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  #1  
Old 01-11-2011, 05:33 AM
Fidelia Fidelia is offline
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Default Here's a headscratcher . . . little help please?

Hey polypeeps, here’s a situation I’d like your input on.

A friend of mine, Buddy, is into me. Fidelio was the first one to notice this and point out it out, but once I started observing the signs, umm . . . yeah. Buddy’s a great guy, there’s a lot I really like about him. But he has a few traits that for me are dealbreakers in the romance department. To offer one example: he has a habit of speaking over people. He’s a big guy with a big voice and it’s a challenge to participate in conversations with him because of this. I am not the only person in our circle of friends to notice this. This behavior demonstrates, in my mind at least, that at these moments he thinks whatever he is trying to say is more important than what the other person is trying to say, and that demonstrates a lack of respect. He does not do this with everyone, Fidelio for instance, so he is capable of controlling this behavior, but he does do it with me and with many others. On the occasions when I have gently called him on this, he apologizes and improves for a very short time. As his friend, I can put up with this annoying practice, but I could not open the deeper levels of my heart to someone who regularly demonstrates this kind of general disrespect, whether it’s directed at me or someone else. This habit is one of a handful that makes the romantic potential a non-starter for me, despite the fact that he's kinda hot.

In the last couple of months, it has become increasingly apparent that Buddy’s infatuated with me, and that he’s conflicted about it. He’s a Christian, as I am, but he’s Roman Catholic, and he’s still buying into the religious traditions about monogamy, sex, love, covetousness, etc. So being attracted to me is a source of all sorts of conflict for him. And knowing his reverence for the Church as he understands it, I have not shared my views on what a load of hooey much of religious tradition is.

Okay, that’s the setup. Here’s the issue I’m pondering: should I introduce him to the concept of polyamory?

On the one hand, if he were exposed to the idea that there is nothing shameful or harmful about being attracted to a married/attached person, and that deep, fulfilling and healthy relationships came be created where everyone’s needs are met and respected, maybe he could lay down some of the burdens he’s carrying. As his friend, I would love to help him shed that baggage.

But: having introduced the concept of polyamory in general, I would almost inevitably tell him I’m poly too. And if I tell him that, how do I then tell him I’m not interested in him romantically? How could I possibly express that in a way that doesn’t reek of “yes I do, but not with you”? He’s a great guy and a good friend, but he and I would not work not as lovers.

Tangent for anyone who’s wondering how a close friend doesn’t know I’m poly: I don’t hide my poly nature, but I don’t talk about it much either. I just live my life. People who know that I am a sincere and devoted Christian mostly assume that I automatically embrace the traditions of the religious establishment, which is not the case. And their bad assumptions are not my responsibility. So in a sense I am hiding in plain sight. When someone asks me a question, I answer honestly. End of tangent.

So there it is. I would like to help Buddy free himself from the baggage he is needlessly carrying, but I do not want to set him up to wound his pride with rejection.

So how ‘bout it, polypeeps? What is the wise, compassionate, loving course of action here?
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2011, 07:54 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I think if I were I your position Fidelia I would tell him what you have said here. Minus what you think of how he does his religion maybe. He doesn't need to know that part and won't benefit much from it. Its just a preference you have and really and it could take away from your point.

I think that if you are a good friend and intend to be more of one, then tell him that his over talking comes across as having an overly large ego, that he maybe should look at whether or not he could allow others to finish what they are saying and come to the forefront by waiting his turn to speak or using his big voice to offer space for others. Maybe there is someone in particular that doesn't get a word in and he could see to it that they do, but using his voice to advocate for them having a voice.

As to poly; I think you could say what you said here. "I know something about polyamory. Do you know it? I'm not interested in you but ... " might be a good place to start.

I am wondering if maybe you are over thinking. When I get stuck sometimes I ask myself what I would say to someone on the forum if they wrote on here. Some things become very clear at that point. Maybe that would work for you?
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:45 PM
Charlie Charlie is offline
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I once heard advice given to a group of salesman, and it went like this:

"Go make your peace with God, then come come talk to me. Stop trying to convince people, and you will sell them every time."

It doesn't sound like your friendship with Buddy is quite right to "introduce" him to "polyamory". It doesn't sound like he's ready for the jargon, frankly.
Yes, Love is the answer, I agree, but there are many paths to what we all call polyamory. It sounds like Buddy's perspective might be effecting other areas of his life as well, not just the romantic ones. My advice, in short, is this:

Live your life where others can see it, feel it, and know its honesty. Don't spend your time trying to convince somebody else that your way is the right way, even if it is. When people think that you're trying to convince them, they often become threatened and run to their safe, known ideals.

Be patient with Buddy. Be his friend. Talk about life, love, and spirituality in ways that don't threaten his Christian faith.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:31 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Talk about life, love, and spirituality in ways that don't threaten his Christian faith.
I'm sick and tired of people tip-toeing around "the Christian faith" (or any OTHER "faith", for that matter). If your "faith" exists to begin with, it CANNOT be "threatened" by mere people. Why is it that religious people can be obnoxious assholes, yet when someone calls them on it ("that isn't what JESUS would do", etc.) they get all "BWAH you disrespected MY RELIGION!!!11!!!!!one!!~" "oooh you can't draw a cartoon of Mohammed"

Why is it that only religious people can call out other religious people? Only gay people can call out other gay people? Only black people can call out other black people? Only women can call out other women? Anyone who is not part of the same special-interest group is "oppressive and threatening" if they say something that doesn't align with whoever... That is such bullshit.

Fidelia, you can say whatever you want to this man. It's not like he's actually paying attention to what you say in the first place.

Last edited by NeonKaos; 01-11-2011 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:49 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I don't really see this as anything worth bothering about. What, so you've got a "kinda hot" friend, with habits that turn you off, who has a crush on you, so now all of a sudden it's up to you to educate him about how you live your life while also making sure he knows there's no chance he's getting laid? To what end? I see no point in it. Just be yourself and don't worry about "freeing him from baggage." That's not up to you anyway. He might already have some hint or understanding of how you live your life, but even if he doesn't, who knows, why do you think you owe him any lessons or need to proselytize about polyamory? What makes you think any ignorance or misunderstanding of polyamory he may have is a burden? Why assume he's conflicted about having feelings for you? Maybe he's enjoying them and feels he doesn't need to act on them. Why shouldn't you just answer questions if he asks, like you do with everyone else? Might seem kind of arrogant to just start lecturing him like a missionary, don't you think?
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:21 PM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
Why is it that only religious people can call out other religious people? Only gay people can call out other gay people? Only black people can call out other black people? Only women can call out other women? Anyone who is not part of the same special-interest group is "oppressive and threatening" if they say something that doesn't align with whoever... That is such bullshit.

Fidelia, you can say whatever you want to this man. It's not like he's actually paying attention to what you say in the first place.
^^Yep. Smart lady talkin'.


I am RC, and so are the few friends that know I have a open marriage. I don`t run away from my chosen form of Christianity, just because I dont agree with a lot of aspects of it. For me, it would be much like me turning my nose up entirely at the polyamory community, just because I don`t agree with the way most of the unspoken 'rules' are set in place with a poly lifestyle .

To me, it would be throwing out the baby, with the bathwater. I chose to relish in what I find good, because I feel I am something and skip the shit that doesnt work, or apply to me. On both accounts.

What I am, and how I chose to exhibit my faith in anything, is what matters to me. Not other people`s traditions.

That all said Fidelia, I was able to tell my friends of my open marriage, because they already exhibited a open mind, and self-thinking (like me) through various opinions they had on religion, life, politics. Their actions showed me this. when I told them of things, they then came back and told me of some things in their life as well.

You say this man seems to be devout to the teachings he received. If he is a follower of his religion, versus a member of his chosen faith, then it might be moot trying to explain polyamory to him, if you have no romantic interest in him.

Basically his feelings are for you. Even if he tried polyamory on for size, it wouldnt be for feeling polyamorous, it would be because he wanted to see if he had a chance with you.

If thats not a option, there is no point in fixing something that isn`t broken for him.

...Now the talking over others.....?.......As a good friend, keep working on that.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:01 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SourGirl View Post
If he is a follower of his religion, versus a member of his chosen faith, then it might be moot trying to explain polyamory to him
This is what I was trying to say before (the first paragraph, where it says that if you have "faith" in the first place, it can't be threatened by other people saying stuff to you). I didn't mean to come across as though I was yelling AT Charlie. I just happened to use something Charlie wrote to expand on in my own post.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:24 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I would leave it alone if it were me. Primarily because it would reek of "leading him on" to bring up polyamory for... what might seem to be NO REASON since you aren't at all interested in him.

That said, I would also have a SERIOUS talk with him about respect and it's importance to me. Then reference it to his behavior and how that bothers me.

That serious talk would be my way of telling him that I would like our friendship to be the best it can be, and it's not currently because there is something about it that holds me back.....
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:31 AM
Charlie Charlie is offline
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Default Getcha sum riligun'

First, I would like to say that, NeonKaos, I like you. Bring that fire con mucho gusto! You'll be hard pressed to ever hurt my feelings. I'm a tough guy, I can take it.

That said, I don't find that yelling about anything ever quickened the solution.
Stepping on someone's toes about anything they hold close to them in this life is not a good way to get them to lean in and listen. Stomping around on someone's spiritual faith, however strong or weak it might be, is what has gotten humans into many a war.

Don't try to fix your friends, or anybody else for that matter. And yes, as Lovingradiance was saying, call that weird energy out and get it on the table where you can talk about it with your friend.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:33 PM
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Jodi Jodi is offline
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if it were me, i would not return his romantic gestures...if he asks any questions, then answer him honestly. it depends on how much you like him, on whether to tell him that you're poly. i wouldn't until and if the time seems right. currently, it doesn't seem like the right time to me. i would just be polite, and continue to ask him if he could lower his voice. if he can't even converse with others, how's he going to think on a deeper level about showing partners the "courtesy" of freedome of sexual expression. that is just my opinion, becasue i don't know him at all. you are kindto think about his feelings tho.
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