SOS: Finally entering the poly level with my partner

boi

New member
Hello beautiful people,
i'm new here and i hope im acting correctly, please feel free to moderate my post in case im not following rules.
i'm reaching out for help to deal with the potentially immense struggle i see coming.

I'm an almost 35 years old lesbian who has been on a pretty long journey since i came out to myself at 14.
I have been in 10, very enriching, and yet excruciating monogamous relationships, before landing in my current 4+ years partnership, which has been based from day 1 on the two pillars of honesty and freedom.
Along with a great deal of respect for each other personal space, this also meant to always being able to express our desires and progressively getting better in acting and reacting on to them.
In practice this translated in being able to have occasional smaller things on the side, from kissing people at parties, to healing time with an ex (that was me in the beginning), a summer lover, or one night stands.
We always prouded ourselves for our bullet proof communication, the one golden thing that took us to this day, to be healthy and happy together.
Both she and i believe that in order to truly take on a long term partnership (potentially a lifetime together) it is necessary to allow each other grow also through and with other people and experiences, as it’s limiting and just impossible to consistently be everything to a person for 10, 20, 30, 40 years in a row. Life is much richer and our union would become a dead-bed if it would be always only the 2 of us.
On the other hand, progressively, we learnt that “freedom” doesnt mean to do whatever you want anytime you want, and that even in the most loving, caring and undestanding of unions, bitter and sweet balance each other all the time. Nothing is ever perfect and it’s ok to embrace imperfection.

I’ve always been the one pushing for exploration not only as an open couple but even adventuring in the polyamory mindset. This comes from an inner place where i recognize that i endure a dear, genuine affection and attraction for my partner and that she gives me the joy and stability that eventually translates in the so-longed shape of happiness, something that i couldn’t ever have. But at the same time realizing that all those other failures of my past had something that i lack in our union, that crazy passion that is typical of the unbalanced love, of the dominance based raw, irrational attraction.

Basically, i can’t picture myself not being able to fall in love again, it’s the salt of life! On the other hand, i have a deep need of a family, without replicating the tragic boomer’s model of house-car-dog-2-kids-loan-retirement-grave thing. It seems that with her the combination of my 2 deep wishes can, if not be realized perfectly, somehow take the form of a life-long laboratory.
She shares this idea of constant growth together, and slowly became acquainted with my free spirit, liberating herself along the line of letting me free.

In the past 6 month we entered the “next level”, the one where we're developing feelings for other people.

It started with me moving away for 2 years pursuing a personal long time desire for a master degree in design, while she stayed in “our” city. This didn't come without sorrow: she wants to have a child and this year she had to accept that 1. i can be there as her partner but i don't want to be a parent and 2. i was gonna leave in the time-frame she was thinking about getting pregnant. Eventually she post-poned her maternity wishes and now she wants to do a master degree herself.

Plus, in october, i started dating a girl in the new town i’m in, quickly developing what i thought was a mutual feeling of falling in love with each other.
This led to complications with my gf, who was very sad and insecure. She eventually started being on dating apps and hooking up more frequently with strangers, going to sex parties. On my end, I was very caught by this new feeling and started communicating that i was not sure about how things would go, that i needed time. At times, i felt I found “the one”. Things edged when i asked my gf to call each other "lovers and friends" while i wasn’t sure where my other feeling was going. Soon enough I was completely crushed by realizing that things with this new person were far from perfect, and things came to an abrupt end a month ago.

With my partner, we re-established our “partners” keyword without any resentment, but in the meantime, she also developed a mutual crush with someone new. This person is a sort of celebrity in the art scene, and my partner feels starstruck. They only met through the internet, and because of the corona virus, they will have to wait until they can finally meet in person. From what i understood, this mutual attraction is becoming a sort of fire. They talk and sext everyday, and it’s hard for my girlfriend to keep her feet on the ground.

And i am.. terrified. I have been overwhelmed with jealousy. Im controlling it, but how will i do when things will get real, maybe not with this one, but the next lover? My shapeshifting, moody, ups and downs personality brings a lot of rollercoasters to her but ultimately it’s always fragile, superficial things. I’m like those dogs that make a lot of mess but never really bite deep.
She’s more stable, balanced. It's visible through our different friends-scape. Shes has close, long term friends, while i have a somehow scattered, crowded amount of interchangeable people, due to my restless travelling (sad, i know).
And i’m afraid that ultimately on the long run she will be the one able to sustain a polyamorous constellation and that i will have to suck it up and accept that shes capable of branching out while i would always have fragile connections except her. I'm afraid i will lose at my own game, something that would be soooo me :D

Ultimately, if this scenario happens, i'm not sure i will be strong enough to accept the constant unbalance.
Therefore I'm already hungry for books insight, tip, practices, hard truths relatable to my situation. All would be very very appreciated. I don't want to lose her, but im not sure i will be capable of outgrowing myself.

With much appreciation for this community,
boi
 
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Evie

Well-known member
Welcome, and thank you for the comprehensive introduction. I'm on my phone so I won't try to address multiple points, computer people will be along later, I'm sure.

Have you heard of NRE (new relationship energy) as we tend to call it. Aka being twitterpated. Rose tinted glasses. Falling for someone. It's thee rocket ride of feels during the getting-to-know-you phase. Sounds like you had a good dollop of it when you called for being "friends and lovers" and now your partner is in the midst of it with her artist. This is what usually puts relationships to the biggest test; it's hard to be around lol.

The other thing that has jumped out at me is your different desires regarding parenting. I can't fathom how your partner could have a child and you not end up parenting. Does your rejection of the Boomer life narrative also mean you don't and won't cohabit?

Thanks for any clarification you offer.

And the usual reading material is:
Opening Up
More than Two
Sex at Dawn.

And as someone who has a history of multiple scattered friendships (which are still maintained to greater or lesser degrees), as well as a nesting and secondary romantic relationship, I guess I'm a "what it could look like" person.

BTW, can you nickname people please, it's easier for us to follow and respond :)
 

boi

New member
Dear Evie,
thanks a lot for the very much appreciated response!

Nicknames:
Boi: me, 35y, F
Xa: my partner, 31y, F
Oki: my gf's new crush, M to F
Vea: my previous crush, 25 y, F


I've been reading this forum a bit last year and i was familiar with the NRE already, which didn't stop me from jeopardizing my relationship cause i never learn.

Thanks for the reading tips! And I'm curious to read your potentially "forecasting" experience.

About parenting. The conversation we're having is the following: she doesn't want to raise a child alone or solely within the couple, but in a home shared with other friends and children. In this sense she's equipping herself already since last year, moving in with her best friends, one of which just had a baby, so she's practicing already her parenting skills. What we envision is that i would move back to the city, ideally nearby, and participate to this shared collective parenting, obviously taking a more preminent role than just a friend but also not taking this as my project, cause it's just not. The words I used and that she's ok with is to let this thing organically grow in me instead of imposing a role top-down. The father will be a gay friend of hers who lives abroad and would be also involved partially. Honest opinions about this part of the story are also so very welcome.

Much grateful,
boi
 
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Magdlyn

Well-known member
Hi, boi.

That was a lot of information. It's never TMI on this board, though! I hope it helped to get it all off your chest. If you like to write things out, you could consider a blog in our Journal section.

I am not really sure what your problem is. Maybe it is that you're both transitioning from a merely sex based, Open, polysexual relationship, to one where you acknowledge that feelings happen.

You had a "gf" but it ended. Maybe another person or three will come along for you. One has come along for your partner, and she's in NRE through a long distance cyber relationship. I bet those will become more common as this plague drags on. I hope you can both continue to pursue your master's degrees.

If your partner is ignoring you because she's all caught up in the New and Shiny, speak up. Tell her what your needs and desires are for connection and a feeling of being together. Get in touch with your 5 love languages and make specific requests.

A new relationship for one's partner can feel more or less unsettling. It gets better with practice. No one should be a dick to their established partner just because they are infatuated. Even if we're all stuck at home, you can ask for and plan fun dates where you focus on each other, doing things you both enjoy, whether it's doing a project together, watching a movie, making a nice meal and eating it and talking. Going for walks or doing yoga together. Redecorating. Reading out loud. Pedicures. Potting plants or gardening. Showering together. You name it.

Try not to compare the new person and what she gets to what you get. Just ask for what you want and need.

The books Evie recommended are very helpful. There is also a website called morethantwo.com which is very user friendly. There are also podcasts that address all kinds of poly topics. I don't really do podcasts but some people like em.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello boi,
Here are some links to some resources that may help:

I think the thing for you to do right now is just slow down; don't try to hurry yourself into a polyamorous situation; do it a little at a time. Also, continue with your excellent communication with Xa. Always share your feelings and needs. And keep us posted as your situation evolves. Good luck!

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Amygdala

New member
This led to complications with my gf, who was very sad and insecure. She eventually started being on dating apps and hooking up more frequently with strangers, going to sex parties. On my end, I was very caught by this new feeling and started communicating that i was not sure about how things would go, that i needed time. At times, i felt I found “the one”. Things edged when i asked my gf to call each other "lovers and friends" while i wasn’t sure where my other feeling was going. Soon enough I was completely crushed by realizing that things with this new person were far from perfect, and things came to an abrupt end a month ago.

With my partner, we re-established our “partners” keyword without any resentment, but in the meantime, she also developed a mutual crush with someone new. This person is a sort of celebrity in the art scene, and my partner feels starstruck.

And i am.. terrified. I have been overwhelmed with jealousy
boi

Hi, I'm pretty new to dealing with polyamory and my own emotions. But something struck me in reading the above quoted part of your story, it is something I have had to tell myself a few times as the one who asked for an open marriage.

''Be careful what you wish for''...

It looks to me that you were the first one to go and get feelings for another and your GF was left to deal with that. It looks like she did so by means of casual sex. Which was no threat to you at that time. Then it looks like you downgraded her from 'partner' to GF and Friend. I don't think that would have gone down too well with her... Then your NRE relationship crashed and she started one. And then you also wanted to elevate her back to partner status.

I'll wager she feels some entitlement to it too. My Minxi certainly felt entitled to run hard with her first NRE lover over my fears as an entitlement for all the hard work and shit she went through in our journey.

Now, I understand the jealousy and outright terror of being replaced. I'm still terrified and only feel safe right now because of COVID keeping her from dating. Your Partner probably felt the same terror I imagine?

When I pushed for an open marriage I had no concept that it would lead to my wife wanting to be poly! ''Be careful what you wish for I keep telling myself!''

As for managing fear and jealousy, Like I said, I'm pretty new to it myself and plenty of good advice is to be found here.

I have pretty much concluded the only way I can deal with it is to have as few rules and boundaries as i can manage, allow her to be a free spirit based on knowing she loves me and hope for the best.

So... all the best and welcome to the most positive relationships forum I have ever found :)
 

Evie

Well-known member
IMO... (because I feel like everything I write these days needs to be qualified with that)

Jealousy is fear of loss. We call it jealousy, but really, it's fear. There are two ways that I see the way through it. First, be absolutely secure that Xa is going to be in your life for as long as you can imagine and desire, and second... nope, there's really not a second, that's it. Overcome your fear of loss.

I know that might seem flippant, but that's honestly all I ever need to tell myself about being open with my partners. We're in this for the long haul, and admittedly, the form of that may morph - I've had someone I've loved romantically then become a friend, actually more than one person, both before and after polyamory, but they are still my friends. And occasionally those friends become lovers again sometime in the distant future. And it's entirely likely that those transitions will be painful. Excruciating at times, hearts will likely break, non-contact times will be needed, and then from the ashes the new will arise. But sometimes, that isn't even needed. The transition is communicated clearly and openly, and there is no need for the uncertainty that causes most of the pain. In short, communication is the key.

So, keep talking to Xa (I'm saying "Shar" in my head, is that close?) about what your relationship looks like, now and if it needs to morph into something new. Agree to talk about changes you need to make to it, not leave each other in the dark or suddenly pull the pin. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Don't assume that she feels secure with you, either, even as she's going through this NRE with Oki. Be present when you're together, focus on your couple-ness not on whatever perceived slight her NRE with Oki is causing you - she's not in NRE to hurt you, just like you weren't in NRE with Vea to hurt Xa.
 

boi

New member
Hello again to this beautiful community. I hope 2020 was gentle for all of you. My apologies for not showing up here anymore last year but I think I had a bit of a burnout. If you're curious about it, the relationship with Xa ended, it was very painful but it was made with a lot of care and compassion. After some months of silence we're now cultivating a post-breakup relationship, where we speak every week and support each other.
I have now a new lover which brought new questions. I'm gonna look for an answer in the previous posts from other people before writing my own. Much gratitude again for all your caring and wise advice.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi boi, good to hear from you again. I'm sorry about your breakup with Xa, sometimes that just has to happen, and it sounds like you did it in the best way possible. I hope we can answer any further questions you may have, do have a look around on the various threads and boards but don't hesitate to post if you hit a dead end.
 
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