Feeling guilty when looking to expand..

Hey board,

It has been awhile since i asked for help and I'm fighting jealousy, though who doesn't.

My long term gf is married, but she just moved back! We had a great reunion and caught up physically and romantically as soon as she could. We made plans to see each other pretty often in the future, including travel. He will catch up to her in a few months and they'll be a cheap flight away.

I failed pretty badly when she mentioned she wanted to have a one off purely physical encounter a few days ago. So badly she backed out to let me get my head on my shoulders. This is not okay because it isnt in our mutually agreed boundaries of what we're looking for (she has always said she has brief curiosities) and i dictated her life by my emotions. Im more poly fidelity but these things are pretty rare for her, 6 months to a year between them about.

This one hit me worse than when it happened before because after one night out during our reunion she had a bit of a nervous attack. I anticipated this, after 16 months apart the relief and care and lust was bound to pick one of us to creep up on in a storm. During the chat that followed she asked alot about when i start going out if i would still date her, if i still would like her if she got older, and things i easily said yes. im there for her. Then she asked if i would see her if she felt alone. I said yes and she was very happy about it.

So i got thrown for a loop here based on thr chat, and cracked open the jealousy stuff again and started working on my triggers and roots. When i asked her why this happened she said part of it was scheduling but she also just felt a little restless and the fact she is worried ill get married and dump her one day as to avoid feeling jealous. So i started to work on my jealousy as that i can control, especially as I'm more a polyfidelity individual and while this situation should be rare, if i want to keep dating her i need to get a handle on it. I very much plan this to keep going if i can get it to work.

After a few days I've come to realize that i put alot into my relationship validating who i am rather than being self secure. I also am going to talk at length what makes me unique to her, as she said these very rare side flings are purely lust and loses the sparkle pretty quickly. I think that learning why sex with me is different spiritually will help me validate my uniqueness.

A big piece of reassuarance is that she talks to me every day and while i was supposed to be a one off I'm unique and she has no desire for anyone else like me.

I spoke with her at length once i calmed down and tonight we're going to go over some more questions i have for her that i think will strengthen our bond. I also ran it past a trusted friend in person, who mentioned something my gf did - my physical needs aren't being met (and the gfs calendar for the last month with a global move and kids didn't allow for much aside from our visit). Both my friend and gf mentioned going out and respectfully bringing someone else home.

So i have a few questions for the board.

I feel weird venturing out, partly after a few years and a pandemic of critical intense work, but moreso i feel a worry about hurting my gf. She said she wants it to happen and is okay with me bringing someone home. She's anxious for that day and a little worried about her potential reaction, but also wants to see if it helps me get over her wishes for a quick anonymous fling. She also wants to face the "he went out monster" as she says it will help her see i still care for her and my priority for her won't change. Has anyone else felt trepidation when going out to meet people with thoughts to others in their relationship? I think it will help me get my needs met and demonstrate that we're both still priorities for each other, settling her worries I'll leave her.

I also am curious if any ENM people here have partners who "just have fun." I've realized in college i had that type of mentality, so it isn't entirely foreign, but as she said the energy with me never dies, it is like a new restaurant versus your favorite homemade meal with respect to them and me. But others rational has really helped me understand it. Is it just pure fun?

She and i have been chatting constantly even before this and agreed that a bit of the mystery dissipated. It isn't entirely bad and is a poly and mono problem. Any advice on how to keep things exciting?


And if anyone has any tips on surviving the first "plunge" like she is looking for, or conversations that they had with their partner that really helped, i would love to hear it. I've seen plenty of places saying this is a band aid problem and after ripping it off it isn't as bad as people thought, so if that is true i would love to know!

Thank you everyone!
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi tallbosguy,
Here's some links for fighting jealousy:
Of course, you must realize that not all jealousy is bad. Some jealousy is an internal warning system, advising you that you are being treated badly, and/or that the relationship you are in is a poor fit for you. Sometimes the best way to handle jealousy is to just listen to it.

I think you should go ahead and venture out.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
I remember your situation from last year. It seems like not much has changed. You still don't like that she has casual sex with others. She still worries that you'll leave her for a serious partner. You still aren't getting your needs met because your only relationship is with a married long-distance person. (And I didn't realize last year that she & her husband have kids! I can see why your time with her is limited).

It makes sense that you haven't been doing much dating of other people during the pandemic. But now it's safer (for vaccinated people) so it's time to put yourself out there.

I think you should not worry about her fears of you dating. You actually have to meet someone first! Concentrate on that. She will be able to manage her feelings when it actually happens. There is only so much you can reassure her without actually dating and showing her that you will still love her when you date someone else.

I think it's her issue to manage. She has a husband, kids, occasional swinger/casual things...she can handle her poly boyfriend seeking another partner of his own.

Similarly, you need to do a better job of not freaking out when she has casual sex. She told you clearly when she first met you that she is a person who enjoys casual sex with new partners every so often often, and that this is part of why she is ENM. She has been consistent in that behavior.

I don't think your issue is jealousy. Your issue is that you still struggle with judgment about casual sex.

The fact that you even feel the need to ask this question: I also am curious if any ENM people here have partners who "just have fun." There is so much judgment in that question!

Not only do some of us indeed have partners who "just have fun," but some of us also "just have fun" ourselves. Polyamory is about love, sure, but many people arrive at loving more than one person because they were having fun sex with more than one person. Many ENM people feel that a big benefit of non-monogamy is sexual autonomy and the freedom to seek variety or casual flings. It doesn't interfere with also loving more than one person.

I don't mean to be defensive or harsh with you. You sound like a very thoughtful, caring, intelligent person. Your situation last year was quite memorable to me. It is perfectly fine to prefer a more polyfidelity model yourself.

But you have a partner who is the same as she was always was, and you still don't seem to understand her. Casual hookups once or twice a year seem quite reasonable in an ENM context!

My partner of 10 years has a very high sex drive, high kink needs, and high need for variety. He has many casual encounters. Mostly with friends or acquaintances now. Sometimes with friends of friends met at clubs (pre-covid). Purely casual stuff with total strangers seems not to happen much in his age range now (35) vs when he was 25. He does not need to ask my permission before he has sex with someone new. I am not uncomfortable with it in any way.

His need for lots of sex, and his need for new sex partners, is not something I share. But it doesn't bother me. It's his body. ENM would be a huge drag if he couldn't be himself while doing it.

For you, I think if you can't accept that your girlfriend has this aspect of her sexuality, she is not the right partner for you. Maybe your "jealousy" isn't actually jealousy about the people she occasionally sleeps with--maybe it's you saying "I would really prefer a partner who doesn't do this. This isn't for me." So it's really fear that she isn't what you want and maybe this won't work long term.

Which I suppose is also what she fears--she knows she isn't quite what you want. That's why she has a recurring fear you'll leave her when you find a partner more suited to you.
 
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Similarly, you need to do a better job of not freaking out when she has casual sex.
Bingo! I need to learn to handle this or lose her - and the loss is worse to me than learning to love myself thus bringing inner peace and her have her fun without worrying about me. As for the have fun part, it was quoted but not attributed to her, but her language. Different folks have different needs, and I myself am in no place for a relationship beyond this at the moment so "having fun" is what I will be doing too. Yes a relationship may come of it, but she has stated over and over she has no desire for that nor do I. No judgement was in my statement, I am just very long-winded and was trying to give a list of questions at the end for people skimming.

You are right about a bit of judgement as sex is my way of showing affection. It is an internal struggle I am owning and trying to solve because I am such a sexual being, but also give it great importance. She was a sweetheart and helped answer some questions, one of which is the different "energy" between me and other folks. As she said she had no desire to do some of our more adventerous stuff and loves the aftermath/cuddles etc we have but never felt that with anyone else, nor does she desire it. That uniqueness helped settle a bit of my worries with her affirmation. I had my wild college years, she didn't, and growing up I realized I was a bit rough and uncaring with partners feelings back then. So now I am more careful with how I treat partners. Combine that with the fact shes pushed my experiences and we have great matching wavelenghts and it creates this catch 22 where I feel hesitant, like I am straying from safety and worry about hurting her or others. My IRL friend told me though she didn't think this was a problem. If I went out with her and found someone who wanted no strings attached fun for an evening, as she said, everybody is better off. I admit the pandemic has made lots of people rusty, myself included as I was already bogged down in work even before then. So on top of it there is a little bit of hesitancy on how tough it'll be for me - your young single male in a young city.
It doesn't interfere with also loving more than one person.
I like what you wrote about your partner. Unlike your situation, we both have a high sex drive, but I think there is much wisdom (if you are so inclined to share) in what helped get you to compersion or at least to a place of peace. I am really wondering if I am overthinking this and if she just goes through with it, will it help. Like getting a shot to me always seems worse than it is (ironic since I worked in pandemic response, I know).

For example, in the hours of digging I did today I realized that yes, I can get jealous when she told me the person seemed smart, thoughtful, etc. But after asking her a bit she was very kind to share some specific things unique to us. I also realized that this other person doesn't negate me as smart, thoughtful, etc and of course I want her to have fun with a decent normal person. It is very tiring, but I think with practice and self-focus I can get to a place where it doesn't bother me. It is amazing how exhausting reflection can be.

I also reflected on why polyfidelity calls to me - and I had a wonderful previous relationship that style. As I told her, it is like always buying a brand of car because thats what your first car was. It doesn't mean others are better, I just haven't tried it and I am trying to get past this insecurity. But before I say this isn't for me, as she is that important, I would like to give it a try. Over the course of the relationship I went from being not okay about it when we really started dating to being okay with the concept. My error was imagining the same acts we do with others, which was my trigger. As I mentioned above this led to my self reflection that I need to be more confident in myself and not compare to others.

As for the timeframe around this issue, it came up only then and one time before - so I want to make it clear to folks it wasn't me or her suffering all the time. It is just such a rare thing that while we chatted about it we kinda sat on it too with everything going on. Hence why I want to accept it (and by it, her).

Thank you for the response though, it is very helpful to think on.

Edit: Forgot to respond to your thoughts on her fears. That is exactly them. She told me she's the best for me until I find better and decide not to deal with this in her worries. Hence why securing myself and letting her be free will help everyone here - she can see that I can handle this bridge of the spectrum and not leave her, I can have my needs met when we're apart and being together will be the wonderful thing it currently is.
 
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icesong

Moderator
Staff member
I also am curious if any ENM people here have partners who "just have fun." I've realized in college i had that type of mentality, so it isn't entirely foreign, but as she said the energy with me never dies, it is like a new restaurant versus your favorite homemade meal with respect to them and me. But others rational has really helped me understand it. Is it just pure fun?

I'm struggling a little bit with the same thing right now; I actually very much *believe* in sex sometimes being a truly intimate communion and sometimes being... well, I once phrased it as "we're both attractive, sexual people, let's run through some orgasmic calisthenics together", and that's fine too. But my partner is pondering some hookups for this summer and I'm having to remind myself of this...

She was a sweetheart and helped answer some questions, one of which is the different "energy" between me and other folks. As she said she had no desire to do some of our more adventerous stuff and loves the aftermath/cuddles etc we have but never felt that with anyone else, nor does she desire it. That uniqueness helped settle a bit of my worries with her affirmation.
This is actually very much like me - in fact one of the "landmarks" I use to compare, say, FWB type relationships with ones that are actually _romantic_ is a desire to touch the person in a not-entirely-sexual way - cuddles, more kisses, actually wanting to _sleep_ together.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry you are struggling.

I am really wondering if I am overthinking this and if she just goes through with it, will it help. Like getting a shot to me always seems worse than it is (ironic since I worked in pandemic response, I know).

FWIW?

To me it sounds like same song, different day.

I think you do over think this.

Bottom line? This is supposed to be an open/poly arrangement where you both see other people. She wants casual sex/swinging people. You want to find a primary partner and she'd be your secondary.

But due to LDR and pandemic? You've been making her like a primary and not getting on with your life. Could get on with your life. Things will either pan out or not.

But the space where you each talk and talk and talk and talk and just provoke each other's fears repeatedly? That part could stop.

Doesn't that get old?

When i asked her why this happened she said part of it was scheduling but she also just felt a little restless and the fact she is worried ill get married and dump her one day as to avoid feeling jealous.

Sounds like she got bored and needed stimulus. So she went to play the record she knows gets a rise out of you. So she could have some excitement.

You could say "Go ahead and date." And leave it be. You have been together LDR for years. Let her worries be her problems. Exercise better personal boundaries so you don't get sucked into a broken record dance again.

Not trying to be mean, but I've read a lot of your posts. This is how it sounds to an outsider. You and her going round and round....again.

Could stop doing that ride.

You know you are at least initially compatible. You have been together for years now.

If you want to find out if this is going to be deeply compatible now that she moved closer with you coming from a polyfi background and her coming from a swinging background?
  • She has to move on to dating to find her casual hook ups.
  • You need to move on to dating to find your other poly partners.
  • And then you each figure out if you can deal with that or not.
Stop putting it off. Get on with it. Rip the bandaid off.

And stop talking it to death or provoking each other with it:
  • How are we gonna date? How will you feel if I date? What if this and that?
You are NOT newbies. Either to non-monogamy or to dating each other. You have been together several years. And you have talked all this out already. Almost to death.

If she wants to hook up every six months? Fine. Go ahead and do it already so you can figure out if you can handle it or not.

Honestly? Having to deal with it once every 6 months? Sounds better to me than being bothered with "How would you feel if I..." all the time.

There's no surprise that each would see other people. This is just trying to see if you and get can do open/poly together. So get on with the job at hand.

After a few days I've come to realize that i put a lot into my relationship validating who i am rather than being self secure.

Were you secure in yourself and in your life before her?

Is dealing with her stress whooshies so often what destabilizes you?

Cuz maybe you put a lot into the relationship trying to prop her up so the whooshies stop coming so much.

I feel weird venturing out, partly after a few years and a pandemic of critical intense work, but moreso i feel a worry about hurting my gf. She said she wants it to happen and is okay with me bringing someone home.

Normal enough to be hesitant dating in a pandemic. Could believe her and get on with it.

Could start with online dating. Then see people for outdoor dates if they are vaccinated. Like go for a walk or similar.

And if anyone has any tips on surviving the first "plunge" like she is looking for, or conversations that they had with their partner that really helped, i would love to hear it. I've seen plenty of places saying this is a band aid problem and after ripping it off it isn't as bad as people thought, so if that is true i would love to know!

Could tell her to use safer sex practices and stick with your agreements you already talked about. And get on with her dating life.

Cuz you plan to get on with yours.

Rip the bandaid off. I think in your case LESS talking is better, not more.

Bingo! I need to learn to handle this or lose her - and the loss is worse to me than learning to love myself thus bringing inner peace and her have her fun without worrying about me.

I think you could love yourself anyway, with or without her.

I also think you could work on the enmeshment and better personal boundaries with her.

When things are calm and there's nothing to worry about? She cranks something up.
  • Either provokes her own self into an anxiety attack doing "what if this and that" if you date. Triggering her own fear of being replaced. When you both have already talked about things. So you come rescue her with lots of reassurance. Which feels good to her, and maybe kinda good to you... but wears you out. Cuz you thought things were solved already and here we go again. And you don't actually date so she can face the fear and FIND OUT.

  • Or she starts daydreaming about casual sex hookups at you. Which triggers your fear of being replaced as the "serious BF" So she comes to your rescue with lots of reassurance. Which maybe feels good to her, maybe some to you. But wears you out. Like all this energy over nothing because she's not actually gonna rip the bandaid off and go date. Just talktalktalk. You don't get to FIND OUT.
I think you could stop analyzing things so much and just move on to dating new people. And she can do the same.

You will both figure out if this will work out for an open/poly arrangement or not over time with each of you ACTUALLY seeing others.

This talking in circles thing... it could stop. I don't see where it is productive any more.

Communication is needed to make agreements. But after a point, you just get on with LIVING OUT the agreements, right?

As for the anxiety management? You could learn to say "Nope. I'm not talking about that."
  • If she provokes her own self? You could reassure once, tell her to work on not provoking her own self, and then check out and leave her to do her own emotional management around that. If she kicks over her own bucket? She's got to be the one to tell her foot to stop. You can't do it for her.

  • If she tries to daydream about casual encounters with you and that provokes you? You don't want her knocking over your bucket? You have to be the one to guard it. You could say "Nope. I'm not talking about that. Wish you well in dating, but I don't do daydreams." Enforce your personal boundaries. She can daydream on her own or with other people. It doesn't have to be with you.

Again... less talk. More action. That would be my suggestion.

Galagirl
 
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I'm struggling a little bit with the same thing right now; I actually very much *believe* in sex sometimes being a truly intimate communion and sometimes being... well, I once phrased it as "we're both attractive, sexual people, let's run through some orgasmic calisthenics together", and that's fine too. But my partner is pondering some hookups for this summer and I'm having to remind myself of this...


This is actually very much like me - in fact one of the "landmarks" I use to compare, say, FWB type relationships with ones that are actually _romantic_ is a desire to touch the person in a not-entirely-sexual way - cuddles, more kisses, actually wanting to _sleep_ together.
I am so relived to hear someone else is in this boat. Like I said, other than centering myself my big struggle is separating our close intense sex with not close "primal" (as she said) with other people. May I ask what helped you separate your jealousy with your SO?
 
Sounds like she got bored and needed stimulus. So she went to play the record she knows gets a rise out of you. So she could have some excitement.
Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear but she told me she was planning to meet someone for an hour for a drink then a session and that was it. It wasn't her bored bringing this up.
f you want to find out if this is going to be deeply compatible now that she moved closer with you coming from a polyfi background and her coming from a swinging background?
  • She has to move on to dating to find her casual hook ups.
This is why aside from ruining her restless one-off date, I am bothered with myself. As you graciously helped me with before, she has no interest in long-term hookups. There is no dating in that way really, at least romantically. In fact, your suggestion of calling them "appointments" helped me there very much as I think of dates as romantic and these are not.
Were you secure in yourself and in your life before her?
Yes and no. The pandemic and deaths and peoples behavior really robbed me of my inspiration in life. But I was always a bit more shy going out and she is not shy socially. I realize this is an internal issue which I am working on and reflecting.
Is dealing with her stress whooshies so often what destabilizes you?
No, actually dealing with her stressors is easy relative to my job and makes me feel good to be able to help out. She did mention my stress is a bit overbearing at times so I have been working on my mindfullness. Truth is I recognized the burnout and depression long before she brought it up. As she said, "I like all of you, so please share the good too." So I am working on my mindfullness and have been going out to vent and socialize now that it's allowed and made it clear to think of 3 good things a day that happened. This made it easier to share that positivity with her. As for the depression and burnout myself, that is on my list of things to keep digging on.

As for the rest it is good advice, but the anxiety and freak out was all my side. It wasn't theoretical, it was the action itself which uncovered my lack of faith in myself and started the what-if parade in my mind. She didn't kickstart this ride, I did. And I need to work on that internal engine for both her and other people I may encounter. As you said, I need to love myself.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thank you for more clarifying info. It sounded like she was daydreaming, not like she had an actual date that she chose to cancel.

I suppose you could add when you trigger your own self into anxiety spin and managing that. Recognize when you are triggering your own self and stopping before you are too far down that path.

Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear but she told me she was planning to meet someone for an hour for a drink then a session and that was it.

If the agreement is to tell you when something is getting serious? And this is not serious? Just some casual thing? You know she's out there dating. Why do you need to know about this encounter one hour before she goes? For what?

You need to know before she shares sex again with you if there's been new people and if safer sex practices were used. Then you can give informed consent before you share sex with her again.

Not a play-by-play as right as its going down.

And her choice to cancel it? That was her choice. She could have told you "Well, I need to go. Bye. We can talk later."

This is what I'm talking about being too tangled up in each others feelings. I mean, she could not have brought it up right then in the first place, but after you spin out, she could not get all caught up in that just like you could not get all caught up in hers.

Galagirl
 
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Well thank you for being a patient guide!

Why did she share? She asked for us to not be a quiet couple about others. I did bring up to her that not mentioning it might be best, and I have told her no details. She shares alot with her husband, but as I told her many times it isn't the same. We don't have kids, a house, a ring so the security there for him isn't there for me. Plus I do not get off hearing about these adventures like other guys do. No judgement, it just isn't me. She has brought up funny things about past lovers, all respectfully, but things like "can you believe they did..." and followed by a weird scenario or bad joke or other faux pas. I can handle those fine. But as for when I go out I think it is part of her getting over her fears of abandonment, especially as she said she cant commit partially due to her nature and the fact I might drift when I find the one. So I get why she asks.

I fear abandoning that too, but I think it is because it is like losing the "alarm system" where I then try and push myself into the role as her lover, which this situation isn't. But the disclosure of partners I think, and granted this is just me thinking, is so she knows when I do so she can see I stick around. And for fairness, I imagine she would say it is a two way street.

She only divulged the details about how quick she anticipated it because she was reassuring me my importance. Telling me she didn't even see his face or know his name by that point and tried communicating it was only a carnal event. She wasn't telling me an hour before, she told me "we spent four days together and this was an hour or so because I was curious sexually. Totally different."

I later agree she could have gone through, but she canceled because my freak out made it not fun anymore. I own that, hence why my current mission is to get back to the old me. The me I liked, she liked, and one that might be bothered by this (I realize there is no immediate success in surmounting this) but is okay to go out and have fun myself while we still care for each other.

Thanks to everyone in this thread when we texted a bit this evening she mentioned how positive I was today. She also asked if I had more questions about the set up, and while I didn't, she mentioned a few things she liked about me. She did say she had a type which is a bit irksome as I told her I am working on my personal importance, but I know she didn't mean it negatively.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
When you write, you mix her stuff and your stuff together. I'm having trouble keeping up and understanding beause it's so tangled up together.

You might consider separate threads for each.
  • The things she tells you and her dealing with her fear of of you dumping her
  • The things you tell her and you dealing with your fear of her dumping you
I think you could each go see other people. That's been the plan all along.

is okay to go out and have fun myself while we still care for each other.

It IS ok for you to go out and have fun with casual sex encounters yourself. It doesn't mean you don't care about her at all.

Or when she goes out to have her own casual sex encounters? That she doesn't care about you at all.

Why did she share? She asked for us to not be a quiet couple about others.

I did bring up to her that not mentioning it might be best, and I have told her no details.

It doesn't have to be DADT. But it also doesn't have to be tell every little detail every single day either. Especially if it just lead to one or the other getting triggered into some kind of anxiety freak out.

Could just be basic disclosure to maintain informed consent and physical sex health.

"Since the last time you and I had sex, there was ____ new people. I used safer sex practices like____. " Then you can each give informed consent before sharing sex together with each other again.

That's all you need to know really. The rest of TMI details? Is just not necessary.

The other stuff about her thinking they are thoughtful or cute, or spending four hours together, and sex for one hour or whatever it was... too many TMI details that don't really affect your sex health hygiene.

It does sound like it affects your mental health and emotional health.

It's almost like she wants a gossip partner. And you don't want to be that.

Unless you both enjoy the rollercoaster-y vibe of this communication style or dynamic? You could think about interacting differently. To me it sounds tiresome to be going through this drama over and over and over. Up and down and up and down triggering each others fears. That is the part that would drive me crazy.

I think you could each
  • Respect personal boundaries
  • Stop pushing each others buttons.
  • Don't make agreements you cannot keep.
  • Hold each other accountable to agreements you DO make.
  • Don't make casual sex with other people a bigger deal than it needs to be
Could keep it simpler. See if that's any better.

She shares alot with her husband, but as I told her many times it isn't the same. We don't have kids, a house, a ring so the security there for him isn't there for me. Plus I do not get off hearing about these adventures like other guys do. No judgement, it just isn't me.

There's your boundary. You don't want to hear TMI things. Why is she not respecting it?

She can go on and on about her casual sex partners with the husband if he enjoys hearing TMI details. You just don't.

It's not even being jealous. It's like... what do you need to know all this for? For what purpose?

Then you don't enforce the personal boundary when she crosses the line because you kinda want it for an "alarm system." So then you aren't honoring your boundary.

Could reflect on that. Why do you need TMI details for "alarm system" FOR? If she's gonna dump you, she's gonna. Whether or not you know the TMI details.

She only divulged the details about how quick she anticipated it because she was reassuring me my importance. Telling me she didn't even see his face or know his name by that point and tried communicating it was only a carnal event. She wasn't telling me an hour before, she told me "we spent four days together and this was an hour or so because I was curious sexually. Totally different."

Would you feel valued and important if she actually honored your personal boundary of not telling you TMI details in the first place?

Because if she didn't rock the boat in the first place, you wouldn't need any reassuring.

But as for when I go out I think it is part of her getting over her fears of abandonment, especially as she said she cant commit partially due to her nature and the fact I might drift when I find the one. So I get why she asks.

She can ask about your dates with others.

But other than basic info for sex health and informed consent?

You don't have to tell her your TMI things just because she has a habit of dumping her TMI things on you. Detangle some. Your emotional management is your stuff to be doing. Her emotional management is her stuff to attend to.

I later agree she could have gone through, but she canceled because my freak out made it not fun anymore. I own that, hence why my current mission is to get back to the old me.

Well, if the goal was fun? She could have honored your personal boundary and NOT told you TMI things. Then you aren't cranked up. And then she could have gone out and had fun without "your emotions making things not fun for her."

It's like she started a thing with you to make YOU be the reason/excuse. Pass the buck whooshies.

If she didn't want to go? She could just not go.

If she wanted to go? She could just go without making a huge deal about it.

Galagirl
 
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Well to be honest the boundaries we set up were protecting my longevity, we don't need to rehash them here as they have been mutually respected and were things that she has no interest in doing with others to begin with, so were very easy for her to agree too. I told did add in a no details after this chat other than to make me aware something might happen for health.

Before this boundary she mentioned the timeline and such only as reassurance. Again, the boundary wasn't there before this conversation, so while I appreciate your suggestion she wasn't disrespecting me or trying to set me off, it was in reaction to me freaking out about "why not poor old tallbosguy." This combined with having chatted about others in the past in general (something I did okay with) I can easily see why her mentioning this was a brief thing that is "so insignificant compared to what I am for her" was not malicious intent.

I had an exhausting day, I'll digest more tomorrow but again many thanks for your wisdom Gala. I woke up in a spiral in the early, early morning but kinda turned it around and felt great knowing I am one of two she wants to return too and that the rest is just respectful fun. I think that was a good break through in feeling the gravitas. I also felt okay going out and having fun myself, but then got caught up realizing how hard that is for me relative to her in the sense that she has someone to return to while if I fail my needs don't get met. She and many others say I am a catch - but those who approach me typically want a relationship and kids and permanency while I can't offer it - so I got heated that I felt the situation is unfair. But I grounded myself by realizing this is just life, not her doing or problem, and it is just the way it is for single people in my demographic.

While I wouldn't say it was a great success I did feel better over the past few days exposing myself to the scenario and working on myself.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad you feel somewhat better.

Glad you have been firm about establishing a personal boundary of "no details other than to make me aware something might happen for health."

Hopefully you will have less freak outs.

Galagirl
 
Glad you feel somewhat better.

Glad you have been firm about establishing a personal boundary of "no details other than to make me aware something might happen for health."

Hopefully you will have less freak outs.

Galagirl
Thank you.

It isn't the healthiest defense I have at the moment - I still think "aha, I am the one she wants in the long term." But if that gets me past the hump while I continue to fix personal issues then so be it. But this isn't an entirely trust and love defense, it is still a decent amount competitive. Anyways, thank you to everyone thus far. Now I just have to shake that weird feeling of "this isn't betrayal" when I go out.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
I am so relived to hear someone else is in this boat. Like I said, other than centering myself my big struggle is separating our close intense sex with not close "primal" (as she said) with other people. May I ask what helped you separate your jealousy with your SO?

Well, with Artist this really is a new thing - we’ve been together six years, and while he is married and has one other long-term partner, both of those existed before we met. So this is the first time (like, literally as I type this) that he’s been on a first date since we met. I think the things that are reassuring me right now are that I *have* had other relationships in that time - one “renewed” and one new - and I *know* that the reasons I wanted to date or kiss or fuck those people were absolutely *not* boredom with Artist, and didn’t change how I felt about him - if anything, his support and lack of jealousy made us closer. So while it’s a new skill for *me* to sit with that jealousy and/or fear that it will change things, I have a pretty damn good example of what doing so looks like within our relationship.

We don't have kids, a house, a ring so the security there for him isn't there for me.
It’s funny - and obviously the situation is different in that my life is a lot closer to your partner’s in that I do have the house/kid/etc with Knight… but there is a different way to look at it. You don’t have all those ties… so you know that *every* time you see your partner she’s there because she wants to be, not because you share obligations.
 
Well, with Artist this really is a new thing - we’ve been together six years, and while he is married and has one other long-term partner, both of those existed before we met. So this is the first time (like, literally as I type this) that he’s been on a first date since we met. I think the things that are reassuring me right now are that I *have* had other relationships in that time - one “renewed” and one new - and I *know* that the reasons I wanted to date or kiss or fuck those people were absolutely *not* boredom with Artist, and didn’t change how I felt about him - if anything, his support and lack of jealousy made us closer. So while it’s a new skill for *me* to sit with that jealousy and/or fear that it will change things, I have a pretty damn good example of what doing so looks like within our relationship.


It’s funny - and obviously the situation is different in that my life is a lot closer to your partner’s in that I do have the house/kid/etc with Knight… but there is a different way to look at it. You don’t have all those ties… so you know that *every* time you see your partner she’s there because she wants to be, not because you share obligations.
The awful part is is that I haven't. I wrote about feeling left out because many years ago I lost a LTR due to work while she was in graduate school. I then got a hefty promotion and then boom... the pandemic tested my work. So its been pretty lonely and hard in that regard when I see my gf's relative ease (she is very happy and attractive). Then add in plans on leaving the position Im in which will likely mean I am moving and boy oh boy, does finding a relationship get stressful in my head because my age group wants that house and kids and those who don't are in high demand. So I've begun getting out more to increase the odds but also worked on stuff I want to do to make sure I love myself.

As for the other part, it is a double edge sword and your advice is very sweet. The only way to test this is to move forward, but the fact she mentioned long ago that she has a type is in my head. It feels dehumanizing and brings up that replacement worry, and though I have been here for over 3 years I can't help but think she'll find a handsome older version of me who doesn't plan on marrying and will go with that to cut her fear of loss out. But you are right, she is here by choice.
 
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