Her NRE is intense

Open4love

Member
I've been dating Pam for around 5 months now, and we both are relationship anarchists. We've both had a few brief encounters with others during our time dating, but mostly we've spent all the time we could together. Then Pam moved away. Far away. So we've been talking on the phone a lot and sending sweet texts and it has actually deepened our connection.

Then Pam met Brad. He wasn't aware she was poly until after their first (intensely intimate) date when she revealed it to him. She then found out he is very anti-non-monogamy, and he was hurt that she wasn't up front with him about her relationship with me. They agreed they'd be better off as friends. Then they continued to talk on the phone for hours at a time and meet up, as if they were still dating (no physical intimacy, but plenty of emotional intimacy). I noticed a big shift in Pam's availability as they both needed a lot of emotional processing with each other about their connection.

I found it very perplexing that Brad still wanted to invest so much time and energy into something that he felt very uncomfortable with. I know they have intense feelings for each other, but after deciding they should be friends, the intensity of those feelings remained and began to affect my relationship with Pam. I had initial concerns about Brad, as did Pam, that centered around his odd way of relating: a lot of projection and "shaman" guru stuff and being kind of an emotional black hole. She actually said she felt "out of her body" when she was with him the first time. He also has great qualities, of course, and makes her feel elated in many ways.

I expressed these concerns once again 2 weeks into their connection and said some things out of frustration that were intrusive to Pam's process around it. She, of course, didn't appreciate that and felt pretty shocked that I was being that way. I was definitely feeling displaced by her new monogamous anti-non-monogamy friend-not-friend, and it was hard to just let things play out, as it seemed like Brad was making some attempts to convince her that non-monogamy "doesn't work" and pull her into his energetic web (from my perspective).

Pam has held her ground on being non-monogamous, though. So now Brad has changed his tune and appears to be more open to the idea. He even reached out to me, suggesting we set up a group chat with him, Pam, me, and his "emotional support goddess," Ra Ra. Suffice to say I did not respond and have told Pam that I have a firm boundary about being involved with Brad in any way due to the confusing nature of her connection with him and his manipulative ways. Pam is respecting that I want this boundary. And she is still planning seeing him again.

Again, all of this has transpired in just over 2 weeks, and it's been a crazy whirlwind roller coaster. I'm of the opinion that if a connection begins that way, run for the hills, because that's only the beginning. But Pam is finding some important lessons through this whole thing, so I'm trying to stay out of it as much as possible. It's hard because I don't want to see her get hurt or manipulated, but I suppose that's none of my business either. It's her journey, and I just have to make sure I'm still feeling satisfied with connection I share with her and support her as I can while having good boundaries.

What are your thoughts about all of this? Have you been in similar situations? What has worked? What hasn't? Appreciate any and all input. :)
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Again, all of this has transpired in just over 2 weeks, and it's been a crazy whirlwind roller coaster. I'm of the opinion that if a connection begins that way, run for the hills, because that's only the beginning.

I'd feel same. Run for the hils.

He wasn't aware she was poly until after their first (intensely intimate) date when she revealed it to him. She then found out he is very anti-non-monogamy, and he was hurt that she wasn't up front with him about her relationship with me.

If it matters SO much to him, why wasn't he asking if Pam believes in monogamy before making a date? Or before sharing sex with her or whatever other intimacy it was?

He could own his stuff himself. Rather than make it be other people's jobs and be "hurt" when they don't do the job "right."

I noticed a big shift in Pam's availability as they both needed a lot of emotional processing with each other about their connection.

What 2 week old connection requires THIS much emotional labor?

I'd ask her if she's being love bombed. And why invest so much emotional labor so soon with a near stranger?

I had initial concerns about Brad, as did Pam, that centered around his odd way of relating: a lot of projection and "shaman" guru stuff and being kind of an emotional black hole.

Could remind Pam she had concerns about this guy. How were the concerns resolved?

It is not Pam's job to fill his emotional black hole for him. It's for him to repair. Is he in therapy to work on this?

I would not want to deal with projection or "guru" stuff either. Just not for me.

I hope she doesn't have any "White Knight" tendencies where she feels the need to "rescue" or "save" him from whatever he's got going on.
If I wanted a project or wanted to help people, I'd go volunteer at a food bank or whatever other volunteer organization that interested me. I would not pick up a Brad project.

I'd also ask what OTHER new friends she's making since the move.

Pam has held her ground on being non-monogamous, though. So now Brad has changed his tune and appears to be more open to the idea.

In two weeks he changes his tune? WHY? What does he gain from this behavior? Continued access to Pam?

How deeply held were the previous convictions around monogamy that he just chucks them over so fast?

What preparation work has he done in two weeks to become a fit partner for polyshipping?

He even reached out to me, suggesting we set up a group chat with him, Pam, me, and his "emotional support goddess," Ra Ra. Suffice to say I did not respond and have told Pam that I have a firm boundary about being involved with Brad in any way due to the confusing nature of her connection with him and his manipulative ways.

Who is this Ra Ra? His actual therapist? Or just another recruiter for his weird?

What's there to chat about?

What you do is up to you. If you want to decline the invitation to a group chat? You can do that. And you can tell Pam up front you think he does confusing and manipulative behaviors so you don't want to mess with that or get involved with the dude. You can maintain you own boundaries.

What are your thoughts about all of this? Have you been in similar situations? What has worked? What hasn't? Appreciate any and all input.

I think it sounds weird.

I'd tell Pam to tread carefully. Be on the look out for love bombing, or Brad trying to cut her off from friends and family who tell her things are hinky here. Remind her that she CAN think for herself.

I assume she knows what healthy dating is and isn't.


It's hard because I don't want to see her get hurt or manipulated, but I suppose that's none of my business either.

You could tell her it is hard observing her taking up with a dude with manipulative/weird behaviors. You can tell her you don't want to see her get hurt or manipulated and that you hope she has her BS radar turned on. That abusive relationships can and do happen and that you hope she is keeping an eye out for any hinky.

Hopefully she is not so NRE twitterpated that she ignores manipulations or makes excuse for them.

Galagirl
 
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Inaniel

Active member
Then Pam met Brad. He wasn't aware she was poly until after their first (intensely intimate) date when she revealed it to him.

Not a good sign. Pam's non-monogamy convictions may not be what you think they are.

She then found out he is very anti-non-monogamy, and he was hurt that she wasn't up front with him about her relationship with me. They agreed they'd be better off as friends. Then they continued to talk on the phone for hours at a time and meet up, as if they were still dating (no physical intimacy, but plenty of emotional intimacy). I noticed a big shift in Pam's availability as they both needed a lot of emotional processing with each other about their connection.

I found it very perplexing that Brad still wanted to invest so much time and energy into something that he felt very uncomfortable with. I know they have intense feelings for each other, but after deciding they should be friends, the intensity of those feelings remained and began to affect my relationship with Pam. I had initial concerns about Brad, as did Pam, that centered around his odd way of relating: a lot of projection and "shaman" guru stuff and being kind of an emotional black hole. She actually said she felt "out of her body" when she was with him the first time. He also has great qualities, of course, and makes her feel elated in many ways.

Let's try to phrase it more accurately:

I found it very perplexing that Brad and Pam still wanted to invest so much time and energy into each other when they each felt very uncomfortable with it.

Indeed that is very odd... There must be more to this story... You keep focusing on Brad, don't forget the elephant in the room. PAM IS ATTRACTED TO BRAD.

I expressed these concerns once again 2 weeks into their connection and said some things out of frustration that were intrusive to Pam's process around it. She, of course, didn't appreciate that and felt pretty shocked that I was being that way.

It sounds like the more you do this the sooner you will drive Pam out of your long distance life.

I was definitely feeling displaced by her new monogamous anti-non-monogamy friend-not-friend, and it was hard to just let things play out, as it seemed like Brad was making some attempts to convince her that non-monogamy "doesn't work" and pull her into his energetic web (from my perspective).

Pam has held her ground on being non-monogamous, though. So now Brad has changed his tune and appears to be more open to the idea. He even reached out to me, suggesting we set up a group chat with him, Pam, me, and his "emotional support goddess," Ra Ra. Suffice to say I did not respond and have told Pam that I have a firm boundary about being involved with Brad in any way due to the confusing nature of her connection with him and his manipulative ways. Pam is respecting that I want this boundary. And she is still planning seeing him again.

Again, all of this has transpired in just over 2 weeks, and it's been a crazy whirlwind roller coaster. I'm of the opinion that if a connection begins that way, run for the hills, because that's only the beginning. But Pam is finding some important lessons through this whole thing, so I'm trying to stay out of it as much as possible. It's hard because I don't want to see her get hurt or manipulated, but I suppose that's none of my business either. It's her journey, and I just have to make sure I'm still feeling satisfied with connection I share with her and support her as I can while having good boundaries.

It does not sound like you are staying out of it... In the least... You know an awful lot about the Brad/Pam dynamic... You are already involved. How is it not "possible" to be less involved? You don't even live in proximity... Are you asking for all of these details? or is Pam gushing about Brad the whole time while you are together on face-chat or whatever?

I've been dating Pam for around 5 months now, and we both are relationship anarchists. We've both had a few brief encounters with others during our time dating, but mostly we've spent all the time we could together. Then Pam moved away. Far away. So we've been talking on the phone a lot and sending sweet texts and it has actually deepened our connection.

Interference doesn't sound like relationship anarchy to me. Pam is entertaining Brad because she is interested in him. Brad is not the problem... Consider the options:

#1 Brad is not as bad for Pam as she is making him out to be.

Then what's going on with you and Pam? Is she not being transparent with you? Is this some sort of head drama?

#2 Brad is bad for Pam, but her boundary control is so poor she can't send him packing...

Red flag. It might be time to reconsider your relationship with Pam. There is no other good option for you in this instance.

It is Pam's decision, and if she is in NRE your 5-month relationship with her likely wont hold the sort of influence over her that you are hoping for... And even if it does, and Pam makes a decision for herself on your behalf... Then what? What was learned? What decision do you make for her next?

If Pam is asking you for advice you can say "leave me out of it" You can say, "from now on I do not want details about your relationship with Brad".

What are your thoughts about all of this? Have you been in similar situations? What has worked? What hasn't? Appreciate any and all input. :)

You could say to Pam all of the things GalaGirl suggested, but ask yourself "why?".... Maybe Pam decides she wants to be mono in some sort of high energy shamanistic out of body relationship with Brad... Good for her!

Maybe Pam realizes Brad is BS (and I am not convinced he is) and decides to continue with you... That might be great for you!

Pam gets to decide what's best for her. You don't know what is best for her. You have only been dating for five months, and now you live a long distance apart...

Unless Pam says something like, "Brad is scaring me", "he's stalking me", "he's abusive" ect.. Then I really don't understand the compulsion to interfere. At least, that is what I think a non-monogamous relationship anarchist would say...
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
He could own his stuff himself. Rather than make it be other people's jobs and be "hurt" when they don't do the job "right."


This, I think is the crux of the matter. This dude is sounding like bad news and I personally do not think any good is going to come of this. I understand being wildly attracted to someone with endless charisma and who could sell manure to a stable. I get it, I've been there. But I also have the emotional scars that bear witness to that fact. ETA: Scars that I still deal with (even if rarely) some 25 years down the road.

I completely agree with @GalaGirl. Run for the hills, the both of you. And soonest done, the least needing mended.


I bid the both of you good luck and much peace.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Open4L,

I strongly agree with your statement, "It's hard because I don't want to see her get hurt or manipulated, but I suppose that's none of my business either. It's her journey, and I just have to make sure I'm still feeling satisfied with connection I share with her and support her as I can while having good boundaries." With the intensity of the NRE she is experiencing, I doubt she is going to be able to hear you when you try to warn her or express concerns. This is something she's going to have to learn by experience.

I would also point out that your reservations aren't just about concern for her well-being and safety; it's also that Brad is using up the time she would have otherwise been spending with you. You may even have a fear that Brad is going to "steal" her from you entirely. But think about it, he can't steal her without her consent. Do you really want to keep dating a woman who lets herself be stolen so easily? You said it yourself, it's only been two weeks, and she is already putting you on the back burner. You can't make her resume her interest in you, she has to do that herself.

Is there any way you can become less invested in this relationship? I am worried that you are going to get hurt in a huge way, hell you already have, am I right? She might get hurt too, but I admit I have less sympathy for her as this is a bed of her own making. I won't go so far as to say break up with her, but maybe look around for others to date? Think about it, she's already long-distance. Maybe the signs are telling you that she is no longer meant to be in your life. Or maybe your relationship with her could be rebranded as just a platonic friendship.

Take care of you, and let her take care of her.
With sympathy and regards,
Kevin T.
 

Open4love

Member
Thanks so much for the input, everyone. It means a lot to me, as it gives me a lot of clarity on where I should head from here. My gut has been telling me to emotionally invest less in Pam, at least for the time being, while maintaining good boundaries around Brad being in my life, or hearing about their shared connection.

I am going to possibly visit Pam very soon, and I have decided I should keep the trip very short due to all of this happening. I can't imagine being in the same space with her for long under the circumstances, as much as that pains me. I am realizing, too, that I have many things I can put my energy into that are right in front of me, rather than things a thousand miles away.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Yes, that sounds to me like the appropriate response in this situation.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
My gut has been telling me to emotionally invest less in Pam, at least for the time being, while maintaining good boundaries around Brad being in my life, or hearing about their shared connection.

I'm not sure what it means to "emotionally invest less" with her, but I certainly would pump the breaks on making long term declarations... or buying property with her. She definitely sounds like she's going down a path of discovery and I suspect it's going to be a little bumpy, so if you aren't down for parts/all of that journey I strongly support you in clarifying your interest with her.

When we try to have associations using autonomy-centric models like relationship anarchy, it's important to remember that we've essentially stripped all of the traditional "rules" away. What we need to replace those traditions with are clearly defined boundaries that are treated with utmost respect (on all sides). Without concise boundaries you run a high risk of clumsily lunging forward into resentment and misunderstanding.

Get your expectations out there, compare them to their expectations, and design your relationship in the overlap; everyone setting honest boundaries will be integral to this design.

Unless Pam says something like, "Brad is scaring me", "he's stalking me", "he's abusive" ect.. Then I really don't understand the compulsion to interfere. At least, that is what I think a non-monogamous relationship anarchist would say...

Word. People living living out their relationships as they see fit is fundamental to the RA concepts as I understand them. The moment I'm getting bitchy about a metamour I need to evaluate what I'm doing.

On the other hand we are all people and get in our heads about shit. It sounds like the OP is going to step back and do some re-evaluating, which I hope they will. With any luck they will turn their energy into fixing what's going on with them and use less on disliking this metamour.
 

Open4love

Member
Hi all, wanted to update you on the situation as it stands now. Pam and I have had some very clarifying and difficult conversations. Ultimately, I think we are wanting different things out of our connection. I want more contact and consistency, and she wants to be very present where she is, which naturally results in less thinking about me. Of course this hurts a lot, as it feels like a such a sudden change, but having clarity is helping me move on in the way that I need to.

Part of me is pretty frustrated that I spent 5 months developing an intimate relationship with a person and then someone comes into their life, and it very quickly changes the nature of our connection dramatically. I think it's pretty foolish to switch gears so quickly because of NRE, but I'm not Pam, and she is making the decisions that make sense to her. Sad thing is that I'm not going to wait around for this thing to play out, and I'm going to start putting my energy into other possibilities.

When she moves back to my city (which she plans to do at the ends of summer), I may not be as available as she'd like me to be. It really feels like a big decision is being made, and I don't think she realizes the weight of that. We only have so many places in our lives for special people, and there are consequences when treating someone like they are disposable. I need commitment and consistency in my life right now, and this has taught me a lot about making better choices in partners in the future.

Thanks again for all of the advice. It's really helpful! <3
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I need commitment and consistency in my life right now, and this has taught me a lot about making better choices in partners in the future.

It's important to understand where we are, and what our expectations really are. So good for you for working through this process and coming out the other side understanding what it is you are looking for.

If commitment and consistency are high priorities in your relating, I would avoid using terms like "relationship anarchy" to describe your relationship outlook. Being RA doesn't mean you can't make commitments as you see fit, but it does suggest that autonomy and freedom of action are top priorities for you. High levels of autonomy and high levels of commitment rarely occupy the same space, so describing yourself as RA might cause some confusion for your potential new partners.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I need commitment and consistency in my life right now, and this has taught me a lot about making better choices in partners in the future.

Glad you both talked and even though not esp fun, you gained this clarity.

If Pam wants to put more energy into her local connections? And you need more contact and consistency to get through a time of LDR than she can provide? It makes sense for you to detach and invest more in your local connections as well.

And you are right. When she moves back into town at the end of the summer, you may not be as available as she'd like. Generally people don't just pick up where they left off like nothing happened or changed.

It will be what it will be.

Galagirl
 
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Open4love

Member
High levels of autonomy and high levels of commitment rarely occupy the same space, so describing yourself as RA might cause some confusion for your potential new partners.
Hmm, I'm so confused as to how to describe myself then! It seems that many poly people tend towards relationship escalator type relationships. I thought that saying I am RA is way to avoid that and make for more genuine connections. But I also really thrive on commitment and having people "in my corner," so to speak. Should I just describe myself as non-hierarchal polyamorous then? Or RA with desire for commitment? 🙃
 

Inaniel

Active member
Maybe you just need more time to figure yourself out.

Part of me is pretty frustrated that I spent 5 months developing an intimate relationship with a person and then someone comes into their life, and it very quickly changes the nature of our connection dramatically.

The way I understand this statement is that you are frustrated that you built a 5 month relationship with Pam and felt displaced when Brad came into the picture...

It sounds like you would prefer Pam to give you some sort of priority over her time and attention given your established 5 month relationship?

That sounds like relationship escalator and hierarchy sort of talk to me... That is not a bad thing. You don’t have to be RA to be poly. And if your devoted to RA you could work on those thought patterns.

When she moves back to my city (which she plans to do at the ends of summer), I may not be as available as she'd like me to be. It really feels like a big decision is being made, and I don't think she realizes the weight of that. We only have so many places in our lives for special people, and there are consequences when treating someone like they are disposable. I need commitment and consistency in my life right now, and this has taught me a lot about making better choices in partners in the future.

Thanks again for all of the advice. It's really helpful! <3

Again this comes off as a sort of enmeshed relationship style. Pam is away and ignoring me/shacking up with someone I don’t like so I am going to move on and don’t plan to be available when her situation changes.

I think a more autonomous approach would be that Pam does what she does, you do what you do, and you both enjoy any overlapping activities and desires together. As they present. Therefore the future is not being pre-determined based on current actions.

In a high autonomy relationship I would find it very odd that you know so much, and care so much about the Brad situation. In particular because Pam and Brad are both 1000 miles away and it does not affect your independence or autonomy. You don’t even have to worry about running into Brad...

So again your approach seems more enmeshed than RA to me...
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
We only have so many places in our lives for special people, and there are consequences when treating someone like they are disposable. I need commitment and consistency in my life right now, and this has taught me a lot about making better choices in partners in the future.


Well, that last sentence is very valuable information, although I can fully appreciate the difficulty in making it. Relationships of any type can be quite difficult to maintain, and IMO, this relationship style is the textbook definition of FAFO.

I bid you peace in your journey and I sincerely hope you achieve your goals, whatever they may be. :)
 

Open4love

Member
Well, that last sentence is very valuable information, although I can fully appreciate the difficulty in making it. Relationships of any type can be quite difficult to maintain, and IMO, this relationship style is the textbook definition of FAFO.

I bid you peace in your journey and I sincerely hope you achieve your goals, whatever they may be. :)
What's FAFO?
 

Marcus

Well-known member
What's FAFO?

Same.

It isn't helpful to use jargon acronyms if everyone doesn't come to the table already knowing what they are.
I also have no idea what that acronym stands for.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
Hmm, I'm so confused as to how to describe myself then! It seems that many poly people tend towards relationship escalator type relationships. I thought that saying I am RA is way to avoid that and make for more genuine connections. But I also really thrive on commitment and having people "in my corner," so to speak. Should I just describe myself as non-hierarchal polyamorous then? Or RA with desire for commitment? 🙃

I hear you, we want to use labels so that we can quickly get to a base level of understanding when we are telling someone what we are in to. Unfortunately most labels that we could provide are going to come with at least some detail that doesn't accurately represent how we approach relating.

Just going off of what you've said here I wouldn't instinctively call you any form of RA. I would say you are doing pretty traditional polyamory, so that would be my recommendation.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
FAFO = Fuck Around and Find Out = play with fire and get burned.
 
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