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  #91  
Old 06-08-2011, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
And I certainly can try to negotiate for Harry, I just don't know if it'd be a dealbreaker... and I still don't even know if I want to *try* to make a deal, so... yeah. *sigh*
All you have to ask yourself is... is Davis more important to you than Harry? Remember, you will be starting anew. Why not just take it slowly, with a few dates here and there, no negotiations or contract, for a few months and just see if you even want anything with him again. Letting go of Harry before you even know if there is something solid and worth rekindling (he's an ex for a reason, right?) might be disastrous and hurtful to Harry.
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Last edited by nycindie; 06-08-2011 at 04:25 AM.
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  #92  
Old 06-08-2011, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFarFromRight View Post
Is keeping Davis on a no-sex, STRONG-platonic-love basis going to acceptable [to both of you]?
I've asked if he thinks we could stay friends if we don't agree to date, and he can't answer that right now, he just knows that our current arrangement is no longer working for him. I tend to think that we would probably need to not see each other at all if we were going to end our physical connection.

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Think about it:
He gives up fear and jealousy (and in so doing, grows as a person) - You give up freedom and autonomy (and in so doing, shrink as a person).
Yikes, I hadn't thought about it like that

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You're willing to give up the casual boyfriends. [I, personally would balk at that on principle, but it's your call.] Just remember that Harry used to be a casual boyfriend.
I had actually been thinking that I wanted to cut back on the number of people I was involved with, completely unrelated to all of this stuff with Davis. It's a matter of time, energy and interest... I've been running low, and lately I'd rather just focus on the people and activities that matter to me most.

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Harry allows you to be YOU and is poly-friendly. [AND the sex is sooo goooooood!]. Davis loves you but wants you to be somebody else. If you had to choose between these two, which one would do you better in the short AND long term???
Wanting me to be with fewer people doesn't necessarily mean he wants me to be someone else. I am very comfortable in a polyamorous state, but does that mean that it's integral to who I am to continue to see other guys? Not necessarily. I admit that Davis doesn't sound very good right now "on paper" since all I've talked about is the fact that he's having trouble coming to grips with poly, but he matters a lot to me as a person and we're very compatible in a lot of ways. As for comparing him with Harry, that's not really fair, as Harry has had a lot more experience with this lifestyle. And, hey, the sex with Davis is *also* quite good.

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[Did you ever read "The Princess Who Stood On Her Own Two Feet", or did I link to that wonderful story on 2 other threads? Check it out!]
No, I haven't seen it.

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A tiny little hug
Awww, hug! I really appreciate the perspectives you've shared, it all helps.
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  #93  
Old 06-08-2011, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Your compromises don't need to be so bleak. Davis may have the right to ask for that, but you don't have to acquiesce. Your compromise might simply be limiting the frequency you see him, to find a way to include him in your schedule but -- why do you think it is necessary to give Davis so much say in your life?
Well... it's looking like it's either figure out an arrangement that works for both of us or lose him. Some things I'm not willing to compromise on, like Gia and Eric. The rest is, at the very least, up for consideration. It's a weighing of priorities, for me. You're right that there may be other compromises available, I'm just not sure of that yet since Davis and I still haven't had The Talk.

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He has already told you he wants to be your primary, but maybe you don't need a primary. Maybe you like it just the way it is. I don't think it's fair for Davis to come in and expect to assert himself as a major part of your life after all the personal growth work and investment you've made with Gia and Eric.
VERY good points. At least the first parts, about not necessarily needing a primary, and about liking my life fine the way it is.

As for the rest, he's been a part of big part of my life (as a friend, then as a boyfriend, then as a friend-with-benefits) for almost a decade now, so it's not like he's some random dude who just showed up and started making demands. And like I said, I'm not giving up anything I have with Gia and Eric for Davis's sake.

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Do you still have insecurities about your place in G & E's lives that you feel drawn to Davis more? As if it's a sure thing? Don't be duped by your fears into something that would squash who you are!
I really don't think it's about that, but I can see why it would seem that way. Also, I'm really not sure that having some limits put on the formation of new relationships would affect who I am, y'know? It's just something that I have to decide whether or not I believe I'd be happy with.

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Please rethink this willingness you have to hand over the reins to Davis!!! It doesn't look like even a remotely good idea from over here.
Well, no promises. I still don't feel much closer to making a decision. Ugh, why am I so bad at this?
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  #94  
Old 06-08-2011, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
All you have to ask yourself is... is Davis more important to you than Harry? Remember, you will be starting anew. Why not just take it slowly, with a few dates here and there, no negotiations or contract, for a few months and just see if you even want anything with him again. Letting go of Harry before you even know if there is something solid and worth rekindling (he's an ex for a reason, right?) might be disastrous and hurtful to Harry.
Ahhhh, ok. The thing is, and this might have been the source of some confusion in all this, Davis and I have been doing what most people would think of as "dating" for... geez, I guess a couple of years now. We go out to see movies, get dinner together, stay in to watch something, have long talks. Sometimes it's been more often, like multiple times a week, sometimes we'll go a couple of weeks or even more without seeing each other. We have sex regularly, and as of the last year and a half-ish we've actually been saying "I love you" to each other. It was something that he would always say from time to time, and I finally realized that I wanted to be saying it back, so I did.

On the surface you could say we're already in a relationship, but it's been very casual and undefined and not about romantic gestures. At times we've been closer, at other times more distant. He's known about my other lovers but hasn't asked for details before. There hasn't been any expectation that we get to have a say in one another's personal lives. We've determinedly been friends... just friends who hang out a lot and are physically intimate and say I love you to each other.

Now he wants to define things, set terms, formalize the arrangement.

The reason he's an ex... it's a long story. The short version is that at about the two year mark in our relationship, I realized that I wanted to be with someone else. It wasn't that I didn't want to be with Davis or didn't love him anymore, I just wanted to be with this other person very much too (an old flame that I hadn't gotten over, who unexpectedly came back into my life professing regret for leaving me... what is with me and my exes?).

Torn between two lovers. How very poly of me, right? Unfortunately, none of us knew how to handle the situation in a positive way. I spent a full year of my life agonizing over whether or not to leave Davis, and it broke our relationship. I wanted to leave and he couldn't handle the idea and just got defeated and weepy and "how will I live without you" when I tried to talk about it, and I couldn't bring myself to go. FINALLY I did leave and tried things with the old flame... it didn't work out but I didn't regret leaving Davis. At that point, the relationship had become toxic for us both. The difficult thing was that, through it all, I truly did still love Davis and loathed the idea of leaving him with a broken heart. There was just no other way.

But we didn't stay apart for long, even if maybe we should have. Davis and I started occasionally fooling around together probably not 6 months after I left him (which was 4 years ago now). It was like... we were a balm to each other, if that makes any sense. But it really wasn't a good idea at that point. At various times after that either he or I would say "Y'know, this really isn't healthy" and we would stop seeing each other for a while, but we'd always end up talking again and then eventually getting closer again.

We've both apologized to each other for the various emotional wrongs we committed against one another in the past, worked on our issues, and forgiven one another. I think that, as of the last couple of years, our friendship actually *has* been a healthy, positive thing for both of us. It's a wonderful thing to have someone in your life who you KNOW will have your back no matter what. He's my best friend, really. Even though he can be a misanthropic, obnoxious, stubborn bastard at times (just telling it like it is, he wouldn't disagree with that characterization).

So, is Davis more important to me than Harry? Well, yes. But... that doesn't mean I'm necessarily willing to give up Harry for him. I hate the idea of losing a meaningful connection with anyone just because someone else tells me to drop it. It doesn't feel right. And it WOULD hurt Harry, as well as me, to end things. Even though Harry and I haven't expressed it to one another in words yet, emotions are involved at this point. It's clear in the way Harry and I kiss, the way we touch each other, the way we hold each other, and the way we laugh together, that we've moved at least one step beyond being just casual friends-with-benefits. I would never stop seeing Davis just because Harry asked me to, never in a million years. But that doesn't mean I'm willing to do the reverse either. *sigh* Am I just being greedy? Do I want to have my cake PLUS three other pieces of cake, and eat them all too?
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  #95  
Old 06-08-2011, 12:10 PM
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Oh, it's much clearer now. I will stop harping on this question and leave you alone -- but I'm sure it's probably obvious that my vote is not to let go of Harry. I think there are other ways to compromise, in time and schedules, etc., without giving up a relationship that enriches and enhances your life as the one you have with Harry does. Why does Davis think that things have to change for you to be committed to him? I wonder if there is some sense of dissatisfaction he feels, which really should be addressed by internal, personal work on himself, rather than placing an expectation on you to change something... ?

He might want to consider that part of why the woman he loves is so happy and satisfied is because of all the people in your life. It would create quite a different dynamic in you and your life if any of them had to disappear.

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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Am I just being greedy? Do I want to have my cake PLUS three other pieces of cake, and eat them all too?
Nope, not greedy! Your description of the people in your life sounds quite wonderful and gives me hope that I can have something similar. And there is nothing wrong with wanting the whole cake!
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  #96  
Old 06-08-2011, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Now he wants to define things, set terms, formalize the arrangement.

I would never stop seeing Davis just because Harry asked me to, never in a million years. But that doesn't mean I'm willing to do the reverse either. *sigh* Am I just being greedy? Do I want to have my cake PLUS three other pieces of cake, and eat them all too?
Hmm. OPPs tend to set me off a little. However, it sounds like DEFINITION and SECURITY are what Davis is now asking for - like, not necessarily that he be your one number guy but rather that he at least be given an ordinal number (and he has requested the number one?), that he and you would both know that he has a place in your life.

Does it have to be stated in primary/secondary/OPP terms? Does he need that to feel he means something to you, that he is not just another guy you are doing?

If he feels very strongly about there being him and no other fellas, then it is probably just not in your nature to be with him on primary basis. I mean, he wants you to give him something you are not cut out to give. You tried to and failed once, right?

It's not like all pieces of cake are mutually interchangeable, and you are just being greedy and stuffing your face (well, not technically face, at least not most of the time, but you get the drift ). Do you think that now that you have Gina, the 'girl slot' in your romantic life is permanently filled up and having a relationship with another lady would just be greedy? That is why OPPs/poly-fi anything don't make sense to me. To me, the philosophy operates on a principle of 'I have people needs A, B and C, and they can be filled with generic individuals A, B and C, and once there, I'm done! I shall never need, want or desire another human being again!'.
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  #97  
Old 06-20-2011, 03:54 AM
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*deep breath*

Well, there's a lot to share, so I think I'll cut it into chunks. First of all --

Gia's got just 2 weeks to go now and her belly is huge beyond belief. She, Eric, her parents and I will all be at the same camping event at the end of the summer, and she's decided to tell her dad about us before then (she's already told her mom, but her dad is way more opinionated and contrary, so she's held back with him). We've been talking a little lately about what things might look like after the arrival of the baby. It always comes back to the same thing -- that we can't really know -- but I'm glad to know that it's on both of our minds.

At the end of our last date, I left Gia in the kitchen and went into their bedroom to find Eric sprawled diagonally across their bed. I climbed in alongside him and wrapped my arms around him, slid my hands up the back of his shirt, kissed the small of his back. Gia came in and sat on the bed with us and we talked for a bit, then she gave me a few kisses before I left.

I feel like I've reached a new level of comfort with the two of them. Earlier in the relationship, whenever I was driving home from their place I would feel kind of anxious, kind of uneasy, like I'd left something important undone, like I was missing something. Lately, I just feel calm.
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  #98  
Old 06-20-2011, 04:47 AM
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Davis and I spent a full week figuring things out. It was an exhausting time. I finally resolved the question of whether I really wanted to re-start an official relationship. It came down to this... I said to him -- "We've been friends, lovers and important people in each other's lives for a long time. The question now is, do we want to keep doing that, but with intention?" And the answer, for both of us, was yes. It felt so good to decide that. It felt joyous and simple and right.

The next day we went for a long walk and talked out the details. We delved into the background of things, the reasons behind our feelings, fears, and desires for the future. He accepts my desire to live a poly lifestyle but has a really hard time with the idea of me being with other people, especially other guys (he freely admits that having more of an issue with dudes makes no practical sense, but it doesn't change how hard it is for him). We agreed that in order to make this work we need to create a stable base of comfort, safety and familiarity that he can work from. Ultimately, the terms we settled on are as follows --

1) My relationship with Davis will in no way impinge upon my relationship with Gia. I didn't, at any point, pretend that this one was up for debate and he didn't, at any point, even suggest that he wanted to debate it.
1a) At such time as my sexual life with Gia resumes, Eric will be a part of it, but I will consider one or two potential limits upon that, such as taking intercourse with Eric off the menu for the time being. This one is not entirely resolved as of the time of this post.
2) I will take a break from all other intimate involvements (i.e. persons not Gia, Eric or Davis) until such time as Davis feels more comfortable with the idea.
2a) Davis will actively work on being more comfortable with the idea of me being with male partners, and we will re-evaluate where things are no later than three months from now. This one is mainly about Harry.
3) Neither of us will consider starting any entirely new entanglements until at least six months from now. I say "neither of us" because, as it turns out, Davis is actually interested in a threesome with me and another girl, so there actually is the possibility that he could end up involved with someone else, not just me.
3a) Davis gets to meet anyone I'm interested in before anything happens and wants to have some level of comfort with them (I haven't promised him a veto power, but this is basically that).

I know that what we're trying to do is going to be hard. It's already been hard -- sooooo many long and emotional conversations, so much difficult honesty. But what can I say, I believe that it's worth it. He's done a great job through all of this... not all guys are so good at processing their feelings, y'know? During the week of figuring things out, he joined me at a party at Gia and Eric's place, which Harry also attended. It was a difficult experience for him, being around my other lovers for an extended period of time, but he actually made friends with Gia and Eric, and was perfectly civil to Harry. Gia approved of him. That event was actually very important to my decision to try to make this work.
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  #99  
Old 06-20-2011, 05:10 AM
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*sigh* Which leaves Harry.

Harry has been great through all of this, and has made it clear that we'll be friends no matter what. But, a) he thinks I'm making a big mistake by having a serious relationship with a monogamously oriented person (his ex-wife was mono), and b) he's upset by how abrupt this all was (certainly can't blame him there). I've explained to him as well as I can why I've decided to try to make things work with Davis and why this is a really, really different thing than his situation with his mono ex-wife (she was a bitch). I've also explained to him that I will absolutely not be making any deeper commitments to Davis, such as marriage, until I'm sure that he truly can be ok and happy with a poly partner (not that I'd consider marriage any time remotely soon anyway). He's accepted that, even though he still thinks it's a bad idea.

As for the abruptness issue? Yeah, totally my fault. I apologized to Harry and told him that my mistake was clear in hindsight. I knew that Davis was very important to me, and that he'd never really gotten to a place where he could deal with the knowledge of me having other loves, and so it should have followed logically that something would eventually have to change. But I ignored that fact and so, when the crisis came, I was completely unprepared to deal with it and other people in my life got burned (thankfully, there was no one else I was particularly close to aside from Harry, so there was no one else I had to have such a tough discussion with).

We agreed that we both care about each other, and that it would be better to take some time before seeing each other again. Our friendship was very sexual, and it would probably be hard to pull back completely right away. When we do see each other again it will be in a group situation, like a get-together at my place with my roommates. I've told him that I know I can't expect for him to still be available and interested once Davis has worked out his issues, but that I very much hope he will be.

I missed Harry a lot for the first couple of days after our long email exchanges and even cried over him a little once, in Davis's arms. But it's all faded significantly now. In the end, what Harry and I had was something real, and something very fun, but it wasn't yet what you could call love, and so I was willing to set it aside for something that definitely is. I know that it was the right decision for me.
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  #100  
Old 07-07-2011, 04:31 AM
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Hmmmm, sooo, should I start a new blog with a different title now that I'm in a primary relationship? Maybe at some point.

Things have been going well with Davis. We've been spending a lot of nights at each other's houses, and I sleep better when he's with me. We aren't doing a lot of processing right now, just living our lives. I can't say that I'm absolutely positive we're going to make it work, but who can ever be positive about that? I don't know if I'll end up talking about him too much here as long as things are going smoothly... since the relationship is so straight forward, there's not much that I feel like I need to explore on a poly blog. I suppose that will probably change if/when we open things up more.

Harry and I have stayed in touch -- he's started casually seeing a new girl, I'm happy for him. He's going to come over for a game night at my house soon.

Aaaaaaaand, I have some amazing news to share with you all.

Gia and Eric had their baby last night, and both mother and child are healthy. It's a boy -- I've decided to call him Bee in this blog. I visited them for the first time this evening.

During my visit I shared food I had made with them, watched Bee while they showered, and just generally sat with them, talked, and helped out in little ways while they fed him, rocked him, and changed him. He's perfect, of course. His skin is so soft, and he's very alert.

Both Gia and Eric are exhausted, naturally. They've been sleeping in snatches of an hour or two since she first went into labor two days ago. Gia had some issues with tearing (very common, from what I understand) and is confined to strict bed rest for one week, and semi-strict bed rest for another two weeks after that, which will be really rough for her. Still, she's coping well and she has Eric there 24/7 to help her as well as various other friends and family members coming in and out to provide meals.

It felt wonderful to take care of the two of them while they focused on taking care of Bee. I could tell that they were both very grateful, especially Eric... he seemed almost a little surprised at all the food I'd brought them and all the stuff I was doing, though certainly not in a bad way. I think he's just had less cause to see my nurturing side than Gia has... and he's also less used to needing support than she is. He's normally such a stoic, independent type of guy, and now every little gesture is signficant to him because he could really use the help.

I've been becoming more and more comfortable with randomly showing Eric physical affection. Even though we had been lovers, there was a time when I felt sort of awkward doing little things like giving him a hug or nuzzle. I think it was because I felt so keenly the knowledge that I wanted him in a different/greater way than he wanted me. Lately, though, that reticence has been melting away. Tonight, during my visit, I communicated with him through touch (that's how I think of it) several times, laying on him, hugging him, kissing him on the temple, that sort of thing.

But what about communicating with him through words? I seriously thought about it tonight. I thought about saying "I love all three of you so much" or something like that when we were caring for Bee, but I didn't. Later I was in the kitchen getting ready to go and he was in the next room, checking something on the computer. I stood there for a minute, thinking about going in there and telling him how I felt. But then he found what he needed and went back to their room to sleep.

I feel like it's going to have to come soon, now. It's getting to the point that it's really bothering me to be holding it back. Hell, I started this blog more than six months ago and it was one of the first things I brought up then. I'm just so scared of how he'll react, I don't want to mess things up. It seems safer to show him than to tell him. But I've GOT to be brave about this, for my own sake, sooner or later.
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