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  #1  
Old 01-06-2016, 12:46 AM
Birdysong Birdysong is offline
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Default Asking advice and views for beginning polyamorous relationship!

Hi all! My name is Birdy and I'm looking for some help, advice and thoughts on my polyamorous relationship. I'll give some basic info first.

So, my name is Birdy, 26 and currently in a polyamorous relationship with Eve for about half a year. I live in the Netherlands and she lives in Switserland. We met around a little more than a year ago while playing an online game. At the time, both of us had a relationship. I was in a monogamous relationship while she was in a open/polyamorous relationship (which started out as a monogamous relationship at first), but both relationships ended due to various reasons. For me, I wasn't attracted to my partner anymore. This was already the case before I met Eve. Her depression and crying about various things in her past dragged me down with her and I couldn't help her get out of it, nor did she want to get help from the outside. At that time, I started seeing Eve and her boyfriend more. I had several visits where I went to them. It was clear that it was a bit hard on her boyfriend though, which ultimately led to depression and even blackmail. I'll spare you the details of it, but it wasn't pretty.

So that's the background we come from. Now we are together and in a polyamorous relationship. She already knew she wanted one and I really saw the advantages of being in one, especially since we live far apart. I like the idea of not being binded by the laws of monogamy when I meet a woman I really like, and Eve doesn't want to be 'owned', but to be free.

Now, there have been a few hiccups, otherwise I wouldn't be here x). She's on a datingsite meeting new people everyday. She actually had three dates so far with one person and I can't say I reacted the best all times. When she's with him, I'm just thinking very much about what they might be doing and I can't keep my mind off it eventhough I know it doesn't diminish her love for me. I didn't yell at her or anything, but I wasn't quite in the best mood either when it was over, but I figure I might just need to get used to it. For myself, I'm not really looking for anything (though she says she isn't either). I don't want to either, I don't really think about meeting other woman or going on a datingwebsite, though I won't say if by chance I meet someone I like, I won't make any moves.

Where I/we need advice/views on however, is what rules we should discuss. Obviously, these are different for everyone and depends on what a couple feel good about together. so far, we haven't set any rules. However, what I'm most concerned about is the future. Personally, it's important to me to see a future of us together. To in time, live together, be together. She however, doesn't want to think about the future. She says she doesn't know what it holds and doesn't want to/can't plan anything. She had a relationship for four years and thought she knew everything about him. She thought they would be together for a long long time and maybe even have kids together. As I told though, quite some things happened and her faith in that crushed. When I think about the future, I wonder how many people she would date at the same time, if it would be two or more even. She said she doesn't know, but wasn't against seeing more than 2/3 people if she liked them and if she had the time. I also wondered how the relationship would go if we would live together, but she said she doesn't want to think about that.

I guess I'm a bit afraid I'll end up seeing her once or twice a week, over the internet. I'd like to envision a future together, but I'm the only one in our relationship. What I'd like to ask all of you if you have any advice on what would be good rules to talk about. If you have any advice for me (or her) or even stories to tell about yours that might help us a bit. I know there's a bit about primary and secundary relations that might maybe help us a bit.

Writing this, I feel like my point in making this thread might seem a bit... weak x). It's almost 2 at night and maybe this isn't the best time to be writing this either. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them. Eve knows I'm writing this and she might post a bit too by the way.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:45 AM
Evie Evie is offline
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Hi Birdy

A number of people I've seen comment on rules say the fewer the better. And that even if they start with a bunch, it's overall more productive to let them fall away. Protecting sexual health and preventing unwanted pregnancy is generally the biggy but then that's not exclusive to poly people. I keep thinking there is one other that pops up, but I forget.

After that, most of the dialogue is more about boundaries. Understanding and protecting yours. Things like how much information about other partners is enough, how much is not enough. And seriously, it's not going to do anyone any favours if you keep thinking about "what they are doing" because you're 1. wrong and 2. give yourself a break! and 3. give them a break - Eve's going to be happier and enjoy herself and you more if she's not constantly trying to protect you from the bogey monsters in your head. And then that happy will often transfer from one environment/person to another. Hopefully you can abide the notion that you aren't the only person in the world who can make Eve feel happy/sexy/aroused/sad/angry/hurt and all the other emotions that happen when people interact with various intimacies.

It actually sounds like a fundamental incompatibility at the moment with you wanting to think/talk/plan the future and her not. Sounds like she's made her boundaries quite clear around that, and why. That's what a boundary looks like. It's not a rule - "we're never going to talk about the future" but "I have no interest in talking with you about our future".

All the best.

Evie
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2016, 11:40 AM
Birdysong Birdysong is offline
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Hi Evie,

First of all, thanks for your reply. I'll take all the advice I can get.

I did say we had no rules, but I guess we did have one. To use protection for when we have sex with people. About me thinking about them doesn't do anyone good, you're right. Like I admitted, I didn't handle it well and I should be happy for her insteaf. And ofcourse I'm not so self-centered that I'm the only one that can make her feel things. It's polyamorie after all, I have some understanding of it. I'm just wondering if it is maybe just a phase and I need to get used to it, coming from monogomy going into polyamorie. I was wondering if that was normal or if you all were perfectly fine with it the first time it happened.

About the future, maybe you're right too. I probably should give her some space with that, her last break up was quite hard, so maybe I'm being a bit egocentric with this. I guess I'm causing trouble for both of us because of my insecurity. Yet while I know this, it's still a bit hard for me and I wonder where I should go from here.

Again, thank you for your advice.

~ Birdy

P.s. apologies for any errors, I'm writing this on my phone during my break
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2016, 12:11 PM
tenK tenK is offline
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It took me quite a while to wrap my head around things too Birdy, which was a huge surprise to my partner and I, since prior to meeting her I had been in a 4 year poly relationship with someone else. Something huge shifted when I met Nina, and although I have never really been the jealous type, the intensity of our connection kind of blew my mind. I think sometimes when we find and fall in love with someone awesome, there can be a sense of 'am I worthy?' about it all, and I definitely felt that with Nina. I'm sure it's this, more than anything else, which has lead me to feel jealousy with her but no one else. For us it has just taken a lot of time, and love, and patience, and dare I say bravery, to overcome it. In spite of my outgoing independent nature and general confidence, it turns out I can be extremely insecure. Fortunately, I have a massively sensitive and reassuring partner, who knows when to give me a hug and when to kick my arse. I have also begun to master the art of self-arse-kicking and self-hugging, which is good too.

Don't feel bad about not being an insta-poly-ninja. This stuff takes time and effort to sort through. The skills you develop now will be with you for life, no matter the ups and downs your relationships take. I suggest leaning into the discomfort a little, knowing that you are doing this not for her but for YOU. So that YOU start to feel better now, and YOU will become a more resilient being in future. I think a lot of people make the mistake of trying to overcome jealousy and insecurity for their partners sake, and I don't think that works so well long-term. Trust that she loves you and picked you for a reason, and that she chooses to be with you everyday. 'Cause, you know, she does.
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People tenK (bi, f, early 30's) is likely to blabber on about, and why:

Nina (bi, f, late 20's) <- life-partners with tenK; Scandi (hetero, m, early 30's) <- dating/fwb with tenK (on hiatus at the moment); Zymurgist (hetero, m, early 30's) <- dating with tenK; Aries (heteroflex, m, late 40's) <- fwb with tenK and Nina;

Adam (bi, m, early 30's) <- dating/fwb with Nina
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:34 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdysong View Post
When she's with him, I'm just thinking very much about what they might be doing and I can't keep my mind off it even though I know it doesn't diminish her love for me.
I'm going to address just these two things.

Her time with him does diminish her time available for you.

And I personally believe that when we do things that cause our loved ones pain, it is a reflection on the depth of our love for them. I understand she was poly when you met her, so you knew this going in. But I also know that my XBF was poly when I met him, and he made a choice (on his own, I didn't ask for it) to stop seeing anyone else (other than his wife of course) because he didn't want to cause me any pain. It's a major reason I stayed with him so long: because he gave me a very visible sign of the depth of his love for me, because he chose to avoid any action he knew would cause me pain. That's real love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdysong View Post
However, what I'm most concerned about is the future. Personally, it's important to me to see a future of us together. To in time, live together, be together. She however, doesn't want to think about the future. She says she doesn't know what it holds and doesn't want to/can't plan anything.
You should be concerned about someone refusing to think about the future. XBF refused to think about the future, which meant he refused to address the real problems. Real questions like: You're hoping I'll stay with you all these years until you retire and move far away with your wife? Where does that leave me when I'm ten years older and you're suddenly gone?

He wanted to live in a dream world and just avoid the hard questions. Adults need to think about the future, and the consequences of their present actions and how those actions affect everyone around them, often for years to come. I will never again be involved with anyone who refuses to think about the future.
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:58 PM
Tinwen Tinwen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
You should be concerned about someone refusing to think about the future. XBF refused to think about the future, which meant he refused to address the real problems. Real questions like: You're hoping I'll stay with you all these years until you retire and move far away with your wife? Where does that leave me when I'm ten years older and you're suddenly gone?
This is all true, however in this case I suggest some more benefit of doubt. The OP writes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdysong View Post
So, my name is Birdy, 26 and currently in a polyamorous relationship with Eve for about half a year.
...
She however, doesn't want to think about the future. She says she doesn't know what it holds and doesn't want to/can't plan anything. She had a relationship for four years and thought she knew everything about him. She thought they would be together for a long long time and maybe even have kids together. As I told though, quite some things happened and her faith in that crushed.
It is six months for two people new to polyamory, during which time two break-ups of long term relationships occured.
I wouldn't want to decide on my future with someone a few months after a breakup.
Besides it is explicitly said that her trust in making plans has been broken.
It may be valid to just enjoy the flow for some time, and leave commitments for after a year or more has passed.

Having said that, the situation does sound instable. It is LDR and a possible breaup fix at once, and there is no strong reassurance.
And both girls sound really insecure.

Birdy, you don't sound too sure about polyamory (don't want to find a second partner, accept it mainly because it is long distance). You seem to want to be monogamous with Eve, or in some kind of hierarchical poly, with you as the primary. This may or may not change, as you work with your need for a secure future. That is for sure possible, my experience tells me that it is about cultivating a sense of abundance for yourself (you want Eve, but you don't need Eve, because you have other options as well), and about the art of being in the moment.
Eve doesn't want any commitment now, possibly out of the broken trust. Some work for her.
Also, from the description we really do not know if the "I want freedom" philosophy isn't just a way to say that she doesn't want more then a cusual relationship with Bird. In that case, it should be her responsibility to figure out and say this in a straightforward way.

It is good however that you both willing to follow the same thread. It seems you both want to work it out.

Last edited by Tinwen; 01-06-2016 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:26 PM
Birdysong Birdysong is offline
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Thanks for all the replies! I'll be going through them in backwards order to avoid saying things twice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinwen View Post
It is six months for two people new to polyamory, during which time two break-ups of long term relationships occured.
I wouldn't want to decide on my future with someone a few months after a breakup.
Besides it is explicitly said that her trust in making plans has been broken.
(1)It may be valid to just enjoy the flow for some time, and leave commitments for after a year or more has passed.

Having said that, the situation does sound instable. It is LDR and a possible breaup fix at once, and there is no strong reassurance.
(2)And both girls sound really insecure.

(3)Birdy, you don't sound too sure about polyamory (don't want to find a second partner, accept it mainly because it is long distance). You seem to want to be monogamous with Eve, or in some kind of hierarchical poly, with you as the primary. This may or may not change, as you work with your need for a secure future. That is for sure possible, my experience tells me that it is about cultivating a sense of abundance for yourself (you want Eve, but you don't need Eve, because you have other options as well), and about the art of being in the moment.
Eve doesn't want any commitment now, possibly out of the broken trust. Some work for her.
(4)Also, from the description we really do not know if the "I want freedom" philosophy isn't just a way to say that she doesn't want more then a cusual relationship with Bird. In that case, it should be her responsibility to figure out and say this in a straightforward way.

It is good however that you both willing to follow the same thread. It seems you both want to work it out.
Thanks for your reply Tinwen! I'll go over some points.

(1) I might actually agree with you, maybe I'm thinking a bit too fast. I understand her feeling of not wanting to talk about it (yet), but I still wonder myself how this would work in the future. If she meets a guy she falls in love with (too), would she like to live as three together? Or maybe more? How would dating work and how often? Granted, this also goes for me, but I admit that for the time being it looks less likely. Also, seeing both of us are currently occupied with work/school and not really able to move anytime soon, I won't happen too soon anyway, so it might be better to lay it to rest for a while atleast. It does cross my mind though, and the insecurity of not knowing anything what to expect scares me a bit, especially seeing as if we were to live together, it would most likely be me moving (to another country).

(2) Not that important I guess, but I'm a guy. Honest mistake, seeing my username x). Should've specified though, my bad!

(3) Again, I'll admit that I'm not so far into this (yet) and that that conclusion is to be expected. However, from the two times I've been in an relationship before, when I met a girl I liked and the feeling seemed mutual, I always disliked that I couldn't act upon it. (At the time, I beat myself up a bit for thinking like that though x)). If I were to come in such a situation again, I would love to actually be free to do so. I (currently) don't have the feeling of specifically looking for it though and I wouldn't say I accept it only because it's a LDR. But being in a LDR does 'help' it as we can't cuddle eachother as much as we want/need. I agree with you that we still need to work this out though and that my/our reasons for this are still being formed a bit, which is why I'm here .

(4) I'm pretty sure it isn't like that. She doesn't want to be 'owned', but I believe she does want to have more than just a casual relationship. Maybe it's best if she answers it herself though ^^.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
I'm going to address just these two things.

Her time with him does diminish her time available for you.

And I personally believe that when we do things that cause our loved ones pain, it is a reflection on the depth of our love for them. I understand she was poly when you met her, so you knew this going in. But I also know that my XBF was poly when I met him, and he made a choice (on his own, I didn't ask for it) to stop seeing anyone else (other than his wife of course) because he didn't want to cause me any pain. It's a major reason I stayed with him so long: because he gave me a very visible sign of the depth of his love for me, because he chose to avoid any action he knew would cause me pain. (5) That's real love.

(6) You should be concerned about someone refusing to think about the future. XBF refused to think about the future, which meant he refused to address the real problems. Real questions like: You're hoping I'll stay with you all these years until you retire and move far away with your wife? Where does that leave me when I'm ten years older and you're suddenly gone?

He wanted to live in a dream world and just avoid the hard questions. Adults need to think about the future, and the consequences of their present actions and how those actions affect everyone around them, often for years to come. I will never again be involved with anyone who refuses to think about the future.
(5) I have a feeling it goes both ways though. Say hypothetically I was fully mono and Eve is fully poly. She could stop being poly because of her love to me, but it wouldn't work if she would become sad and depressed and feeling like she misses a big thing in her life as a result of it. Neither would it work for if I allowed her to sleep with other people while I'm mono because of my love for her, since I'd become too hurt as a result.

(6) I agree it's important, but I think that maybe I'm thinking too fast about that. I'll keep it in mind though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenK View Post
It took me quite a while to wrap my head around things too Birdy, which was a huge surprise to my partner and I, since prior to meeting her I had been in a 4 year poly relationship with someone else. Something huge shifted when I met Nina, and although I have never really been the jealous type, the intensity of our connection kind of blew my mind. I think sometimes when we find and fall in love with someone awesome, there can be a sense of 'am I worthy?' about it all, and I definitely felt that with Nina. I'm sure it's this, more than anything else, which has lead me to feel jealousy with her but no one else. For us it has just taken a lot of time, and love, and patience, and dare I say bravery, to overcome it. In spite of my outgoing independent nature and general confidence, it turns out I can be extremely insecure. Fortunately, I have a massively sensitive and reassuring partner, who knows when to give me a hug and when to kick my arse. I have also begun to master the art of self-arse-kicking and self-hugging, which is good too.

Don't feel bad about not being an insta-poly-ninja. This stuff takes time and effort to sort through. The skills you develop now will be with you for life, no matter the ups and downs your relationships take. I suggest leaning into the discomfort a little, knowing that you are doing this not for her but for YOU. So that YOU start to feel better now, and YOU will become a more resilient being in future. I think a lot of people make the mistake of trying to overcome jealousy and insecurity for their partners sake, and I don't think that works so well long-term. Trust that she loves you and picked you for a reason, and that she chooses to be with you everyday. 'Cause, you know, she does.
Thanks a lot for the kind words tenk! Luckily, Eve is really sweet and wants to reassure me too saying that her dating doesn't diminish her love for me and such. I'll take your advice about leaning into discomfort a bit, that might indeed seem good for me x). I'm glad things worked out for you .
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:47 PM
Tinwen Tinwen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdysong View Post
(1) I might actually agree with you, maybe I'm thinking a bit too fast. I understand her feeling of not wanting to talk about it (yet), but I still wonder myself how this would work in the future. If she meets a guy she falls in love with (too), would she like to live as three together? Or maybe more? How would dating work and how often? Granted, this also goes for me, but I admit that for the time being it looks less likely. Also, seeing both of us are currently occupied with work/school and not really able to move anytime soon, I won't happen too soon anyway, so it might be better to lay it to rest for a while atleast. It does cross my mind though, and the insecurity of not knowing anything what to expect scares me a bit, especially seeing as if we were to live together, it would most likely be me moving (to another country).
Basically, you cannot know these things.
You can start figuring out what you want though. And you can let Eve to figure out what she wants. If there is overlap, you have a relationship. You can as well share fantasies without being too serious with acting on them

You also asked about rules. MoreThenTwo is a great webside overall: https://www.morethantwo.com/polyrules.html

Quote:
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(2) Not that important I guess, but I'm a guy. Honest mistake, seeing my username x). Should've specified though, my bad!
Sorry for that
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:03 PM
Birdysong Birdysong is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinwen View Post
Basically, you cannot know these things.
You can start figuring out what you want though. And you can let Eve to figure out what she wants. If there is overlap, you have a relationship. You can as well share fantasies without being too serious with acting on them

You also asked about rules. MoreThenTwo is a great webside overall: https://www.morethantwo.com/polyrules.html
Hmm, that's what she says too, that she can't know. And like said before, maybe it's a bit too early to talk about that anyway. However, it would be a big step and I guess this would be good to think about if it would work for the both in advance. I guess that's what you mean with think about what we want. As for fantasies, I can't say we haven't acted on any yet... x)

Also, thanks for the link! I actually saw it come by in quite some other threads I read on here and started reading a bit already. This will hopefully help a bit too!
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:02 PM
Muffin Muffin is offline
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Hey!

I'm Muffin, alias Eve, I'm 24 and I'm Birdy's girlfriend.

For a start, thank you guys for taking the time to look into our story and to answer this thread, giving us food for thoughts and hopefully helping us to deal with a situation that overall is really new to both of us.

I feel maybe I should try and clarify a bit about the "thinking about the future thing". I am indeed just out of a 4 years long relationship that was really intense and went into pieces in a few months in a way I would have never expected. I think it did break a lot of beliefs I was holding indeed, but maybe time will help with this, afterall it's still quite recent. I hope I learnt a bit now from it and that I will not make the same mistakes again.

However, I do not think that not thinking too much about the future (or more likely not being able to forsee it so much) is about not willing to address the real problems, in my case. I am myself a lot into thinking things the further I can, and usually can't help but stick my nose where it smells bad and dig, instead of just avoiding it. I just feel that we need to take things in the right order.
So, it is not really that I don't want to think about the future at all, but I just have no clue how it is going to be like, and thus sometimes it feels like a lot too much of "what if", and maybe a bit too abstract for some of the points.

For instance, I am currently looking for a PhD position and I still have no idea where I'm going to be in a month from now. I have hopes but no certainties. We also know that even if we want to live together someday, this will not happen before at least 3 years... While we have only been together for 6 months and mostly apart. And as far as I wish very much everything is going to work out perfectly, I know three years of long distance relationship are probably not going to be the easiest situation. I feel I would prefer focusing on dealing with present issues first, because it just makes more sense to me. I have much troubles seeing myself such a long way ahead, especially if it is so difficult now already. If we were able to deal with present issues to start with, and feel good together, I would also probably be more confident in making longer term predictions.

There was also mentions on rules, as well as primary/secondary relationships. As much as my relationship with Birdy is not at all a small casual thing, I have absolutely no idea what others relation I might have (and again this is all very theoritical for now) are going to be like. I told Birdy I am not going to replace him, he has a big place in my heart and I do not want this to change. Yet, I do not know either if I am ever going to fall in love with someone else as well (and I really mean it like "as well" and not "instead"), in a sense that it wouldn't be a casual thing either anymore. Again this feels a lot abstract for now, since I haven't met anybody I'm even close to liking in that way at the moment. I believe that is one of the points that make it really difficult for us. I can understand why Birdy would be scared about that, as much as it would not change how I feel for him. However, I feel a bit lost as in how to deal with this. Because eventhough I am willing to set rules if they can help us feeling comfortable, I can not promise I will not love anyone else in a serious way ever either.


Now I feel I just wrote a lot about things I have issues with, I hope I did not sound too direct or too harsh, and I do not forget there are a lot great things as well... ! I wouldn't be here if I thought this was a lost cause, I'm very hopeful we can manage things to go for the best for both of us. Anyway if there are things I should clarify, please tell me, and I'll try and answer the best I can.
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