Negotiating a Relationship

Hanky

New member
Hey All.

So I have been seeing this woman casually for about three months, were basically just dating. And I have been clear about me also dating other people and she was been playing like she hasn't been, which for all I know is true. So she has been telling me that she is monogamous basically and I have been telling her I am not monogamous.

Well, she came to me wanting to talk about a relationship. And I was like, okay we can discuss that. The way I see starting a relationship, is that it's like a negotiation. Like this is what I have to offer and this is what I want in return... And I personally feel like I have a lot to offer, I mean if we form a relationship I can offer a good life. I am a vlogger/filmmaker so I travel all over the world and make enough that any partner of mine can come along on all of my adventures. It's a good life I'm not goanna lie. I mean covid has sucked for my profession, but looking forward this is the type of life a partner can expect from me, and this woman seems super interested in the lifestyle.

Anyway, monogamy came up. So I told her I'm not monogamous but I am glad she is because I find that attractive about her. But then she flipped the script and is saying that in a hypothetical relationship, if I can have sex with other people she can too. And, I was like hold on, because she has been telling me that she isn't like that... So I basically said I am cool with her doing anything she wants with a couple of exceptions, and after a long talk those exceptions basically came down her not messing around with other men.

I just feel odd about it because she acted like she didn't even want men, and now she only wants them because its "fair". Which I think is dumb, id rather us just be ourselves like we have been with dating. So she's isn't sleeping with other men now, but she expects me to invest significantly more into our relationship together and as a bonus I get to think about her having sex with other guys... I am definitely not going to agree to that. I know I can do better than that, and she does too but she cant stomach things not being fair. The worst part, I think she is just trying to make a point about me having a double standard and then pretends like she doesn't have any double standards. The real problem as I see it, is its keeping us from having a real conversation about what we actually want.

I'm real close to breaking it off, I am off to Europe in a month so I am tempted to drop the whole thing. We had lose plans for her to come along, but with all this drama its going to affect my work so I am telling her that its just not a good idea anymore. But when I talk to her about us not being compatible she says that she loves me and knows we can find a way to make it work. I know I'm being manipulated into being monogamous here, and in my old way of life I would have just lied. But I am trying to do things the right way, but I hit this road block and I don't know how to get past it.

Her being with other men, honestly it just repulses me. Makes me feel sick in my stomach, so I wont be agreeing to that. I know its a double standard and all, and I know everyone has double standards so I don't even feel bad about it. I guess any pointers on how to negotiate around these types of issues would be appreciated...
 

Marcus

Well-known member
Her being with other men, honestly it just repulses me. Makes me feel sick in my stomach, so I wont be agreeing to that. I know its a double standard and all, and I know everyone has double standards so I don't even feel bad about it. I guess any pointers on how to negotiate around these types of issues would be appreciated...

So you want a one-penis-policy, which is fundamentally a double standard, and she doesn't want to agree to that. I wouldn't either.

I don't think you should "negotiate around" this issue. This is a fundamental incompatibility and I don't get why the two of you are still hassling each other. You don't sound like you have any respect for her, you don't particularly seem to like her, so... why are you still messing with it?

Lot's of polyamorous people are insecure, and try to regulate the actions of their partners (one penis policy is a classic example), instead of dealing with their insecurities. You make it clear that you have no problem with your double standard, which I presume means you have no interest in addressing your insecurities. That being the case, my recommendation would be to go find someone who will follow your rules so that you don't have to deal with your own internal issues.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
It totally sounds like you think you have enough money and {whatever other positive qualities you offer} that you think that she should be so grateful to you for including her in your life that you get to do whatever you want and she... doesn't? I'm with @Marcus. Maybe somebody will want that deal - I think it's a terrible one, but it's not my life - but this woman clearly does not.
 

Hanky

New member
Thanks for the replies, great feedback. But I think you got me a little wrong...

I don't think you should "negotiate around" this issue. This is a fundamental incompatibility and I don't get why the two of you are still hassling each other. You don't sound like you have any respect for her, you don't particularly seem to like her, so... why are you still messing with it?

That's how I would feel too if she was actually being honest and upfront! But then she turns around and says she's monogamous. So I don't know what the truth is.. I don't understand what the compatibility level is because of the mixed signals.. I'm not sure why you think I have no respect for her... As far as my feelings for her, well we have only been dating for about three months and she is the one pushing for the relationship... We have had a some great times and all, but im not moving as fast emotionally as she is in the regards to love, but I can't help that.

Lot's of polyamorous people are insecure, and try to regulate the actions of their partners (one penis policy is a classic example), instead of dealing with their insecurities. You make it clear that you have no problem with your double standard, which I presume means you have no interest in addressing your insecurities. That being the case, my recommendation would be to go find someone who will follow your rules so that you don't have to deal with your own internal issues.

Well honestly I cant do it all, be a provider, working my hustle 60hrs a week, traveling all the time, and then spending countless hours miserable or in therapy because she's with other guys... Maybe for a partner that could contribute more and I could half my work hours I would have more time for personal growth in that direction. So yeah, given my situation its just not realistic for me. In fact, im not even sure it would be good for me to do something to decrease my professional momentum right now.

But yeah, I agree. And I have tried to just be like, hey this negotiation failed lets just move on and she just wont let it go. She keeps hitting me up like were cool and asks me to come out, and then the next day she tries to have this talk with me again...


It totally sounds like you think you have enough money and {whatever other positive qualities you offer} that you think that she should be so grateful to you for including her in your life that you get to do whatever you want and she... doesn't? I'm with @Marcus. Maybe somebody will want that deal - I think it's a terrible one, but it's not my life - but this woman clearly does not.

I think you got me all wrong. I am not talking about "doing whatever I want". I am willing to make her a priority, my primary, I am willing to give her 95% of my free time and limit other sex to casual only. I am willing to share the life I have built with her, and yeah I have worked hard on creating it and I value it, and it has value to her too. The life I have built is what I have to offer somebody, that's how relationships work. I would be giving up 95% of my free-time lifestyle already, so you cant paint me as some dbag who is just going off and doing whatever he wants.

And I get that nothing is really worth personal freedom, so if she actually wanted something I couldn't give her I would just block her number. But she tells me she doesn't even want other men. So I'm trying to formalize what each of us has already said we wanted, but because of like the stigma I guess of a double standard she doesn't want to formalize the agreement. Either that or she just wants me to be monogamous. The point is is she gives me mixed messages of compatible and not compatible. And I tried coming here to figure out how to get to the root of what's going on so we can communicate more effectively about this...
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
I think the only way you're going to get to the root of this is to ask her what is at the root of this.

You're getting mixed messages from her, yes? She's told you she's monogamous by nature but she wants equal rights in the consensual non monogamy agreements. I can see why you are confused.

Can you have this conversation between the two of you, listen completely open mindedly and without thinking about some other guy but try and get to the bottom of the core issue since she seems to be communicating two different core values?

Or just break up with her. On the surface level, the way you tell it, she has hope you'll change your mind, you know you won't. You're incompatible as a couple. Equitable consensual non monogamy is clearly not your thing at this time in your life. Maybe it will be one day, but based on what you say about it above, not in the near future.

You said in your intro that you're just getting started with the idea of consensual non monogamy where you tell the women you're dating about each other. Until recently you've just lied, perhaps by omission, to everyone you date. Honesty will be a good start, but equality and fairness would be a good eventual goal. I know you might not choose that, I've seen other people not choose that. I honestly think that the guys who do consensual non monogamy well end up getting far more quality and quantity of relationships, but your goal may be to "settle down" traditionally one day.

If I were you, I'd not take this current woman to Europe, it's just going to get messy.
 

Inaniel

Active member
I would argue that you are not receiving mixed messages at all…

1. You two were dating.
2. She propositioned you for a relationship.
3. You stated your terms.
4. She did not consent to your terms.
5. Relationship talks should now be over.

The next conversation should be whether you each would like to continue casually dating with no strings attached.
 

Hanky

New member
Inaniel, ~ that word sounds so familiar to me.

You see she says I can only sleep with other people if she can. So I then ask, so you are non monogamous, and then she like oh no, I am monogamous.. So that's where the mixed signals are coming from...
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Hanky,

You need to tell this woman, straight up, that you will be seeing other women, while she will not be seeing other men, and also tell her that this will be non-negotiable. Stand up for yourself, and make your rights known. Sure it's a double standard. Doesn't everybody have a double standard? and besides, it's what you want; it's what you can tolerate. In poly, it's very important to be completely honest. You are just being honest about what you can tolerate.

A relationship with you means traveling around the world. That's not an opportunity one sees every day. This woman is getting more than a fair deal with you. She should be content with that. Really, all of this should be a moot point, since she claims she is not interested in dating other men. I think the thing to do is point out to her that she is doing a double standard of her own, by claiming she is monogamous and then stating that she wants to date other men. Ask her, straight up: "Which is it? It can't be both."

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

Hanky

New member
Kevin, you totally get it!

Thanks so much. Yes! Everyone has double standards! The only difference is I am confident enough to admit it. So yeah, confident and honest people get criticized but that's all good because I am used to it. I'm not trying to hide anything. And this woman is a rare beauty, and that's part of what she has to offer a relationship. So it's like we are dueling it out trying to come to an agreement, and yeah the talks are ongoing. It's like, when negotiating for a car there is back and forth, it's not like it's over in one conversation. I cant believe no one else is getting it!

Like I said, this woman is a rare beauty so just being in a relationship with her is a status symbol and adds to my status on social media, which is my main marketing strategy. She has no delusions about what she has to offer, and I respect her for that. I'm not saying relationships should be all strategy, but you got to consider repercussions of your relationships, especially when public image relates to your brand.

Her and I get along great, and see eye to eye on almost everything. She will have no trouble finding someone else. As for me, I would rather negotiate with a woman slightly less beautiful, or with slightly less to offer, in order to get my relationship terms because my happiness is important to me. So I wont consent or whatever to something that I know will make me miserable even if it means my relationship value is knocked down a peg.

But you are right, I just need to stick to my terms and she will need to decide if she can handle it or not. It is what it is.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
You see she says I can only sleep with other people if she can. So I then ask, so you are non monogamous, and then she like oh no, I am monogamous.. So that's where the mixed signals are coming from...

How is that a mixed signal? I am not sure how she could be more clear. I personally won't be regulated because someone else doesn't want to deal with their insecurities. I would consider a one-penis-policy to be a red flag, regardless of whether or not I wanted more penises.

I'm sure there are lots of girls out there who are happy to take part in a relationship with a clear and arbitrary double standard. Just make yourself clear and only entertain relationships with people who actually fit the bill.

But yeah, I agree. And I have tried to just be like, hey this negotiation failed lets just move on and she just wont let it go. She keeps hitting me up like were cool and asks me to come out, and then the next day she tries to have this talk with me again...

Take your boundaries seriously. You tell her how it is, if she is continuing to harass you because she wants some of that value, then stand up for your boundaries.

If you keep getting dragged into negotiations with someone when you have clearly stated that you aren't into it, maybe move to blocking her number and then take legal action if she continues to stalk you. It's up to you to take your boundaries seriously and it is a mistake to let people continue to trounce on them.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
As far as my feelings for her, well we have only been dating for about three months and she is the one pushing for the relationship... We have had a some great times and all, but im not moving as fast emotionally as she is in the regards to love, but I can't help that.

If she's trying to escalate the relationship and you aren't ready? Say no.

I'm real close to breaking it off, I am off to Europe in a month so I am tempted to drop the whole thing. We had lose plans for her to come along, but with all this drama its going to affect my work so I am telling her that its just not a good idea anymore.

So break it off and don't take her to Europe.

You see she says I can only sleep with other people if she can. So I then ask, so you are non monogamous, and then she like oh no, I am monogamous.. So that's where the mixed signals are coming from...

It doesn't sound like it is gonna work with this lady. But I will point out that sometimes people lack vocabulary.

She might say "monogamous" but she might mean she is monoamorous and wants to love one sweetie. But is up for casual sex sometimes once in a while. So maybe more like monogamish? Or polysexual. Or up for swinging.

Whatever she means? If she means she wants to love only you but also share sex with dudes once in a while and you can't deal with that? It's not gonna pan out here between you. So best to just skip it.

Her and I get along great, and see eye to eye on almost everything. She will have no trouble finding someone else. As for me, I would rather negotiate with a woman slightly less beautiful, or with slightly less to offer, in order to get my relationship terms because my happiness is important to me. So I wont consent or whatever to something that I know will make me miserable even if it means my relationship value is knocked down a peg.

This only 3 mos of casual dating. You don't need to stress THIS hard about it.

From your introduction, I see you are trying to turn over a new leaf. And are new to just being up front with people from the start.

So be up front -- Tell her that what she proposes is not what you want.
  • You liked it fine when it was casual dating. You don't want to escalate to something "more serious" at this time.
  • If she wants to start seeing other people, that's fine. You won't stop her. You both have the freedom to see who you want to see.
  • But you have to bow out of her network then, because you have some discomfort around her seeing other men. You each can stop participating here at any time. Your continued consent to be here belongs to you. Her continued consent to be here belongs to her.
Be honest about where you are at. And remember neither one of you can MAKE the other one do stuff they don't want to be doing.

If what you want doesn't line up with this new potential and what she wants? It doesn't line up. Part ways peacefully and call it a day.

But yeah, I agree. And I have tried to just be like, hey this negotiation failed lets just move on and she just wont let it go. She keeps hitting me up like were cool and asks me to come out, and then the next day she tries to have this talk with me again...

If she keeps bothering you after you told her you are done and prefer to be broken up? Block her number.

If you prefer mono-poly situations where the women see only you? While you can see other women? Well, I suppose there are people who are up for that. So best you be clear about it from the start. That's what you prefer at this time.

Or if you are ok with them dating other women, but not men right now? State where you stand so things are clear.

They don't HAVE to take up with you any more than you HAVE to take up with them.

Sorting out who is compatible and who is not is part of what dating is FOR. So sort.

If over time if you find this preference might need changing because it is limiting your dating pool? You could work on that later at some point in future -- deal with the "Them dating other guys is repulsive to me" whatevers.

Right now? You sounded like you wanted to work on the "be more up front" part in your intro.

So be more up front.


Galagirl
 
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AlwaysGrowing

Well-known member
I agree there's no mixed signal here.

She has always been monogamous, and she's told you that.
You are only interested in a nonmonogamous relationship.
She COMPROMISES and says ok. Non-mono is fine, but it needs to be equitable. You can fuck around? Then I can too. You agree to not fuck around? I won't either.

She's clearly stated that her preference and history is monogamous, but that if you insist on being open to other people for yourself then she expects the same freedom. Whether or not she'd ever act on it doesn't matter. You don't get to impose rules on someone else that you won't follow yourself when you actually want to be ethical.
 

Inaniel

Active member
OP, you are confusing her Consent with her Basis or Justification for non-consent.

You may find her justification for non-consent confusing. It’s not your job to understand, and it’s nobody’s job to make you understand it. Her justification is her business, not yours.

The question of Consent is not at all confusing. She does not consent. Her response to your proposition is “No, I do not consent” You find her justification for non-consent confusing? So be it. Get over it. That’s for her to worry about, not you.

Finally, this is not a negotiation. A negotiation would insinuate that you came forward with a another offer, but that is not the case. Your final offer is on the table and she said “No”. You both have revisited your respective offers and the answer has been “No” every single time. Negotiations are now closed.

If I walked into a car dealership and made the same shitty unreasonable offer every single day, that’s not negotiating; that’s harassment.

If you want to keep answering booty calls and participating in this cycle so be it. The ethics of doing so are on you. And I think the best way to proceed is to communicate the following:

You consent to sex under the following terms:
1. Relationship talks are indefinitely tabled,
2. You will let her know if your relationship terms change, and you request she do the same. Until or if that happens the dynamic will not escalate beyond what it is now.

You maintain your boundaries by not escalating the relationship or dangling any carrots. That means not doing “bf/gf” type stuff with her, like taking her to Europe. And not promising expensive adventures in attempts to coerce her decisions. That’s you taking responsibility for YOU, and your expectation should be that she figures out how to do the same for herself.

If you find that either of you cannot maintain boundaries in an ethical casual dating dynamic. End it! Vacate the ship immediately, to reduce your risk of drowning!
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
I'm seeing a significant commodification component of both each other, and of the relationship because of your business model. That perspective is probably going to make ethical and equitable non monogamy quite difficult to obtain. It's not really a polyamory situation since you're not looking to have multiple loving relationships, more like a gf slash business asset, and side chicks when you come across such an opportunity. Maybe you'll find responses that suit your preferences better at a less polyamory (emphasis on the -amory) focused forum, although you're definitely getting some great relationship advice here that you could consider taking into any future relationships.
 
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Hanky

New member
Thanks all.

That makes a bit more sense now. I'm not really sure this relationship has anymore commodification than other relationships, I mean doesn't everyone consider what the other person has to offer when they start thinking about a relationship?

Anyway, I tried last night to tell her how it's going to be and im not going to lie she got pretty pissed off. Especially about canceling travel plans, she's acting like I promised her something when I didn't. I only ever spoke about traveling in the context of the relationship going somewhere. But she thinks im manipulating her. I think in reality she's trying to manipulate me but whatever. She is going to have to get it together in a big way if I am going to stick around.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I'm not really sure this relationship has anymore commodification than other relationships, I mean doesn't everyone consider what the other person has to offer when they start thinking about a relationship?

Because of how you guys are approaching this, as a business transaction, have you considered getting a mediator to negotiate for you? I'm not being funny, you guys are negotiating a contract and weighing the value you each bring to the table, so I think approaching it as a relationship might actually be what's causing the problem for you.

Maybe just drop the other shoe and use appropriate tools for the type of conversation you're having. A good mediator is trained to work through exactly this kind of transaction and I suspect they could really help.

Even if you don't decide to work with a contract negotiator, I hope that you'll refine the type of tools you are using for this issue. I agree with the others that this isn't at all related to polyamory, so we aren't going to give you the kind of negotiation tactics you're looking for.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
doesn't everyone consider what the other person has to offer when they start thinking about a relationship?

I would hope so. But some people don't always think things out.

But she thinks im manipulating her. I think in reality she's trying to manipulate me but whatever. She is going to have to get it together in a big way if I am going to stick around.

I think you could just give it a pass. If you don't interact at all? Nobody is manipulating anyone.

Well honestly I cant do it all, be a provider, working my hustle 60hrs a week, traveling all the time, and then spending countless hours miserable or in therapy because she's with other guys... Maybe for a partner that could contribute more and I could half my work hours I would have more time for personal growth in that direction. So yeah, given my situation its just not realistic for me. In fact, im not even sure it would be good for me to do something to decrease my professional momentum right now.

If you don't have the space for personal growth because your main focus is your business? Could be more up front on what the deal is here then.

And if you are going to poly, be clear you are solo-poly. You don't want deep entanglements.

Anyway, I tried last night to tell her how it's going to be and im not going to lie she got pretty pissed off. Especially about canceling travel plans, she's acting like I promised her something when I didn't. I only ever spoke about traveling in the context of the relationship going somewhere.

If you want a travel companion for a short term relationship and to be your arm candy to business events/social media pix? Present it that way.

You'll pony up the trip, treat her nice, and show her a good time. The lady? During the trip, no hooking up with other dudes. Trip over? Shake hands, part ways. Then they can do whatever.

Galagirl
 

Marcus

Well-known member
If you want a travel companion for a short term relationship and to be your arm candy to business events/social media pix? Present it that way.

You'll pony up the trip, treat her nice, and show her a good time. The lady? During the trip, no hooking up with other dudes. Trip over? Shake hands, part ways. Then they can do whatever.

It's more like negotiating a contract with an escort, which I think is a great idea. It's not like they can't still like each other or even be good friends, but when it comes to business just be clear.

People do it all the time, though they frame it as "love" because the general public is still allergic to sex work for some reason. As an important and influential public figure, framing it as negotiating a contract with an escort might not buy the PR benefits you're looking for. So, don't call it a contract with an escort, call it love, but at least use proper tools for drawing a contract and stop depending on the touchy feely advice of people who are trying to have polyamorous relationships.

And if the two parties simply can't agree on a contract... why continue torturing each other with the negotiation? That might be the part that I'm confused about, why there is an ongoing fight to try to get one person to cave and sign the contract. There are many "rare beauties" out there who would surely fit the bill better and agree to proposed contract.
 
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