finding zen


New member
So i'm going to be blatant and forthcomming, How do i find zen in waiting for my SO to feel she's ready for an open/poly relationship? it has been over a year now, since it was brought to the floor, and eight months since it was agreed upon. I do ok in being alright with not getting the relationship in which i'd like, but every once in a while it really gets me down.

As time goes on, i feel more and more like she wants it less and less. I love her so very much, and no intention or desire to leave. But I'm upset, because I feel like she'll never be, and has no intention or desire to be ready for that kind of relationship. She has told me she wants it and she's told me she doesn't. so i'm not really sure where we stand.

I'm not here asking what i "should" do, I'm here asking how do i find zen with not getting what i need?


Well-known member
What is the need? You are not being specific as to what the needs are/were. What the agreement and deliverables and expectations are.

It has been over a year now, since it was brought to the floor.

This means what? Since you first started talking about it?

And eight months since it was agreed upon.

And this means what? Since you decided you were open and you started to date other people? Aren't you dating then?

If so, that is the WHAT. "We are open now and we are dating other people."

There is no explanation of the HOW -- how we agree to be together while dating other people. Is she falling down on the job? Not honoring your agreements?
You do not list. So I don't know where the ball is at.

  • Is it on YOU? Because she's waiting on you to articulate your next needs? She cannot mind reader you.
  • Or if the ball is on HER because she's not living up to her end of agreements made? What were the agreements? Are they reasonable?

I do ok in being alright with not getting the relationship in which i'd like, but every once in a while it really gets me down.

Again -- not specific. What IS the relationship model you'd like?

She has told me she wants it and she's told me she doesn't.

Ok, not specific again.

  • Does that mean she is monoamorous and wants to stay in a CLOSED polyship of 2 but is willing to attend poly community events with you or read poly materials with you, and listen to you crushes and whatnot so you have some expression of your poly-ness?
  • Does that mean that she identifies as monoamorous but poly friendly? That SHE doesn't want another partner but just you. But is ok with YOU dating and having another partner?

  • Does she want to explore to see if she is polyamorous herself? Where is the line in the sand here?

Not enough information given for me to give constructive feedback. :confused:

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Active member
GG -

If I recall the story from a few months ago...I think the deal was that the girlfriend was not comfortable with polypenguin seeing other people. So the deal was that the relationship was going to open on HER side only for a while and then, a few months later there was a set date for HIS side to open. When the time came she asked for an extension because she was working on her stuff (therapy etc.) So now he is feeling like she may never get to a place where it is ok for his side to I'm guessing he is feeling a little "strung along" at this point (not to put words in his mouth).

He doesn't want to leave her but he doesn't know if he should keep his hopes up that he can have the kind of relationship that he wants/needs.

Sounds to me that it might be time for a "come to Jesus" meeting with girlfriend - after 8-12 months of "I think maybe I can come to terms with this if you give me more time, but I'm not sure." - it seems like it is time to "fish or cut bait" ("shit or get off the pot"). Ask her where she is right now as compared to last month, six months ago, is she still getting closer or just going in circles?

If her answer is "I want to be able to do this but I'm not sure I ever will" - then close ranks, take poly off the table, explore your relationship with each other and see if you can be happy. In 5 or 10 years, when you are both in a different place, it may be time to try again.

If YOUR answer is that you are ONLY going to be happy in this relationship if the poly WILL eventually happen...then the answer might be that you break up gently and ask her to look you up again if she is ever in a place where that can happen.

It might be better for your peace of mind to get a "NO", so you can get on with dealing with that rather than a "Maybe...Maybe..Maybe" - but she might not be able to give you that "No" for fear of losing you. So you look at what progress has been made...she may be saying "maybe" but her actions may be saying a "No" that you don't want to hear.

Tough spot Penguin - I wish you the best.



Well-known member
Ah, sorry about that Polypenguin. I was rushing and did not think to check previous story links/posts.

If this is the case as Jane describes? You are at checkpoint Charlie? At the agreed upon date for moving forward to you dating too? Have you been fair, ethical, and delivered all your stuff as agreed upon last time then?

Yes? Then announce you have met all deliverables and will now start to date as you both agreed upon.

Let her own her feelings on that announcement. She can then choose her next behavior.

Can't really learn to cope with feelings in polyshipping and you dating unless she allows herself to experience them.

But if she's basically not wanting to give you a clear answer on polyshipping with you? Foot dragging? Running you around in circles? Not wanting to give a clear yes or no?

You have to move forward for yourself then without taking her information on board. If you want a polyship and she's basically not willing and also not willing to clearly state she is not willing?

You have to decide for yourself what you value and want to do next:
  • I value being with her more than I value polyshipping. I will choose to stay in a CLOSED monoship then because I can deliver that.
  • I value polyshipping more than I value monoshipping. I will choose to set her free then, because she wants mono and I cannot deliver that.

I know it's hard to feel. But I'm with Jane -- it is what it is. You are at a crossroads.

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Active member
I'm not here asking what i "should" do, I'm here asking how do i find zen with not getting what i need?

Re-reading your first post I see that we are mainly addressing the question that you said you weren't asking (i.e. what you "should"do)

The zen answer to your question would be: "stop needing what you don't have"

Let go of your attachment to outcome, accept that the only life that you could be living AT THIS MOMENT is the one that you are experiencing and embrace IT for all that it gives you and all you have learned.

It's NOT that, if only, you could have said things differently? (you didn't)
It's NOT that, if only, she could be a different person? (she isn't)
It's NOT that, if only, you weren't drawn to poly? (you are)

We spend a lot of time examining our past - for decisions and actions that led us to where we are now. These experiences are part of what make up who we are. So you sit and embrace all of that as a part of who you are now - it is past and cannot be changed - but don't go following "if onlys" to some idealized "today" that never happened.

You then get to choose YOUR path from THIS moment. You probably can't control your feelings, you may not be able to control your thoughts, but you sure as hell CAN control your speech and actions.

So, maybe instead of choosing to sit and read here about people who have this thing that you feel that you need (poly), you choose instead to figure out what it is that you "need" about poly and pursue that via other means.

Is it that you have a loneliness inside of you that is too much for one partner to fill? Develop your relationship with yourself to fill that void. Learn new skills, read new ideas, have interesting conversations with yourself. Love yourself. Take care of yourself. Be happy with yourself. Be the best YOU, you can be.

You don't "need" other people to complete you if you are complete unto yourself. You may "want" to share your life with others but you have everything you need to be happy within yourself.


ETA - PS: I'm describing an idea of an ideal here - my Journey is very much a work in progress. Zen masters may be able to subsist on bread and water as they meditate for days on end but I still "need" coffee in the morning...:eek:
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New member
thankyou both very much. And sorry for not clarifying from he beginning. I suppose what I need more than anything is to know that I/we will get there eventually. And what to focus on in the mean time. Obviously strengthening our baisic dyadic relationship is of great importance.

I suppose the zen would be finding peace in what I don't have. At the same time, then I feel like i'm wasting some of the best years of my life.

Ehh... "life is a great big balancing act." - Dr. Suess.


Well-known member
To find peace in what you do not have? Stop focusing on what you don't have. Focus on what you DO have.

If what you DO have does not satisfy when you go look at it? Change something. See what you get next.

But then you are not feeding the "longing for stuff I do not have" because your focus on just not on the stuff you do not have. Me?

  • I do not have a limo.
  • I do not have million dollars.
  • I do not have the number of kids I wanted before my illness.
  • I do not have a dog.
  • I do not have...

I could make myself depressed like that not keeping my own thoughts in order.

  • I have an illness.
  • I have a happy kid and happy spouse and general happies myself
  • I have a house
  • I have the kid's mouse
  • I have friends
  • I have weird shoes...

I feel grateful then, thinking about what I have and I see I need to feed the mouse today and I really need to do something about those sandals with the broken strap... I have to tell my spouse he rocks -- I tend to the things I actually have with my energies. Not spend energies in black holes of empty not haves.

It matters HOW you think. Sometimes as much or more WHAT you think.

Dunno if that aids you. Hang in there!