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Old 08-30-2013, 03:08 PM
JacobJT JacobJT is offline
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Default Progress but still struggling - a conversion story

So, my gf of about 8 months broached the subject of her wanting to explore poly about 2 months ago (thanks Bookbug and GalaGirl for helping me with some of that!). Over the past two months I have done a lot of reading, surfing and posting on poly forums, a meet up with a poly support group, and finding local poly couples and singles in my area to talk to, some of whom have been immeasurably helpful. But I'm still struggling with a lot of things. I have always been monogamous but recognized that she seems to be innately poly and we both felt that the likelihood of her being happy in a long term monogamous relationship was fairly low. I on the other hand have always been monogamous, have had trust issues from past unhealthy relationships, and definitely have a fair handful of jealousy and possessiveness issues. I've been working on some of these but it's definitely been a slow and ongoing process.

Last night the gf had her first initial 'date' with a friend and coworker. Now it wasn't a super loaded situation, at this point they're just friends, but he did drive 40 minutes each way to go out to dinner with her so to me that says something...but I digress. Earlier in the day I had a bit of an emotional breakdown. In the past I'd experienced mostly anger, fear, anxiety, and depression over thinking about her being with another, but this time I also experienced a great deal of sadness. Luckily one of my poly friends was around to talk me through it. She was very supportive but also said that I need to be honest about my own proclivities and not try and force myself into a poly direction just because I feel like it's something I 'should' be able to do, or that I'm less of a person if I can't do it. But after the wave of sadness passed and I vented to her a little bit during my breakdown, I got calm again. And again I could think rationally and say "I don't want to back away from this just out of fear and never know if this is possible for me/us. I feel like she's never going to be happy in a monogamous relationship, and if this is going to break us I'd prefer to have tried!" And all this kind of stuff.

But I'm just still having this massive war going on inside me. In the past I've definitely fallin into the 'Beta'/'nice guy' territory where I've let women walk all over me or do whatever they want, and besides just allowing myself to get hurt I know that from an evolutionary psychology perspective 'beta/nice guy' traits are just not all that attractive to the female psyche in the first place. Not saying that women don't like nice guys, but they're generally not attracted to doormats with no leadership qualities either (not to say that's me, but I have played the doormat in the past).

Anyhow, I keep having this war going on inside me telling me that by bending and contorting myself so far as to try and see if I can go poly that I'm doing the ultra nice guy thing all over. That I've already gone too far just by allowing her to go on a 'date' with another man. That I've already proven myself to be a wuss and a doormat etc. Now if she weren't poly and were just a normal woman testing me to see what she can get away with or if I have any backbone that would be fair and true imo. But if I can truly let in the fact that she is actually polyamorous, then it's maybe not the case. But I keep feeling these perspectives at odds with each other. That I'm just being a beta doormat wuss by allowing my gf to date and potentially mate with other men. It drives me crazy that I still feel this way, and it comes in waves. Sometimes I can embrace a future oriented perspective and say to myself "What kind of man allows his polyamorous girlfriend to date other men? A secure, loving, and confidant man. A compassionate man who recognizes the innate freedom of another loving human being." I can see that perspective when I'm thinking rationally and 'cool'. But when my emotions start warring I hear "What kind of guy lets his girlfriend sleep with other men? A doormat beta nice guy weakling who has no self respect".

Sometimes this more fearful side of me starts to see polyamory as a largely female agenda and certain parts of me will rage against it, like it's the ultimate cuckold position or beta thing to do, that it's just becoming totally submissive to the will of a womans pluralistic mating strategies etc. All this crap keeps coming up and taunting me and I'm just tired of it.

I've been stressed out and not sleeping, and now I'm sick. I'm having this constant war in my head and it's draining.

I guess part of my phone conversation yesterday made me realize how unanchored I am right now. I don't feel emotionally grounded in any one particular response right now. So I can't tell if I'm actually firmly anchored in monogamy, or if I'm actually shifting towards a place of being able to embrace polyamory, or if I'm just totally freakin confused and lost. That's the best way I can put it, I feel emotionally unanchored and adrift, without any real 'home' perspective. Now I'm a person who can handle the unknown, but when I'm getting sick, stressed, run down, and frazzled? It's pissing me off lol. I had my own first sort of meet up date planned tonight just to get to know one of my online friends in real life, but have had to cancel now cause I'm sick, likely from the lack of sleep and stress and anxiety of thinking about all this poly stuff. How ironic!

Just hoping for some advice or words of wisdom. Something that can help me gauge how 'normal' my current levels of disturbance are. Anything anyone cares to share (constructively) is much appreciated!

Last edited by JacobJT; 08-30-2013 at 03:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2013, 04:47 PM
HappyCouple75 HappyCouple75 is offline
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Well speaking as an Alpha male personality.
I am in your shoes also. So your personality has nothing to do with it.(my view)

My wife and I just started in to poly and it been a F***ing emotional roller coaster for me. Trust me its been REALLY tough at time and draining beyond all I had to muster. So your not alone.

Do not FORCE your self in to changing your personality to fit the poly life. I did and it was really emotionally draining and painful to the body.

I was told my a guy friend that was mentoring me, as well as the girlfriend. To try to go with the flow.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:55 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCouple75 View Post
Well speaking as an Alpha male personality.
I am in your shoes also. So your personality has nothing to do with it.(my view)

My wife and I just started in to poly and it been a F***ing emotional roller coaster for me. Trust me its been REALLY tough at time and draining beyond all I had to muster. So your not alone.

Do not FORCE your self in to changing your personality to fit the poly life. I did and it was really emotionally draining and painful to the body.

I was told my a guy friend that was mentoring me, as well as the girlfriend. To try to go with the flow.
Ironically if you are an alpha, that totally opposes how you work. Thats good advice but maybe not for your personality type. I know I don't go with the flow, I make it..

I learned to deal quite simply, by simply running my own life, and people stay involved with me. Really thats the way everyone should view it in my opinion. Have your relationship with yourself first and everyone else that wants to be with you, will be with you, they don't fit with your relationship with yourself, then it may be time to cut cords. Sometimes we focus too much on our external sources.

Quote:
I don't feel emotionally grounded in any one particular response right now. So I can't tell if I'm actually firmly anchored in monogamy, or if I'm actually shifting towards a place of being able to embrace polyamory,
Don't anchor yourself in a relationship type, or structure. Anchor yourself in yourself. ..

Easy to say, harder to do.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:29 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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HA! I see it the other way. Not that you're a wuss for accepting your girlfriend for who she is - but that you are a real man. Those tough guys that don't tolerate anything often find themselves alone. Just sayin'. Your internal monologue is lying to you on this issue.

Now, that doesn't mean *you* may not ultimately be happier in a mono relationship. If that's true, well than that's who you are and this experience will help you figure it out. But be sure if you do choose monogamy, it is because that's what makes you happy; not because you're a wuss if you're not mono or out of some paranoia that poly is a secret female agenda. (Thanks for the laugh btw.)
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:13 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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It might help to toss out all the alpha beta nonsense and recognize being of a particular gender does not mean you act or think a particular way. Each of us is an individual made up of various productive and non productive qualities.

And the one invaluable quality to our species is cooperation. Without it we'd have died off a long time ago. This isn't a situation for you to allow or disallow, as a man of any sort. It is a situation for you to decide if you want to stay or go as a person. This is only going to be harder to reason through while you're looking at it as some war of the sexes with either having some agenda against the of the other. We don't have hive mind with others of the same gender. Thinking this way is to suggest we all fit into some easy to identify box and must follow some set standard of behavior. All that smells of the pick up artist schools of thought.

The fear is often rooted in the feeling of helplessness. Your relationship has changed but you're not helpless. This isn't happening because you are ineffective at controlling your partner (or ineffective as a man for pete's sake). You're not suppose to control others in the first place. You control YOU. Your GF is another whole and separate person and not an accessory to you. She doesn't exist to validate/invalidate your masculinity and likely isn't doing anything with that in mind as thought she sat up one night and cooked up some plan mess with and test you. And neither does she control you either as an absence of your control over her or just in general. You can stay, go, or redefine your association with her. These were options you had all along and not just since she told you she was poly.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:30 PM
JacobJT JacobJT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariakas View Post
Ironically if you are an alpha, that totally opposes how you work. Thats good advice but maybe not for your personality type. I know I don't go with the flow, I make it..

I learned to deal quite simply, by simply running my own life, and people stay involved with me. Really thats the way everyone should view it in my opinion. Have your relationship with yourself first and everyone else that wants to be with you, will be with you, they don't fit with your relationship with yourself, then it may be time to cut cords. Sometimes we focus too much on our external sources.



Don't anchor yourself in a relationship type, or structure. Anchor yourself in yourself. ..

Easy to say, harder to do.
Thanks everybody, and thank you much for this Ariakas. It really sounds like you perhaps 'speak both tongues', and that's so refreshing. I've found few in the male dating advice/pua community who think anything positive about polyamory, and few in the polyamory community that speak 'game' or male dating/attraction psychology stuff. Actually it sounds like you not only speak it, but also embody it!

I've been looking for some people with both these understandings under their belt for some assistance. The poly people I've met in my area are nice enough, but many of them are very submissive, some even have cuckold fetishes, which is fine if that's what they're into but its definitely not my cup of tea.

I'm definitely an early stage reforming beta nice guy, have been most of my 36 years with some periods of time of hyper confidence and authentic autonomy splashed in for good measure, but I usually would lapse back into my old characteristics fairly quickly. I was practicing some game when I ran into my current gf. Not in the artificial sense of routines or mind tricks, just in the sense of working on inner stuff, becoming a more confident and outgoing expression of myself, noticing old habits and social behaviors that were just ingrained in me so deeply they were like breathing, and trying out what it was like not to do them. I definitely started to exude a more 'alpha' side of myself, while still not contorting myself into someone that I'm not. And then I met my current gf. Things were very hot and heavy for a while, and still can be from time to time, but you know the story with newly reformed cases like me, I quickly lapsed back into beta behavior patterns as that has always been how I behaved in relationship. Recently with all the poly shake up I've sort of snapped out of it and noticed that I can begin building and stoking that initial level of attraction again from time to time, but I've been so torn up by this poly schtuff and all the talking about it and emotional drama that I quickly fall back into beta territory.

I've been thinking that there must be a more 'alpha', or even 'omega' response to polyamory, but being a in-process reforming beta it's very easy for me to justify some of my thinking as potentially 'omega' integrated beta traits , when in fact it's just beta crap again.

I know to a lot of people this stuff sounds like non-sense, but hopefully maybe not. Just like monogamy is ingrained in us by our parents/teachers/religions/marketing/society, so is a bunch of crap about how to be a 'good guy', and a lot of it is beta submissive behavior which under the hood is often much more manipulative than 'alpha' behavior which tends to be overt rather than covert in it's motives more of the time. But also many Beta traits are just not attractive on an evolutionary psychology level. They tend to communicate lower value, lack of self confidence, attempts to control and manipulate, mask motives, etc.

So I'm just truly looking for a more alpha or omega perspective around polyamory so I can start to see my way out of this illusion that it is some secret feminine agenda to maximize pluralistic mating tendencies and play a better game of hypergamy.

The thing is that I'm not just trying to game girls, I'm trying to have fun and date, but also have honest and loving responses and relationships with the woman (or women) closest to me. There are so few role models that I've encountered so far that understand game and polyamory, and this probably has at least something to do with the fact that I live in Michigan and not cali or ny etc., it's rather corn and potatoes out here still, even in the major suburbs in terms of semi conservative lifestyles and lack of population density.

Last edited by JacobJT; 08-30-2013 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:39 PM
JacobJT JacobJT is offline
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Originally Posted by bookbug View Post
But be sure if you do choose monogamy, it is because that's what makes you happy; not because you're a wuss if you're not mono or out of some paranoia that poly is a secret female agenda. (Thanks for the laugh btw.)
Bookbug, glad you got a laugh out of it!

But I honestly have to admit to having a part of me that tells me that! And you'd be amazed at the feedback I've gotten on non poly friendly dating boards. More than a few people out there respond to it reflexively as an innately feminine perspective and objective, to try and maximize multiple partner's submission into a configuration that serves their hypergamic goals (unconscious, largely) and desires.

I know it's fairly ridic, but I can't lie and say some of my conditioning doesn't bark the same stuff, and hearing it echoed back as a cacophony can be alarming when one is in a sensitive phase of transition!
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:46 PM
JacobJT JacobJT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinccenzo View Post
It might help to toss out all the alpha beta nonsense and recognize being of a particular gender does not mean you act or think a particular way. Each of us is an individual made up of various productive and non productive qualities.

And the one invaluable quality to our species is cooperation. Without it we'd have died off a long time ago. This isn't a situation for you to allow or disallow, as a man of any sort. It is a situation for you to decide if you want to stay or go as a person. This is only going to be harder to reason through while you're looking at it as some war of the sexes with either having some agenda against the of the other. We don't have hive mind with others of the same gender. Thinking this way is to suggest we all fit into some easy to identify box and must follow some set standard of behavior. All that smells of the pick up artist schools of thought.

The fear is often rooted in the feeling of helplessness. Your relationship has changed but you're not helpless. This isn't happening because you are ineffective at controlling your partner (or ineffective as a man for pete's sake). You're not suppose to control others in the first place. You control YOU. Your GF is another whole and separate person and not an accessory to you. She doesn't exist to validate/invalidate your masculinity and likely isn't doing anything with that in mind as thought she sat up one night and cooked up some plan mess with and test you. And neither does she control you either as an absence of your control over her or just in general. You can stay, go, or redefine your association with her. These were options you had all along and not just since she told you she was poly.
Vinccenzo,

Thank you for this as well! Sometimes I need to remember to snap out of it and just come to my own conclusions about how I feel. But I'm also aware that I am a 'not all that unique' expression of my culture/time/gender/evolution etc., and that there are often deeply ingrained belief systems I'm operating under which were simply 'installed' as part of where/when I was born into what circumstances. I have a bit of a buddhist/taoist eastern background as well, and can recognize that often what I refer to as 'my self' are just circumstantial traits that don't have all that much to do with my deeper identity (original face and all).

But I do appreciate a bit of the 'snap out of it man!' reminder! I can get lost in over thinking things. I just know that I tend to have some patterns that I fall into in relationship that are fairly good at making things routine and lack the excitement and playfulness that's an essential part of what keeps attraction stoked between two partners (and often what dies when both stop trying).

But thanks, I needed to hear this too!
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:21 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Originally Posted by JacobJT View Post
Bookbug, glad you got a laugh out of it!

But I honestly have to admit to having a part of me that tells me that! And you'd be amazed at the feedback I've gotten on non poly friendly dating boards. More than a few people out there respond to it reflexively as an innately feminine perspective and objective, to try and maximize multiple partner's submission into a configuration that serves their hypergamic goals (unconscious, largely) and desires.
I can honestly say that I am not familiar with the non-poly dating boards, but I can say it smacks of sexism in the worst way. It's like the old double-standard: a guy sleeps around a lot and he's a stud; a woman sleeps around a lot and she's a whore. This women's agenda paranoia sounds like crap from a bunch of territorial knuckle-draggers who wouldn't know what to do with a successful, competent woman if they had one. And I'm quite sure they seldom do - and if so, not for long.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:35 PM
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alibabe_muse alibabe_muse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacobJT View Post
I'm definitely an early stage reforming beta nice guy, have been most of my 36 years with some periods of time of hyper confidence and authentic autonomy splashed in for good measure, but I usually would lapse back into my old characteristics fairly quickly. I was practicing some game when I ran into my current gf. Not in the artificial sense of routines or mind tricks, just in the sense of working on inner stuff, becoming a more confident and outgoing expression of myself, noticing old habits and social behaviors that were just ingrained in me so deeply they were like breathing, and trying out what it was like not to do them. I definitely started to exude a more 'alpha' side of myself, while still not contorting myself into someone that I'm not. And then I met my current gf. Things were very hot and heavy for a while, and still can be from time to time, but you know the story with newly reformed cases like me, I quickly lapsed back into beta behavior patterns as that has always been how I behaved in relationship. Recently with all the poly shake up I've sort of snapped out of it and noticed that I can begin building and stoking that initial level of attraction again from time to time, but I've been so torn up by this poly schtuff and all the talking about it and emotional drama that I quickly fall back into beta territory.

I've been thinking that there must be a more 'alpha', or even 'omega' response to polyamory, but being a in-process reforming beta it's very easy for me to justify some of my thinking as potentially 'omega' integrated beta traits , when in fact it's just beta crap again.

I know to a lot of people this stuff sounds like non-sense, but hopefully maybe not. Just like monogamy is ingrained in us by our parents/teachers/religions/marketing/society, so is a bunch of crap about how to be a 'good guy', and a lot of it is beta submissive behavior which under the hood is often much more manipulative than 'alpha' behavior which tends to be overt rather than covert in it's motives more of the time. But also many Beta traits are just not attractive on an evolutionary psychology level. They tend to communicate lower value, lack of self confidence, attempts to control and manipulate, mask motives, etc.

So I'm just truly looking for a more alpha or omega perspective around polyamory so I can start to see my way out of this illusion that it is some secret feminine agenda to maximize pluralistic mating tendencies and play a better game of hypergamy.
As I read through this, and all the terms of alpha, beta, omega, I keep visualizing a den of wolves. You are human, not an animal who operates on instinct for survival, to endure. What makes humans different is we can make a choice for ourselves and not revert to primal behaviors. If you want to move forward, in my humble opinion (and non-manipulative because I came to poly differently -- there was no outside our marriage man I want to be with, but hub and I realized we are this), get over these terms and just be you. If you feel angry one day, embrace it, that's what you are feeling. If you are feeling jealousy, live through it, don't try to ignore it or pretend it's wrong, it's absolutely normal to have those emotions. I just feel that the more you worry about your "beta-ness" versus your "alpha-ness" your going to loose yourself and who you are.
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