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Old 09-01-2015, 07:03 PM
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PinkPig PinkPig is offline
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Default Polysaturation and balance

Can we talk about polysaturation and how to maintain balance, boundaries, and commitments to current relationship(s) while pursuing new relationships? My questions specifically are:

* How do you determine your saturation level?
* Have you had to walk away from a new interest because you did not have the time/energy to devote to the relationship without adversely affecting existing relationship(s)?
* How do you honor your commitment to existing relationship(s) while pursuing new relationship(s)? (especially within the context of NRE for the new relationship(s)?)
* Have you lost existing partners because of new relationships?
* Care to share any mistakes you've made and wisdom you've gained from those mistakes?
* Any other thoughts or wisdom you care to share?

My partner Blue is currently not dating anyone else (is on OKC.) He's dated a few different women during our time together and he does a good job of balancing two relationships...and a good job of pushing some of his NRE into our relationship. I have no complaints. Myself, I'm not so sure. I've tried to date a couple times but find it too time consuming. And yet, I keep finding myself back on OKC looking through profiles. What I'd really like is a female FWB to hang out with occasionally when Blue is dating and my kids are gone but I'm not sure how to (1) find that and (2) keep it in the FWB realm so that it doesn't affect my otherwise busy schedule? Reading the blogs and hearing about people who effectively manage more than 2 relationships while maintaining well, life, makes me curious. How do they do it, lol, when I can't even figure out how to do two relationships?

For anyone interested, I found the following helpful on the topic (but I'd still like to hear how others handle it.):
Falling in love, more than 2
The Flip side of saturation
A Follow up on saturation
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:26 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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I get polysaturated wicked easily. For me, two partners is about all I can handle, and one of those, of course, is always Hubby. Last year, I met S2 while I was still involved with Guy. Even though Guy and I were in a long-distance relationship consisting mostly of phone calls a few times a week, I found it very difficult to maintain those three relationships. It got a lot easier after I broke up with Guy.

I haven't had to walk away from any new interests, because when I have two partners, I don't look for anyone else and except for the case with S2, I don't respond to messages other than to say "Thanks, but I'm seeing someone." I've already stopped looking since meeting Boots, even though it's only been two weeks with him and we haven't officially declared it a relationship yet.

I think the first time I've actually *pursued* a new partner was with Boots... When I met Guy in 2013, I hadn't yet completely realized I was polyamorous, so it was defined as a friend-with-benefits situation and fell under the boundaries and agreements Hubby and I had set for our open marriage. I wasn't expecting to meet anyone I would be seeing regularly; Guy and I met and clicked at a get-together hosted by some friends. Last year, because I was in a relationship with Guy, I wasn't actually looking for another partner when I met S2. He just happened to message me on AdultFriendFinder, and something in his message was unique enough to prompt me to respond. We messaged for two or three weeks before I actually agreed to meet him, and I wasn't expecting it to go anywhere. Even with Boots, I wasn't exactly pursuing. I was half-heartedly looking because of the breakup with S2, but I again wasn't planning to actually meet anyone or have it go anywhere. It just kind of happened.

But to actually answer the question... to honor my commitments to Hubby when I have another partner, I just follow the agreements he and I have set out, keep him informed of what's going on, and check in with him periodically to make sure it's all working for him. I didn't really have any commitments to Guy to honor when I met S2; Guy just wanted me to keep talking to him.

Indirectly, I lost Guy because of S2. Guy was jealous because S2 lived near me, so was able to see me regularly. A couple of months after S2 and I started seeing each other, Guy's job sent him back to my area. He told me I shouldn't see S2 while he was here, and I told him that wasn't his call to make, that I'd rearranged half of my schedule to accommodate seeing him, but I wasn't willing to cancel plans I'd already set with S2. Guy was angry, and because of his anger, he did something with me that he should never have done and knew damn well he shouldn't do, and that action is what caused me to break up with him.

If you have more than one partner, it becomes an exercise in time management, and sometimes in emotional management as well. Having more than *two* partners increases the need for management of those things exponentially, in my opinion. You have to make sure you aren't shirking any other responsibilities to accommodate your partners, make sure you aren't short-changing one partner for another, make sure you aren't playing favorites (or at least aren't showing it), etc.
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Me: 45, female, poly
Hubby: my husband, male, 43, monogamous
My offspring: Alt, 20, agender; Country, 17, female
Woody: my Dom/partner, 51, male, poly
Hair: 21, male, Woody's son
Doll (42,F), Mouse (48,F), MH(unknown,M): Woody's housemates, my friends
Highlight and Lips: 32 & 33, female & male, Woody's OSO & her husband
Stella: 39, female, Woody's OSO
Franki: 45, female, Woody's LDR sub

Last edited by KC43; 09-01-2015 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:08 PM
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If you have more than one partner, it becomes an exercise in time management, and sometimes in emotional management as well. Having more than *two* partners increases the need for management of those things exponentially, in my opinion. You have to make sure you aren't shirking any other responsibilities to accommodate your partners, make sure you aren't short-changing one partner for another, make sure you aren't playing favorites (or at least aren't showing it), etc.
Yes, this is what gets me. To do another relationship well, requires time that I don't feel like I have without taking away from my kids or Blue and that isn't an option for me. And, yet, I feel this incredible void of female love in my life since Snow left. When I was in the triad, it was easier in that we could combine our time together. We still spent more time paired off than as a three, but the ability and desire to spend time as a three, too, ensured that I didn't have to rob from my relationships with my kids and Blue, or shirk my duties at home.

I think what's brought this to the forefront of my mind is two things. First, I spent the past two weeks communicating with a woman on OKC. We'd started texting/talking on the phone and were planning to meet soon...until she started complaining that I wasn't available enough :/ We weren't able to resolve her need for more time with the amount of time I was willing to give. The other thing is reading the blogs where several people have added new relationships, or are successfully dating several people. Maybe it's just that I have a higher need to spend time with my relationships and I seek out like minded people??
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:34 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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Some people are just better at time management, I think. But also, in polyamory, just as in monogamy or parenting, the *quality* of the time spent together is as important, if not more so, than the *quantity.* Guy and I had only a few hour-long phone calls a week for most of our relationship, but during those phone calls, we were completely focused on each other, shared things about what had happened since the last call, and made sure there were no distractions or interruptions. Likewise, I was only able to see S2 once or twice a week, but during those visits, he and I were one hundred percent focused on each other.

Contrast those with Hubby, whose philosophy is "we live together, we don't have to schedule time together", and who is more likely to be in the cellar on his computer when he's home than actually interacting with me. I have more time *quantity* wise with Hubby because we live together; but I felt happier and more positive about the time with Guy and S2, even though there wasn't much of it, because of the level of attention and interaction.

Even though it's difficult to arrange things, especially with one partner and kids already in the picture, I think if you want to find another partner, you're going to need to try to open more time for them, if for no other reason than to try to match schedules. But I don't think spending time with another partner is necessarily taking anything other than time away from Blue and the kids; if you're focused on them when you're with them, make sure to listen and talk to them, etc., then you aren't really short-changing them. And having another partner isn't going to change your *feelings* for your kids or Blue, so it isn't as if you're taking love or attention or affection from them. You're simply taking a couple-few hours.

Most people have activities, hobbies, clubs, etc. that they spend time doing solely for themselves. Those things take *time* away from their spouses, kids, and so on. But you need to make time for yourself, too, to have your needs met, to recharge, and so on. Instead of golfing, or going to the Lions Club meetings, or whatever, you're using your "self time" to be with another partner who cares about you and makes you feel happy and positive. Maybe looking at it that way makes it a little easier?
__________________
Me: 45, female, poly
Hubby: my husband, male, 43, monogamous
My offspring: Alt, 20, agender; Country, 17, female
Woody: my Dom/partner, 51, male, poly
Hair: 21, male, Woody's son
Doll (42,F), Mouse (48,F), MH(unknown,M): Woody's housemates, my friends
Highlight and Lips: 32 & 33, female & male, Woody's OSO & her husband
Stella: 39, female, Woody's OSO
Franki: 45, female, Woody's LDR sub
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:56 PM
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Some people are just better at time management, I think. But also, in polyamory, just as in monogamy or parenting, the *quality* of the time spent together is as important, if not more so, than the *quantity.*

Even though it's difficult to arrange things, especially with one partner and kids already in the picture, I think if you want to find another partner, you're going to need to try to open more time for them, if for no other reason than to try to match schedules.
What I was offering at this point, was one night a week plus some time talking/texting daily. That's what I felt I needed to maintain balance. Blue & I do not live together but he spends 2-3 overnights at my house and I spend 1-2 at his when my kids are gone. On the nights that Blue doesn't spend the night, we usually meet for lunch. That usually leaves 2-3 nights open/week. I use those for non-Blue kid time, friends, etc.

But, yes, definitely quality time is more important than quantity. Being present in the moment is something I'm working on
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:16 PM
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Mya Mya is offline
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I have two live-in partners, one regular partner and I've recently started dating a fourth person, and I also have date with a fifth one planned. There are a few things that make it possible for me. First of all, I don't have kids and I'm not planning on having them. That makes a huge difference. Second, I work partly from home, so I can easily spend lunch breaks etc. with my live-in partners if they happen to be home, and I also don't have to spend time on commuting as much as most people do. Third, I'm very extroverted and have a lot of energy. And fourth, the people I'm seeing are either busy, need a lot of alone time or both. So basically nobody is complaining (at the moment at least) that I'm not spending enough time with them because they are either doing their own thing being equally busy or they're just happy that I'm off somewhere and they get to have their alone time.

I think the newest person that I'm going to have a date with soon was quite surprised to hear that I already have four romantic connections going on. I asked if he has feelings or thoughts about it and he said that five people sounds like hard work, but he didn't seem judgmental about it, and he actually said there's no such thing as too many people, as in a specific number that's too many.

I make agreements and plans with people when we both feel like we need them. At the moment I don't have regular date nights with anyone. I used to have them at different points with both rory and Hank, but I've changed things up with them at different times for different reasons - but none of the reasons have been me wanting to have more time for other people. Just today I asked Hank if we could have a date night soon because both of us have been doing our own things for a while and haven't spent much time one on one recently. Rory doesn't work at the moment and is home most of the time, so I see him plenty. Yvonne and Ash are both busy types with lots of things to do and people to date, and Ash also lives in a different city than me, so I see them varyingly maybe 2-4 times a month. Well, that's my guess at least, I don't know yet how things will be with Ash.

I'm pretty flexible with these things, and so are rory and Hank, so we haven't had much trouble with time management and feeling like I don't have enough time for people, surprisingly. At this point I am starting to feel polysaturated though. I have a feeling that the newest person won't necessarily become anything too serious, but that's more to do with how I feel about him than how much time I have for him. But I'm definitely quite closed off from new things from now on - I have to draw the line somewhere.

To answer a couple of your questions, I have never ended either a new or an old relationship because of polysaturation and its effects. Somehow it has always just worked, maybe it's because I've mostly dated people who are compatible with me when it comes to this.
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Living with Hank (partner) and Will (friend)
Metamour: Dahlia (Hank's partner)
Recent ex: rory (living with Dahlia)

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Last edited by Mya; 09-01-2015 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:17 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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See... to me, 1 night a week plus daily contact seems fair, especially if you're looking for a FWB arrangement and not a relationship. I think the woman you were talking to might have been expecting too much emotionally and commitment-wise. But that's just my opinion.

As I said, with S2, I had 1-2 nights a week, and those weren't overnights, just me going to his place until 11 pm or so then coming home. We had overnights twice a month, on the weekends Country was with her dad, which happened to be the weekends S2 didn't have his sons. And he and I rarely talked on the phone, and didn't even text daily. Neither of us had a problem with that...

I'm still working on figuring out how it's going to play out with Boots. He's with his girlfriend two nights a week. I think both are overnights, but I'm not sure. And he has voice lessons another night. In theory, that leaves four nights a week that we might see each other... but in practice, he often has plans or work on either Friday or Saturday. (Or maybe other dates... I don't know, I don't consider it my place to ask him about that yet.) And sometimes during the week Country needs me for something. She was actually one of the reasons S2 and I set a schedule, because it was easier for Country if she knew for sure I would be gone on specific nights.

Boots and I have set a weekly lunch date, and he told me yesterday he wants me to feel free to send a last-minute "want to do lunch?" text any day I "feel bored." He admitted today that that was a thinly veiled hint that he wants to see me more often. He and I text most days, but sometimes it's only a couple of minutes worth of conversation. I'm hoping that we'll be able to get into a routine of seeing each other one weeknight and one weekend night, or something like that, once he moves into a new apartment, but it remains to be seen.
__________________
Me: 45, female, poly
Hubby: my husband, male, 43, monogamous
My offspring: Alt, 20, agender; Country, 17, female
Woody: my Dom/partner, 51, male, poly
Hair: 21, male, Woody's son
Doll (42,F), Mouse (48,F), MH(unknown,M): Woody's housemates, my friends
Highlight and Lips: 32 & 33, female & male, Woody's OSO & her husband
Stella: 39, female, Woody's OSO
Franki: 45, female, Woody's LDR sub
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:13 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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* How do you determine your saturation level?
By experience. It all depends on how often I see someone. Some people I have dated are only available once every 3 or 4 weeks, with some texting in between. There was a time I had a serious bf, who I saw several times a week, plus my live-in gf, and for 2 years I did not seek any other partners.
Quote:
* Have you had to walk away from a new interest because you did not have the time/energy to devote to the relationship without adversely affecting existing relationship(s)?
Occasionally. One time I had 2 male partners as well as my gf, and both guys wanted to see me every week. I found myself caring less about one of the guys as I fell more in love with the other one. He seemed superfluous, we weren't as good a match, so I broke up with him.
Quote:
* How do you honor your commitment to existing relationship(s) while pursuing new relationship(s)? (especially within the context of NRE for the new relationship(s)?)
Precise scheduling and quality time.
Quote:
* Have you lost existing partners because of new relationships?
No, because I let people know upfront that I am poly and not available for a mono-type, see each other every day, kind of thing.

Quote:
* Care to share any mistakes you've made and wisdom you've gained from those mistakes?
One mistake or difficulty is, I go to OKC in the summer because my gf travels a lot and I get lonely. But it always seems to happen that by the time I find someone, she is back from one of her trips/commitments, and then she complains, why are you going out with so-and-so when I am back here? But I am not about to neglect a new partner just to fit into her rambling ways. So, I make sure to give her extra attention when she is around.

Quote:
What I'd really like is a female FWB to hang out with occasionally when Blue is dating and my kids are gone but I'm not sure how to (1) find that and (2) keep it in the FWB realm so that it doesn't affect my otherwise busy schedule?
See, it doesn't always happen that one partner IS available just when your OSO and kids are busy and you are free! I find that just when a new partner is available, my gf is also available, as I said above. And when she's gone, the newer partner(s) may not be free! Ugh!
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags, F, 60, poly-dating, loving and living with
miss pixi, F, 38
also seeing
Punk, 41, M (dating since Oct 2015)
and a few more casual relationships

Last edited by Magdlyn; 09-02-2015 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:20 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Yes, this is what gets me. To do another relationship well, requires time that I don't feel like I have without taking away from my kids or Blue and that isn't an option for me. And, yet, I feel this incredible void of female love in my life since Snow left.
I didn't really pursue polyamory (except in my mind) when my kids were home. I know some people do. Many people do, even when their kids are very small. Myself, I just didn't have time or energy to devote to more than one adult relationship until my kids were late teens, early 20s and busy with their independent lives.

But in your case, if you feel that void strongly, you could look for a woman who is on the same page as you, availability-wise. I find poly bi women are very hard to find though. I've got a new woman in my life now, and she's the first one with real potential since I met my gf 6 years ago! But I've got offers from guys coming out of my ears on OKC every week.

Quote:
I think what's brought this to the forefront of my mind is two things. First, I spent the past two weeks communicating with a woman on OKC. We'd started texting/talking on the phone and were planning to meet soon...until she started complaining that I wasn't available enough :/ We weren't able to resolve her need for more time with the amount of time I was willing to give.

The other thing is reading the blogs where several people have added new relationships, or are successfully dating several people. Maybe it's just that I have a higher need to spend time with my relationships and I seek out like minded people??
You just need to keep looking for the right person! They will come, but it takes time and patience and being rejected. Good to try and keep a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Does spending more time with your platonic gfs help any? It does for me.
__________________
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags, F, 60, poly-dating, loving and living with
miss pixi, F, 38
also seeing
Punk, 41, M (dating since Oct 2015)
and a few more casual relationships
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:27 PM
MightyMax MightyMax is offline
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* How do you determine your saturation level?

I never see it as being completely saturated and absolutely cannot make any new connections. It's possible that I could meet someone with whom I have a romantic connection and I can only see them once a year and speak to them a few times a month so they absolutely would not need "energy units" that I cannot provide. I've had some intense pen-pal romances where we live in different parts of the world and rarely see each other and only communicate by letter. What I do acknowledge, and for short-hand might refer to as "saturated", is that it's unlikely I will meet the needs of the majority of people who are in my potential dating pool. However, I'm still up for meeting and interacting with new people, I just will make it clear that I don't have the "units" for anything serious and because people don't usually invest too much in new matches, we become friends, with or without benefits. But I never describe myself as closed. I have spoken of a period where I was essentially closed but in hindsight, those were periods where my relationships were unhealthy and I couldn't make new bonds with all the drama going on.

* Have you had to walk away from a new interest because you did not have the time/energy to devote to the relationship without adversely affecting existing relationship(s)?

Yes. Too many times. Most of the times, in truth, it hasn't been ugly. Mild disappointment. However, I have discovered that I have taken on too much with a new relationship far too late for there not to be ugliness and drama. That would be expecting too much of the people involved.

* How do you honor your commitment to existing relationship(s) while pursuing new relationship(s)? (especially within the context of NRE for the new relationship(s)?)

For me, it is about basically staying true to your existing obligations and not taking on commitments that ultimately will lead to you feeling restricted later. You learn that with experience. Then, and this is where I have had trouble in the past, you have to actively avoid connections that you will not be able to contain when you know you are reaching "saturation", for want of a better term. If I meet someone new when I don't have much room, and I know I really, really like them, lust them, that sort of thing, I might back off from developing a friendship because I know I have a bit of trouble with the NRE thing in certain situations.

* Have you lost existing partners because of new relationships?

Yes, when I have mismanaged things and it's come down to me making a choice, sometimes I have chosen the new relationship/partner because the old relationship has been tainted so much.

* Care to share any mistakes you've made and wisdom you've gained from those mistakes?

See above
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