Notes to Self

thefarstrider

New member
I’m in my first poly relationship. She is my only partner, and she has a few others. This has been challenging for me, and so I’ve written myself reminders to level set for myself and to help me not freak out.

I would love if some more experienced folks could weigh in and provide more tips, observations and guidance.

I Have Power
  • If it doesn’t serve me, I can readjust my needs or walk away
  • She is starved for love and is finding it where she knows how
  • Nothing she does with anyone else reflects on her love for me
  • The more support she has from others, the less she approaches me out of need
 

thefarstrider

New member
And to add:
  • I am loving her simply by sticking with this
  • I still have so much to learn about love, and it will never be comfortable to have my edges expanded
  • I choose this change
 

Ariakas

Bosun
And to add:
  • I am loving her simply by sticking with this

Hmmm... I am not sure this is a healthy perspective. It isn't sitting with me well since love isn't proven... It either is, or isn't.

  • I still have so much to learn about love, and it will never be comfortable to have my edges expanded

Change... its fun or not fun, but you can't stop it

  • I choose this change

That is good and healthy.
 

Ariakas

Bosun
I’m in my first poly relationship. She is my only partner, and she has a few others. This has been challenging for me, and so I’ve written myself reminders to level set for myself and to help me not freak out.

I would love if some more experienced folks could weigh in and provide more tips, observations and guidance.

I Have Power
  • If it doesn’t serve me, I can readjust my needs or walk away

hmmmm.... its good to be happy.. and its good to understand what are needs and wants. Its understanding the difference and being able to adjust wants thats helpful.

Actual NEEDS, are hard to change, and usually not worth it.

  • She is starved for love and is finding it where she knows how

God I hope this isn't why she is poly. To be frank, thats a painful way to go through relationships. This doesn't sit well... and ... has she sought counselling around why she is "starved" for love.

  • Nothing she does with anyone else reflects on her love for me

If she is poly this is true.

  • The more support she has from others, the less she approaches me out of need

hmmmm.... ummmm.... I must be struggling with my words today, I am not usually this dumb, but I can't put my finger on it but this doesn't sit well either. This feels like an almost co-dependent statement.

From a strictly time management perspective yes, you will lose time. But her love and wanting of you shouldn't feel like a depreciated value. It shouldn't feel like you are her caretaker while others get the pleasure of her lust (to use a frank example)

Obviously we are only reading one side of this story, and you are trying to be brief and succinct, but so much of this reads off. Are you being forced into this, were you co-dependent before?... so much curiosity.
 

Inaniel

Active member
She is starved for love and is finding it where she knows how

If this is an interpretation it feels to me like a coping strategy rooted in condescension. If this statement is fact it sounds like It could be the making of an unhealthy dynamic.
 

thefarstrider

New member
hmmmm.... its good to be happy.. and its good to understand what are needs and wants. Its understanding the difference and being able to adjust wants thats helpful.

Actual NEEDS, are hard to change, and usually not worth it.



God I hope this isn't why she is poly. To be frank, thats a painful way to go through relationships. This doesn't sit well... and ... has she sought counselling around why she is "starved" for love.



If she is poly this is true.



hmmmm.... ummmm.... I must be struggling with my words today, I am not usually this dumb, but I can't put my finger on it but this doesn't sit well either. This feels like an almost co-dependent statement.

From a strictly time management perspective yes, you will lose time. But her love and wanting of you shouldn't feel like a depreciated value. It shouldn't feel like you are her caretaker while others get the pleasure of her lust (to use a frank example)

Obviously we are only reading one side of this story, and you are trying to be brief and succinct, but so much of this reads off. Are you being forced into this, were you co-dependent before?... so much curiosity.
Thank you, I really appreciate your insights. It’s not ideal for sure. I’d hoped to explore polyamory with a partner who was also completely unattached to begin with, knowing we’d head that direction once our connection was super solid. This is me coming into her life and established dynamic. This is a willing exchange on my part, as meeting her was one of those one-in-a-lifetime lightning bolts and I knew a few things right off the bat:
- I want this person in my life
- I can love this person
- I can be loved by this person

So my hope is to become her primary partner, and in the mean time
- make peace with the fact that she has and may always have other lovers that are not based on a heart connection, but are simply sexual partners.
- continue to grow both in my ability to give and receive love

It’s going to be tough. This feels like the deep end, but I don’t feel like it’s a connection born out of neediness or co-dependency. The pain I’m experiencing feels a lot like growing pains, and I do recognize that there are some wounds she’s working through, but I also see and respect that she is aware of them and is working through them with intention and a respect for me.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi thefarstrider,

You seem to have a healthy overall perspective, even if some of the details are problematic. I think you need and want to learn and grow. It is not always easy.

Here are some resources that may help you:
Hopefully that helps.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

thefarstrider

New member
Hi thefarstrider,

You seem to have a healthy overall perspective, even if some of the details are problematic. I think you need and want to learn and grow. It is not always easy.

Here are some resources that may help you:
Hopefully that helps.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
Oh my God thank you. THANK YOU! These are amazing resources. I especially like the one about letting myself feel the jealousy, and then feel what’s UNDER the jealousy.

I’m realizing that it comes down to this; I’ve been lonely for a long time. Most of my life. It’s been easy to get dates and girlfriends, but hard, SO fucking hard, to find someone that sees me and understands me, and is game for the life of personal growth for themselves that I pursue. She sees me. She gets me. And I had already decided before meeting her that I want to open my heart even wider and explore polyamory.

And now I’m just afraid. I feel like a child in a world of grown-ups because I’ve never been in a poly relationship before. And I’m afraid she will think I’m immature and weak and eventually leave.

I see now that of all the things I’ve written above, the one I want to keep repeating to myself is:

I choose this change.

Thank you, and everyone who has replied. It is soooo much easier working this out with your listening ears and wise hearts.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Glad I could be of help. I believe you can get through this, time and determination are powerful tools.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I’m realizing that it comes down to this; I’ve been lonely for a long time. Most of my life. It’s been easy to get dates and girlfriends, but hard, SO fucking hard, to find someone that sees me and understands me, and is game for the life of personal growth for themselves that I pursue.

What happened in the past? You did not realize it then or weren't up front with wanting poly? Or having a hard time being vulnerable and sharing who you are on the insides? Some kind of combo? What will you be doing different now?

And now I’m just afraid. I feel like a child in a world of grown-ups because I’ve never been in a poly relationship before.

Well, SOMEONE has to be first. The first hug, first kiss, first time sharing sex, first whatever. So maybe relax a bit on that front?

And I’m afraid she will think I’m immature and weak and eventually leave.

What she thinks is up to her. That is not under your control.

But in general? Breaking up is a reasonable risk of dating. Because not everyone you date is destined to be a long haul runner. Those you meet might not even be initially compatible. Those who are initially compatible? Might not be deeply compatible.


I Have Power
  • If it doesn’t serve me, I can readjust my needs or walk away

You said it yourself. So no need to freak out about it. Just enjoy how this one unfolds, let it be what it wants to be, and if ultimately it is not what you want? It's not a match? It's ok to politely part ways.

  • She is starved for love and is finding it where she knows how
  • Nothing she does with anyone else reflects on her love for me
  • The more support she has from others, the less she approaches me out of need

That sounds a bit odd, but ok. I will assume you know how to pick you reasonably healthy people to date and that you have healthy personal boundaries. On her to figure out what she needs and how to solve it.


  • I am loving her simply by sticking with this

You just started dating. So kinda soon to be talking about love to me. Love is shared, not proven. So be careful you aren't sticking with things that don't suit you just to "prove" your love or something.

I still have so much to learn about love, and it will never be comfortable to have my edges expanded

While true that growth happens at the edges of the comfort zone -- because how else do you get to GROW and expand? If not by stepping outside the comfort zone? There is such thing as comfortable uncomfortable. Like jumping a few feet out. Then jump again later. Step by step.
And then trying to do too much, like trying to jump a mile at once. Which is super uncomfortable and unrealistic to boot. I will assume you know how to pace yourself and not take on more than you can actually do.

  • I choose this change
That you do. Your consent to participate belongs to you. You can choose to do something. You can choose to stop doing it.

I’d hoped to explore polyamory with a partner who was also completely unattached to begin with, knowing we’d head that direction once our connection was super solid.

If this is your hope? You could continue to date other partners as well as this one. Some will come already partnered with others, some won't. It just depends.

Galagirl
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
- make peace with the fact that she has and may always have other lovers that are not based on a heart connection, but are simply sexual partners.
Is this something that is a fact that she has told you, or something you're assuming? As if you base your comfort with her polyamory on the idea that it's only sex, and she DOES now or later have more emotional connection with someone else, you'll end up back at square one, on some level.
 

thefarstrider

New member
Is this something that is a fact that she has told you, or something you're assuming? As if you base your comfort with her polyamory on the idea that it's only sex, and she DOES now or later have more emotional connection with someone else, you'll end up back at square one, on some level.
It is something she has told me, and in the future, if she does find partners who she connects with on a heart level, that would bring me so much joy.
 

thefarstrider

New member
What happened in the past? You did not realize it then or weren't up front with wanting poly? Or having a hard time being vulnerable and sharing who you are on the insides? Some kind of combo? What will you be doing different now?



Well, SOMEONE has to be first. The first hug, first kiss, first time sharing sex, first whatever. So maybe relax a bit on that front?



What she thinks is up to her. That is not under your control.

But in general? Breaking up is a reasonable risk of dating. Because not everyone you date is destined to be a long haul runner. Those you meet might not even be initially compatible. Those who are initially compatible? Might not be deeply compatible.




You said it yourself. So no need to freak out about it. Just enjoy how this one unfolds, let it be what it wants to be, and if ultimately it is not what you want? It's not a match? It's ok to politely part ways.



That sounds a bit odd, but ok. I will assume you know how to pick you reasonably healthy people to date and that you have healthy personal boundaries. On her to figure out what she needs and how to solve it.




You just started dating. So kinda soon to be talking about love to me. Love is shared, not proven. So be careful you aren't sticking with things that don't suit you just to "prove" your love or something.



While true that growth happens at the edges of the comfort zone -- because how else do you get to GROW and expand? If not by stepping outside the comfort zone? There is such thing as comfortable uncomfortable. Like jumping a few feet out. Then jump again later. Step by step.
And then trying to do too much, like trying to jump a mile at once. Which is super uncomfortable and unrealistic to boot. I will assume you know how to pace yourself and not take on more than you can actually do.


That you do. Your consent to participate belongs to you. You can choose to do something. You can choose to stop doing it.



If this is your hope? You could continue to date other partners as well as this one. Some will come already partnered with others, some won't. It just depends.

Galagirl
In the past I had not identified as polyamorous. It was hard to find connection and understanding because although I am very, very open, this has scared away some, and others, well, maybe I am just often described as very complex and unusual, for better or worse.

As for someone having to be first, thank you, I really receive this and accept that I don’t need to judge myself or build some kind of hierarchy of experience. I’ve been doing the unconsciously and your observation has brought that forward into the light.

As for “love”, there’s no thought of proof; we love each other. We want and actively seek what is good for the other without attachment or desire for reciprocity. And we’ve told each other so. It’s early by modern “standards”, but whose standards are we required to follow anyway? Our love will either see us through and continue to grow and solidify, or it won’t work out and we will find other vessels to receive that love.

As for comfort, this feels so right on. This is a huge leap forward for me. I’d hoped for a smaller step, but in balancing risk vs reward, the quality of person she is led me to decide on the risk being worth it. Change will come, and this growth maybe harder than what I’d planned on, but I also believe the growth will also be proportionally greater, provided we can see it through in a healthy way.

As for dating other partners, you are so right. I am taking steps and have reached out to other potential partners in the hopes of broadening my ability to love both more deeply and more flexibly.

Thank you so much for your well thought-out response. It’s given me a lot to work on.
 

thefarstrider

New member
More has come to light. She is in recovery for marijuana and MDMA, and it is my belief that these other connections, which are not based on love, represent an unidentified addiction to sex.

My questions now are:
- how to broach the subject with her if this is a blind spot.
- how long I am willing to stay with her depending on her response.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
More has come to light. She is in recovery for marijuana and MDMA, and it is my belief that these other connections, which are not based on love, represent an unidentified addiction to sex.

Is she even supposed to be dating right now? Because some people in recovery are not supposed to date just yet. Like... get better and on healthy footing first. Then add the stress of dating. Not too soon because it may lead to relapse with whatever the addiction is.

As for sex addiction... You can't really dx her if you aren't her medical people. And if you were, you shouldn't be dating your patient. But if she is... like any addiction, it can add to problems in a relationship.

My questions now are:
- how to broach the subject with her if this is a blind spot.
- how long I am willing to stay with her depending on her response.

With these extra problems coming to light, that is only something you can answer.

You have only known this person a month. And on Sunday you were calling yourself unpartnered. So it's not like a lot of time invested here if you want to bow out.

I will lift up these things you wrote.

We want and actively seek what is good for the other without attachment or desire for reciprocity. And we’ve told each other so.

Maybe what is good for her is to bow out and let her focus on recovery without dating distractions?

Do you each ALSO want to actively seek what is good for your own selves? And have you told yourselves and each other that?

This is a huge leap forward for me. I’d hoped for a smaller step, but in balancing risk vs reward, the quality of person she is led me to decide on the risk being worth it. Change will come, and this growth maybe harder than what I’d planned on, but I also believe the growth will also be proportionally greater, provided we can see it through in a healthy way.

Does this new info change your comfort level in participating here? Because you hoped for a smaller step, and this was already a huge leap. Does this new info coming to light make it be too much of a leap?

Nothing says you can't wish her well in recovery and to look you up when she's completed her process. And you move on to poly date other people. Which you were planning to do anyway.

Some people think there is only one "right person" for them in the whole world. I think there are many "right people" -- just that you don't necessarily meet them at the right time. So if this is one of the "right people" but "wrong time" because she has medical recovery things to be doing first? It's ok to stop and let her finish that first. Then try again at a later time.

Galagirl
 
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thefarstrider

New member
Is she even supposed to be dating right now? Because some people in recovery are not supposed to date just yet. Like... get better and on healthy footing first. Then add the stress of dating. Not too soon because it may lead to relapse with whatever the addiction is.

As for sex addiction... You can't really dx her if you aren't her medical people. And if you were, you shouldn't be dating your patient. But if she is... like any addiction, it can add to problems in a relationship.



With these extra problems coming to light, that is only something you can answer.

You have only known this person a month. And on Sunday you were calling yourself unpartnered. So it's not like a lot of time invested here if you want to bow out.

I will lift up these things you wrote.



Maybe what is good for her is to bow out and let her focus on recovery without dating distractions?

Do you each ALSO want to actively seek what is good for your own selves? And have you told yourselves and each other that?



Does this new info change your comfort level in participating here? Because you hoped for a smaller step, and this was already a huge leap. Does this new info coming to light make it be too much of a leap?

Nothing says you can't wish her well in recovery and to look you up when she's completed her process. And you move on to poly date other people. Which you were planning to do anyway.

Some people think there is only one "right person" for them in the whole world. I think there are many "right people" -- just that you don't necessarily meet them at the right time. So if this is one of the "right people" but "wrong time" because she has medical recovery things to be doing first? It's ok to stop and let her finish that first. Then try again at a later time.

Galagirl
I can’t nor would it be helpful for me to try and figure out if she “should” be dating. That’s up to her.

I am not a doctor. This is simply a belief based on my understanding of how addiction works as the opposite of connection. Having five partners, none of whom are a love-based relationship, when a person struggles with addiction, leads my unqualified perspective to believe that there is a link between the two behavioral patterns. But it’s just an opinion.

Amount of time invested is immaterial to me. There are people I have known for years that would not phase me should we break contact, and people that within minutes I place a premium on connection with. Quality over quantity.

As to bowing out, that will depend entirely on how she responds. I am walking the path of wholeness and self-love. I will do whatever it takes to move forward. It will be up to her whether she wants to continue down that path, where we can meet and commune, or whether she is not ready to give up loveless connections.

Regardless, we will stay in each other’s lives, but if it means us being non-sexual for a time, so be it.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I can’t nor would it be helpful for me to try and figure out if she “should” be dating. That’s up to her.

Yes. But whether or not you want to be involved to what level? That's up to you. As friends or romantically or what.

I figured if she's telling you about her drug addictions, you can inquire as to what her plan to address all that is. Isn't that part of how she responds?

She doesn't have to go deep details but if she says "I go to NA and I see a doc" then you kinda already know. 12 Step programs have the year rule -- that one should not be dating til then. So maybe friends only if she's less than a year into management. Waiting until she's in a better place with that.

Galagirl
 

thefarstrider

New member
Yes. But whether or not you want to be involved to what level? That's up to you. As friends or romantically or what.

I figured if she's telling you about her drug addictions, you can inquire as to what her plan to address all that is. Isn't that part of how she responds?

She doesn't have to go deep details but if she says "I go to NA and I see a doc" then you kinda already know. 12 Step programs have the year rule -- that one should not be dating til then.

Galagirl

She’s past the first year. Besides, 12 step programs have their rules, and members have to decide for themselves whether to hold to them or not. What she comes up with in that regard has nothing to do with me.

As for figuring out what I want, that’s why I’m here speaking to all of you and not her. The plan is to continue here and in my own practice to clarify
- what I believe about the situation, and hopefully create an accurate view.
- decide from there what I want and what I am willing to do or not do.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
More has come to light. She is in recovery for marijuana and MDMA, and it is my belief that these other connections, which are not based on love, represent an unidentified addiction to sex.

My questions now are:
- how to broach the subject with her if this is a blind spot.
- how long I am willing to stay with her depending on her response.
Could you be trying to diminish these other people she has sex with in your mind by associating them with addiction? Would it make it easier for you if you saw her other partners just as people she is using for sex rather than sharing sex with because that's what she, and they, simply want to be doing as a part of a quality friendship?

What if her response is to disagree that there is any sex addiction because these people are actually meaningful friendships and sex just happens to be one facet of their complex relationships?

You mention sex connections and heart connections in a previous post. Do you see room for something in between these?

You have said you want to become her primary. Is this what she has voiced that she wants? What does that mean to each of you? Does it mean the same thing? I ask this because practicing polyamory actually gives us a chance to really examine our beliefs on relationship structures, expectations and desires rather than adhere to the traditional relationship escalator by default.

Lastly, are you putting yourself in a position where you risk seeing her as a damsel in distress and you end up white knighting?
 

thefarstrider

New member
“Could you be trying to diminish these other people she has sex with in your mind by associating them with addiction? Would it make it easier for you if you saw her other partners just as people she is usingfor sex rather than sharing sex with because that's what she, and they, simply want to be doing as a part of a quality friendship?”

That is absolutely a possibility. I don’t think seeing it that way makes this easier for me; quite the opposite. If her response is as you posit, I would take her at word and work on growing my understanding of what relationship can be.

As for room in between, I absolutely see it as a spectrum. No relationship is 100% love, none is 100% superficial. The question is not the nature of the relationship, but to which pole the person is facing and actively working towards.

In terms of primary partner, I am looking to connect with her as a life partner; shared goals, shared responsibilities, accountability and in time shared living. She wants these things, and is in the process of figuring out whether she wants them with me and has told me so. She has also said that our relationship is the most loving, supportive and deepest that she has, despite the fact that it is the newest, so I believe that is the direction we are headed.

I am hyper aware of the white knight instinct, and have to daily ask myself “Am I doing this or saying that from my heart, or to get her to be dependent on me? Am I trying to prove something to myself, or am I willing to accept that none of my self-worth depends what on my interactions with her?”

It is a challenge, but I have no interest in the type of co-dependent relationship a “successful” white knight rescue leads to, so keeping myself accountable for my own sake is of very high priority.
 
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