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  #11  
Old 04-03-2011, 05:23 PM
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NRE turns perfectly lovely people into monsters. It also tends to drive people to definitely more monogamous interaction patterns. This can be really hard to the established (I prefer this term to 'primary', which I connect more with household economics than anything else) partner. Hence the respect and space.

The one thing your parents will be worried about, if this relationship progresses and you out yourself to them, is if you are being used. Responsible non-monogamy as a concept goes pretty much against everything we as a culture are taught to believe is right and good.
BlackUnicorn is right on these points. I reference disappearing in a puff of NRE a lot because it can be a very real possibility, but I dont necessarily mean physically disappearing; emotionally NRE can focus one partner to the exclusion of another...it's something you need to be aware of and again communicate your needs for time and emotional concerns openly.

As for outing to your parents, I have not yet myself. I want to wait until I have an OSO so they do not see my wife in a negative way. Likewise when my wife came out to her father, he had concerns about her being used and a lot of his questions betrayed a bias toward thinking I had pushed her into a poly relationship when if fact I was the one who had to be convinced... My advice would be caution, come out when it feels right and you feel that circumstances make you comfortable enough that their reaction won't drastically affect your life if it goes poorly.

As for blogs, I am sure there are many that will be helpful. I think reading blogs from another perspective in a poly relationship really helped quite a bit in my case, and I recommend the same for you.
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  #12  
Old 04-03-2011, 06:02 PM
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So glad I got in first! Kingofmice, I am so happy for you. Please don't take what follows as patronising. It is heartfelt and genuine, believe me!

You sound like a lovely person and I wish I had had the insight and self-knowledge to realise how I am wired back when I was 20 instead of fighting to fit the norms for 30 years.

I also would like my 'secondary' to be half as good a communicator as you are - and by the way she's way older than you.

You did ask about books. It's reviewed elsewhere but I have been reading 'Sex at Dawn' which massages my pretentions to intellectualism whilst making poly sound like the most natural thing in the world. Oh and it's a good read too. Just what I need.

There have been so many great comments that I don't really have anything much to add but do drop in from time to time and let us know how you are getting on.

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  #13  
Old 04-03-2011, 07:41 PM
kingofmice kingofmice is offline
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Again, I cannot stress enough how wonderful it has been to read everyone's responses. Knowing there are others rooting for me and my partners matters a great deal. I'd been looking online for a while, hoping to find a good support group. My gosh, I think I've found it!

Above all, what I've gathered from your responses and advice is that communication first and foremost is key. As soon as I am able to secure some solid time, I'm going to bring a few things up with my gentleman, if but for comfort and clarification purposes. First, when can I expect to see you? How often would you like to see me? When do you typically see her? I've been mulling over the NRE phenomenon. Without knowing what to call it, it has been a concern of mine from the outset. I likened it to the transplantation of a new sprout into a garden. When you move a living thing from a pot to new soil, it takes a good deal of tending. The right about of water, love, food, and sun are all crucial to its adjustment. In that same way, I feel like this "new" relationship needs attention, both from him and eventually from her. I'm just as excited about getting to know her and grow emotionally with her as I am with him. I feel like if we keep a good head on our shoulders, and try to include everyone in the NRE process, then we can make it through this transition with a really solid foundation.

Again, it's just been amazing to have your interest and support. I will keep you posted!

(Also, going to go pick up "Sex at Dawn" asap.)
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  #14  
Old 04-03-2011, 08:11 PM
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I am glad you mentioned your age. I thought you must be young, because you use the terms "boy" and "girl," although you write well and give the impression of being a mature thinker (Sidebar: It's a pet peeve of mine, though. If you're sexually involved with others, start thinking of yourselves as men and women. It helps in terms of developing maturity in a relationship to stop referring to the parties involved as children). Anyway...

If you want a very good source to read about poly relationships, check out Opening Up by Tristan Taormino. Sex at Dawn is about the anthropological study of relationships, so is focused on more of the background in humanity behind polyamory -- BUT but Opening Up is really like a poly user manual, and is written very clearly. It addresses many of the issues that come up and shares experiences of real poly peeps.

About your other questions, just because this relationship has the added twist of your guy being polyamorous, does not mean that you need always to defer to his other relationship(s) in order to ask for what you need. Being a "secondary" does not mean you are a second class citizen, so to speak. You still deserve respect and caring and to ask for what you need. Of course, it is quite reasonable to inquire about a schedule.

And I wouldn't worry about what he's going to tell his parents about having two girlfriends, either. First of all, that's his problem, not yours. AND it's really more expected for a young man in his early 20s to have more than one romantic interest; most older folks (and I speak as someone over twice your age) wouldn't really question that for someone who is really just at a point in life where relationships are a new aspect of life. In fact, I would think it more odd to see someone "settle down" that young. If it were you who came home and said you had two boyfriends, that might be met with a somewhat different attitude, as parents are usually more protective of their daughters.

I think if you read Opening Up, a lot more things will make sense to you. Plus, keep coming here and asking questions. Welcome!
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Last edited by nycindie; 04-03-2011 at 08:14 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-03-2011, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
AND it's really more expected for a young man in his early 20s to have more than one romantic interest; most older folks (and I speak as someone over twice your age) wouldn't really question that for someone who is really just at a point in life where relationships are a new aspect of life. In fact, I would think it more odd to see someone "settle down" that young. If it were you who came home and said you had two boyfriends, that might be met with a somewhat different attitude, as parents are usually more protective of their daughters.
What I find extremely funny is that many people would understand if I was having an affair with a married man, because 'things like that happen', but when I tell them that his wife has been told and we are all trying to adjust they get very defensive! And I'm not talking about random people here, but good friends of mine. I've been accused of being more selfish for wanting to let his wife know than if I were to just carry on the relationship in secret, especially after I made it clear that I don't want the two of them to break up.

Again, it's funny that responsible non-monogamy is something that is such an alien concept to so many people that they would be more accepting of outright cheating if it was 'for love'.
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  #16  
Old 04-03-2011, 09:45 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I've been accused of being more selfish for wanting to let his wife know than if I were to just carry on the relationship in secret, especially after I made it clear that I don't want the two of them to break up.
That reminds me of when I told people I was seeing a man who had 3 kids. I was 20 and he was 25, and we were friends with benefits.

People assumed he was much older than he actually was (middle aged or so) and that he was married (which he wasn't), and they were fine with it.
But when I came out as polyamorous much later (long after I was done being FWBs with him), that's what people thought was outrageous.
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  #17  
Old 04-04-2011, 04:12 AM
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There is a book recommendation sticky at the top of this forum http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1096 It has lots of good books on it... There is a lot to read on line too. I suggest reading about "primary/secondary," "NRE," and anything else that catches your eye when you have a look at the tag cloud.

At your age there should really be no need for primary/secondary relationships. They generally seem to be useful in terms of family/children/joint finances/property. Of which you have none. I would be rather sceptical if I were your age and someone said I was secondary... in terms of time management perhaps one partner can meet up more than another. Anything other than that would be more about a hierarchy and that to me is not fair. Sometimes when someone new comes along the partner that was there before feels a sense of entitlement because they were their first. I would be careful with this as it is valid that they feel some jealousy and be concerned that there won't be enough time for them or they are not loved as much... it takes time sometimes to get through that, but that has nothing to do with someone being better and more of a primary over another.

As to telling parents? Well, they dated at one time before and likely dated several different people at one time... it was called "playing the field" and just "dating." I would think that they will smile knowingly at your arrangement. If you are super open with them then you could talk about poly, but otherwise telling them you are keeping your options open is quite normal and reasonable for your age and stage, not to mention within their realm of understanding... As you grow older and all those expectations of settling into having one partner come down on you, you might want to elaborate then; if in fact you still feel you are committed to having more than one partner by then. You could decide that you just want and can only handle one. If so, then so it is to be. As long as what you do makes sense to you and makes you feel happy.

I haven't read everything others have said here, I hope I haven't repeated what others have said.
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  #18  
Old 04-04-2011, 05:47 AM
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Hey! So, an update is in order. For starters, I told my mom. The conversation (about the theory of polyamory) had been coming up of it's own accord. The first time it was her who brought it up. Yesterday, we were walking our dog, and I confessed the situation to her. She was totally supportive and receptive. About our age, I realize we're all young. But all three of us are unusually intelligent and in touch with ourselves. Like I said prior, I've had a hard time understanding the way I love, and coming into polyamory has really shed light on parts of my character I hadn't been wholly aware of prior. So while I understand everyone's need to mention that we're/I'm young, and can sympathize with any reserve our ages might strike you to possess, I can assure you that we are all addressing the situation with as much maturity and level-headedness as we can. That said, I pointed them both to this thread. They read it, we talked. The one thing I'm most certain of is the importance of communication in creating our foundation, and I thank everyone for their guidance. It's important to have my mother's approval, but it's amazing to have found people who have tread this path before me, people older and wiser who can help me on this journey. Gosh, that was corny as all hell. But, really, thanks. I'm very excited about everything I've learned so far, and look forward to the potential for more understanding to come.
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  #19  
Old 04-04-2011, 06:31 PM
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1. Are there any other good texts concerning polyamory?
Likely everything has been mentioned. But I would say hit up different sites. There are a number of poly sites, read all views. Poly is diverse and interesting. It has a full range of people who are involved in it. Google the hell out of it and enjoy the reads. Nothing has been more valuable than seeing all the sites and living breathing poly/open relationships.

Ethical slut is acceptable. Its a good gateway book. But its feels off to me sometimes. I preferred Opening up which has helped me in many ways find better footing in being open.

Quote:
2. Though I understand we can define the boundaries/roles in the relationship for ourselves, is it typical that the "extra" people outside of the "open relationship" (me, in this case) don't get the same rights/attention emotionally as the "girlfriend"/"boyfriend"? The idea is that one can be "intimate" with multiple partners, but is this intimacy restricted to sex, or can it be emotional? I tend to be a very sensitive, open-hearted, giving person, and I'm worried that I'll fall in love without the chance for these feelings to be reciprocated.
As with any relationship structure, you have a huge chance of being rejected. Monogamous people have the advantage of remaining protected and sheltered from heartbreak (ideally)... You won't have that protection. You have the ability to love mutiples, meaning you have multiple chances to have your heart broken.

Same rights/ rules/ boundaries as the primary relationship takes shape on an individual basis. Best thing I could say is be fluid. Understand that each relationship is its own, let the strength of that relationship be flexible so that you can accept incoming people and/or situations. Ebb and flow baby...

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Any advice or kindness would be really appreciated. I'm at a place where I'm very scared, and a little unsure. I think that both of these people are amazing, and I feel like I can learn a lot from this relationship, and I'd like to continue pursuing it. I'm just very nervous I won't be afforded the same possibilities because I'm coming in from the outside. Thank you.
Fear is a good thing. Its hard to understand how to engage a huge change if you don't fear it. Its just your choice to run, or embrace it
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