is a popular choice in monoland. If you see what I mean.
I wouldn't say I "get it" but I am not uncomfortable with my partner having close male friends like I would have been in the past. Many mono people are threatened by their partners having close friends of the opposite gender. I'm just not one of them anymore

If you are new to poly and just starting out though, I highly recommend you engage other poly people in a relationship first. Your life will be possibly much easier and certainly have greater freedom. Just a suggestion.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:50 AM
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I wouldn't say I "get it" but I am not uncomfortable with my partner having close male friends like I would have been in the past. Many mono people are threatened by their partners having close friends of the opposite gender. I'm just not one of them anymore

If you are new to poly and just starting out though, I highly recommend you engage other poly people in a relationship first. Your life will be possibly much easier and certainly have greater freedom. Just a suggestion.
Just to make clear, I'm not actually looking for anything sexual as such. Just closer than just friends. But yes, I don't think many people would really understand the difference.

As for the highlighted quote, I actually don't know any poly people at all. I'm sure they are around here somewhere, I just think they are hiding. *checks under sofa*. I, myself, am new to the term too, so people don't even know I am poly.

My sister is bisexual and I feel I know and understand more about that than my own way of thinking. But I'm hoping to at least find people who do understand what it is and can accept it as who I am. An easier step than finding other polyamorists in this area.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:53 AM
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Just to make clear, I'm not actually looking for anything sexual as such. Just closer than just friends. But yes, I don't think many people would really understand the difference.

.

The difference is baffling to most I think. I just see it as close friends but Redpepper sees it as something different. Regardless, you should work on putting words to what you are feeling for your own self discovery at least.

As far as meeting poly people..get online my friend (as you are). Good luck
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:53 AM
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Getting intimate with either or both of these girls, since they have already said they would not want you to have feelings for another if you were with them, would damage your friendship with one of both of them. If you can keep them both as close friends by not being intimate, them stick with that. Just inform any future potential partners, that these girls will be in you life.

I'm new to this whole poly thing too and I find it pretty amazing. Continue to educate these friends on what poly is so they can understand you better. Who knows, they may change their mind somewhere down the road or maybe not.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:19 PM
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Getting intimate with either or both of these girls, since they have already said they would not want you to have feelings for another if you were with them, would damage your friendship with one of both of them. If you can keep them both as close friends by not being intimate, them stick with that. Just inform any future potential partners, that these girls will be in you life.

I'm new to this whole poly thing too and I find it pretty amazing. Continue to educate these friends on what poly is so they can understand you better. Who knows, they may change their mind somewhere down the road or maybe not.
Thanks. It's pretty much exactly what I was thinking, but wasn't too confident with it. I'm just a little worried that telling any potential relationship that I have these girls in my life would possibly scare them off if they didn't understand it. I'm not sure on the words I could use to explain to people that would make them understand.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:16 PM
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Default define it to yourself...

For years i used the label "adopted brother/sister" for those I had chosen to be that close with - without sexual contact, it was useful to describe the relationship to others around me though i would get occasionally raised eyebrows when conversation content (between myself and said adopted brothers/sisters) would become known... rather lewd and suggestive in some cases in which case the next conversation would be "okay so not brother or sister - but not lover either... family you know... which would just get confused looks and we'd go back to the "adopted" terminology :P

anyway the point being if you can define to yourself in a way you understand and is acceptable to you, you will have a much easier time of describing it to any potential lovers.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:41 PM
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I call my boy friend my NSBF (non sexual not friend).
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by FlameKat View Post
For years i used the label "adopted brother/sister" for those I had chosen to be that close with - without sexual contact, it was useful to describe the relationship to others around me though i would get occasionally raised eyebrows when conversation content (between myself and said adopted brothers/sisters) would become known... rather lewd and suggestive in some cases in which case the next conversation would be "okay so not brother or sister - but not lover either... family you know... which would just get confused looks and we'd go back to the "adopted" terminology :P

anyway the point being if you can define to yourself in a way you understand and is acceptable to you, you will have a much easier time of describing it to any potential lovers.
I think I see them as friends that are closer than friends. Even closer than a best friend. I really love them hugely and just wouldn't know how to ease it in slowly for someone who was strongly monogamous. I suppose you adapt to other peoples' views? But just saying they are friends. Although not lying, it would not feel right to make Mono feel like they were just like any other friend to me.
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