Already had "the talk" but need advice on starting to be poly

KittyUpNorth

New member
Background: I'm a woman in a committed domestic partnership with another woman. We've been together for four years and consider ourselves married (the state we live in doesn't allow gay marriage or we would be). We've discussed polyamory on multiple occasions and have always agreed that we're open to it and would support each other if we found other partners, but so far neither of us have been with anyone else.

Now, I've started up a flirty relationship with a friend that I'd really like to pursue further--he's single and my wife knows about and is fine with the flirtation (she even thinks it's cute). But I'm nervous about taking the first step since neither of us have ever had other partners. What happens if I start dating this guy and Wife suddenly decides that polyamory doesn't work for her? How can I do this so that doesn't happen? Is that just a risk all poly couples take?

Anyway, TL/DR: Tips for a first-timer to make this a smooth transition?
 
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LadyManda

New member
I'm new to poly myself, but I'd say communication here is the key. You need to talk to both people about what you want. You have said that you've talked in the past with your wife about poly, but now that you actually have someone else you want to pursue that way you have to communicate it. Same with the guy you have a crush on and have been flirty with. Does he know about your wife? Is he okay with having a relationship with you while you are with her? This is all stuff you have to talk about!

I am no expert in romantic relationships or poly (I am new to both) but I do know that communication in any relationship is important. It is always important to tell each other how you feel and to be honest. It can be scary and difficult, but I think it makes people happier in the end if you are!

I hope that helps a little! Good luck!

~LadyManda
 

KittyUpNorth

New member
Thanks for your reply! I have talked to Wife about it and she says she's fine with me pursuing him, and we're always very honest with each other so I'm sure she means it (and she has a terrible poker face anyway, so I'd know if she wasn't). I'm just worried that being okay with it before the fact is not necessarily the same as actually living with it afterwards. But maybe I'm just being paranoid--she's always been vocal about her support of the poly lifestyle even though we haven't actually lived it yet. I shouldn't borrow trouble, right? :)

As for Friend, he knows I'm in a committed relationship but doesn't know it's a polyamorous one--I'm pretty sure that's the only reason he hasn't made a move long before now. But I'm not sure how to broach the topic without weirding him out. He is really open-minded about social issues and lifestyle choices but does come from a fairly conservative background, so I'm afraid that he'll have a weird knee-jerk reaction to it and wig out. Any tips on how to start that conversation?
 

KC43

New member
Communicating before you begin is important. Some people who start poly from the basis of a committed, previously monogamous relationship find it beneficial to agree on some boundaries (for example, even though Hubby's cool with my relationships with Guy and S2, he's said that he would strongly prefer that I not spend the night with either of them, other than times when I travel to visit Guy in his home state). Other couples prefer to give each other complete freedom and autonomy and not set any boundaries at all. It's about what works best for you and your wife.

But communication doesn't end when the poly begins. In my opinion, it's important to check in with each other regularly to make sure everything's going okay and you're still in agreement about the situation. That doesn't have to be a long discussion; every once in a while, I just ask Hubby, "Is everything still okay?" And he said, "Yep" and we move on.

But knowing that she'll have an ongoing opportunity to tell you if she's uncomfortable or isn't able to accept the situation anymore might make things easier for your wife, and knowing that you're giving her that opportunity might give you less worry about whether she's okay with it.

As for starting the conversation with Friend, I'm all for honesty. Something like, "I'm really interested in you, and I'd like to take things further between us. My wife and I've talked about it and she's okay with it." Acknowledge that it might be a weird situation for him, but make it clear that you want things to be comfortable.

Guy had never even considered "hooking up" with a married woman before me, let alone having a relationship with one. S2 has never been in anything other than committed monogamous relationships. But both had open minds, and are--or at least tell me they are--happy with the current situation. For various reasons, being in a relationship with me works for each of them in part *because* I'm married to Hubby, even though polyamory wasn't something either of them had considered before they met me. So even though you're concerned about Friend's reaction, you're never going to know unless you bring it up...and you might be very pleasantly surprised at the response.
 

LadyManda

New member
I agree with KC43. The communication won't stop once poly begins. It will always be important!

As for breaching the subject with Friend...well I agree all honesty is a huge thing. It will probably be completely nerve wracking (I know it will be for me when I finally venture out there) but truthfully, if they get whigged out and want nothing more to do with you, then they probably weren't someone you'd want to get involved with anyway. So just take a deep breath and jump! Like KC43 said, you might be pleasantly surprised!

I wish the best of luck!! :)
 

maxnsue

Inactive
I echo communication as all have said but it is always a risk. Feelings never pop up while thinking rationally about things. They can hit you like a hammer when you least expect it. I will not assess the risk for you but just read all the posts here and decide if everyone is posting to report problem free relationships.

Are you just discovering that you are attracted to men or is it just a curiosity? Do you risk a good thing to scratch an itch or would you be unhappy if you never explored that new road? Life is about choices but also exploration. Die without any regrets and you have had a good life.
 

KittyUpNorth

New member
Thanks for all your replies and advice! I've updated my signature so I can use names now and not get confused :) I had another talk with Michelle and she told me I was overthinking things and that as long as I kept her up-to-date on how things with Al were going, she's fine with it. So lots of talking.

Are you just discovering that you are attracted to men or is it just a curiosity?

I'm bisexual and I've been in relationships with both men and women in the past, so it's not just curiosity. I was actually married to a man before Michelle and I got together, so plenty of experience there. This new potential relationship is more about the fact that I think Al is awesome than about his gender, as I'm sure I'd be interested in him regardless of gender.

Still haven't broached the subject with Al yet, mostly because it's been a long time since I've started a new relationship and I'm nervous that I'm reading the signs wrong and he's not really interested. But I guess I won't know until I ask.
 
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