Blowing open the poly closet... without warning anyone... to swing the relationship to poly from open?

I wouldn't do it that way. I might be more "Tell me about you." And let them choose what to reveal about themselves at this time.

They ALREADY told you they are looking for friends. Not more. At least not at this juncture. They might be monogamous, so why would they be "looking for" anything past friends anyway?

Coming at them like you wrote? That feels awkward to me. And kinda like you are on the hunt for fresh meat and "friends" is just your way of getting the foot in the door. And Kayla just met them at work? Then what? Make the coworker situation totally weird if she and you bungle this?

IMHO? Kayla (and you) may need to slow your roll some there. At this stage? It's just lust or initial attraction anyway. Jsut because one feels something doesn't mean you HAVE to pursue.

Don't go at it like "kid in a candy store" or something.

Esp when there's things to sort out with the poly group at home anyway with how much people wanted to be outted or not? Don't get ahead of yourselves.

Galagirl
Core correction: I'm not interested in opening up; I'm trying to figure out if J+H were approaching it as a "here's a couple we could get involved with", so that Kayla and I could have some significant conversations (with Joe and Samantha too) if we were as a group interested in that or would rather push it back to the "friends" side... I was trying to come at it from the other direction - "hey, we said we were poly, did you interpret that to mean we might be interested in opening it up further, or were you just cool with it? Because if the former, we have a lot of talking to do on our side first."

The only reason we wondered (or I should say, she wondered - I'm honestly not interested in opening up the polycue any farther) was a side comment made about moving out where we are because things were more accepted out here. Now that could have easily been a political statement in general (coming from a very very red state to a very blue one), could have been about the whole poly thing, or just anything in general. It was a side comment, nothing more. But the male half of the J+H group does hang around her work quite a bit (food/drink industry), but it's in his neighborhood too (they're not her coworkers, they're her customers).

And yes, I'm sure a bit of this is the jealous side that she and I haven't had much time to talk through, because busy schedules right now... and this is the first time it's come up in our relationship, and the whole relationship is still pretty new.

Edit: Alternative wording, that might be better? - "Hey, look - we're all planning on some double dates and really looking forward to hanging out, but just to avoid any potential awkwardness or weirdness, especially if someone has a drink too many - are you all mono, or are you in a different form of relationship? We don't want to give you the wrong impression from our end."
 
Hi Rickmanger,

One thing that occurs to me, is that at first Kayla wanted someone (i.e. you) to talk to about poly, someone who knew about the poly, but who wasn't *in* the poly bubble. Then you joined the bubble, so then Kayla couldn't vent to you or get advice about the poly situation because you were now *in* the situation. Part of the situation. Well, that problem was solved by J+H showing up, as they're not part of the situation, and could thus be talked to about the situation. They're on the outside, so to speak, yet are not judging you. Well, now (seeing as they're not judging you), Kayla wants to get romantically involved with them ... which is all well and good per se, but it does mean there'll be another "just a friend" that can't be talked to (for feedback and advice) about the poly situation, because they'll be *in* the poly situation, and can no longer be an outside party giving objective advice.

Suppose J+H agree to get involved. Then a new (empty) spot will open in the "need someone we can talk to" area, as J+H no longer qualify, and as you could no longer qualify before that. Now let's suppose that someone else comes along whom Kayla can talk to about the poly situation. Once that someone else knows about the poly situation, will they also qualify to become romantically entwined with Kayla? and suppose Kayla then propositions the new person/s (and they accept)? Then Kayla will have quite a few poly partners (you, Joe, J, H, and the new person/s), but still no outside perspectives she can tap into. See where I'm going? I'm not saying that's an inevitable sequence of events, but Kayla does seem to have a tendency to get involved with the people she outs herself to, creating a neverending need for new outsiders she can talk to. I wonder if she has considered that aspect of the situation? If the cycle continues, I suppose she'll run out of time?

Just an observation.
Regards,
Kevin T.
Oh, and this also is a TERRIFYING point. Thanks. Thanks for that. :p
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
We are posting at the same time so apologies if things get lost.

Core correction: I'm not interested in opening up; I'm trying to figure out if J+H were approaching it as a "here's a couple we could get involved with", so that Kayla and I could have some significant conversations (with Joe and Samantha too) if we were as a group interested in that or would rather push it back to the "friends" side... I was trying to come at it from the other direction - "hey, we said we were poly, did you interpret that to mean we might be interested in opening it up further, or were you just cool with it? Because if the former, we have a lot of talking to do on our side first."

I think that is jumping ahead.

How about you deal with it if/when the other couple says they want to date you and Kayla? And you say just that.

If not interested? "Thanks, I'm flattered. But I'm not seeking new partners at this time."

If interested? "Thanks, I'm flattered, but at this time I'm in a closed poly group. I'd have to negotiate new agreements first so I can date you. I'm interested though. Can I check back?"

Keep it simpler on you and take it one thing at a time.

The only reason we wondered (or I should say, she wondered - I'm honestly not interested in opening up the polycue any farther)

Then why are you fretting on it? Anxiety? Something else? How about you worry about the things that are actually your concerns. And you let Kayla worry about her stuff? Your only responsibility is to make Kayla aware of where you stand. And if you don't want to open the polycule further?

Then it makes that dating J& H thing moot for you, doesn't it?

Galagirl
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Edit: Alternative wording, that might be better? - "Hey, look - we're all planning on some double dates and really looking forward to hanging out, but just to avoid any potential awkwardness or weirdness, especially if someone has a drink too many - are you all mono, or are you in a different form of relationship? We don't want to give you the wrong impression from our end."

How about "We're Kayla and Rickmanager. We're dating, and we're in an open/poly relationship and seeking friends to hang out with. How about you?"

And leave it to them to tell you whatever.

Galagirl
 
We are posting at the same time so apologies if things get lost.



I think that is jumping ahead.

How about you deal with it if/when the other couple says they want to date you and Kayla? And you say just that.

If not interested? "Thanks, I'm flattered. But I'm not seeking new partners at this time."

If interested? "Thanks, I'm flattered, but at this time I'm in a closed poly group. I'd have to negotiate new agreements first so I can date you. I'm interested though. Can I check back?"

Keep it simpler on you and take it one thing at a time.

Galagirl
It's all good.

I think the root of this is that I'm worried she might decide to have that conversation without considering all of us... which partially happened to introduce me to the group, although they at least suspected it might happen... which of course says a few things about the relationships as a whole. That would be painful for everyone, and... problematic. Maybe because it's how I got brought "in" to the group, and almost certainly a little bit that this is still somewhat new for me (and heck, for the rest of the group too), so we're still feeling our way into things.
 
How about "We're Kayla and Rickmanager. We're dating, and we're in an open/poly relationship and seeking friends to hang out with. How about you?"

And leave it to them to tell you whatever.

Galagirl
That's pretty much what we did. Well, she did, and then I got pulled into it as well when she told me she did.
I think Kayla has to figure out what she wants here.

If the main goal was to seek people to talk to outside the poly dating group to talk to about poly? I'd suggest online forums or finding poly groups with discussion group to participate in. Like... shop at the right store.

Just meeting some people at work doesn't mean they are automatically great at baseball, cooking, and talking about poly things. It's just some new people she met at work. They might be. They might not be. Time will tell.



I kinda wonder why YOU are the one asking this stuff. Rather than Kayla? She's the one wanting to be friends with them initially. Isn't it her problem?

If they ALREADY told her they are looking for friends? Why would they be "looking for" anything past friends anyway? No need to ask.

I wouldn't do it that way. I might be more "Tell me about you." And let them choose what to reveal about themselves at this time.

If Kayla is coming at them like you wrote? That feels awkward to me. And kinda like she is on the hunt for fresh meat and "friends" is just a way of getting the foot in the door.

And Kayla just met them at work? Then what? Make the coworker situation totally weird if she bungles this?

IMHO? Kayla may need to slow her roll some there. At this stage? It's just lust or initial attraction anyway on Kayla's end. Just because one feels something doesn't mean one HAS to pursue.

She doesn't have to go at it like "kid in a candy store" or something.

Esp when there's things to sort out with the poly group at home anyway with how much people wanted to be outted or not? And time management issues.

She could not get ahead or herself.

On your end?

Those may all be concerns you choose to bring up with her. Or you choose to say nothing and just step back and let her deal with her own stuff. Maybe she has to have it blow up before she realize she could think ahead more. People learn in different ways.

How you want to respond or react to your partner trying to make friends, date, etc. is on you. In that sense? You are still getting to know HER and her way of going.

It's not really your job to be her poly coach or the group "diplomat" making sure everyone gets the memo about her stuff.

I think you could expect the people to communicate their own things to the other people.

And you could communicate where YOU stand. Every person holding their own bag. Then you figure out what lines up or not.

Galagirl
So read your edit after replying to the first one. You make a couple of ... really really good points here I needed to hear from someone else.

First - what kayla wants. She's expressed a bit of a desire to get out and play some - she was monogamous through all of her 20's and most of her 30s, and she's expressed that she wishes she'd been able to play - but that wasn't what we had all agreed to. This was poly/polyfidelity, not open, so there's a touch of concern there - but was she serious, or had she just had a couple of drinks? If she's really looking for an open relationship, we need to have a serious conversation as a group - that wasn't quite what we agreed to originally, and I'm not honestly sure how open anyone else in the group is to that (including myself!). There's LOTS of risk and issues there - especially in a pandemic!

Second - Kayla is coming at them a little like that. At times. Not outright saying, mind you, but definitely encouraging them to always be around, hugs, reaching out, etc... she's a social butterfly like that for sure, but she's also a flirt, and flirting for sure with him (and her). (again, customers, not employees). You're right though - sudden lust or initial attraction doesn't mean anything, especially since they've given no form of concrete sign they're into anything like that (other than cute gal flirting with them).

Third - Personally, I agree that kayla needs to slow down some - and actually really talk to the rest of her partners... The time management is a problem, but that's her schedule - and the outing is ... another problem. One that I don't think Samantha and Joe are even aware of. Which is, in some ways, a landmine sitting right in their neighborhood (they live around where she works, and it's a small neighborhood).

This all seems to be an underlying pattern in some ways - she jumps first without asking the others involved. The new group of friends, outing people... all of that is a "woo!" not a "lets think this through." Which is a bit scary. All of this has happened VERY fast. We met them, and the next time we all sat down it was "boom, we're out of the closet, and now she has expressed an interest in bringing them in". Which is REALLY fast - at least for me. This was a week between those two events. A WEEK. That feels exceedingly fast for me... maybe it's not, but it feels extremely fast, and it's definitely off-putting on my side.

As for my reactions... if it's something we enter into slowly and with a lot of communication, I'm fine (my wife and her BF). If it's something stupid fast like this? I'm having trouble adapting that quickly. You're right - It's not my job to be the diplomat at all, it just feels like I'm the one that everyone talks to at least.

Maybe it's time we had a "family" meeting... this was supposed to be kitchen table poly. Somehow, over the last 2 months, it's become two couples, but that wasn't the goal, and we may need to reset a little bit.
 
We are posting at the same time so apologies if things get lost.



I think that is jumping ahead.

How about you deal with it if/when the other couple says they want to date you and Kayla? And you say just that.

If not interested? "Thanks, I'm flattered. But I'm not seeking new partners at this time."

If interested? "Thanks, I'm flattered, but at this time I'm in a closed poly group. I'd have to negotiate new agreements first so I can date you. I'm interested though. Can I check back?"

Keep it simpler on you and take it one thing at a time.



Then why are you fretting on it? Anxiety? Something else? How about you worry about the things that are actually your concerns. And you let Kayla worry about her stuff? Your only responsibility is to make Kayla aware of where you stand. And if you don't want to open the polycule further?

Then it makes that dating J& H thing moot for you, doesn't it?

Galagirl
Definitely anxiety. Because of the speed of all of this, and because I have a concern that the limited time we all have with her will get spread too thin. I know, that is ~my~ problem to handle, not hers - precisely - but it is a concern that I have. There's just... so little time right now. For anyone. Adding more people? Means less time even then. For any of us. Samantha and I are trying to plan things for the group, Joe and I are trying to plan things for the group... hell, Kayla and I are doing the same! And adding more people at this point makes that extremely hard - with exactly two days a week to possibly work with (including all evenings and mornings)... yeah.

One of the articles I read about this was "a meeting with everyone shouldn't take more than 2 hours, but every person we add increases it by an hour - we're at 6 hours now, which might be too much" - that's kinda what I think I'm feeling. There's a difference between planned time and stolen time - and as fun as swinging by her work to bring her lunch and get a quick peck is, adding more people means that's about all any of us would see of her. You're right though. I need to make my perspective on that clear, and let her make those decisions.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I think the root of this is that I'm worried she might decide to have that conversation without considering all of us.

So if she does that? You all deal with it.

Or you speak up (for your own self, not like group spokesman) before that happens and tell you you prefer she not have conversations with new people that are going to out YOU without your knowledge before hand. You don't like hearing AFTER "BTW, I told so and so I'm open/poly and since you my BF, I outted you too."

That's not kind or considerate of her partners she knows are in the closet.

First - what kayla wants. She's expressed a bit of a desire to get out and play some - she was monogamous through all of her 20's and most of her 30s, and she's expressed that she wishes she'd been able to play - but that wasn't what we had all agreed to.

Then she can ask to renegotiate agreements.

Or you can bow out of the poly network because Kayla says one thing (closed group) and does another (impulsiveness, acting like its an open group, outting people who don't want to be outted, doing risky behavior in pandemic, etc. ) Plus the time management concern -- spreading herself too thin across too many partners.

This was poly/polyfidelity, not open, so there's a touch of concern there - but was she serious, or had she just had a couple of drinks?

You can ask her if she's serious or not. I do not think having some drinks releases people from their agreements. They could just not agree in the first place and then they don't have to worry about keeping agreements. They can also watch their drinking so they don't get drunk and do off putting behaviors drunk.

and the outing is ... another problem. One that I don't think Samantha and Joe are even aware of. Which is, in some ways, a landmine sitting right in their neighborhood (they live around where she works, and it's a small neighborhood).

So who is responsible for making Samantha and Joe aware that Kayla outted herself to new people and in doing so may have outted other partners? Kayla, right?

You could tell Kayla "I don't like being outted like that. I think you could ask all your polycule partners where they stand on that." Then let her deal with her responsibilities to her other partners.

You don't have to be the "group manager" for all the things.

This all seems to be an underlying pattern in some ways - she jumps first without asking the others involved. The new group of friends, outing people... all of that is a "woo!" not a "lets think this through." Which is a bit scary.

Well, is this her personality or typical way of going?

If so? If you don't like it? Maybe now that you have been dating her longer you rethink how compatible you are with Kayla. You can request that she modify her behavior. She decides if she will or won't. Based on her answer? You decide if you stay with her or not.

It's part of the dating "get to know you" process. You haven't been with her all that long as a dating partner.

Some people don't make it to a first date. Some first dates? Don't make it to initially compatible enough to merit dating some more. Some that are initially compatible? More time might reveal they are not deeply compatible. If she just moves too fast, too impulsive, and not all that considerate of other people? Well, maybe her way of doing poly is not for you.

You could figure out what YOU want in a dating partner and then figure out if Kayla meets your personal standard or if she doesn't make the cut.

You're right - It's not my job to be the diplomat at all, it just feels like I'm the one that everyone talks to at least.

It's ok to talk to your polycule people to a reasonable degree. After all, there's calendar and things to coordinate. You seem to be friends.

But you could also tell people when you are full and don't have the spoons to be listening to their ______. And you could tell people to talk to each other directly when that needs to happen because you are not the "group messenger" for all. Maintain good personal boundaries.

Everyone could communicate their own stuff to the right persons rather than indirectly and hoping the message "eventually gets there."

Maybe it's time we had a "family" meeting... this was supposed to be kitchen table poly. Somehow, over the last 2 months, it's become two couples, but that wasn't the goal, and we may need to reset a little bit.

Well, maybe the original agreements sounded good "in theory" but the reality after 6 months "in practice" it shows different. If this is not KTP like you imagined but naturally wants to be more like 2 connected couples? Ok, fair enough.

Still have to talk about how people want to be outted or not.

And whether this is a Closed group and not more people in the polycule. Or some persons are Closed to dating more and some are Open to dating more partners. Or all are Open to dating more. Plus what is realistic and reasonable in pandemic.

Then talk about how much "group date stuff" is realistic. Might reduce the "group dates" to once a month or once a quarter or semester rather than weekly. Because after some trial and error, you find that people want to spend their time differently in the couplings, or have free time to themselves to be on their own, with friends, or dating new potentials. Not doing so much group stuff.

This is new for all of you, so there's going to be some trial and error while things shake out.

But if something just flat out goes against the grain for you or puts you at too much risk? You can always bow out of the polycule.

You are the one who decides what you are and are not willing to put up with.

One of the articles I read about this was "a meeting with everyone shouldn't take more than 2 hours, but every person we add increases it by an hour - we're at 6 hours now, which might be too much"

6 hours meetings? Even at work I don't run meetings longer than the once a month 60-90 min thing with agenda. My spouse does quick 10-15 weekly ones since they meet more often at his work.

Why are your polycule meetings so long they take up 6 hours?

Galagirl
 
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