Newbie, boyfriend expressed need for solo poly

Melibird

New member
I'm not completely surprised by the news that my boyfriend is expressing a need for a change in our relationship, but I still don't know what to do.
He originally told me he was interested in polyamory and I said in theory I could see that working and I'd let him know if the relationship meet my needs as things progressed. About 3 weeks in he decided to be mono with me and we never really talked about it again. We have only been dating 9 months, and he and my two kids (7&3, damaged by divorce) absolutely adore each other. We have been through a lot for such a short period, including a pregnancy we decided to move forward with wholeheartedly, followed by a really awful miscarriage. It's been heavy. Now, a few months after our loss, I confronted my partner because it's felt more duty bound when he's around (I appreciate "commitment" but not feeling wanted sucks, no thanks) and through working it out together we eventually came to the understanding that he is feeling called to be his own primary partner and wants the freedom to follow each moment and connection to it's natural potential with no consideration. It took me about a week to come to terms to at least the point where I could imagine a way I could survive, going through some pretty heavy depression on my part and a come to jeebus processing weekend. It's taken about two weeks for me to realize that even with two kids I'm not doomed to an isolated and lonely life of wondering how much fun he's having and I could conceivably have other partners, even though that still feels fantastical. Idk what the future holds. He doesn't know if we can continue a sexual relationship because it will muddy the water and because neither one of us can imagine using a condom together. He's afraid that it will ruin the relationship we have left if it confuses us but I feel like that's saying he needs to avoid and sublimate feelings for me so he won't feel a pulled to be with me (I don't pull, although he knows I would like this). That's confusing because it's like saying he loves me so much he can't be with me and that's a cop out or something, I can't figure it out. He's still showing up for things we need, still being sweet and affectionate, still says he's deeply committed to us but doesn't know what that means. He's gotten more surface level in conversation and has less frequent contact. Part of me feels friend zoned. I know you all call that "transitioned" but tell me again how your don't feel like you got fired from the job you love? But you're still invited to watch. I have zero doubt this man loves us. I just don't think he wants us, and I don't know if I can continue to expand into my own growth feeling that pain so deeply. I already feel so peripheral, I fear my kids feeling unimportant too, and this is all before there is even anyone to "worry about". I really love him. He's definitely the most deeply loving, conscious, responsive partner I've ever had. He lights up my world when he's around, and I love to see his light shining in the larger world. His proverbial tail wags when he gets excited about something and it makes me so happy. But I also feel like that excitement and attention span will be my downfall and I would be smart to save myself pain now, because I think NRE is likely to carry him away. Also, is it weird that I have zero issue with polyfuckery, but it's the emotional aspects of polyamory that are terrifying? I don't see how someone can NOT get carried away with someone new when they fall in love, or at least only continue an old relationship out of "duty" which I can't fucking stand. I'm having issue with definitions of commitment because I want to say if you don't want to be here, forcing yourself is not a favor to anyone. I know there is a lot to unpack here, I'm a mess! Any insight on any of this are appreciated.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
He doesn't know if we can continue a sexual relationship because it will muddy the water and because neither one of us can imagine using a condom together. He's afraid that it will ruin the relationship we have left if it confuses us

I thought your post made sense until you got to this part.

Solo poly doesnt mean you can't have sex with partners or agree to go barrier free with partners. What he said to you sounds like what you say to someone with whom you're formally breaking up but will have to continue to interact with on some other level. Like a co-parent or colleague.
 

Melibird

New member
I thought your post made sense until you got to this part.

Solo poly doesnt mean you can't have sex with partners or agree to go barrier free with partners. What he said to you sounds like what you say to someone with whom you're formally breaking up but will have to continue to interact with on some other level. Like a co-parent or colleague.
I think he's scared that he will feel more confused or pulled back into the "coupleship" identity. He's only just created this space for himself, which I had to sense the need for and invite him to communicate because he was feeling guilty about his needs. So I hope it's just temporary, but I worry that is exactly what you are saying- the slowest, most excruciating, cruelest in the nicest way bandaid pull.
 

LoveBunny

Active member
Sounds to me like a big 'ol demotion. So you will no longer have sex (but can have sex with other people) and are no longer engaged in any kind of "couplehood," but you will...what? Continue to help each other out around the house? Sounds like he's offering you a friendship but not calling it that?

Maybe now the new-relationship goggles have come off after 9 months, and he's realized he overpomised and overestimated his interest in being in a relationship with you and is backtracking, which sucks, but I'd bet it has less to do with you than with him. You seem like a thoughtful, resilient and nonjudgmental person, I'm guessing you can let this one go and find someone who wants all in with you.

Either way, I hope you find peace and joy, you deserve it.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I could be wrong, but here's how it sounds to me.

Let me repeat back what I understand in my own words. I have trouble when things don't appear in chronological order. Blue just to visually block it off.

9 mos ago, you and BF start dating around Oct 2020 ish.
3 weeks into the relationship, he decided to be monogamous with you and never really talked about it again. (<-- commitment so fast?)
You got pregnant with him, but then miscarried a few months ago.
Recently he asked for changes in the relationship that you are not surprised by.
  • He's gotten more surface level in conversation
  • He has less frequent contact.
  • He wants to stop sharing sex with you.
  • He feels called to be his own primary partner/do solo poly.
  • He wants to be a free agent. Free to pursue other relationships and let them unfold however he wants without having to consider you/the kids.
So it's feeling like a break up, and he's off to pursue solo poly for himself and you feel friend zoned.
It confuses you though, because he keeps coming around and doesn't behave like "ex."
  • He's still showing up for things your family needs.
  • He still being sweet and affectionate when he is around.
  • He still says he's deeply committed to you and the kids but doesn't know what that means.
  • You don't doubt he loves you/the kids, but the love is changing.
Like... this is a divorce and he's trying to be a decent ex-husband and coparent to the kids. But he's not their dad (as much as they like each other), and this is not a divorce since you are not married.
Occupying this weird in between space is painful for you. You don't know if you can continue to expand into your own growth feeling the pain of "broken up/but not done breaking up/what are we calling this now?" limbo.
You don't want to participate in a new polyship thing with him if he's just sticking around with you from "obligation and duty" and no longer your lover. And then you have to be watching him in NRE with new people.
You prefer to be "officially" broken up. And then some time and space on your own to close that chapter. Before trying to be exes and friends in a new chapter, with some new personal boundaries in place because you are not lovers any more. Or maybe just exes.
It's like he wants to "soft break up" so he can think of himself as a "nice guy" or something. Where you think a "firm break up" would actually be better for you and the "real nice." Not this pussyfooting thing that actually hurts with the confusion.
You want to tell him "If you don't want to be here, forcing yourself is not a favor to anyone."

Is that about it?

If so... how about asking YOU the same question?

If YOU don't want to be here like this, forcing yourself to be is not a favor to anyone.

If being here like this with him is painful, impeding your healing and ability to expand into your own growth? How about taking charge of your own life?

Telling him that it is "officially broken up?" Then you at least can move on to the healing place. Better to linger there than lingering here in the "dragging out a break up" place.

You could say something like...

"Look, this is too weird for me with all the vague. Let's just call it officially broken up. 30 days no contact. Then we can talk and see how it lands. Like polite exes who do not hang out, but say "hello" if we bump unto each other on the street. Or like good exes and friends who still want to hang out."

I don't know what you mean by "affectionate" -- but if you do want to try exes and friends after 30 days no contact? No more sex. No more kissing. And limited to "friend hugs" and not "lover hugs."

To me, feelings ensue after action behavior or thinking behavior. So if you want to feel clear about him? Don't be doing "lover behaviors" when he's supposed to be "ex" now. Or "ex and friend" now.


I think if you want clarity here about it all, it's gonna be you that creates that clarity for yourself.

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Melibird,

It seems to me that what your boyfriend wants is for you and him to keep living together but have a platonic relationship, while both of you have romantic partners on the side. While what you would prefer is for you and him to continue having a romantic and sexual relationship, while he has partners on the side. He wants to be his own primary partner, while you would prefer to continue being his primary partner. You don't seem thrilled with the idea of having side partners of your own.

And I take it you feel pressured to do things his way, for the sake of the kids. Heck if you had your way, the topic of poly would not even be up for discussion.

Have you considered the kind of life you are modeling for the kids? Do you want to show them that the best way to live is to sacrifice one's own happiness in order to satisfy others? Do you want your kids to grow up sacrificing their own happiness? Do you want them to grow up not wanting to have kids of their own, in order for them to avoid that sacrifice? The last two questions were kind of rhetorical. Of course you don't want that for your kids. You want them to live happy and fulfilled lives. And kids learn by example, so the kind of example you want to set is to live a happy and fulfilled life yourself.

And what if your boyfriend gave up the solo poly that he wants? He would be setting the same kind of example, the example that says that duty is more important than happiness. This, too, would affect the kind of future that your kids could look forward to. Now, there are times when happiness has to be delayed for the sake of duty, but for the rest of one's life? That is asking too much. And what about delaying happiness for the duration of your kids' childhood? Should you do things your boyfriend's way until your youngest is 20 years old (17 years from now)? That's a riddle I can't solve for you, but I did want to make the point that whatever you do, your kids are watching you, and learning from your example.

It's conceivable that GalaGirl has the right idea. The best thing for the kids might be for you and your boyfriend to stop living together, to stop calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend, and to just be platonic friends (and exes). In that scenario, your then-ex boyfriend could still come to visit, he could still show the kids that he cared, and you could show them that you aren't erasing him from their lives. And in the meantime, you could be open to the possibility of meeting a new boyfriend, a monogamous boyfriend, which could make you happy, and bring more joy into your children's lives. And your then-ex boyfriend could be free to live the solo poly life he wants to live, without hurting you in the process. I'm not saying that's what you have to choose, but I do suggest you consider it.

I hope the two of you can work things out somehow.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

TXretired

Active member
Welcome. Sorry about your miscarriage. My wife’s was 31 yrs ago, it still impacts me. I like what Gala said. I don’t see him as wanting responsibility. If that is so, you have some decisions to make. What do you want for YOU. What do you want to do to have that. Start there. Best Wishes.
 

Melibird

New member
Update: things shift fast when people wait for clarity and communicate.
Thank you all for your responses! It was really great to have a place to come and share concerns and feel cared for. This is a scary and hard thing to figure out at first. I won't respond individually just because things have shifted so it wouldn't really make sense. I hope no one takes offense ❤️
Last night my aunts took my kids overnight, and my partner and I got time to be alone. It was nice, relaxed, and he stayed over for cuddles. I told him how sad I was too not know what our physical relationship would be in the future because I deeply appreciate that part of our bond. He felt really sad too, and said he just didn't want me to be pulled in and out of monogamous-type feelings for him (Right after he first revealed his need for solo poly we had sex and predictably it ended in tears). I said I just didn't want to restrict him in any way by asking for an exclusive fluid bond and will not revert to condom use with him. He surprised me by saying that seemed like a completely reasonable expectation for the future and that having sex with other people is not at all where his head is right now anyway. So we had wonderful sex.
This morning I was able to express to him the seeds of insecurity in my own past that I have processed in this transition and the continued worry about him being swept off by NRE. He thanked me sharing and asked me if I could trust him to find his way in this process if I know he's aware of my worry and will always hold my heart as gently as he can. I shared about my (in my opinion extremely quick) growth in understanding about polyamory in general and my ability to open to reassurance and experience security within myself especially. I am more excited about the prospect of additional partnerships in my life whether platonic or sexual. In fact, I've recognized that there are times in life I've held multiple partners but didn't call it that and I love the idea of living that broader fulfillment consciously. I was hung up on the kids and imagining the stereotypical low class single mom with a string of non-committal boyfriends, but of course that's not anything I would expose my small people to and it was an angry cop out. There are loving relationships available and I can move with openness. I let him know that I love him and that won't change.
Turns out HE was running because he felt his needs were unacceptable and he was scared. I'm so grateful for the courage to stand in my own fire, to use triggers to identify and work my shit, and to say what's in my heart.
 

Melibird

New member
I could be wrong, but here's how it sounds to me.

Let me repeat back what I understand in my own words. I have trouble when things don't appear in chronological order. Blue just to visually block it off.

9 mos ago, you and BF start dating around Oct 2020 ish.
3 weeks into the relationship, he decided to be monogamous with you and never really talked about it again. (<-- commitment so fast?)
You got pregnant with him, but then miscarried a few months ago.
Recently he asked for changes in the relationship that you are not surprised by.
  • He's gotten more surface level in conversation
  • He has less frequent contact.
  • He wants to stop sharing sex with you.
  • He feels called to be his own primary partner/do solo poly.
  • He wants to be a free agent. Free to pursue other relationships and let them unfold however he wants without having to consider you/the kids.
So it's feeling like a break up, and he's off to pursue solo poly for himself and you feel friend zoned.
It confuses you though, because he keeps coming around and doesn't behave like "ex."
  • He's still showing up for things your family needs.
  • He still being sweet and affectionate when he is around.
  • He still says he's deeply committed to you and the kids but doesn't know what that means.
  • You don't doubt he loves you/the kids, but the love is changing.
Like... this is a divorce and he's trying to be a decent ex-husband and coparent to the kids. But he's not their dad (as much as they like each other), and this is not a divorce since you are not married.
Occupying this weird in between space is painful for you. You don't know if you can continue to expand into your own growth feeling the pain of "broken up/but not done breaking up/what are we calling this now?" limbo.
You don't want to participate in a new polyship thing with him if he's just sticking around with you from "obligation and duty" and no longer your lover. And then you have to be watching him in NRE with new people.
You prefer to be "officially" broken up. And then some time and space on your own to close that chapter. Before trying to be exes and friends in a new chapter, with some new personal boundaries in place because you are not lovers any more. Or maybe just exes.
It's like he wants to "soft break up" so he can think of himself as a "nice guy" or something. Where you think a "firm break up" would actually be better for you and the "real nice." Not this pussyfooting thing that actually hurts with the confusion.
You want to tell him "If you don't want to be here, forcing yourself is not a favor to anyone."

Is that about it?

If so... how about asking YOU the same question?

If YOU don't want to be here like this, forcing yourself to be is not a favor to anyone.

If being here like this with him is painful, impeding your healing and ability to expand into your own growth? How about taking charge of your own life?

Telling him that it is "officially broken up?" Then you at least can move on to the healing place. Better to linger there than lingering here in the "dragging out a break up" place.

You could say something like...

"Look, this is too weird for me with all the vague. Let's just call it officially broken up. 30 days no contact. Then we can talk and see how it lands. Like polite exes who do not hang out, but say "hello" if we bump unto each other on the street. Or like good exes and friends who still want to hang out."

I don't know what you mean by "affectionate" -- but if you do want to try exes and friends after 30 days no contact? No more sex. No more kissing. And limited to "friend hugs" and not "lover hugs."

To me, feelings ensue after action behavior or thinking behavior. So if you want to feel clear about him? Don't be doing "lover behaviors" when he's supposed to be "ex" now. Or "ex and friend" now.


I think if you want clarity here about it all, it's gonna be you that creates that clarity for yourself.

Galagirl
I appreciate your responses in so many posts, and wanted to thank you for how much work you put into guiding newbies and others.
 

Melibird

New member
I could be wrong, but here's how it sounds to me.

Let me repeat back what I understand in my own words. I have trouble when things don't appear in chronological order. Blue just to visually block it off.

9 mos ago, you and BF start dating around Oct 2020 ish.
3 weeks into the relationship, he decided to be monogamous with you and never really talked about it again. (<-- commitment so fast?)
You got pregnant with him, but then miscarried a few months ago.
Recently he asked for changes in the relationship that you are not surprised by.
  • He's gotten more surface level in conversation
  • He has less frequent contact.
  • He wants to stop sharing sex with you.
  • He feels called to be his own primary partner/do solo poly.
  • He wants to be a free agent. Free to pursue other relationships and let them unfold however he wants without having to consider you/the kids.
So it's feeling like a break up, and he's off to pursue solo poly for himself and you feel friend zoned.
It confuses you though, because he keeps coming around and doesn't behave like "ex."
  • He's still showing up for things your family needs.
  • He still being sweet and affectionate when he is around.
  • He still says he's deeply committed to you and the kids but doesn't know what that means.
  • You don't doubt he loves you/the kids, but the love is changing.
Like... this is a divorce and he's trying to be a decent ex-husband and coparent to the kids. But he's not their dad (as much as they like each other), and this is not a divorce since you are not married.
Occupying this weird in between space is painful for you. You don't know if you can continue to expand into your own growth feeling the pain of "broken up/but not done breaking up/what are we calling this now?" limbo.
You don't want to participate in a new polyship thing with him if he's just sticking around with you from "obligation and duty" and no longer your lover. And then you have to be watching him in NRE with new people.
You prefer to be "officially" broken up. And then some time and space on your own to close that chapter. Before trying to be exes and friends in a new chapter, with some new personal boundaries in place because you are not lovers any more. Or maybe just exes.
It's like he wants to "soft break up" so he can think of himself as a "nice guy" or something. Where you think a "firm break up" would actually be better for you and the "real nice." Not this pussyfooting thing that actually hurts with the confusion.
You want to tell him "If you don't want to be here, forcing yourself is not a favor to anyone."

Is that about it?

If so... how about asking YOU the same question?

If YOU don't want to be here like this, forcing yourself to be is not a favor to anyone.

If being here like this with him is painful, impeding your healing and ability to expand into your own growth? How about taking charge of your own life?

Telling him that it is "officially broken up?" Then you at least can move on to the healing place. Better to linger there than lingering here in the "dragging out a break up" place.

You could say something like...

"Look, this is too weird for me with all the vague. Let's just call it officially broken up. 30 days no contact. Then we can talk and see how it lands. Like polite exes who do not hang out, but say "hello" if we bump unto each other on the street. Or like good exes and friends who still want to hang out."

I don't know what you mean by "affectionate" -- but if you do want to try exes and friends after 30 days no contact? No more sex. No more kissing. And limited to "friend hugs" and not "lover hugs."

To me, feelings ensue after action behavior or thinking behavior. So if you want to feel clear about him? Don't be doing "lover behaviors" when he's supposed to be "ex" now. Or "ex and friend" now.


I think if you want clarity here about it all, it's gonna be you that creates that clarity for yourself.

Galagirl
I appreciate your responses in so many posts, and wanted to thank you for how much work you put into guiding newbies and others
Welcome. Sorry about your miscarriage. My wife’s was 31 yrs ago, it still impacts me. I like what Gala said. I don’t see him as wanting responsibility. If that is so, you have some decisions to make. What do you want for YOU. What do you want to do to have that. Start there. Best Wishes.
Thank you for acknowledging the miscarriage. That's definitely a big unpacked part of this story. I think when we decided to move forward with building a traditional monogamous relationship model with the pregnancy I saw "finally, some security and a pocket fence" (parent mode is a bygone conclusion in my life and I admit that I didn't realize at the time I felt increased security, aka man trap, with the addition of a mutual child) and he was holding his breath and jumping in the deep end and trying not to mourn the parts of himself he imagined quietly watching die. (Even while loving us so much and also deeply wanting family life). When I lost the baby, I felt like my body had betrayed me and that I didn't deserve to have that family. When he expressed a need for individuation it initially hit me the same way, just more proof I was undeserving of love. I'm grateful for the pain of this process. I've already healed so many old wounds! Another day I might be in the pain of it again and forget, but after that I'll remember and reap the rewards of not flinching, which are greater self love and intimacy with me, in this relationship, and in others.
 

Melibird

New member
Hello Melibird,

It seems to me that what your boyfriend wants is for you and him to keep living together but have a platonic relationship, while both of you have romantic partners on the side. While what you would prefer is for you and him to continue having a romantic and sexual relationship, while he has partners on the side. He wants to be his own primary partner, while you would prefer to continue being his primary partner. You don't seem thrilled with the idea of having side partners of your own.

And I take it you feel pressured to do things his way, for the sake of the kids. Heck if you had your way, the topic of poly would not even be up for discussion.

Have you considered the kind of life you are modeling for the kids? Do you want to show them that the best way to live is to sacrifice one's own happiness in order to satisfy others? Do you want your kids to grow up sacrificing their own happiness? Do you want them to grow up not wanting to have kids of their own, in order for them to avoid that sacrifice? The last two questions were kind of rhetorical. Of course you don't want that for your kids. You want them to live happy and fulfilled lives. And kids learn by example, so the kind of example you want to set is to live a happy and fulfilled life yourself.

And what if your boyfriend gave up the solo poly that he wants? He would be setting the same kind of example, the example that says that duty is more important than happiness. This, too, would affect the kind of future that your kids could look forward to. Now, there are times when happiness has to be delayed for the sake of duty, but for the rest of one's life? That is asking too much. And what about delaying happiness for the duration of your kids' childhood? Should you do things your boyfriend's way until your youngest is 20 years old (17 years from now)? That's a riddle I can't solve for you, but I did want to make the point that whatever you do, your kids are watching you, and learning from your example.

It's conceivable that GalaGirl has the right idea. The best thing for the kids might be for you and your boyfriend to stop living together, to stop calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend, and to just be platonic friends (and exes). In that scenario, your then-ex boyfriend could still come to visit, he could still show the kids that he cared, and you could show them that you aren't erasing him from their lives. And in the meantime, you could be open to the possibility of meeting a new boyfriend, a monogamous boyfriend, which could make you happy, and bring more joy into your children's lives. And your then-ex boyfriend could be free to live the solo poly life he wants to live, without hurting you in the process. I'm not saying that's what you have to choose, but I do suggest you consider it.

I hope the two of you can work things out somehow.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
Hey Kevin,
Thanks for your thoughts. I actually feel like part of what I'm doing in walking this more difficult path is modeling well for my kids. It would be far easier to say this is too hard to figure out and go find a fill in dad to play house with. But I've learned enough about the poly way to know that the depth and fulfillment of relationships available in this space, through full acceptance and deeper trust and security within self, is really what I want for them. I escaped the sleepwalking life with their dad in a monogamous marriage and while it's been tempting to go back to sleep at times, it would be inauthentic and cowardly of me (maybe not for someone else, no judgements, everyone has to do their own math). So I'm picking the growth path and I'm hoping they get to continue to experience consciousness, unconditionality, and authentic love because of it. This is my best self version answering today lol
 

Melibird

New member
Sounds to me like a big 'ol demotion. So you will no longer have sex (but can have sex with other people) and are no longer engaged in any kind of "couplehood," but you will...what? Continue to help each other out around the house? Sounds like he's offering you a friendship but not calling it that?

Maybe now the new-relationship goggles have come off after 9 months, and he's realized he overpomised and overestimated his interest in being in a relationship with you and is backtracking, which sucks, but I'd bet it has less to do with you than with him. You seem like a thoughtful, resilient and nonjudgmental person, I'm guessing you can let this one go and find someone who wants all in with you.

Either way, I hope you find peace and joy, you deserve it.
It totally did feel like a big ol demotion lovebunny! I was bereft! I'm a little embarrassed that only two days later it's all switched again, but that's partly because I was able to air my concerns here and reread them and process. Thank you very much for your kind reflection/compliment.
 

Melibird

New member
I could be wrong, but here's how it sounds to me.

Let me repeat back what I understand in my own words. I have trouble when things don't appear in chronological order. Blue just to visually block it off.

9 mos ago, you and BF start dating around Oct 2020 ish.
3 weeks into the relationship, he decided to be monogamous with you and never really talked about it again. (<-- commitment so fast?)
You got pregnant with him, but then miscarried a few months ago.
Recently he asked for changes in the relationship that you are not surprised by.
  • He's gotten more surface level in conversation
  • He has less frequent contact.
  • He wants to stop sharing sex with you.
  • He feels called to be his own primary partner/do solo poly.
  • He wants to be a free agent. Free to pursue other relationships and let them unfold however he wants without having to consider you/the kids.
So it's feeling like a break up, and he's off to pursue solo poly for himself and you feel friend zoned.
It confuses you though, because he keeps coming around and doesn't behave like "ex."
  • He's still showing up for things your family needs.
  • He still being sweet and affectionate when he is around.
  • He still says he's deeply committed to you and the kids but doesn't know what that means.
  • You don't doubt he loves you/the kids, but the love is changing.
Like... this is a divorce and he's trying to be a decent ex-husband and coparent to the kids. But he's not their dad (as much as they like each other), and this is not a divorce since you are not married.
Occupying this weird in between space is painful for you. You don't know if you can continue to expand into your own growth feeling the pain of "broken up/but not done breaking up/what are we calling this now?" limbo.
You don't want to participate in a new polyship thing with him if he's just sticking around with you from "obligation and duty" and no longer your lover. And then you have to be watching him in NRE with new people.
You prefer to be "officially" broken up. And then some time and space on your own to close that chapter. Before trying to be exes and friends in a new chapter, with some new personal boundaries in place because you are not lovers any more. Or maybe just exes.
It's like he wants to "soft break up" so he can think of himself as a "nice guy" or something. Where you think a "firm break up" would actually be better for you and the "real nice." Not this pussyfooting thing that actually hurts with the confusion.
You want to tell him "If you don't want to be here, forcing yourself is not a favor to anyone."

Is that about it?

If so... how about asking YOU the same question?

If YOU don't want to be here like this, forcing yourself to be is not a favor to anyone.

If being here like this with him is painful, impeding your healing and ability to expand into your own growth? How about taking charge of your own life?

Telling him that it is "officially broken up?" Then you at least can move on to the healing place. Better to linger there than lingering here in the "dragging out a break up" place.

You could say something like...

"Look, this is too weird for me with all the vague. Let's just call it officially broken up. 30 days no contact. Then we can talk and see how it lands. Like polite exes who do not hang out, but say "hello" if we bump unto each other on the street. Or like good exes and friends who still want to hang out."

I don't know what you mean by "affectionate" -- but if you do want to try exes and friends after 30 days no contact? No more sex. No more kissing. And limited to "friend hugs" and not "lover hugs."

To me, feelings ensue after action behavior or thinking behavior. So if you want to feel clear about him? Don't be doing "lover behaviors" when he's supposed to be "ex" now. Or "ex and friend" now.


I think if you want clarity here about it all, it's gonna be you that creates that clarity for yourself.

Galagirl
You really hit the issue dead on when you were talking about desperately needing clarity. I was half fighting to do just what you'd suggested, and half fighting not to. I just couldn't make sense of what was going on because what we were saying didn't seem to match what we were doing. Being able to share in this forum and reread my concerns and process and read responses and compare those to how I was feeling really helped me sort out my stuff from the relationship and come to a place where my clarity created room for our clarity. Now my partner still has some work to do for his clarity, but I don't think that his search is likely to end in ending things. Thanks for all you do.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Melibird,

It sounds like polyamory has become, for you, an ideal to which you would like to aspire. Like you could take pride in the aspiration, and you want to teach your kids that even if something is hard, it can be worth it. This is how I feel about poly, and monogamy is okay too but it all comes down to figuring out what is the right path for you. You and your boyfriend are figuring that out right now.

Thanks for keeping us updated on your situation, if you'll continue to do that, we'll continue to post updated advice and feedback. I'm happy for you that things have taken a turn for the better!

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Melibird

New member
Hi Melibird,

It sounds like polyamory has become, for you, an ideal to which you would like to aspire. Like you could take pride in the aspiration, and you want to teach your kids that even if something is hard, it can be worth it. This is how I feel about poly, and monogamy is okay too but it all comes down to figuring out what is the right path for you. You and your boyfriend are figuring that out right now.

Thanks for keeping us updated on your situation, if you'll continue to do that, we'll continue to post updated advice and feedback. I'm happy for you that things have taken a turn for the better!

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
It probably is an ideal right now, having been freed from being the worst thing that could happen, now it sounds great! I want my kids to see that living open heartedly is the only way to be really alive, and yes it is hard at times. Thank you for inviting me to continue with updates. Honestly without that I probably would have felt I'd taken enough time and effort from everyone and not shared any more about it. But now I will. ☀️
 
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