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Old 08-23-2013, 07:58 PM
sdguitarguy's Avatar
sdguitarguy sdguitarguy is offline
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Default Introduce new girlfriend to poly

I am in an open/polyamorous relationship. I am male, hetero, 54, with a primary partner (C) that I live with. I was mono most of my life until my wife of 20 years passed away six years ago.

I suppose that I am looking to brainstorm and get some feedback about introducing someone to polyamory. If there are other relevant threads, please point them out to me, I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel here, I'm sure others have been through this. I feel that there are potential landmines all around this and I'd like some help navigating through this as we proceed.

The background

I recently started seeing a woman (M, 53 widowed) whose history is monogamous. We've known each other for a few years as friends and a week ago I spontaneously asked her out for a drink after choir. Sparks flew and it was clear that we were very interested in each other as more than friends. M is aware of C, has met her on occasion and wanted to know what our relationship was. M had a sense that C & I did not have a traditional relationship but she didn't really know any details.

I have been very open and honest with M about my relationship with C. She, in return, has been very honest about her feelings, concerns, etc. I guess we got past step 1 - she didn't freak out and just say no!

Her immediate responses was "I'm afraid I'll get hurt".

Many of her questions or concerns are coached in a fear-based approach to relationships (I don't know if it's because she was/is mono but that's my interpretation. I remember that in my own mono relationships).

Overall, I have to say things have been going well. We are not rushing into a sexual relationship. We are talking and M is open to discussion. She's been willing to entertain the crazy notion that "love" is not a limited commodity and that loving more than one person enhances all your relationships. And that you can have relationships not based in fear.

M wants to meet C and we are going out to a play later this week.

So, I guess what would be helpful to me is any resources that I might share with her or other people's experiences and things to be aware of? I guess my main concern is that I am winging it here!

Dino
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:28 PM
Nox Nox is offline
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There's a lot of resources here, but I can share my experience.

Go slow. Be honest. Seek Feedback. Remember it's not a competition.

That last one is the hardest because it feels like a competition. It feels like we compete for mates. I think it's hard wired in us. But you can convert that to the concept of we can have as many intimate friends as we like and they don't have to compete, so why should lovers? When that happens it gets a lot easier. It did for me anyway, but then I have always been insecure in relationships, not jealous.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:19 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdguitarguy View Post

Her immediate responses was "I'm afraid I'll get hurt".

Many of her questions or concerns are coached in a fear-based approach to relationships (I don't know if it's because she was/is mono but that's my interpretation. I remember that in my own mono relationships).
Saying her concerns are 'coached in a fear-based approach' comes across as very dismissive and patronizing. There are legitimate reasons to stay out of a poly relationship, legitimate reasons to not want to become a secondary, especially for someone who's otherwise single.

Have you considered where this relationship can possibly go from her point of view? You're already living with someone and have no intention of changing that. 'Love' may not be limited, but other resources are.

Right now, at about two years into being in your girlfriend's shoes, I'm about through, because I consider this relationship stagnant. It is not allowed to grow. There will be no moving in together, no sharing the burdens of life together, no long term plans together. I've tried to point this out to him: yes, we have a great time together, but try eating just the frosting off the cake every day for the next month and come and tell me how you feel about frosting. His response is to get 'hurt' that I called him the icing on the cake. Hey, I thought it was a compliment! But, whatever. His refusal to admit the point doesn't solve the problem. And the point is that most people, sooner or later, or going to want something more substantial than dating and NRE and fun times. Are you and C ready to go down that road?

Do you have a plan in mind for if she falls in love with you and wants to move in, and advance the relationship? Wants to get married? Wants help buying a house? Wants to meet your friends and family? Wants the things that normally come as relationships last longer? I know one solution for many poly people is to get indignant and self righteous and call such a person a cowgirl, but I personally think there needs to be an equal word for those who play with others feelings because the NRE and the sex are great, and then get all outraged that the person...developed feelings.

These are real issues, legitimate issues, not a 'fear-based approach.' Give her the respect of acknowledging that.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:36 AM
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sdguitarguy sdguitarguy is offline
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Point taken. You bring up some great points for us to talk about.
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-Wife/Partner: C - poly female - together 4 years
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