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Old 09-06-2013, 10:07 PM
lemondrops lemondrops is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 14
Default Mono plus want-to-be-poly problem

Hello all!

So, from the title I assume you all think that I am that monogamous girlfriend who is super against letting his boyfriend explore polyamory. Right? Well this is actually not it. There is a different kind of problem, kind of a weird one in my opinion. Here we go...

I believe I am monogamous. I only want one man in my life and that is my boyfriend. He, on the other hand, believes that he is polyamorous and wants more loves in his life besides me. So while discussing it we have had many ups and downs, we have talked about what would be the rules or conditions, nothing too harsh, just some basic stuff. For example, no strangers, only people we have both known for a while, first talking to our friends about it so they wouldn't get the wrong impression that I am stupid or my boyfriend is a cheater and so on. For the last year or so my answer has been "I do not need polyamory, I do not believe it will work very well, but I will support you when letting people know about yourself and our relationship and if it will really work out, then it will and all is good".

Now comes the problem. There are some delicate and kind of painful things for me that I am afraid of. One of them being that people might get the wrong idea and start treating me like a victim for being with my boyfriend while letting him have others. I do not care about what they think, but how it will affect me, like they might start treating me bad even...or try to take advantage of it thinking that "Pfff, his boyfriend showed interest in me, polyamory my ass, her boyfriend just wants to ditch her and take me instead". I really don't want such problems, so we agreed that first he talks with his friends, so nobody would get the wrong impression and second, that his new partners must understand what is polyamory, but today he pushed me in the direction of him just chatting up girls whom he likes. I was so sad and offended...we made rules, we BOTH said we are very happy with them and nobody loses anything and now he tries to get more out of it.

I even wrote him a long letter where I assured him, he will get polyamory, but only the polyamory we BOTH agreed on. So now I have given my "yes", and he should start doing something about it, at first being as neutral as possible and then just moving on...but I have a feeling he is still not satisfied. What am I supposed to do? What is actually left to do? He himself said he is very happy and glad about what we talked and planned. But I still feel that he sometimes treats me like I am in his way or something.

I told him that you got my "green light", so now polyamory does not depend on me anymore, but on himself and mainly others who are not familiar with polyamory. To explain more, we do not live in the USA or UK, but in a country where polyamory is totally unknown to 98% of the people. Why isn't he happy then? He gets to have what he wants if he himself finds those other people and does not hurt me in a major way. He didn't even say anything about the letter. Why??????????????? I am not doing anything wrong when it comes to his wish to be polyamorous.

I have thought that although he seems to truly want it, he actually might be afraid that everyone will condemn it or that it won't work out...so he uses me as the reason he isn't happy and polyamorous yet. I just don't know. He has never said that he would like to just go out on a Friday night and make out with someone or something like that. He has always said he wants to take it slowly and first talk, just let people who matter know about it all. So I am not standing in front of the door while he is yelling "I wanna go out NOW and find a girl NOW and kiss her NOW."

I have even felt so guilty (without a reason in my opinion) that I have gotten angry and told him that am I the one who should find him a girl or do what he wanted to do and talk to his friends about it, cause it does not seem like he will.


Last edited by lemondrops; 09-06-2013 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:01 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 757

I just want to clarify..., make sure I understand why you are upset. You are upset because the one condition you put on his polyamorous activities is that he notify your mutual friends and his potential lovers that he is practicing polyamory, but he has not done that, and appears to be starting his pursuit with other women?
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:23 PM
lemondrops lemondrops is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 14

Yes, those are the two main things I asked him before he really started hooking up with someone. He totally agreed and said that if these are the main rules then he is happy and all is good.

But he has not done those things. It makes me feel bad because indeed he suggested that maybe he can already start chatting up someone AND because he seems to put some blame on me for not already having what he wants - more relationships. I am not standing in his way, so I don't get it why he still isn't satisfied with this issue. I thought it would make him happy to know that I am supporting him.

Oh, and the long letter I wrote him. I reread it to make sure it was ok and I am really happy with it, very clear and nice. I asked him what did he think of it, he said "OK" and left without saying where and without bye. I suppose he went out to run or something, because he put on his training clothes but what a reaction? I mean we had a fight today before I wrote this letter but WHY isn't he still happy, as a mono it was super hard for me to write about how I understand that poly might work, but am really scared and so on and all he has to say is that it was OK?
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:59 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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It would appear that the only thing to do is to ask him if he is still mad, and if so why.

You could also ask him why he agreed to the terms about telling your mutual friends, but has not followed through.

You could ask him what he wants from you if he is not satisfied with what you'd agreed on.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:39 PM
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graviton graviton is offline
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it seems to me the real issue might be that you put the stipulation that he can only date your friends that you BOTH have known for a long time. That's a pretty big rule, it drastically limits who he can be with, it potentially could destroy friendships.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:21 PM
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Bluebird Bluebird is offline
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I also would have a problem with a rule about dating only friends. What if none of your combined friends are polyamorous? Maybe that sounds less threatening to you - to have him date someone you know, but that is a potentially a huge problem, especially if your group is close. What happens if his love and he have an awful breakup? What if you and he have an awful breakup? You could be left with no support. I would counsel him going about dating in a more natural, organic way.

I am only a couple months into my poly life, and I started out trying to date an existing friend. It didn't work, and now things are a little awkward between him and my husband. It isn't terrible, and we are all still friends, but the dynamic has definitely changed. Now that I am seeing my new boyfriend, whom I met online, my husband is less involved and happier. So, I suggest NOT looking for an existing friend to turn into a lover.

Also, telling family and friends about being poly is a HUGE step. At least, it was for me. I was much more comfortable with the idea of doing so once I was in a relationship. I had great fear of being rejected and losing my community. This probably isn't easy for your boyfriend to do.

It sounds if though he is having more difficulty with these rules, even though he agreed to them. Definitely more discussion between you is warranted.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:32 AM
london london is offline
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Location: UK - land of the free
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I agree with everyone else. It seems that you think that the way you can stop people invalidating or attempting to harm your relationship is if you know them when actually, the way he (since they are his relationships) can prevent one relationship negatively impacting on another is by picking partners who are comfortable with polyamory and are all round decent, considerate and ethical people.

What would make me most uncomfortable about this arrangement is that part of my attraction to polyamory is me having my own relationships with people that I don't necessarily have to share with others. What you want from him basically stops that altogether. I think that your need to be quite involved in his other relationships and with his other partners may put people off: I certainly wouldn't interact with your boyfriend if it meant I had to also bond with you. You are not who I am interested in.

Coming out is a huge thing, and from experience, pressuring someone to do that rarely works in your favour. What you need to focus on is trusting your partner to maintain your relationship, even if someone tries to sabotage it. You need to be able to trust that they want your relationship to continue.

He should stick to agreements that he makes but when you don't properly foresee how an agreement will stop you getting your needsmet, it is very easy to try and bend the rules and shift the goalposts in an attempt to get your needs met without betraying anyone. You need to recognise that what is happening now is the first signs that you are about to arrive at a huge impasse and if you want to try and see if you can truly both be happy in the absence of monogamy, you have to have frank discussions about what you need from this relationship, what you can tolerate, what you can embrace and whether your needs are compatible. This, what you are doing now, isn't working for him and won't be sustainable for the long term. Your options are:
1) Let go. Let him interact, date, have sex with who he likes with the understanding of how you are going to minimise the possibility of unwanted pregnancies and/or STDs. Trust that he won't let anyone come between you.
2) Carry on and risk the possibility of him betraying you to get his needs met.
3) Admit a fundamental incompatibility because either you realise that polyamory is out of your comfort zone or you cannot have the necessary trust in him to prevent anyone or anything else negatively affecting what you have and terminate your romantic relationship.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:13 AM
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Emm Emm is offline
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Originally Posted by lemondrops View Post
...we made rules, we BOTH said we are very happy with them and nobody loses anything and now he tries to get more out of it.

I even wrote him a long letter where I assured him, he will get polyamory, but only the polyamory we BOTH agreed on.
Sometimes something that seems completely realistic in theory turns out not to work in practice, and it looks like your early agreements fall into that category. That doesn't mean that either of you were deliberately trying to take advantage of the other when you were negotiating, simply that neither of you knew yet from experience what to ask for. Instead of trying to trip each other up now on the fine print, why don't you take this opportunity to renegotiate in light of your new information about what is and isn't going to work?
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:35 PM
lemondrops lemondrops is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 14

Thank you all for replying, but you have misunderstood a very important thing. These two rules are not mine. I did not come out with these and he did not have to agree on them. We BOTH discussed them and some of these rules are more his than mine, especially the "no strangers" one. So the problem is that if these are our rules, what is the matter? I of course understand that asking such things limits the amount of people who you can date with, but I would not ask such a thing if he was against it, the thing is that was the first one to come up with it. So this makes it more difficult for me to understand why I sometimes have to feel guilty.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:32 AM
Flowerchild Flowerchild is offline
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Posts: 145
Default Hold on

Of course you have the right to make up your own rules...I don't think you're wrong.

Actually, I don't think EITHER of you are wrong.

Being poly is one thing, practicing is another. Practicing a poly lifestyle is actually very difficult. You don't really know what's going to happen. I think he may very well have meant the rules at the time....but, coming from more experienced polys, please listen to the advice given. Those rules may have been well meant, but they just aren't good rules. I'm sure there are many here who would like to offer you some rules, that have worked for them, that may help both you and him move forward.

If you can't adjust your rules and relationship to accommodate each other, poly may be too much for you at this time.....
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