Completely new and open

Openeyes

New member
While I've questioned my ideas and feelings related to love for a very long time, I only recently began exploring the concept of polyamory for myself as a lifestyle choice. This forum is the first resource I've found that people seem to share freely and actually state their challenges and motivations, but I don't really even know where to start. Aside from talking very openly with the man I recently began seeing, I don't have friends who live any type of poly lifestyle to ask questions of or to share my own feelings with right now. He and I are incredibly open, but his is not the only perspective I'd like to have as I learn what I want and need from relationships and what I can truly offer.

To frame it a bit: he is in a well established relationship with a woman he shares a home with, and she is very open and welcoming. My newly forming relationship is separate from hers although we intend to meet and I hope to become close friends with her. Any advice as I navigate this totally unfamiliar territory is appreciated. I don't want to navigate alone or blindly
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Communication, communication, communication.

So many of the questions we get here are from people who are trying to read their partners' minds and guessing at reasons why someone is doing something. So often we reply, "that's something you really need to ask your partner" (and be able to truly hear the answer.)

Become familiar with the search function here, it will lead you to a heap of resources, and people are likely to provide some directly, too.

Also, if you haven't considered your personal boundaries for a while, now's a good time. Where are your limits as to how you will allow yourself to be treated by another? What are your red flags and at what point would you walk away so you don't get stuck in a detrimental situation? We all hope any new relationship is going to go well and be a long one, but at what point do you say, No, enough is enough, I'm not thriving in this?

Can you communicate when someone starts to push those boundaries so that they can learn how to treat you like you want to be treated?

With polyamory, people have the chance to really design their relationship style rather than adhering to the mono default settings that we subconsciously absorb as we're growing up. But to design something that works for all, we're back to communication.

Feel free to ask us heaps of questions, and to share what you learn with others. Just please try not to ask us what your partner or metamour (his nesting partner) are thinking. We really won't know. 😋
 
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Openeyes

New member
Communication, communication, communication.

So many of the questions we get here are from people who are trying to read their partners' minds and guessing at reasons why someone is doing something. So often we reply, "that's something you really need to ask your partner" (and be able to truly hear the answer.)

Become familiar with the search function here, it will lead you to a heap of resources, and people are likely to provide some directly, too.

Also, if you haven't considered your personal boundaries for a while, now's a good time. Where are your limits as to how you will allow yourself to be treated by another? What are your red flags and at what point would you walk away so you don't get stuck in a detrimental situation? We all hope any new relationship is going to go well and be a long one, but at what point do you say, No, enough is enough, I'm not thriving in this?

Can you communicate when someone starts to push those boundaries so that they can learn how to treat you like you want to be treated?

With polyamory, people have the chance to really design their relationship style rather than adhering to the mono default settings that we subconsciously absorb as we're growing up. But to design something that works for all, we're back to communication.

Feel free to ask us heaps of questions, and to share what you learn with others. Just please try not to ask us what your partner or metamour (his nesting partner) are thinking. We really won't know. 😋
Thanks, Evie. I've spent the past year and a half redefining my own boundaries, and is part of what led me to this decision. There are certain aspects I'm so unfamiliar with that I am paying close attention to how I feel about them and trying to sort through whether it's the sense of conditioning I've felt in the past toward monogamy or if it truly is something I have concern over and need to create new boundaries. The terms are all new and the way he uses them is somewhat different than the definitions I've read, or how they may be commonly applied and so we talk a lot about that confusion. But I recognize if I do pursue another partner eventually, I will experience new dynamics as he won't be exactly the same as this man or this metamour. I'm learning a lot about myself as well as them both.

One of the things I'm sorting through is how certain things are conceptually even possible. For instance, is it truly possible to view two partners as primaries if one is a nesting partner and the other is not? I'm not questioning the possibility of deeply loving both, but I guess the logistics around it.

He's very open and communicative and engages well in all my interviews lol. I trust his excitement toward me and am enjoying the exploration. I just have so many questions and don't want all my information to come from one source. As it relates to how HE feels, I have no hesitation in asking him directly. He's been incredibly open. But I don't want my perspective to just be a copy of his.... I want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly so I can begin forming more fully my own unique perspective.

Also, while I'm not currently interested in pursuing another partner until I better understand my own feelings in this new circumstance, but eventually I will. Eventually, I will want to make a home with someone, too. That is not something he is seeking, as they are happy with their arrangement. But again... that raises the question before of how it's truly possible to both be seen as primaries if your life with one puts boundaries on your life with another.

Just sorting my way through. I've experienced an openness and joy with him that is so exciting and just want to keep evolving.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Greetings Openeyes,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

The bad news, about poly, is that it usually takes a lot of work. The good news, is that the work is usually well worth it. As Evie said communication is the first (and last) order of business, so you are doing the right thing by communicating generously with the man you are seeing.

Another part of the work is constantly researching what poly is and how it works. Interacting with the good people on this forum is an important part of that. You have been doing those things, so kudos, just keep doing them. Here are some more resources that you will want to check out:
There's a lot of leeway in what shape your poly may assume, and what feelings you may have in your polycule. Even if one partner lives with you and the other doesn't, you can still consider both partners to be primary to you, and your feelings will follow your intentions. Primariness isn't based on whether you live with someone, it's based on how important that person is to you, and what role they play in your life.

I hope that helps.
Sincerely,
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)

Notes:

There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

Please read through the guidelines if you haven't already.

Note: You needn't read every reply to your posts, especially if someone posts in a disagreeable way. Given the size and scope of the site it's hard not to run into the occasional disagreeable person. Please contact the mods if you do (or if you see any spam), and you can block the person if you want.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please private-message a mod and they'll do their best to help.

Welcome aboard!
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Welcome to polyamory and our little board.

Rather than answer your specific question about co-primaries, are you asking because your new partner believes he can have more than one primary, one he lives with and one he doesn't?

Would you like to be his, or someone else's primary?

For you, must a primary share your home? You say you'd like a nesting partner one day...

Here is my situation. I live with my partner Pixi, but over time, she has become more enmeshed with her other partner Malachi as well. She now spends about equal time between our 2 homes. He only lives about a 12 minute drive from our house.

I think if I were to have 2 primaries, he/she/they would also have to have their own place in which for me to split my time. Neither Pixi nor I want to share our house with any other of our partners. We like this to be our space. I have certainly hosted bfs here a lot, but usually they come when she's not here, or they don't spend the night when she's here, at least. It depends on the depth of our relationship. I could imagine some day buying a house with an attached apartment though, and having my bf life there. (Especially my newest bf, but we'll see how that goes... It's early days yet.)

Pixi also wishes we lived on the same street as Malachi, her bf. It can feel heart-wrenching to leave one beloved to go spend time with the other one!

There is no need to plan so far ahead for you, though, since you're just getting started on your big new adventure!
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Welcome.

The terms are all new and the way he uses them is somewhat different than the definitions I've read, or how they may be commonly applied and so we talk a lot about that confusion.

Glad you are talking to calibrate vocabulary and understand how you each use those words.

Just because someone says they are open or poly? Doesn't mean they practice it like you do or uses words like you do. So there needs to be some "getting to know you" time to assess compatibility. Not everyone you date will be a long haul runner. I think being realistic about that helps.

One of the things I'm sorting through is how certain things are conceptually even possible. For instance, is it truly possible to view two partners as primaries if one is a nesting partner and the other is not? I'm not questioning the possibility of deeply loving both, but I guess the logistics around it.

I've known couples who consider themselves primary or co-primary, but all live in separate homes.

And think about roomies... just because a roomie lives there in the home doesn't automatically make them a primary romantic partner, right?

I live with DH. If I had to list what we do that is "couple" and what we do that is "roomie" or "coparent" or "taking care of elderly seniors" I can tell you that I appreciate him helping with house chores and kids/elders but it suuuuure wouldn't count to me as "couple time" stuff. If I'm super honest? It's too easy to take it granted like "Oh, we're here all the time. We'll find time for couple stuff in there somewhere" but the reality is that we have to MAKE the time for couple stuff. Nesting or not, one has to MAKE the time for one's partners while also not spreading oneself too thin.

Maybe these help you in your talks. They are broken on the Opening Up website but available with wayback machine

In case they help you... all the sheets from the Opening Up Book for your talking with spouse.

Wayback Machine
Creating Authentic Relationships

Wayback Machine
Open Relationship Checklist

Wayback Machine
Reflecting on Change

Wayback Machine
Self Evaluation

These might also help.



HTH!
Galagirl
 
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Openeyes

New member
Thank you for your replies! I've been doing so much reading my head might explode, but it's incredibly freeing to recognize that people truly can approach love and relationship uniquely and in ways that work for them individually.

I realize the value of communication with this man, especially as he has an established life and plans with someone that affects how my own relationship with him develops.

I'm glad I found this site. It's helpful as I navigate new territory.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
It sounds like you are working hard to learn all about poly. I'm glad you're with us.
 

Openeyes

New member
Thanks! I've been trying to go through the resources you and others shared and just scroll through this site, in general.

He likes to tease me a little for my crazy imagination, but I've honestly never experienced this degree of open communication. I find that to be amazing.

I had long conversations with two friends yesterday, coincidentally. One has been pursuing me for a little while and I'd been putting off any honest discussion with him about escalating the friendship. He sort of pushed for anything that would give him hope of that and I told him very openly where I was in terms of my journey. He immediately attributed polyamory to sex and penis size. Unfortunately, I probably lost this friendship. On the other hand, my long best friend and I were talking about my new budding relationship. We've always been very open and he confessed he'd always felt this sort of pull toward me but didn't want to push it for a number of reasons. We talked a little about it and it may never come back up... or maybe at some point it will. It was nice to be more open about what this friendship means to me and to hear similar from him, without the pressure or expectation of it changing. My mind sort of reeled at how differently they both could respond, and how it shut one off completely and opened up the other.

For nown, I'm very happy with this man and how he's helping introduce me into this new lifestyle. I think I'm wired for love and emotional connection, not just sex, but can imagine that in a very different way now. And it's far less constraining than the rules of my past.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Yes, you are doing everything you need to do to learn about poly. Soon you will know everything you need to know, but keep on researching just the same. The concept of poly is quite simple, but the application is complex.

Those are interesting conversations you had with your two friends, it really shows how some relationships are perfect for poly, while others are, well, perfectly awful. Don't give up on the first one yet, he may just need some education.

The man you are currently partnered with sounds like a really great guy, sincere and open and always willing to share. I hope that relationship continues to deepen, and that you will eventually get the close friendship that you want with your metamour. You definitely seem to be an emotionally oriented person, which makes polyamory a perfect fit for you. Keep reading and posting here, and don't hesitate to ask any questions that arise.
 
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