Captain's Log

LoveBunny

Member
Ugh, having some sort of emotional crash after a few days/nights of very intense sex. I really let Sunny have me, I went deeply submissive, gave him every part of me however he wanted, fluid bonding, etc..It was totally consensual, of course, but now I'm feeling extra needy.

I was fine when I got home that first morning. I went to work, then saw some friends. Started to miss him that night, but he kept texting me sexy pics, so I just assured myself I'd see him soon. Yesterday, my mood slowly deteriorated. Last night I was an anxious, strung-out mess. I convinced myself he was off with his other lover, while I was sitting home craving him and missing him. I started to think I'm just sex for him. I tried to text him for some reassurance, only to find he was all drugged up on edibles and painkillers, half-asleep, his back bothering him. I couldn't get what I needed from him at that moment, so let it drop and cried myself to sleep.

I have to work from home, on-call, 3 nights a week. Sunny used to come over more and sleep at my place on those nights, but since he hurt his back, my bed gives him trouble, he needs to sleep sitting up some. So lately he just waits for me to be done with my night shifts and has me drive up to his place on my nights off. I understand (in my head) this isn't about his feelings for me, it's his back. However, my emotions are telling me he isn't making enough effort to spend time with me. Me always going to him and trying to be with him makes me feel like I'm the pursuer, a role that causes me anxiety.

He wants to come by today after he finishes a job in my area. I'm arguing with the voices in my head telling me he only sees me when it's convenient for him. I hate that my nervous system considers being in love a mortal danger. Just re-read POLYSECURE, especially focusing on parts about how to calm my anxiety around relationships. The woman from OKC I've been talking to resurfaced, but IDK, she doesn't really ask questions and rarely texts me first. Maybe she's just a bad texter and I should offer to videochat. Or, maybe let it drop.
 

icesong

Moderator
Sub drop is a *bitch* and is when I'm most likely to feel insecure too. I'm sorry you're riding that roller coaster.
 

LoveBunny

Member
Sub drop is a *bitch* and is when I'm most likely to feel insecure too. I'm sorry you're riding that roller coaster.
@icesong Isn't it??? Total withdrawl symptoms, and we didn't catch it because it came so many hours after any actual encounter, like a delayed reaction.

Sunny came over last night and this morning we talked a lot, trying to brainstorm and problem solve how I can feel safer and more comfortable with him having another lover.

One of the things the authors talked about in POLYSECURE I found very helpful: situational security vs. relational security (they might have used different words, but I think I'm getting it close to right.)

Situational = things like marriage, cohabitation, having kids, pets or a bank account together, etc.., the exchange of jewelry, granting of the title "boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancee, etc." In monogamous relationships, the promise of exclusivity is included among these. Of course, none of these situations guarantee you won't be neglected, abandoned, cheated on, etc.. But the entanglements, promises, titles are designed to make you feel more secure, to present you to the world as a couple.

Relational=how consistently your partner shows up for you. Traditions and rituals you have together. Memories you've made, milestones like first vacations together and holidays. Saying I love you. How your partner makes you feel when you're with them and when you're away from them. How deeply and honestly you talk. Touch, sex, affection. The keeping of one's word. The good stuff that means you AREN'T being abandoned, lied to, or neglected.

In poly relationships, you may not get as many of the situational securities. You definitely don't have the exclusivity, and, if you're a secondary or coprimary, or with someone who considers themselves a relationship anarchist, you might never get the title, marriage, kids or cohabitation with your partner, either. Which means you need to rely a lot more on the relational securities.

My current relationship, at almost 10 months in, is very relationally secure. Sunny shows up for me, says he loves me, and acts like it. We make time for each other on holidays, take trips together. He's caring and considerate, affectionate, passionate, and emotionally available.

We have some situational securities too, though he's told me he never wants to marry again, and of course, he is not exclusive to me. I have the titles of "girlfriend" and "primary/anchor partner." He's given me a necklace I wear. He has a closet at my house, I have a bathroom area at his. He keeps a vehicle at my house so I can drive back and forth to his place. We talk about future cohabitation.

Also, at one point, the book described my situation perfectly: Basically, if intellectually and philosophically you believe in poly, but when poly happens, your emotions revolt, you might be anxiously attached.
 

icesong

Moderator
Also, at one point, the book described my situation perfectly: Basically, if intellectually and philosophically you believe in poly, but when poly happens, your emotions revolt, you might be anxiously attached
haha I'm so very called out by this one (although truthfully I'm more disorganized attached than anything).
I have to say I've hit a point where the relational stuff makes me feel MORE secure than the situational stuff - having the situational with someone who isn't necessarily as good at the relational anymore (that's not entirely fair, it's complicated) just activates an "am I just an obligation?" complex like WHOA.
 

LoveBunny

Member
@icesong, I feel like a nice mixture of both structural and relational is the way to go, but I definitely feel what you're saying about how the structural stuff can make a relationship feel like an obligation. When Sunny first told me he was taking on another partner as we simultaneously upped our structural agreements, I felt as if I'd suddenly gone from exciting, sexy new girlfriend to "wifey," and worried that I'd go from being something he wanted to feeling like an obligation.

I worry about that less and less lately, as it seems he is still VERY sexually interested in me and seems to need our time together almost as much as I do.

Something strangely helpful happened in my last conversation with him. He felt like I needed to know/understand a bit more about his other relationship so I could stop making such a big deal about it in my head. I was skeptical that this would help. I felt sort of neutral about some of what he said, like that he didn't see his other relationship as a longterm one, the "spark" wasn't there for that, but that it's comfortable and "spiritual" and that when they hang out, they do things together I'd have no interest in doing. I asked him "like what?" And sure enough, he said microdosing and listening to electronic music--something I have zero interest in.

That part really helped me: Now, instead of picturing them making passionate love, I picture them all doped up and bopping their heads to annoying music, lol. It's not a scene I have any interest in being part of.
 

LoveBunny

Member
I don't like having a metamour. I say this not because I want or expect Sunny to dump his other lover, but because I want to name the thing. I dislike sharing the resources of Sunny's romantic/sexual energy with someone I don't personally care about. Intellectually, I understand those resources are Sunny's alone to bestow, but the neglected child in me wants it all.

But, if I HAVE to have a metamour, Mary (I will name her) is admittedly totally unobtrusive. I don't have to see her on on social media because she's not on there. She's content seeing Sunny a couple times a month and doesn't bug him if he doesn't respond to calls or texts for long stretches. She doesn't care about being with him on holidays. She's low risk for STIs (no other partners.) From what I understand, Mary is healing from some bad stuff and not in a place in her life where she wants an escalator relationship, but she still wants sex and affection. I get it, and I actually feel glad that Sunny can provide some healing for someone.

I'm warming up to the idea of Mary, but I still get anxious about future metamours who might be more demanding of Sunny's time and attention. He says he's "not accepting applications" for other partners right now, but he also doesn't see Mary as long term. He's optimistic that whatever happens, he and I are "soulmates" who will be together a while. I struggle to trust in his feelings for me, and I'm by nature more pessimistic. Men like him don't come along every day, I get why women surround him.

I don't feel jealous (though I am sometimes annoyed by) the many other females circling Sunny: his first wife who is mother of his children, his 2nd wife to whom he's still legally married for her citizenship, his straight female platonic bestie, or the woman he calls his "sister" a platonic soulmate. I already share him with many women. It's the sexual/romantic relationship that gets me territorial and possessive.

I'm re-reading threads about compersion here, glad to see I'm not the only one who doesn't easily feel it. I'm also reading a book about managing jealousy for poly people. In past relationships, I think I was more apt to drown jealousy out with tequila, or act out with another lover, or explode into a supernova of neediness. I really just want to be able to ride it out without it impacting my well being. I note I'm getting much better at it.

Sunny and I spent a lot of comfortable, quality time together this week. I worry that I'm not giving him enough space, though he doesn't complain. I have to make the effort to not just automatically invite him everywhere I go, to purposefully spend time doing things without him. I want him to actually miss me a little, which he won't if I'm always up his ass.

one minor glitch this week, non-poly-related, because he can be a "bungly" communicator (someone else used that expression on this forum, I forget who, but it's perfect.) He struggles to tell me sometimes what he wants or needs, often because he's scared of upsetting me, or else he's waffling on what he wants, or he can't quite access his feelings.... Then things get messed up. It's annoying, but we worked through this last little mishap fairly fast.

I have been messaging in depth with a guy on OkC, ready to move forward to videochat. He's perfect for what I'm looking for right now. He lives a few hours away, travels a lot, is in an LDR open relationship with just 1 other partner. New to poly, but doing his homework. He's very different from Sunny as far as I can tell, more political and intellectual, much younger, black. He seems to be applying for the role of stud, no daddy dom vibes. Absolutely lovely eyes and smile in his photos. He said he could see me once a week or so if we hit it off, doesn't mind the trip, has a lot of freedom in his job. I told him once or twice a month was probably the most I could do. I don't think Sunny wants to spend less time with me, I know I don't want less time with Sunny, and I still need time for myself and my friends.

I'm excited, but also scared. Will this screw up any equilibrium between me and Sunny? He's had me all to himself for 10 months now. Will he still feel the same when he doesn't?
 

LoveBunny

Member
I never saw "family" as a warm, safe place. I left home as soon as I was able. I haven't seen any member of my family in years.

For a while, I had a husband. I could have had a baby, once, but I chickened out because I felt too old and my marriage was already breaking. I have a handful of good friends, don't know if I'd call many of them "family." My life has always been sparsely peopled. Closeness, unless with a lover, often feels uncomfortable for me.

I keep wanting Sunny (or someone) to function as my family. Trouble is, Sunny already has a family. I don't mean anything to them, and why should I? I'm not the mother of Sunny's children. Sunny says at this time, he has no desire to ever get legally married again, so I'm not on track to be his wife. Do I even want to join his ready-made family? Or will I just always feel a little apart?

Sunny wants me to meet his mom tonight. She's staying with him all week, which means I won't be spending the night at his place at all until after new year, it's too awkward with his Mom sleeping on the couch. He says he'll stay at my place more, we'll see. Even if she likes me and we get along, iffy because she's a Trumpet, she's bound to be more invested in having a relationship with her grandkids' mom than with me.

Sunny was with me xmas eve and again xmas night, but of course he spent xmas day with his kids and ex. I was halfheartedly invited, but Sunny isn't keen on me meeting his ex yet (this has more to do with her than with me.) I doubt I would have relaxed in his ex's home anyway. I've only met his kids briefly, once, and I'm not used to kids in general. So I spent xmas day alone while he was with them, then he and I had our own late xmas dinner.

I'm shaky on knowing what's "normal" growth for a couple after 10 months. My relationships have usually moved (too) quickly, and I struggle to understand if spending 4 nights a week together and still living apart is a healthy pace. I think I would spend every night with Sunny if I could. He says he misses me nights we're not together (usually because I'm at home on call for work), but I don't think he means it bothers him, or he'd come over, you know? Recently I asked him if he saw us spending more time together in the near future. He said probably not until we move into together.

I remind myself that Sunny is not long out of his 2nd marriage, not even divorced yet. Of course he's in no rush to "settle down." He feels the need for all kinds of sexual exploration and experiences I've already had. I get it, but the idea of not having to date, not having to constantly negotiate relationship agreements, appeals to me. We're trying to meet each other where we're at. Some on this forum would say I should leave him, free him to be fully poly and me to find someone more monogam-ish. Maybe they're wayyyyy more secure than me, or maybe they've got bigger dating pools, or maybe they don't feel alone when they're not in a relationship. Good for them!

While we're sort of slowing down the escalator, I hope to turn my attention to dating. I finally heard Okcupid guy's voice on the phone. I'll call him Braun. Sexy baritone! I know we're not supposed to try to make things "even" in poly relationships, but having someone I'm excited to meet takes some sting out of knowing Sunny has another lover. Sunny thinks it's "trying to force things" that I'm on dating sites actively seeking a secondary, he thinks I should just be open to it and wait for it to organically show up in my life, like it did for him and his current arrangement. But I'm not laid back type B like Sunny. If I want something, I go out and try to get it.
 

icesong

Moderator
Sunny thinks it's "trying to force things" that I'm on dating sites actively seeking a secondary, he thinks I should just be open to it and wait for it to organically show up in my life, like it did for him and his current arrangement. But I'm not laid back type B like Sunny. If I want something, I go out and try to get it.
I think people who laud “organically show up” arrangements must meet a LOT more new people in their life than I ever have. If I wanted to start a relationship with someone I already knew? I would... and I don’t. ;-) So if I want new relationships then dating sites are the best place for them.
 

LoveBunny

Member
@icesong, Yeah, the chances of meeting someone "organically" right now seem negligible during Covid. Anyone with half a brain isn't going to parties, events, etc.. Lately, my world has narrowed down to a bubble of very close friends, and we keep to ourselves. I don't see that changing in the very near future.

So how do I deal with the fact that Sunny and I have a disparity in the amount of time we want to spend together? The time we DO spend together is always quality, even if we're not doing anything special, and I love and appreciate that. Sunny is--I'd like to say "content," but I suspect the truth is "maxed out," at 4 nights a week with a me. I suppose given that fact that we haven't been together even a year, that's reasonable. He says he sees us living together someday, but I have a hard time picturing it if he gets stressed out after several nights in a row. I suppose it's different when you live together, you learn to spend time apart while together.

I keep coming back to the harsh reality that my IDEAL relationship is with someone who wants to be with me pretty much every night, assuming that's how often I want to be with them. Is that a want or a need? Am I willing to compromise that to be with Sunny, so that Sunny can maintain multiple relationships, plus enough time for his kids and himself?

Would it work if I had another partner to sleep with some nights? At the moment, Sunny and I have a no overnights rule (exceptions under extreme circumstances.) I wanted this. I hate sleeping alone, while Sunny likes having some nights alone. I am afraid him wanting nights with someone else will take away from him wanting nights with me. I suppose, if I start wanting overnights with someone else, I'd have to lift that rule for both us. Would this backfire and mean I'd get even less nights with Sunny? More importantly, how do I stop doing this damn tally/inventory thing, constantly measuring how much time and energy he gives me? It's not helpful. I guess just knowing he loves me is supposed to be enough, even if we're sitting in separate houses (a 20 minute drive away) sending goodnight texts when I'd rather be in his arms. Or even if he's in someone else's arms while I'm alone.

The days just before NYE got stressful. Sunny's mom was staying with him, I was sick (allergies not Covid, got tested) and working a lot. I met his mother, but was disappointed to learn that he'd told her about Mary too (though he didn't introduce them.) His mom is conservative and religious, and it's cool that he's close enough to her to admit he's poly, it's not like I think he should hide who he is. But I'm struggling with the feeling that Sunny is more excited about/invested in having multiple relationships than he is excited about/invested in his relationship with me.

Then, he neglected to tell me what weeknight he wanted to spend with me (freaking "bungly" communication). Turned out I wasn't feeling well that night and was expecting covid test results the next day, so we decided he shouldn't come but he got all agitated, so I said "just come tomorrow night," but he had plans with Mary, so we lost a weeknight together. This was the first time I KNEW exactly when he was on a date with her. It was hard to swallow, but of course at some point there was bound to be a schedule conflict. I said a few sharp words at the moment, but quickly apologized, nothing too dramatic. I left him alone to his date, and the next night (NYE) we made nice and spent a lovely several nights in a row together.

Now, he's complaining that he's feeling stressed as a "hinge." He's hinted his other relationship might not be going great, didn't say why. He said something recently about having "seen her at her worse." But I don't want to hear about it. I understand that in the true spirit of poly, I'm supposed to give some kind of shit about my "metamour," but I honestly don't care if Mary's needs are getting met by him, or his by her. Not my problem. I care about his relationships to his children, his pets, but not his other lover. Maybe I should meet her, maybe then I'd care about her? Idk if any of us are ready for that. He told me a while back she doesn't like to hear about me, either.

I don't like feeling that I need to apologize for or defend the amount of time and energy I want from a partner. We can compromise and negotiate, but at the end of the day I wonder if my desire for closeness and Sunny's for autonomy are just too far apart.

In other news, I had my first long videochat with Braun, and he is VERY good looking and smart in ways completely different from me. He's mathematical and has business sense, while I'm creative and well read. He's also nobody I'd consider for a primary relationship I don't think. He's 12 years younger, lives several hours away, and more importantly, a workaholic on par with my ex husband. At best, I think, we can have a sexy, fun, interesting casual relationship. We're talking about him coming here to meet me in a couple of weeks.

Is this a life that will work for me, putting together multiple part-time relationships instead of seeking one full time partner? I've tried it both ways in the past, and am learning much of it has to do, either way, with choosing the right person. I definitely feel like the quality of my partners is improving. Sunny, newbie mistakes aside, makes a good hinge, he's got the right mindset and temperament for it. I hate to think HE may have chosen the wrong partner (me) for this undertaking. I can't believe how monogam-ish I am being about him!! Where's the "cool girl" who used to be the center of the orgy??

Sunny doesn't seem to think we're wrong for each other. He insists he's in this with me until I sit him down and tell him I'm done and want out. It does calm me to think if I truly have years to spend with this guy, countless days and nights, I don't need to focus on how many nights a week we spend together.
 

LoveBunny

Member
Sunny proposed a weekly schedule, offering 3 nights in a row of designated sleepovers (mostly at his place, all on nights I'm not on call for work.) He wants Sun and Mon nights for his own "self-care," in other words I should expect not to see him. One of those nights I'm on call and can't go anywhere anyway, but Sundays I'm off. The other 2 weekday nights that I'm on call for work are "maybe he'll come over and hang with me, maybe not" nights.

His reason for doing this, presumably, I told him I thought I'd do better on nights apart if I know when we next have a night together. Plus, I can plan accordingly if I know ahead of time I'm spending a night alone I can makes sure to do nice things for myself, get food I like, save a movie I want to watch or plan time with friends if I'm off, and so on.

My first reaction to his schedule was disappointment that he only wants to be with me 3 or 4 nights a week. He said he thought it would work out to more like 4 or 5. My 2nd reaction came from the fact that on Sundays, Sunny likes to go listen to music or boat with friends, and it sounds like I'm excluded from that. I expressed hurt that "self care" felt like it was about doing things without ME, specifically--not about him getting the alone time he always claims he needs. I guess he must see Mary, primarily, on Sundays or Mondays, or maybe Tues or Wednesdays. He replied, snippy, that "It shouldn't matter to me" what he does when he's not with me. It's his time to be "autonomous" (a word I taught him.)

Perhaps I "shouldn't" care. But I felt alarmed that my boyfriend schedules days at a time to not participate in our relationship. Now, I'm trying to reframe it as he's promising me a certain amount of assured togetherness. He's expressed frustration that I seem to be keeping a tally of our nights together instead of just enjoying the quality of our time. I have to remember he doesn't see sleeping together as necessarily "quality time" like I do. It's just not as important to him.

I'm not negotiating for more time or different nights. He made clear he already felt he was "compromising" in that he'd rather be more spontaneous. Of course we agreed this wasn't set in stone, could change according to things we want or need to do, together or apart, any given week.

I find myself feeling as if I don't want to try so hard with Sunny anymore. It's like my flow of energy to him is starting to slow or stop, knowing we're probably not going up the escalator any further for a while. I think I'm coming off of NRE as we reach our 11th month together, I feel very "it is what it is" and not as enthusiastic about him as I was before. I'm sad that this doesn't seem like it's going to be as close a relationship as I long for, but there's still many good things about it.

I don't even know if I should say anything. Last night Sunny expressed to me how happy he is, and I hate to burst his bubble and fear he'll break up with me. No man wants to be around a woman who isn't happy with him. I feel I "should" be appreciative of what he DOES give me instead of worrying about what he does not, but I struggle to get there. Does our happiness gap mean I'm making too many compromises for Sunny's benefit, or is it just because he's a happier person in general?

Oh, and I seem to be starting menopause. For the first time in my life, I didn't have a period this month. I can't be preggo, Sunny's fixed. Is that why I feel so blah lately?

Braun says he can't come meet me for another couple weeks, he's having baby mama drama. That's fine. Gives me a little more time to get to know him via videochat and text. So far, I've noticed he takes a frustratingly long time to answer messages, and his looks and voice definitely stir my lust.
 

LoveBunny

Member
My period finally came after skipping a month, it was a doozy. My boyfriend/anchor Sunny and I have been aware for a while that I experience a great deal of relationship dissatisfaction around my period. Like clockwork, I break down every 25 days.

Relationship anxiety that I’ve been trying to work through on my own becomes unmanageable in the hormone whirlpool. All the neglect of my childhood and my former marriage, the rejection in my same-sex romances, all my loneliness and desperation to be loved drowns me, and I force Sunny into long, searing talks to try to get what I need. Never fights, Sunny and I never argue in almost a year of dating. No one raises voices, walks out or says cruel things. But we do seem to have the same conversation on a loop, concerning two factors:

1) I wish for Sunny’s undivided time and attention, while he’s currently a dedicated polyamorist with a secondary partner who is important to him.

2) There’s a disparity in the amount of time and energy we want to spend together as a couple vs. autonomously.

The poly thing is kind of zero sum. We are or we aren’t. We can and have made agreements to keep a bubble of hierarchy around our primary relationship status, but ultimately, I’m sacrificing my ideal relationship structure, where sexual/emotional energy flows between two people, fairly undiluted. Sunny doesn’t feel at this time he’s sacrificing much by adhering to our hierarchical agreements, so I’m the only one feeling compromised in that sense.

I acknowledge I might feel more joyful about poly if/when I get my own secondary, if things move forward between Braun and I (tentative plans are for him to come here in 2 weeks) or especially if I met some rocking woman to date so I could fully express my bisexuality in the same way Sunny gets to express his polyness. Sunny wonders if I might be happier being monogam-ish to him if that’s my true nature, but I figure I have more love, energy and time to give to a relationship, and Sunny doesn’t want it, so...

Intellectually, I believe in polyamory as both a lifestyle choice and an orientation. And yes, I’m pretty sure Sunny will choose poly over me, or if he didn’t, he’d resent the fuck out of me. I understand that this is a vital part of Sunny’s personal growth, and that he cares about his other relationship.

I’ve been where he is, fresh out of an unsatisfying monogamous marriage, feeling the NEED for polyamory as a way to connect to others (and myself) on an authentic level. Now I’ve swung more monogamish and would prefer to use my relationship tools differently. But I don’t dare give Sunny an ultimatum, given he may well be poly as an orientation rather than a lifestyle choice. Though of course, if one can BE bisexual without actually having sex with more than one gender, one can still BE polyamorous without having multiple relationships. But is it fair to ask someone to NOT do their true lovestyle?

Then, there’s the gap between how much coupleness we’re each comfortable with. This issue broke us down on this particular menstrual cycle. I’m feeling that since I’m sacrificing more on issue 1, Sunny should sacrifice more on issue 2. Right now, he’s spending a little more time together than his ideal, I’m spending a little less. Plus, he sometimes makes decisions unilaterally that I feel we should make together. We’re both pushing at the edges of our comfort level for togetherness vs. autonomy.

Sunny’s way of dealing with both issues: change very little, if anything, about his behavior and just hope something internally shifts for one of us. Mine: talk it to death. Neither approach covers much ground. Are we having a rough patch, growing pains, or are these differences irreconcilable?

I can see the work I need to do on my end, namely fill my life with more social and creative stuff, more travel, so I don’t feel his absence so keenly. Build up my support system so I don’t feel so lonely. These aren’t easy things to accomplish at my age during a pandemic. Sunny seems focused on meticulous time management to keep all his balls in the air (teehee balls in the air.) But MORE time with me is not on the table, at least unless we decide to cohabitate. He’s just not interested in making the effort to engage with me more than 3 or 4 evenings and occasional days.

On a tangent, Sunny confessed to me that he started sleeping with Mary before he actually told me about her, right before we went away on our six-month anniversary trip. I DO NOT LIKE THIS. I understand he didn’t want to ruin our vacation, and he wasn’t sure she was going to stick around. But this may have violated the admittedly vague agreement we had at the time, which did not explicitly say we were sexually exclusive though I assumed we were, but was along the lines of “If someone comes along we want to date, we’ll discuss it.”

Since that was almost 6 months ago, I don’t know if it's worth discussing now. Not sure if I would’ve done anything differently had I known, like not gone on that bonding trip thinking it was just me and him together forever. But it’s a good example of how I feel Sunny makes decisions to benefit himself about things that affect us both.

I see us both losing optimism about my ability to stay in this relationship. It sucks, because we genuinely enjoy each other, especially sexually and as companions. We solve *most* problems very well through communication and compromise. We have a similar vision for the lives we want in many ways. Sunny cried all night at the thought of an imminent break up. But he also hasn’t offered to change anything, really.

I’m fighting the urge to completely disengage, reminding myself of all the ways he makes me feel good. I don't want to do something I'll regret later. He’s been my best relationship since my marriage broke up, and my longest, and I'm so sick of having my relationships end. I'm tired of having to walk away from people I care about.

I’m a little lost on how to know how much of what’s missing in my life is between US, how much can be fixed inside ME.
 
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LoveBunny

Member
I've noticed I only write here when I'm feeling bad about poly, using this journal as a way to try to get the jealousy and insecurity out of my system and process. I never post when I'm feeling ok. Last several days, I've felt fine, maybe even hopeful. Sunny and I had a nice weekend together NOT talking about poly stuff, feeling very comfortable together. My anxiety seems to be relatively low. This, despite the fact that my own dating life is going nowhere fast. Braun pushed back his potential visit even further, and no one else I'm talking to seems very promising. I'm trying to remember to keep my focus on things not poly, getting back into a project, arranging time with friends more where possible.

I sat down to talk to a couple I'm friends with where the man is bi and open, his fiance is straight and monogamous to him. I was hoping they'd have tips to help me manage my jealousy and envy, but I found out she controls hers through a VERY strict set of rules that he can look at and touch men, but no sex or dating, and she made it clear if he ever fucked another woman, she'd walk. She's always right in the next room when he's with guys, then they discuss what he did in detail. Her fiance is ok with this because he doesn't have romantic feelings for men, preferring only casual or anonymous interactions with them. Though Sunny and I seem to have settled on some form of hierarchical poly, our rules aren't nearly as restrictive or swinger-ish, so I didn't find talking to them as helpful as I'd hoped.

I trust Sunny mostly, despite the fact that he's made some mistakes that have pissed me off. He promised early on he'd never neglect me, and he hasn't. I do wonder if my diminishing anxiety is just some form of giving up. I truly have no desire to give Sunny as much of me as I *think* I would if we were mono. I just don't see the point of going "all in" with someone who wants to purposefully split his time and energy between more than one partner, presumably forever. I seem to feel better when I stop orienting or striving towards him, just match his level of relationship energy, which is lower than mine. Lowered expectations equal greater satisfaction.
 

LoveBunny

Member
And just like that, I'm back on the rollercoaster.

Sunny cancelled coming over last night because, apparently, the night before, Mary gave him the "I just wanna be friends" speech and he's hurting over it.

Of course I feel bad for him. I can think of a couple times when I've been in this situation, breaking up with one partner while trying to be present with another.

When Coco and I were falling apart, and I was losing my shit over it, I remember one night on a date with my husband, my phone kept blowing up and I knew I should put it away and focus on Arlo but I just couldn't. For weeks after that break up, I could barely concentrate on anything, was ruminating, depressed, and that was only a 5 month long relationship, not as long as Sunny's been with Mary. That was a brutal breakup (I suspect Coco was NPD) there was no "let's be friends." I remember Arlo at one point taking me by the hands, telling me to sit down, he was worried and I needed to get myself together. I was far from being the partner my husband deserved at that point.

A few years later, when I broke up with my sort-of primary Hal, I had just started seeing Melinda. I asked her for a few days to grieve and process, then I took a weekend trip with her and had a blast. I was pretty much already emotionally done with Hal at that point, there was little to process. He was posting sad stuff on social media and texting me at 3am for a couple weeks afterwards, but I moved on immediately.

This relationship run-off is exactly while I'm feeling so turned off by poly. I understand why Sunny wants to not see me for a minute so as not to bring his breakup energy into our relationship, but meanwhile, I'm without a partner. Knowing that the last two nights while I was missing him and wishing he'd come over, he was too busy pining over another woman to think of me much, if at all.....ugh. And Mary was the devil-I-know. What about the next woman? How will that relationship affect me?

Sunny has told me he doesn't think he'd do well as the dead-end of a V. Who isn't more comfortable being a hinge? Let's be honest, that's the most satisfying position to be in if you're poly. So what now if I move forward with Braun? Will Sunny disengage?

I don't want to kick Sunny while he's down, but I also don't want to feel like this anymore. I feel absolutely paralyzed.
 

LoveBunny

Member
In the wake of Mary's dumping Sunny (I have now learned that she had a stripper body, he felt like a bit of teacher to her, and she was very "sweet,") Sunny and I had our first real fight, I guess if you can even call it that. We actually both walked away from each other.

It was because I felt it was time to renegotiate our agreements, and he wanted more time to process his breakup. I agree I was being impatient, but I've been edgy for months now. We both blew a fuse.

The rift between us lasted a couple of days, but then we got together and worked it out. I confessed to Sunny that I really struggled with jealousy knowing how much he'd wanted Mary, and that she was monogamous to him. I'd tried ENM his way because I knew he was going to date her no matter what, and I didn't want to lose him, but now that there's nobody in the picture for him, my sincere wish was for a relationship that's a little less "polyamorous," a little more "non-monogamous." I feel I can be comfortable in that. After some consideration, Sunny thinks he can be happy seeking out sexual variety without the emotional complications of being a boyfriend to 2 women.

Simply:

1) No secondary partners who are monogamous (and using you as a stopgap until they're ready for a real relationship.) Prefer lovers who have their own primary/anchors and/or, live in a different city.
2) We'll do some swinger-type stuff together/and separately. Emphasis on relationships and encounters that are fun and casual.
3) I will be supportive of his exploration
4) He'll take at least a month off from sex outside our relationship while he processes his breakup, and I build up my confidence.

We both it's not possible to control feelings for another person, but some safety features in place might at least help everyone keep their feet on the ground. I feel like of course a man is going to fall harder for a woman whose sexual, romantic energy is flowing only to him, and of course that woman will eventually leave him if she's monogamous and he can't give her all of him. I'm cautiously optimistic. This feels more like we're doing this together, it's not just Sunny telling me how it's going to be.
 

Evie

Moderator
and of course that woman will eventually leave him if she's monogamous and he can't give her all of him.

Sorry, but this is not an "of course".
Iris and Puck have been together 12 years and don't plan on changing that at all. She's mono, he's poly. They will "grow old together" just as much as he will with his wife, they just don't live together.
 

LoveBunny

Member
Hi @Evie I'm sure you're right, it CAN happen. Sunny knew Mary ultimately wanted a full-time partner, I'm not sure if she wanted it from Sunny or not.

In honestly, I'm not willing, right now, to give Sunny the time and space it would require for him to maintain another primary-type relationship. I think I would have to leave him. My sincere wish for myself is a relationship so juicy and full, there's no way we'd want to spend lots of time apart. I don't want monogamy to happen as a default, but would welcome it if it sincerely flowed that way between me and my partner.

I'm reading a post on this forum, someone who already has 2 lovers and is contemplating dating yet another, and his secondary is upset, and people on this board are suggesting he break up with her so he can date as many people as he likes. I know this is a pro-poly forum, that's why I'm here, to get that perspective, but I feel bad for the lover. The idea seems to be polyguy must not compromise his "freedom." But unless he somehow has lots of spare time, and/or his partners wants very little, his time and attention is bound to come at the expense of something else, and inevitably yes, it would most likely impact his already established relationships. Instead of acknowledging relationships sometimes require sacrifice, and respecting and enjoying the relationships he has, people think he should dump his established lover to pursue a new one? I don't get it.

Personally, when I'm into someone, I want to spend a lot of time with them, I'm downright greedy for them. Sunny and I talk for hours, make love for hours, and I love just watching t.v. with him, or going out with him. I know we're still in the early stages, I might not find him so fascinating 10 years from now, but right now I can't imagine wanting to be with him less often.

I'm mystified by how anyone maintains 3 romantic relationships, plus their jobs, kids, friends and hobbies, unless all parties involved are ok with limited time and attention. Sure, I maintained handfuls of lovers, kitchen table style, at once in my 20's, but I also didn't get enough sleep or self-care, and by the time I finally got out of that polycule, I was wrecked physically, spiritually, emotionally.

It's funny how much I'm realizing I'm not an ideal candidate for poly, or monogamy for that matter, though I've lived both at various times throughout my life. There's some way in which I want both relationship safety and sexual freedom. Maybe I've finally worked out my personal style of non-monogamy, which hopefully can work with whatever Sunny's turns out to be, he's still new to all this and working it out for himself. He definitely sees himself as wanting something hierarchical, and thinks he polysaturates easily. We've determined we probably don't want to "share" a woman (too complicated.) Beyond that, it's uncertain. He says he's happy with we've landed in our agreements at the moment.

He's been all over me last few days, and I love it. He told me last night how he's super hot for me lately, and so excited at the idea of us swinging, and I cynically wondered if his renewed passion is because now Ms. Stripper-body is gone and I no longer suffer in comparison. More likely, I think now that I'm feeling less anxious, I'm emboldened to try new things, and am letting my feelings flow without holding back. I really want to be able to maintain this open, sexy attitude when we're actually being non-monogamous. I'm doing more self-help reading about calming relationship anxiety, and hopefully the longer Sunny and I make it work, the less I'll feel insecure and anxious when he does fuck or date other women.

I haven't heard from Braun in a minute, not sure if he's still coming next week I will ask him today. It's also Sunny and my one year anniversary we met on Valentine's day. I reworked my okc profile to read "bisexual" instead of "queer," said I was open to casual encounters if the vibe was right and stars aligned, and suddenly a lot more men are talking to me, lol. Still no women, boo.
 

icesong

Moderator
I'm reading a post on this forum, someone who already has 2 lovers and is contemplating dating yet another, and his secondary is upset, and people on this board are suggesting he break up with her so he can date as many people as he likes. I know this is a pro-poly forum, that's why I'm here, to get that perspective, but I feel bad for the lover. The idea seems to be polyguy must not compromise his "freedom." But unless he somehow has lots of spare time, and/or his partners wants very little, his time and attention is bound to come at the expense of something else, and inevitably yes, it would most likely impact his already established relationships. Instead of acknowledging relationships sometimes require sacrifice, and respecting and enjoying the relationships he has, people think he should dump his established lover to pursue a new one? I don't get it.

I think, at least my take on that particular thread, that the root of the issue was more figuring out whether that sacrifice is something that dude actually *wants*. I personally don't see that as being any morally different than the situation where a couple hits the point where they've been on the fence about children for years and then when the time comes one person still wants them and one person absolutely does not - the person who wants them has to decide whether to sacrifice potential family to stay with their partner who wants to be childfree.

But the bigger takeaway, I think, is more one of... at least for me... it's ok to ask for something you need, it's ok for not meeting that need to be a dealbreaker in your relationship, but it's not (and you're not, from what you've written, doing this, just a philosophical musing) ok to *demand* that need to be met as though you have the right to dictate someone else's life because you're in a relationship with them.

Like, taking it outside the realm of sex for a moment, if I was to suddenly in post-Covid world start going to medieval events 2-3 weekends a month and constantly work on projects for them, etc, or if I was to go back to playing a MMORPG for 20+ hours a week, both would impact the time I could spend with Knight and Artist. They would have every right to say "hey, this isn't ok, I need more from our relationship than this". They would have every right to, if I ignored that, to say "ok, if you keep ignoring my needs this relationship will end". They would have the right to carry through with that and end the relationship. They would not, however, have the right to *demand that I stop because they said so*. Yes, it's a semantic difference, but IMO philosophically important. And I think that at least the way the OP in the other thread described it, that last option is what his partner is doing.
 

LoveBunny

Member
Like, taking it outside the realm of sex for a moment, if I was to suddenly in post-Covid world start going to medieval events 2-3 weekends a month and constantly work on projects for them, etc, or if I was to go back to playing a MMORPG for 20+ hours a week, both would impact the time I could spend with Knight and Artist. They would have every right to say "hey, this isn't ok, I need more from our relationship than this". They would have every right to, if I ignored that, to say "ok, if you keep ignoring my needs this relationship will end". They would have the right to carry through with that and end the relationship. They would not, however, have the right to *demand that I stop because they said so*. Yes, it's a semantic difference, but IMO philosophically important. And I think that at least the way the OP in the other thread described it, that last option is what his partner is doing.
Agreed that the main issue with the number of lovers is not, strictly speaking, the number of lovers, but the fact that there's only so much time and energy one can divide between partners. But yes, it could be about anything. My ex husband was monogamous to me, but he was a workaholic. He worked 60+ hours a week, went out with work buddies, and had no energy left for me when he came home. Same thing. I think the poster's lover feels, perhaps rightly so, that the relationship won't have enough juice left if there's more squeeze from the hinge from a 3rd party.

I don't see anything wrong with a couple (or triad or whatever) deciding these things as a couple. Not so much she tells him no and he obeys, but together they decide if it is going to work for both of them if he dates a 3rd person at this time. Of, that depends on if he's willing to decide his life that way or not. It's an interesting thread for sure.
 

HisPet

Member
Thank you so much for your writing, I could have written some of your exact words. It helps me know what I'm feeling when I read what you've written.
 

LittleWords

New member
I can relate on multiple levels to the thoughts and feelings you're conveying in your writing.
Some days are harder than others.
Sometimes I try to tell myself to let go of this tight grip I have on the hurt and anger and maybe just accept "it is what it is" when compromising and reasoning feels futile. Kind of like a beginner yoga student scrunching away from the pain from a particular pose but if I just will myself to relax my muscles and embrace the pain/stretch, then the discomfort will lessen. It works. Occasionally. But not sure if it's always a healthy coping mechanism.
Thank you for your writing. I don't feel so alone knowing these feelings are also out there. Although I am sorry it's been a struggle. Sending hugs your way, @LoveBunny
 
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