Polyam advices

Erpi

New member
So I am in a Polyam relationship with a woman. She has another boyfriend while my only partner is her. It's both our first shot at ENM, and we've been together for almost 3 months.

She is struggling with mental health issues and self body image, and wants to take action to work on those, which I'm glad to support her in. However, yesterday she asked of me that either for a year I do not date anybody else, or that we take a break. She explained that just the apprehension of feeling emotions such as jealousy is very draining for her, and that this would harm her attempt at healing, because she needs to put as much energy there as she can and with that apprehension that just wouldn't work.

I love her deeply and I really do want to do my best to help her in her healing, but I just can't help but feel uncomfortable about that agreement. I know she has no intention to overstep or fall into a landslide of control, but I still feel uneasy giving her that power of deciding when I can or cannot date other people, and do have a little light in the back of my head telling me that this is the kind of situation where it can degenerate and where from here she could ask more and more restrictions of me, since the door has already been opened.

The deal is that I'm not even interested in dating other people right now. We're in the heart of a pandemic and we've just recently been officially together, and I want to explore and learn more about my relationship with her. However, I don't know how I'll feel in 6, or even 9 months, and giving her the power of deciding when I can see other people just feels wrong.

To specify, I told her that this was making me uncomfortable, and that if we were to make such an agreement I would a) like to have to possibility to rediscuss it afterwards, rework the agreement and all, and b) that I'd feel more comfortable agreeing for 6 or 9 months. She was categorical in her answer, saying that she needs at least one year since those are big problems and those can't be fixed in months, and that if at any time I can just bring back the conversation to question the agreement, well then it's more or less the same as if there was no agreement but with an extra step. And like fair, I get her point, but then she still has the control over the whole situation and is making no concession.

Am I being selfish? Not wanting to give up something I didn't even really intend to use for a while, even tho it could help the woman I love to get better?
 

Evie

Well-known member
Very short answer based on what you wrote: don't agree to the year, you don't want to. That's not selfish, it's self care. You already know what you need to be your best self in a relationship, and that's EMN/open.
 

icesong

Active member
I’m with @Evie on this one - I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that sort of “this is a temporary restriction to one person being mono” agreement ever actually move forward into a healthy open/poly relationship. I mean, what happens when she says her issue isn’t fixed in a year? Or says she’s relapsing because of you dating someone?
 

Gmeter

New member
I agree with Evie, as well. I read your post, but found myself having to reread it, lol. She's making the relationship sound like a complicated contract.

My wife and I have been open our entire marriage. Over 30 years. Three of her bf's (over the years) ended up in a live-in (poly) relationship with her and I. We never put any complicated restrictions on any of them. We knew the poly relationship was temporary, anyway, because of our professions. The longest one lasted just under two years.

All three of them were great periods of our life, which is why our preferred lifestyle is poly, if we can find the right guy.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
However, yesterday she asked of me that either for a year I do not date anybody else, or that we take a break.

I told her that this was making me uncomfortable, and that if we were to make such an agreement I would a) like to have to possibility to rediscuss it afterwards, rework the agreement and all, and b) that I'd feel more comfortable agreeing for 6 or 9 months.

she needs at least one year since those are big problems and those can't be fixed in months, and that if at any time I can just bring back the conversation to question the agreement, well then it's more or less the same as if there was no agreement but with an extra step. And like fair, I get her point, but then she still has the control over the whole situation and is making no concession.

Sounds like you tried to renegotiate but she wants a full year with option to renegotiate, and you want it shorter like 6-9 mos with option to renegotiate. Does not line up.

So keep it simpler. Say you prefer to take a break and when she's better to look you up. Then you are supporting her AND supporting what you want -- none of this agreement stuff.

It's only been 3 mos of dating here. You don't have to bend yourself into pretzels over it. It's a bummer when things don't line up in dating, but that's what dating is FOR. To find the compatible ones.


Am I being selfish? Not wanting to give up something I didn't even really intend to use for a while, even tho it could help the woman I love to get better?

No. You are not being selfish.

You are feeling sad because the only way for this to work is to break up for now and see what happens later. Which carries the risk that you might not get back together.

A break does let her focus on her healing work. And it does let you skip making an agreement you don't want to make.

But it means paying the price of admission -- breaking up and not dating her for at least a year. And nobody ever finds breaks up FUN -- even when it's the best choice in a situation.

Galagirl
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Erpi,

I don't see what's so magical about a year, that she somehow knows six or nine months wouldn't be enough. You were willing to compromise, she wasn't. My advice is to take a break. And don't wait too long for her to decide she's ready to get back together, give it six or nine months and after that, go ahead and start looking for other people to date. I get that you care about her and want to help her, but you also need to take care of yourself. Personally, I think she is trying to take advantage of your tender feelings for her. I could be wrong, but that is my impression. Good luck.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Tophatcat

New member
You already made a good first move asking for a shorter period of time. I think it is too soon really for her to be asking that since you aren't even looking to date anyone else.

If you have a light going off about it or a concern and she disregards it and will not compromise that may not be the relationship for you.

Like so many have said, it is self care and it is important.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
After 3 months, you may feel like you "love" someone, but it's always an illusion. You barely know her. She's got mental and physical health issues, which are making her so insecure, she wants to be assured of your undying mono loyalty already! That's like 2 teenagers "going steady" after a short period of time.

Some couples do agree to Close at the beginning of a poly relationship, for whatever reason. Even long term Open couples can decide to Close temporarily.

But you have every right to not agree to formally Close with this person, if you don't want to. This insecurity of hers and unwillingness to negotiate is a bit of a red flag as per her fitness as a poly partner.
 
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