Help! Moving at different paces with my partner

Faheen

New member
Hello! I am new here. I have been dating my fiance for 4 years and recently got engaged. We are 22. We have always had a sort of open relationship (she would give me permission to have sex with other girls or guys as long as it was just sex and nothing more). Recently though, we decided we would be interested in adding a third person into our relationship. My fiance is shy, so I met up alone with this girl off of Tinder and would up hitting it off immediately. We would up having sex before she even met my fiance. However, I quickly realized that I move much faster than my fiance does. I make connections and get sexually attracted to people much faster than my fiance. Because of my fast pace, I have already built a pretty good connection with this girl off tinder. This makes my fiance feel very uncomfortable as she is not moving at the same speed and takes much more time to built a connection with someone. Things are just off balance. I guess I’m looking for advice, wanting to hear from people who have been in my position who might have some tips for me. This is all so new to me and I have no idea what I’m doing!!
 
Last edited:

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
Hi (and welcome to the forum!)

Unfortunately you've found one of the biggest problems with trying to *specifically* seek a triad - it's nearly impossible to make two relationships move at the same pace. Maybe not 100% not going to happen, but unlikely enough that it NOT happening is a problem for nearly every triad-seeking-couple who comes seeking advice here. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news there!)

You're probably going to hear a lot about unicorn hunting... so to head that off I'm going to say start here: https://www.polyfor.us/articles/to-unicorn-hunters-from-an-ex-unicorn, and read the related links with your fiancé ... it might bring up some things you all haven't thought or talked about.
 

Faheen

New member
Hi (and welcome to the forum!)

Unfortunately you've found one of the biggest problems with trying to *specifically* seek a triad - it's nearly impossible to make two relationships move at the same pace. Maybe not 100% not going to happen, but unlikely enough that it NOT happening is a problem for nearly every triad-seeking-couple who comes seeking advice here. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news there!)

You're probably going to hear a lot about unicorn hunting... so to head that off I'm going to say start here: https://www.polyfor.us/articles/to-unicorn-hunters-from-an-ex-unicorn, and read the related links with your fiancé ... it might bring up some things you all haven't thought or talked about.
Thanks so much!!
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Contrary to how the media hypes up this type of configuration, long-term triads are practically non-existent.

And it's really strange to call it "adding a third to our relationship." This hypothetical person would have his or her own relationship with each of you. Think about friends you have-- do they all love both of you as friends equally, or do they click better with one or the other? Add in sexual desire. Just because you're a couple does not mean you will like the same things in an OSO, or that a person would desire both of you equally.

The huge majority of poly couples date separately. Some people may become good friends with their partner's partner (their metamour). Some metas prefer not to meet at all. Some are basic polite, but rarely hang out. Only rarely will 2 metas click sexually and romantically.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I guess I’m looking for advice

It is a common fantasy that a couple can find a hot bi babe and inject them seamlessly into their existing relationship. The fantasy includes things like "we will all love each other equally" and "nah baby, a new person in our relationship will never impact how you and I relate". The reality is that an intertwined romantic relationship between two people is a chemistry experiment and there is never a good way to predict how it is going to work out. For most humans, feelings happen when they happen, and not because we will them into or out of existence.

My advice is for the two of you to stop thinking of dating as a team sport. Each of you develop relationships with people you have natural overlap with, and see where it goes. If you are very lucky and find that there is worthwhile mutual overlap between more than two people, then enjoy that overlap as well. What I hope you will break away from is thinking that your "plan" will be the thing that directs the pace and intensity of relationships, because that is going to lead you to fun little surprises like the one you are experiencing now.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I mean all this kindly ok? Considering SLOWING DOWN.

Hello! I am new here. I have been dating my fiance for 4 years and recently got engaged. We are 22.

So you got together at 18. Have you only dated each other as teens or young adults?

Are you planning a long engagement? The adult brain isn't done forming til about 25 or so. What one wants in their teens and 20s may not be what they want in their 30s, 40s, 50s, etc.

We have always had a sort of open relationship (she would give me permission to have sex with other girls or guys as long as it was just sex and nothing more).

Why sort of open? Are you into casual sex? Is she?

Was it because you were both teens when this started and didn't want to "go steady?"

Or because your GF was afraid of you leaving her if she didn't "give" you this freedom?

Recently though, we decided we would be interested in adding a third person into our relationship.

Again... why? Was it just because it was the easiest model to imagine? "Just like now... but adding a third!" That is a common thought, but that isn't the reality.

Is your GF bi? Would she be ok in a FMF? Or is this seeking an MFM?

Are each of you good at being on your own? Have you thought about the work of detangling?

You don't really "add" a third. The experience is more like breaking up on purpose to drop the monogamish model you've been doing. And starting over with a new model called "poly triad." But why is a poly triad model better than a poly model that allows each of you dating your own separate person? More like poly V or poly N model? Have you discussed that?

Not definitive, but some open models are described here.


A triad is one of the hardest model because it is essentially three "V's" stacked up on top of each other. Every person in it is a hinge to the other two. Every person's partner is also their meta.

You do realize that just because someone is into one of you, it doesn't automatically mean that they will be into the other one, right?

Is the new potential even interested in a triad? Or faking it just to gain access to the one they really want? Or like you two... going in kinda blind and underprepared?

My fiance is shy, so I met up alone with this girl off of Tinder and would up hitting it off immediately. We would up having sex before she even met my fiance. However, I quickly realized that I move much faster than my fiance does. I make connections and get sexually attracted to people much faster than my fiance. Because of my fast pace, I have already built a pretty good connection with this girl off tinder.

So you have your own style of dating/pace of moving.

This makes my fiance feel very uncomfortable as she is not moving at the same speed and takes much more time to built a connection with someone. Things are just off balance.

Your fiancee has her own style of dating/pace of moving.

This is to be expected. Your fiancee is not in a race or competition with you. You are also not copies of each other. You are also not obligated to "carry" your fiancee so she benefits from your social skills and she doesn't have to grow her own.

Some of this might be alleviated by each of you dating your own separate people rather than trying to triad and date the same person. That way you each go at the speed you like best without feeling like you are "competing" with the other one for the new person's time and attention.

Cuz what's gonna happen if you and Tindr lady hit it off, but Tindr lady and your fiancee don't? Is the shared expectation across all three of you (since you were looking for triad) for you and Tindr lady to just break up? Or change the model to dating separately and stop looking for triad? Or you date Tindr Lady separately to one side, and you keep on seeking a triad partner to be with you and Fiancee?

Or is this an unspoken agreement between you and your fiancee? That you will dump 'em if the potetential don't want to triad with you and your fiancee. But Tindr Lady doesn't know there are agreements in place that could affect her that she had no voice in making?

Or you are just... winging it however? Maybe each with different expectations but not realizing that?

I guess I’m looking for advice, wanting to hear from people who have been in my position who might have some tips for me. This is all so new to me and I have no idea what I’m doing!!

Then why do it this way underprepared and going so fast? You are in control of how you choose to behave.

Does the new lady even want a poly triad? Or was she on Tindr just looking for a casual hookup?

Is YOUR dating style going to change now that you are looking for something different than a casual hook up?

I'd suggest slowing down some. Do some reading. Do some thinking. Talk to your fiancee about NOT doing a poly triad model. Talking about NOT getting married any time soon. Talk about what happens if this all ends with everyone single. Most people think if it doesn't work out... it will be like "going back to original couple and then that other person" but it doesn't always work out that way.

I have told all my kids that first serious teen relationship? It's great. Everything so vivid and shiny and new... And it also usually means first serious break up -- also super vivid and new.

There's a lot of brain growth in that phase and what one wants in their teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s etc is gonna be different. I'm not saying teen relationships cannot become adult ones... they can. But they are also rare.

Do some reflection. Why are you engaged at 22? That's pretty young.
  • Is it because you want a marriage commitment and are taking marriage prep classes online, at your house of worship or at your county extension office to be able to do it well and be sure this is the right person to marry?
  • Or was it to try to "secure" a fading teen thing and revitalize it to carry it over into young adulthood 20s?
  • Or just doing whatever the family culture there "expected" or "does?" (Some families do get married super young soon after high school and just expect their kids to do it too. Like automatic relationship escalator. But do you want be riding it? )
Have you talked about how will poly fit in your married life?
  • Is this poly experiment an attempt to "secure" or "extend" the relationship to avoid talking about a breaking up?
  • Do you both really want to poly as part of young adulthood experimenting?
  • Or do you both really want to poly after marriage as a more permanent thing in your lives?
  • How will that impact your extended families, having children, careers, etc? Or the poly partner that ISN'T the one with the legal marriage paper work and legal protections and standing it offers in your country/state?

I could be wrong. But to me you sound like maybe you need to do some work both on poly education and on the marriage prep stuff. Here's some reading on the poly part of it. I assume you will find a marriage prep book or are enrolled or will be enrolling in whatever marriage prep class. (Some counties give a discount on the marriage license if you show you did such a class but really the benefit is to make SURE you are prepared for marriage.)




My advice is to SLOW DOWN and do some of that reading and preparing. And stop trying to date the same person to make a triad. Try being an "N" first where you are together as a couple but also have other dating partners instead of trying to have the same dating partner and vying with each other for the new person's time and attention. If a triad arises naturally on its own? Consider it later down. But don't START there.

Then it can be just "poly newbie" stress load and not "poly newbie stress + competing with my existing partner for the attention of the new partner" stress.

And talk about the deal breakers that would end the poly experiment and the ones that would end the engagement.

To me engagement ends successfully in one of two ways.

1) The couple does the deep talking and work of the engagement period and finds that they are NOT deeply compatible for marriage. So they call it all off and save themselves the emotional/mental pain and financial costs of wedding/short marriage & divorce.

2) The couple does the deep talking and work of the engagement period and finds that they ARE deeply compatible for marriage. Then and only then do they start planning a wedding. (And in your case, you would have additional work to discuss how poly would fit in your post-married life.)

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

PolAmy

New member
Hello! I am new here. I have been dating my fiance for 4 years and recently got engaged. We are 22. We have always had a sort of open relationship (she would give me permission to have sex with other girls or guys as long as it was just sex and nothing more). Recently though, we decided we would be interested in adding a third person into our relationship. My fiance is shy, so I met up alone with this girl off of Tinder and would up hitting it off immediately. We would up having sex before she even met my fiance. However, I quickly realized that I move much faster than my fiance does. I make connections and get sexually attracted to people much faster than my fiance. Because of my fast pace, I have already built a pretty good connection with this girl off tinder. This makes my fiance feel very uncomfortable as she is not moving at the same speed and takes much more time to built a connection with someone. Things are just off balance. I guess I’m looking for advice, wanting to hear from people who have been in my position who might have some tips for me. This is all so new to me and I have no idea what I’m doing!!

I have seen triads and unicorns post before. You aren’t wrong for wanting something specific. Keep the faith and stick with it and I am sure you can find what you are looking for. Good luck! 💕
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Faheen,

The rule of thumb in poly is, "Move at the pace of the slowest person." As long as "slowest" isn't a dead stop, that's what I would suggest you do. If your fiancée develops relationships slowly, you develop relationships slowly too. This gives both of you the opportunity to reflect on how things are going, each little step of the way. If you charge ahead while your fiancée lingers behind, it will separate the two of you, and leave her feeling left out. And I'm sure you don't want that.

Sincere regards,
Kevin T.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
The rule of thumb in poly is, "Move at the pace of the slowest person." As long as "slowest" isn't a dead stop, that's what I would suggest you do. If your fiancée develops relationships slowly, you develop relationships slowly too.

OP, keep in mind that when people give advice, they are not speaking for everyone else. The "move at the pace of the slowest person" is a "primary relationship conservation" approach, which I do not subscribe to.

I am in the camp of "live your life and be honest". Hiding from struggle is not the answer to dealing with struggle. Dealing with struggle is the way to deal with struggle.
 
Last edited:
Top