How to avoid hierachy?

Elentarin

New member
I´m new at forums, so I´m sorry if I'm doing something wrong.

I'm a woman and more than a year ago I met this guy, I developed a crush on him and told him. He said he couldn't be with me because he has a girlfriend (still has, they've been together 4 years now), so we stay as friends.

However, our relationship developed and he confessed he has feelings for me, we talked a lot and he decided to say this to his partner and we began therapy with the only purpose to see if this can work. We have never kissed nor sleep together becase we want all of this to be sane and consensual from everyone.

Till here everything is fine, but last week he told me he's moving with his gf. He told me he was prepared for the consecuences. And this rang a bell for me, like if he was saying he was prepared for me ending our relationship at expense of he deciding to live with her... like he's "choosing" her.... I was sad he did not asked me before how I felt about this happening, He always says that he doesn't wan to hierarchy our relationships.

Sharing a common space is very important for me, and now Idk how to react because I don´t want to go to his new home because I feel I'm sharing the space he shares with his gf, she's a good person but we're not friends yet. So I feel like this door was closed.

I've been patient and I know is a long process to jump from monogamy to polyamory, however, I can't kiss him, I can't sleep with him, I can share common spaces with him... and now he's living with his gf and I see him once a week or once every 2 weeks and I feel prettybad, sad an anxious, I feel like I´m the lover, I don't feel contemplated.

I was wondering if there's a good way to communicate this to him, I don't want to fall into jelousy, but I want my own necessities to be filled. Now I'm not sure If I want to keep going with this process as I feel pretty heartbroken.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Who is in therapy? Is his gf participating in therapy and if so, is it with any view to opening their relationship to consensual non monogamy or polyamory? Because right now, you aren't his lover, you are his friend and you have feelings for each other, but it doesn't sound like he wants to take it further. He's moving in with his girlfriend without any kind of plan to also escalate your relationship.

He's not looking for a relationship with you.
 

AlwaysGrowing

Well-known member
Just be honest. It's fair to feel slighted. He's supposedly working to get to a nonmonogamous space with girlfriend so he can be with you? Yet he's moving that relationship to living together BEFORE they've worked out the issues with nonmonogamy? Nah. Intentional or not, he's on the escalator with her and stringing you along for the ride.

Living together, marriage, any of that... it automatically comes with hierarchy. I don't consider myself hierarchical with my two partners, but the one I have a home/ kid/ finances with inherently is "primary" in that his schedule and such gets to affect my time first. His opinions impact my finances (kinda - I do have fun money he gets no opinion on, but the amount is affected by joint decisions). There's no avoiding hierarchy unless you're doing all the things with all the partners. He isn't even partnered with you.

I'm sorry you caught feelings for someone not available to actually return them in a healthy way. It's a crummy place to be! 💔
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Elentarin,

I'm very sorry that your boy/friend has decided to move in with his girlfriend. That is definitely *not* the way to avoid hierarchy. And he claims that he wants to avoid it. So he is being either not very smart, or not very honest.

You need to tell him that he has hurt you by moving in with his girlfriend. So much so, that you are thinking about breaking up with him. And then you should add, that you know he doesn't care if you break up with him, and that hurts you even more. Then after you say all this, watch and see if he shows any remorse.

Does he care about you? That is the question.
Sympathetic regards,
Kevin T.
 

Inaniel

Active member
The easiest way I can think of to avoid hierarchy completely would be to maintain absolute autonomy. To the point of maintaining independent lives as much as possible, including rejection of the idea of cohabitating. The more entanglement that happens the harder it would be to avoid hierarchy. Not that it’s impossible…

I really don’t mean to be rude, but I find it almost amusing that someone in your position would be posting about how to avoid hierarchy. This guy is in a mono relationship and can’t even kiss or fuck outside that relationship. I agree with Evie’s assessment that you are not a lover. In fact it would appear that you are 10 steps away from even discussing hierarchy with this couple…
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry you struggle and hurt right now. :(

If you don't want to do hierarchical poly, you just don't do it.

I could be wrong... but he doesn't sound like he is actually in an open relationship and available for poly dating right now. He doesn't have that sorted out at home yet.

If he's not sorted... why were you jumping the gun? Could have told him from the beginning something like

"Great! We both like each other. Look me up when you have sorted it out at home and are actually in an open relationship and available for poly dating."​

Doing this fuzzy "kinda sorta" dating once a week or every 2 weeks but holding back and calling it "just friends" thing? That just led to you getting all these soft feelings for him that are premature, and maybe misplaced.

If right now you two are "just friends" -- even with an acknowledged mutual crush? You are not his GF.

He doesn't have to tell or consult all his friends about where he wants to live or move to if he's changing flats.

Who is the "we" going to therapy? All three of you? Why do you need to be there if they are still figuring out if they want to do open relationship or not? That's not appropriate sounding at this time and it doesn't sound like good personal boundaries to me.

I'm very sorry you are hurting. But I think it would serve you better in future if you are more firm of purpose and maintain stronger boundaries. Even if there's a mutual attraction? You tell any potentials "No, thanks" on dating if they themselves are not actually Open yet.

And if they ask you to "wait for them" or something while they sort things out at home? You say "No, thanks" to that too.

Specifically because you want to avoid THIS kind of heartache again from coming at it all fuzzy or "floating along into stuff" without clear expectations. Protect your own heart more. Why should you be waiting around on them or doing "fuzzy weird" just because they haven't prepared?

Instead you could tell them

"Great! We both like each other. Look me up when you have sorted it out at home and are actually in an open relationship and available for poly dating."

And could carry on living your life, dating who you want to date, people that DO meet your personal standards already. Because attraction and wanting to date you but not actually being in Open relationship yet? You could decide that does not meet your personal standard.

If they get it sorted and then they look you up? Great. Date on the level at that point in time. And you don't have to "hold back" whatever. The relationship can naturally unfold instead of feeling stilted.

They don't get back in touch? Oh, well. But you also weren't sitting around waiting on bated breath either. And maybe even bullet dodged.

I think maybe that's what hurting you right now. You were sitting around hoping for something... but you were jumping the gun. Putting more meaning/weight into this relationship that what it actually is/was/could be right now. Maybe from being new at it.

I was wondering if there's a good way to communicate this to him, I don't want to fall into jelousy, but I want my own necessities to be filled. Now I'm not sure If I want to keep going with this process as I feel pretty heartbroken.

So stop. It's ok to be new/a learner. But you don't have to keep ON doing things if they hurt you. Or ended up being more than what you bargained for or can handle at this time.

You could tell him this is too much for you and are bowing out. You end it. And chalk it up to life experience/lesson learned.

Do your self care and healing. Think about what you do and do not want in a poly dating partner. Do some more poly reading.



Could be places to start.

Then when you try to poly date again in future? Make sure it's ALREADY sorted out at home. No more jumping the gun. Not worth it even if there is a mutual attraction.

I hope things get better.

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

Elentarin

New member
The easiest way I can think of to avoid hierarchy completely would be to maintain absolute autonomy. To the point of maintaining independent lives as much as possible, including rejection of the idea of cohabitating. The more entanglement that happens the harder it would be to avoid hierarchy. Not that it’s impossible…

I really don’t mean to be rude, but I find it almost amusing that someone in your position would be posting about how to avoid hierarchy. This guy is in a mono relationship and can’t even kiss or fuck outside that relationship. I agree with Evie’s assessment that you are not a lover. In fact it would appear that you are 10 steps away from even discussing hierarchy with this couple…

I appreciate the feedback, but finding it amusing is very rude. The title was my question.

I'm new at poly, I've never had a relationship like that. I came here looking for advise, not to be made fun of.

I was really trying to sort things up, and I've had fellings for him for almost a year. I'm very hurted by the situation and I would be thankfull If the comments were to teach.
 

Elentarin

New member
I'm sorry you struggle and hurt right now. :(

If you don't want to do hierarchical poly, you just don't do it.

I could be wrong... but he doesn't sound like he is actually in an open relationship and available for poly dating right now. He doesn't have that sorted out at home yet.

If he's not sorted... why were you jumping the gun? Could have told him from the beginning something like

"Great! We both like each other. Look me up when you have sorted it out at home and are actually in an open relationship and available for poly dating."​

Doing this fuzzy "kinda sorta" dating once a week or every 2 weeks but holding back and calling it "just friends" thing? That just led to you getting all these soft feelings for him that are premature, and maybe misplaced.

If right now you two are "just friends" -- even with an acknowledged mutual crush? You are not his GF.

He doesn't have to tell or consult all his friends about where he wants to live or move to if he's changing flats.

Who is the "we" going to therapy? All three of you? Why do you need to be there if they are still figuring out if they want to do open relationship or not? That's not appropriate sounding at this time and it doesn't sound like good personal boundaries to me.

I'm very sorry you are hurting. But I think it would serve you better in future if you are more firm of purpose and maintain stronger boundaries. Even if there's a mutual attraction? You tell any potentials "No, thanks" on dating if they themselves are not actually Open yet.

And if they ask you to "wait for them" or something while they sort things out at home? You say "No, thanks" to that too.

Specifically because you want to avoid THIS kind of heartache again from coming at it all fuzzy or "floating along into stuff" without clear expectations. Protect your own heart more. Why should you be waiting around on them or doing "fuzzy weird" just because they haven't prepared?

Instead you could tell them

"Great! We both like each other. Look me up when you have sorted it out at home and are actually in an open relationship and available for poly dating."

And could carry on living your life, dating who you want to date, people that DO meet your personal standards already. Because attraction and wanting to date you but not actually being in open relationship yet? You could decide that does not meet your personal standard.

If they get it sorted and then they look you up? Great. Date on the level at that point in time. And you don't have to "hold back" whatever. The relationship can naturally unfold instead of feeling stilted.

They don't get back in touch? Oh, well. But you also weren't sitting around waiting on bated breath either. And maybe even bullet dodged.

I think maybe that's what hurting you right now. You were sitting around hoping for something... but you were jumping the gun. Putting more meaning/weight into this relationship that what it actually is/was/could be right now. Maybe from being new at it.



So stop. It's ok to be new/a learner. But you don't have to keep ON doing things if they hurt you. Or ended up being more than what you bargained for or can handle at this time.

You could tell him this is too much for you and are bowing out. You end it. And chalk it up to life experience/lesson learned.

Do your self care and healing. Think about what you do and do not want in a poly dating partner. Do some more poly reading.



Could be places to start.

Then when you try to poly date again in future? Make sure it's ALREADY sorted out at home. No more jumping the gun. Not worth it even if there is a mutual attraction.

I hope things get better.

Galagirl

Thank you for this! I will read the articles and investigate more.

I'm just in the heartbroken phase, I know it'll heal but rn I´m very confused.

I always knew, from my first real relationship, that I wasn't monogamous. However, I live in a pretty conservative country and city so I spent a lot of time hiding under mono relationships.

I'm just beggining the process of learning, It took me a lot just to create this account. I'm happy to find kindness, and comfort and I'll be more cautious about this on the future.

I appreciate the words and the teaching.
 
Last edited:

Inaniel

Active member
I appreciate the feedback, but finding it amusing is very rude. The title was my question.

Your right, I apologize for the offense. I did state it with the best of intentions however agree that “amuse” was a poor choice of words.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad you took it in spirit intended.

I always new, from my first real relationship, that I wasn't monogamous. However, I live in a pretty conservative country and city so I spend a lot of time hiding under mono relationship

I can imagine if you live in a place that is very conservative, it can be hard.

You don't have to say where you live online if you want to stay mostly anonymous.

Just wondering... what do you mean by "hiding under mono relationship?"

You are not able to simply go on a date with who you want to date? And NOT promise anyone that you are going to "go steady" with just them?

Or does the culture expect "date one at a time only?" Like serial monogamy? Or maybe not the culture at large but your family expects things to go a certain way and it feels weird to want something different than how other people in the family have done their dating times?

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

Elentarin

New member
Glad you took it in spirit intended.



I can imagine if you live in a place that is very conservative, it can be hard.

You don't have to say where you live online if you want to stay mostly anonymous.

Just wondering... what do you mean by "hiding under mono relationship?"

You are not able to just date who you want to date? And NOT promise anyone that you are going to "go steady" with just them?

Or does the culture expect "date one at a time only?" Like serial monogamy? Or maybe not the culture at large but your family?

Galagirl

The culture expects monogamy, I meant hide as i resignate to find only monogamous people here. So I stayed on mono dates and relationships even if they weren fullfiling.

And people is very judgemental with open relationships, specially with women. And a lot of men think they can do whatever they want if you decide to have a free sexuality. Even as a pansexual person my dates with other non cisgender male persons kept limited.

I guess I got too excited to meet someone that didn't react bad at the first mention ofr ENM or Poly. But that didn't meant anything.
 

Elentarin

New member
Your right, I apologize for the offense. I did state it with the best of intentions however agree that “amuse” was a poor choice of words.

I guess I'm pretty sensitive now too. Thanks for your reply.

I really meant I took the feedback. I'm really trying to know more about this.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
I think you won't be able to avoid hierarchy in this situation. Your boyfriend is already in a hierarchical relationship where his girlfriend will always come first. He's not allowed to even kiss you. He won't ever live with you, nor even live alone so you could visit in space that doesn't belong to his girlfriend.

I think it would be reasonable for you to end things with him. I know you like him and you've tried really hard and spent a long time pursuing this. But I think he will never be available to you.

There will be someone else out there for you.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
Sharing a common space is very important for me, and now Idk how to react because I don´t want to go to his new home because I feel I'm sharing the space he shares with his gf, she's a good person but we're not friends yet. So I feel like this door was closed.

I avoid hierarchy by trying not to take part in it. The "relationship escalator", a term I believe coined by the solo-polyamorous folk, is something that is insidious and I can hop on the damned thing without realizing I've done it.

As Inanial said, avoiding it altogether would entail being completely separate with absolute independence, never living together being at the top of that list. I personally like cohabitating under specific conditions, so I don't think I could ever be considered strictly non-hierarchical by solo-poly standards, but the specific conditions I require at least help in this regard.

What being non-hierarchical to me looks like:

Never asking for permission to spend my time how I want, and use my body and energy how I want, without exception or discussion. Also never condone a policy that represses or otherwise indirectly inhibits my ability to have absolute control over my time, energy, and body choices.​

To me, hierarchy represents control; one person, group, or couple dictating how other people are allowed to interact with each other. It is my core boundary to not allow this in my life, and I won't have any part of it. It is fundamentally non-negotiable. So that is how I personally try to avoid hierarchy.

The potential relationship you are looking at may or may not be hierarchical, I couldn't say. They are moving in together which traditionally means they are going to take part in a monogamous hierarchy, but that isn't necessarily the case. You say that you want to move in with him and fill that space, does that mean that you want to take part in hierarchy with him? That isn't meant to be a dig, but a question of your intention. Do you understand your own intention?

I strongly suggest you do some introspection about what you want and expect from romantic relationships. Do a bit of internal investigation about why you think one form of expression with a lover is more or less valuable than another. Once you get some good solid data on what YOU want, only then should you start to discuss things with someone else to determine what it is that THEY want.

Once you have discovered what each of you wants from someone, take a look at the natural overlap and there is the relationship available to you. Everything that doesn't have natural overlap, toss it.
 

WaywardWillow

New member
I think everyone else here covered everything, but I would like to say that it doesn't seem like this guy is being very honest with either you or his GF. I recently went through a similar experience with an ex of mine, who actually was poly even. And it took him being really shady for me to finally realize that this "friendship" was solely based on his own validation and ego.

I wouldn't be surprised if he never even had any intent on discussing this with his GF. I would start to treat him with the same courtesy he treated you. In the grand scheme of things, he may have behaved himself in the physical way, but him dragging you along like this is still wrong on his part and some people may consider it an "emotional affair". I dont know the context of your relationship so I wont claim that, but you have no idea what his GF would think or feel or what he's been telling her.
 

Aly_cat

New member
I´m new at forums, so I´m sorry if I'm doing something wrong.

I'm a woman and more than a year ago I met this guy, I developed a crush on him and told him. He said he couldn't be with me because he has a girlfriend (still has, they've been together 4 years now), so we stay as friends.

However, our relationship developed and he confessed he has feelings for me, we talked a lot and he decided to say this to his partner and we began therapy with the only purpose to see if this can work. We have never kissed nor sleep together becase we want all of this to be sane and consensual from everyone.

Till here everything is fine, but last week he told me he's moving with his gf. He told me he was prepared for the consecuences. And this rang a bell for me, like if he was saying he was prepared for me ending our relationship at expense of he deciding to live with her... like he's "choosing" her.... I was sad he did not asked me before how I felt about this happening, He always says that he doesn't wan to hierarchy our relationships.

Sharing a common space is very important for me, and now Idk how to react because I don´t want to go to his new home because I feel I'm sharing the space he shares with his gf, she's a good person but we're not friends yet. So I feel like this door was closed.

I've been patient and I know is a long process to jump from monogamy to polyamory, however, I can't kiss him, I can't sleep with him, I can share common spaces with him... and now he's living with his gf and I see him once a week or once every 2 weeks and I feel prettybad, sad an anxious, I feel like I´m the lover, I don't feel contemplated.

I was wondering if there's a good way to communicate this to him, I don't want to fall into jelousy, but I want my own necessities to be filled. Now I'm not sure If I want to keep going with this process as I feel pretty heartbroken.
I’m new at forums as well so am probably doing this wrong but, if you feel that way, you need to tell him. You can tell him without sounding or being jealous. Just be up front and ask what he wants out of your relationship, then tell him what you want. You have to be completely honest with yourself and him though. Know your feelings before the conversation. And know that you may need to walk away. And that it’ll hurt but you will move on and up. I’ll Be sending positive thoughts your way!
 
Top