New relationship anxiety lasting longer in a poly relationship?

mountaingirl

Active member
Hi all!

I posted on here awhile ago asking others what coming out is like, how to know when you're ready, and got a lot of really good resources. I'm in a stage where I feel both my relationships are on pretty equal footing (I've now been poly as long as I've been mono :0 ! ) and have been more vocal about having two partners... not so much by saying things like "I'm poly", but I'm no longer hiding my relationships in certain settings. Went to a holiday party last week (at a yoga studio I spend a lot of time at) with what many would consider my 'secondary' partner (we'll call him P). He doesn't feel like my secondary partner anymore, but I never really took him to events as my partner before now. Until recently, things just didn't feel stable enough to do so.

I guess the point of this post is that I feel intense anxiety when I come out and am clear about my relationship with P. We are very committed to each other, and have been together for almost two years; we've known each other for 4. We've talked about getting married, having kids, owning a home together someday, allathat. A little fuzzy on the logistics, but the intention is there. I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this new relationship anxiety even after 2 years... I have known this person for so long, I do trust them, but I still get that same feeling I would get in mono relationships when I would have hard feels for someone and not be sure if they felt the same. I'm wondering if because I'm being more open about my relationship now, I'm experiencing a lot of the new relationship energy I didn't get to feel when we were deep in the closet? Like, I'm doing the part where you introduce your partner to your friends and really publicly commit to each other, and it feels awesome! but also scary.

I think part of my anxiety comes from interactions I've had with others outside of our relationship; I've had friends that have tried to make moves on P once they find out we're together, and don't understand our messy list and that I'm not trying to 'share' my partner with my friends; people who have discounted my love for my husband and P because I love both of them; friends who have told me I need to pick one of them, or that I'm being selfish.. etc. All of these situations hurt because most of these people were close friends of mine that I no longer talk to, and just learning to trust people again, now that I have let some of the judgmental humans exit my life, is something I'm still working on.
But I also think part of this anxiety is just the usual "omg I love this person so much, I wonder if they love me back" feelings. Which is dumb because he literally tells me all the time how much he loves me? we live together? he moved across the country to be with me? and I'm wondering how I can still get these butterfly feelings 2 years later. I am trying to work them out on my own, but I know he notices how insecure I can feel. I know everyone moves at a different pace in relationships, but I want so badly to just be comfy and bask in the awesomeness of being together like P can. My brain just holds me back sometimes.
Figured I'd leave this here; if anyone can relate I would love to hear your thoughts :)
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi mountaingirl,

It's an interesting idea, the idea that new relationship anxiety might last longer in a poly relationship. I wonder if it could be true. Naturally you are going to experience some anxiety whenever you come out as having a second (primary) partner. Polyamory is not looked on kindly by society in general. I hope that will change eventually. Homosexuality has wider acceptance nowadays (while it still has a long ways to go), maybe that can happen for polyamory as well. But in the present day and age, you take a risk whenever you come out as having a second partner. So of course you should feel some anxiety when you take that risk. I personally have not come out as being in a poly household, so I have not had to experience that anxiety. Although I will say, that if the three of us did come out, I think I would experience much less anxiety than would the other two. Maybe I'm just less realistic; I don't know if they could lose their jobs.

I do wish the three of us could come out to the world -- it would be nice to have others celebrate our relationship with us. Maybe we will someday, but not any time soon. I have mostly made my peace with that part of reality. You are coming out, and that is both exciting and scary. So maybe that does extend the limits of NRE. As well as of NRA. You must try to realize that P loves you regardless of how some people might criticize your relationship when you do come out. He is not those people, he loves you for who you are. Anyway these are just some of my thoughts.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Anxiety can come from whatever.
  • introducing partner to friends, family, coworkers
  • dealing with reactions -- appropriate and not
  • getting into a more longed lived place in the relationship -- the anxiety of "Ok, this is getting REAL now"
  • any weird from pandemic disrupting "normal" since 2020
I know everyone moves at a different pace in relationships, but I want so badly to just be comfy and bask in the awesomeness of being together like P can. My brain just holds me back sometimes.
Figured I'd leave this here; if anyone can relate I would love to hear your thoughts :)

Your brain doesn't have to be like P's brain. Give yourself time. Keep working on your anxiety management things and moving into the "new normal" of both relationships being on equal footing and cohabitating.

Galagirl
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
It definitely hurts, but it's normal to have your friend groups change as you evolve and mature. The judgmental ones who say or do all kinds of rude or inappropriate things are no longer suited to whom you have become. You'll make new friends who are more accepting/tolerant of poly, or maybe even practice it themselves, so understand how the dynamics work! And that will take a lot of your anxiety away.

I have about 150 FB "friends," some of whom only know me from certain hobby groups. After having dated my bf Aries for over a year, I have begun mentioning him as more of a partner than a friend, just to make it clear why I am always doing activities with both him and Pixi, separately or (rarely) together. I haven't gotten any negative comments at all. Since you can only mention one partner as your status, I recently changed it to "in an open relationship with" Aries. I wish I could include both names though.
 
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Tinwen

Well-known member
I'd say it's not uncommon that EVERYTHING takes a little longer in poly relationships. You have more communication to do, more standards to set, more more more... it's just complex.

Besides, two years? That's actually still a kinda new relationship. Like, past most of the NRE phase, but maybe just comming out of the last bits and pieces of the innitial idealism. Not necessarily into a "we've been through so many crises together, we really know each other and want to stay" phase.

So if you're still having having so anxiety whether he loves you or not, you may look into the relationship briefly (if there are warning signs previously overlooked), do look into your personal history (if this is perhaps a pattern repeated in multiple relationships), but don't be too worried about worrying ;) Could be just on schedule.
 

mountaingirl

Active member
I'd say it's not uncommon that EVERYTHING takes a little longer in poly relationships. You have more communication to do, more standards to set, more more more... it's just complex.
!!
Besides, two years? That's actually still a kinda new relationship. Like, past most of the NRE phase, but maybe just comming out of the last bits and pieces of the innitial idealism. Not necessarily into a "we've been through so many crises together, we really know each other and want to stay" phase.
We have known each other for four... our relationship has gone really fast in some ways and really slow in others (like, we were already comparing farts, but it took a year to go on our first date lol). But I feel this. We've been through crises together, but perhaps more as a 3 person group (Me, P, and Joe) rather than just me and P.
So if you're still having having so anxiety whether he loves you or not, you may look into the relationship briefly (if there are warning signs previously overlooked), do look into your personal history (if this is perhaps a pattern repeated in multiple relationships), but don't be too worried about worrying ;) Could be just on schedule.
Some of this definitely has to do with my personal history; for e.g. I'm stressed this week because P is going to hang with a friend out of state for new years, and I get stressed EVERY time he leaves, even if it's only for a few days. My ex left for a weekend, wouldn't contact me while he was gone or tell me where he went, and then came back and broke up with me to be with someone else that he had been hanging out with (we were together for 3 years). I had food poisoning and a calculus test the same day hahahahah. Moral of the story: just avoid gas station barbecue because I really didn't see the other shit coming.
Thanks for your reply :) seems like the consensus on here is there is nothing wrong with being anxious about these things as long as I'm taking steps to deal with that anxiety. It really helps to be able to identify what the actual trigger is, i.e. P leaving. Helps me avoid my kneejerk, irrational response of distancing myself to keep from being hurt.
 

mountaingirl

Active member
don't be too worried about worrying ;)
lmao i wish this wasn't a thing that I actually do

Also the worrying about not being worried eheheh
 
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