Struggling with partner new to poly

Veiledvortex

New member
Hello!

History:
My partner and I(we live together) were in a mono relationship…until she found someone she wanted to date. This situation is fine with me — I never wanted mono to begin with, but I accepted it for the sake of our relationship.

The problem:
(actually two problems)

I’ve always done poly with ‘autonomy’ as the guiding principle. My partner has never done poly, and is somewhat violating the autonomy thing. For example, her other partner is going through a tough time so she wanted to spend the night. She had previously set the expectation that she was going to spend no nights over and just come home really late one night. She asked me if it was okay to change that and spend two nights there…I don’t want that kind of question. It’s not my place to make that choice for her.

If it’s what she wants to do it’s what she should do. Sometimes the things you do will disappoint or hurt someone in the relationship, and trying to make everyone happy will end up with no one happy. That said, yes I was disappointed, and I’m disappointed that she is choosing to spend so much time with her other partner. They’re in the honeymoon phase and will likely stabilize at some point, but I’m not sure how to lessen my feeling of being left out and marginalized in favor of the new shiny.

It applies to little things as well — we’re at a party and she will go hug/touch her other partner out of the blue but not me, etc. I’m not envious or jealous of the partner, just disappointed that she doesn’t want that with me.

In the past I haven’t had live-in poly partners and I usually limit seeing any single partner to an average of once a week, so living with a poly relationship and converting mono to poly are new for me.

And the second problem —

My normal response to the above would be to reduce the effort I spend on this relationship and invest in a different one…but since we were mono I don’t have a different one. And since she is new to the poly thing she wants me to take it slow with finding one — no dating apps, convert friends to relationships only, no casual sex. (I almost never convert friends to relationships and she knows it)

I’m trying to be respectful of her desires to ease into it on my side, but I’m finding that to be very tough to deal with, since I’m ending up frequently disappointed and alone.

When I’ve talked to her about this in general terms I get nothing real back — I’m making her stressed out and could I please take a step back and take the pressure off her. She does respond and is making an attempt to give me more, but it feels like it’s out of concern for me and not an innate desire (I sent the other partner away because I was afraid I’d hurt you by spending time with them — not I wanted to spend time with you so I sent them home)

Unless I ask for something specific: can you make an effort to xyz (say, text me good night if you’re away), then I get a ‘sure’.

If things keep going this way I’ll have a choice between accepting feeling alone and left out or ending the relationship…but she has asked that I don’t bring up a problem like that until it’s at a crisis point (aka don’t say ‘I want more xyz because I can see this leading to a problem’ instead wait until I can say ‘the lack of xyz has become a problem and we need to deal with it’)

Edit: fixed language around meta, wasn’t quite fully awake when I wrote this hah
 
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Oh boy. It sounds like you're in poly hell. Read this and get back to the thread...

 
Hello!

History:
My partner and I(we live together) were in a mono relationship…until she found someone she wanted to date. This situation is fine with me — I never wanted mono to begin with, but I accepted it for the sake of our relationship.

The problem:
I’m disappointed that she is choosing to spend so much time with her meta. They’re in the honeymoon phase
That's not her "meta," that's your "meta". Your partner's partner is your "metamour."
 
That's not her "meta," that's your "meta". Your partner's partner is your "metamour."
Whoops, fixed

Oh boy. It sounds like you're in poly hell. Read this and get back to the thread...
(Sorry not sure how to get your name to appear in this reply on mobile)

That does sound familiar. Specifically the displacement part. And for what it’s worth my partner is trying. Maybe I’m being too harsh about the source of the effort?

I want my partner to want to be with me, not ‘I want to be with the other person but I know that would hurt you so I won’t’ (which causes some stress, since she feels like I’m not respecting her efforts and I feel like I’m being relegated to playing second fiddle, only getting attention out of pity)
 
Gently, I want to lift this up to you.

I don’t want that kind of question. It’s not my place to make that choice for her.

If it’s what she wants to do it’s what she should do. Sometimes the things you do will disappoint or hurt someone in the relationship, and trying to make everyone happy will end up with no one happy.

That is you not wanting her to dump her dating things from the other dyad on to you. You prefer she just make her own choices and not put you in this "gatekeeper" spot, where you give her "permission" to do things or not. You prefer she just OWN it and deal with it, even if she has to tell you "no" sometimes, because she's doing what she's doing. You will manage your emotions yourself.

My normal response to the above would be to reduce the effort I spend on this relationship and invest in a different one…but since we were mono I don’t have a different one. And since she is new to the poly thing she wants me to take it slow with finding one — no dating apps, convert friends to relationships only, no casual sex. (I almost never convert friends to relationships and she knows it)

Why are you putting her as your "gatekeeper" for your dating life? You could tell her "I'm willing to pause, but in a month I'll be dating other people. You are dating, I'd like to date." And then you get on with your life and deal with your stuff as you normally would.

Like, if she wanted to open just to date "Apple," did she not think it out all the way? Changing to polyamory means you would be dating other people too. Shoot, Apple might choose to date other people also. If she failed to do that work, then it's on her to think and catch it up.

She doesn't do her homework and YOU have to be on pause forever til she finally gets around to doing it? That's not okay.

You could be up front and tell her you are willing to pause for a month. After that you are moving on to date other people. You are willing to work with a poly counselor. You are willing to read/listen to resources. But nope, you are not willing to do "open for just you on your side" indefinitely. You aren't going to be a jerk about it, but neither are you going to limit yourself just because she chose to jump in unprepared.

You seem to understand that there will be a honeymoon phase where she's all up in NRE for Apple.

You will be too -- once you find someone. Both could read that poly hell article to reduce bumping into that stuff in transition.


When I’ve talked to her about this in general terms I get nothing real back — I’m making her stressed out and could I please take a step back and take the pressure off her? She does respond and is making an attempt to give me more, but it feels like it’s out of concern for me and not an innate desire ("I sent the other partner away because I was afraid I’d hurt you by spending time with them," not, "I wanted to spend time with you, so I sent them home.")

I don't understand this as written. What does this MEAN?

Would it be better to just set a regular standing date with her so you get time and attention on this side? And she dates Dude whenever on that side? She sounds like a newbie hinge who is botching it up and taking you for granted.

If she wants to date two people, she has to date two people, not like, tick the box with you and not really being present, just doing it like going through the motions. All "Yay! I had my weekly date with VeiledVortex and now I can go play with Dude how I want," like you are some sort of duty or chore or obligation. That's not going to feel good.

Is she not HEARING you because she's afraid you will "take Dude away?"

Or is she trying, but YOU hear it a certain way, and YOU are not enjoying the date because you're thinking all this stuff?

Long term couples take each other for granted a lot. Now that you're sharing her time, I think you two could actually ask each other out and put it on the calendar. Have and enjoy regular dates.


Unless I ask for something specific: can you make an effort to xyz (say, text me good night if you’re away), then I get a ‘sure’.

So ask for what you need.

If things keep going this way I’ll have a choice between accepting feeling alone and left out or ending the relationship…but she has asked that I don’t bring up a problem like that until it’s at a crisis point (aka don’t say ‘I want more xyz because I can see this leading to a problem’ instead wait until I can say ‘the lack of xyz has become a problem and we need to deal with it’)

And I'm like -- just request. "I'd like more xyz. Could you be willing to do that?" Get to the bottom line, ask for the behaviors you want.

Do less talk about "feelings." Both of you seem to be tripping on the feelings stuff right now, and it leads to side quest things and circular conversations. Eventually you do need to address "feelings stuff," but talking to an NRE-drunk person is sometimes a drag. Sometimes they don't get it til the shoe is on the other foot and YOU are the one in NRE.

Read that poly hell article. Then read it again.


If y'all don't absorb some of that, there will come the day she does. "Oh, I get it now. I really was behaving poorly then. But I'm struggling now. Can we work this out?"

And you might be all, "I had to lump it on my own. Why should I be kind to you now that you're dealing with it, when you weren't kind to me when I was in it?"

Is the goal to still be together after transition? Or not?

You also have to think about this-- people who were compatible while doing monogamy-- this doesn't mean they are AUTOMATICALLY compatible for doing polyamory.

I think it's better to nip things in the bud than wait for a crisis point. Talk things out ahead of time.

You could tell her "I see you want me to postpone bringing up issues. But I prefer to nip things in bud. Could we set up a RADAR and manage it that way, with a regular check-in, so it's spread out enough for you, but regular enough for me?"


HTH!
Galagirl
 
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I want my partner to want to be with me, not ‘I want to be with the other person but I know that would hurt you so I won’t’ (which causes some stress, since she feels like I’m not respecting her efforts and I feel like I’m being relegated to playing second fiddle, only getting attention out of pity)

I think you could tell her to stop talking like that to you. Even if true, she's oversharing about her emotions/anxieties, and all it does it make you feel crap, so she didn't prevent any "hurt" at all.


If it's framed wrong, and what she means is "I'm struggling to find balance as a new hinge" -- you might ask her. "How you sometimes talk bothers me. Do you mean 'I'm struggling to find balance as a new hinge?' I prefer you say that instead."

Otherwise you have to learn not to take it personally. If she says, "I want to be with the other person, but I know that would hurt you so I won’t" to you, you get to choose how you react or respond. You might say...

"Okay. That is your choice for what you want to do today." You let her deal with whatever she's feeling. And then you do whatever you were doing today. Playing video games, reading a book, whatever.

Go, don't go. Up to her. You will deal with however you feel.

But she could STOP getting in your emotional lane. She could STOP using (what she guesses you feel) as reasons or excuses for (her behavior choices.)

You get to manage your feelings. Not her.

If she wants to know how you actually feel, she could actually ASK.

Does she come from "guess culture" rather than "ask culture?" Is she a passive communicator?

It sounds like she's got poor emotional boundaries and it is setting you off/rubbing you the wrong way.

That's why I think you could STOP. Just make simple requests for behavior. And stop with the "feelings side quests."

You cannot be her dating partner AND her poly teacher AND her free therapist. That's not fair to put on you.

I don't know if you two want to work with a poly counselor to help you through transition.


GG
 
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That said, yes I was disappointed, and I’m disappointed that she is choosing to spend so much time with her other partner.

This is a passive aggressive approach. This idea of stepping back and then hoping that your partner makes choices that work for you seems like it is prioritising autonomy, really all it is doing is leading to a lack of transparency and therefore, intimacy.

In the beginning of a relationship, it might be an approach to screening new partners. But you can't do that once you're established. It is just passive aggressive.
 
Hello!

My normal response to the above would be to reduce the effort I spend on this relationship and invest in a different one…but since we were mono I don’t have a different one. And since she is new to the poly thing she wants me to take it slow with finding one — no dating apps, convert friends to relationships only, no casual sex. (I almost never convert friends to relationships and she knows it)
I admit, I feel this one in my soul. (not that my partner wants me to go slow)

Many many days of my life I was better at playing the game, but in reality I suck at this new digital age for finding people. So even if I want it, it wont come :)..

Good luck with the rest.
 
Hello Veiledvortex,

You need to tell your partner to be autonomous and not make you the gatekeeper. If she wants to spend two nights with her other partner, that is her decision, but she needs to be responsible for it, one way or another. Of course, she should make the independent decision to not do overnights with her other partner, but that should be because she decides it, not because she asks you.

She is certainly letting her NRE for her other partner guide her actions, she is showing preferential treatment for her other partner over you. NRE dies down eventually, but in the meantime, what are you supposed to do? It is not fair for you to sit there feeling unwanted, she should show some desire for you too. And you shouldn't have to ask her to do it, she should just do it.

She is telling you to convert friends to relationships, even while she knows you almost never do that. I get that she is new to polyamory, so she doesn't know that this is not okay, but she is truly giving you the short end of the stick. I am detecting some jealousy on her part, she doesn't really want you to have a relationship with anyone. It's like she wants poly for her, but not for you.

You may need to sit her down and have a marathon talk with her. She needs to show a true desire for you, not a manufactured desire for the sake of making you happy or because you requested it. Honestly you shouldn't have to talk to her. She should truly desire you, and choose actions that demonstrate that, and as I said, she should do that autonomously, not out of a desire to avoid a fight.

Sympathy and regards,
Kevin T.
 
Why are you putting her as your "gatekeeper" for your dating life? Could tell her "I'm willing to pause, but in a month I'll be dating other people. You are dating, I'd like to date." And then you get on with your life and deal with your stuff as you normally would?
Good point. I got a bit too comfortable with the mono relationship and I need to start re-asserting myself. However, this one specifically will be a problem because I've soft brought it up and her response is "maybe then we can't be poly". It's an unfair response and I wasn't (at the time) ready to potentially throw away our relationship over the answer, but I should not cede control just because I want to make something work that won't.

Like if she wanted to open just to date "Apple" did she not think it out all the way? Changing to polyamory means you would be dating other people too? Shoot, Apple might choose to date other people also. If she failed to do that work? Then it's on her to think and catch it up.
Her person is explicitly poly and has other partners at this time. 'Apple' and 'Apple's' partners have flirted with each other in front of my partner with no reaction from her. This problem is specific to me and she has different rules for me than the other person she's seeing.
You could be up front and tell her you are willing to pause for a month. After that you are moving on to date other people. You are willing to work with a poly counselor. You are willing to read/listen to resources. But nope. Not willing to do "open for just you on your side" indefinitely. You aren't going to be a jerk about it, but neither are you going to limit yourself just because she chose to jump in unprepared.
We are planning to talk to a poly counselor and I was kind of toying with the idea of setting an explicit time limit, but I'm a bit worried it could increase stress on her as the "deadline" gets closer.

I don't understand this as written. What does this MEAN?
It means she's (explicitly) telling me that she's not interested in me, she's trying to avoid making me unhappy with us. It's like you have a friend, and you know they only eat at vegan restaurants, and will throw a fit if you go to a non-vegan restaurant, so you explicitly plan dinner with them at a vegan restaurant...Not because you want vegan food, but because your friend will refuse to join anywhere else. In other words you're planning it at the vegan place to appease them. (I know, it's an analogy and not perfect, but...)

Or is she trying but YOU hear it a certain way and YOU are not enjoying the date because you think all this stuff?

Long term couples take each other for granted a lot. Now that you share her time? I think you two could actually ask each other out and put it on the calendar. Have and enjoy regular dates.

So ask for what you need.

And I'm like -- just request. "I like more xyz. Could you be willing to do that?" Get to the bottom line, ask for the behaviors you want.
I think that's one of the things I need to do more of here -- stop worrying about feelings and just ask for explicitly what I want and ask her to not tell me the reasoning why. I don't need to know if she's staying home because she promised me but really wants to go out, or if she's staying home because she really wants to stay with me. (because if she tells me "I really wanted 'Apple' to stay over but I thought you'd be hurt by it so I sent them home" I feel like shit, if she just tells me "I sent them home" I'm fine)

Is the goal to still be together after transition? Or not?
Yep, the goal is to maintain this relationship.

You also have to think about this... people who were compatible doing monogamy? That doesn't mean they are AUTOMATICALLY compatible for doing polyamory.

I think it's better to nip things in the bud than wait for crisis point. Talk things out ahead of time.

Could tell her "I see you want me to postpone bringing up issues. But I prefer to nip things in bud. Can we set up a RADAR and manage it that way with a regular check in? Then it's spread out enough for you, but regular enough for me?"
I tried to tell her something similar (not using RADAR as a framework, but about problems and nipping them in the bud) and got "come back to me when it's a real problem, not a hypothetical problem" :/
 
This is a passive aggressive approach. This idea of stepping back and then hoping that your partner makes choices that work for you seems like it is prioritising autonomy, really all it is doing is leading to a lack of transparency and therefore, intimacy.

In the beginning of a relationship, it might be an approach to screening new partners. But you can't do that once you're established. It is just passive aggressive.
That's true. I was proactive and initiated the behavior I wanted a few times, but I did not ask for it explicitly, which I could (and probably should) have done.

Hello Veiledvortex,

You need to tell your partner to be autonomous and not make you the gatekeeper. If she wants to spend two nights with her other partner, that is her decision, but she needs to be responsible for it, one way or another. Of course, she should make the independent decision to not do overnights with her other partner, but that should be because she decides it, not because she asks you.
I don't care if she does overnights with her new partner; it's honestly 100% fine with me. However...when we did not get much us time for the week and she spends two nights forcing that us time with her partner, when she could have (but didn't) with me that it starts to feel bad.

She is telling you to convert friends to relationships, even while she knows you almost never do that. I get that she is new to polyamory, so she doesn't know that this is not okay, but she is truly giving you the short end of the stick. I am detecting some jealousy on her part, she doesn't really want you to have a relationship with anyone. It's like she wants poly for her, but not for you.
That is exactly what she wants (and she's said that, in those words), but she also does not think that's fair and she does want poly for herself, so she's willing to try to deal with it. But...these are rules for me, not her other partner (as far as I know, I haven't even tried to pry into that). Long term rules are going to be untenable, but I feel like some adjustment period where I accept some rules temporarily is a good idea.

You may need to sit her down and have a marathon talk with her. She needs to show a true desire for you, not a manufactured desire for the sake of making you happy or because you requested it. Honestly you shouldn't have to talk to her. She should truly desire you, and choose actions that demonstrate that, and as I said, she should do that autonomously, not out of a desire to avoid a fight.
In her view she's going against what she wants in order to appease me so she desires me...otherwise she would not go against what she wants. That said, the appeasing is imagined on her part, not real - I'm not upset that she spends the night at her partner's, or if her partner spends the night with her in our house...as long as I'm not kicked out of my bed hah.
 
Thank you for more info.

Good point. I got a bit too comfortable with the mono relationship and I need to start re-asserting myself. However, this one specifically will be a problem because I've soft brought it up and her response is "maybe then we can't be poly". It's an unfair response and I wasn't (at the time) ready to potentially throw away our relationship over the answer, but I should not cede control just because I want to make something work that won't.

Maybe you can't then.

She drops Apple, you don't date anyone either. And you go back to monogamy, or you part ways. I get the emotions are hard, but the actions are straightforward.

Her person is explicitly poly and has other partners at this time. 'Apple' and 'Apple's' partners have flirted with each other in front of my partner with no reaction from her. This problem is specific to me and she has different rules for me than the other person she's seeing.

You do not have to accept double standards. She doesn't make "the rules" for the (you + her) couple. You make shared agreements together. And you do NOT have to agree to this stuff.

You can say, "I see you want that. But, no thanks. I won't be doing that. I do not agree. I'm not up for double standards. If this is poly now, we all can date other people."

And then she feels how she feels about that. And manages her emotions appropriately.

We are planning to talk to a poly counselor and I was kind of toying with the idea of setting an explicit time limit, but I'm a bit worried it could increase stress on her as the "deadline" gets closer.

Stress is NORMAL when dealing with changes. I remodeled my kitchen. It was stressful to live with just a microwave, and the dust, and all that. I like my new kitchen very much. But dealing with some stress was the price of admission.

You two agreed to open the relationship, to break up the monogamy thing and remodel into a new relationship shape. There's going to be "dust" and there's going to be "ugh" and there's going to be some stress. That's the price of admission.

Why is her being stress-free in transition more important to you than your own well-being and your own stress levels in transition? Can BOTH people be seen to adequately?

I think a timeframe is reasonable and rational. You could set an acceptable range in counseling, like a 1-6 month pause. You get to pick the range. And she gets to pick the final number within that range. That is fair enough. Both get to have a voice in it.

And even if she picks the max of 6 months, that still works for you because you set the range in the first place, you know the max you can do/tolerate and still be okay with. And then you get to know that you know you aren't "on hold" forever.

She either does the work or not.

There's a personality that wants to be "Let's wait til I'm done working on it" and then it behooves them to NEVER actually arrive, NEVER actually do the work. So they get to date both people, but it's a one-sided thing, open for them, but not for you. When really, they could have done the work BEFORE opening.

Does she have that personality?

Don't you think it's a bit much that she can poly date, Apple can poly date, but you have to acquiesce to her wishes, and not get to poly date?

Why? Is this going to be like she accepts Apple's partners grudgingly because they were there before her. She HAD to accept them to gain dating access to Apple. But if Apple dates someone new AFTER her... she's going to have a cow?

Doesn't really matter to you on your side... but observe her behaviors.

It means she's (explicitly) telling me that she's not interested in me, she's trying to avoid making me unhappy with us. It's like you have a friend, and you know they only eat at vegan restaurants, and will throw a fit if you go to a non-vegan restaurant, so you explicitly plan dinner with them at a vegan restaurant...Not because you want vegan food, but because your friend will refuse to join anywhere else. In other words you're planning it at the vegan place to appease them. (I know, it's an analogy and not perfect, but...)

And you can do that with food. Eat at the vegan place to oblige the friend's diet and then the rest of the time you go eat where YOU want to be eating. But this is not food.

If she's not interested in you anymore, why are you still here, obliging her wish that you do not date other people and accepting double standards? Is she your dependent? She wants to do whatever. while you foot her bills?

Would this be better if you dated, but did NOT live together, so you each got more space on your own?

You are ALREADY unhappy. Her trying to "avoid" was not a success. That ship has sailed.

So when you and Apple talk reality, hopefully in counseling, you are going to put your cards on the table plain, right?

I think that's one of the things I need to do more of here -- stop worrying about feelings and just ask for explicitly what I want and ask her to not tell me the reasoning why. I don't need to know if she's staying home because she promised me but really wants to go out, or if she's staying home because she really wants to stay with me. (because if she tells me "I really wanted 'Apple' to stay over but I thought you'd be hurt by it so I sent them home" I feel like shit, if she just tells me "I sent them home" I'm fine)

Yup. Make basic requests and skip all the "feelings stuff." Deal with that stuff in a counseling session with the help of the counselor. Trying to deal with it on your own doesn't seem to go anywhere. So have the counselor help you two on that. There is nothing wrong with needing help.

And note... if you two decide to poly date each other, but stop living together, take flats in the same complex or something, so you're nearby, but not in the same one. Then you don't have to know about or deal with ANY of her sleepovers with other partners, and she doesn't have to deal with any of yours.

If you are going to keep living together, maybe this is the wrong floor plan. Maybe you need a split floor plan with two bedrooms, with the common LR and kitchen and all that separating the two. So you each host guests in your own rooms, and there's some space. It's not like the bedrooms share a common wall and you can listen to sex from the other people through the wall. These things matter.

Yep, the goal is to maintain this relationship.

I see that is your goal. Just to confirm, does she share this goal?

I tried to tell her something similar (not using RADAR as a framework, but about problems and nipping them in the bud) and got "come back to me when it's a real problem, not a hypothetical problem" :/

Okay. It's a real problem. You can say:

"I have a real problem with these double standards. You want to poly-date Apple, Apple poly-dates other people, and I'm just supposed to only date you. I don't like this. I am making you aware that I plan to start poly-dating. I can pause for a bit, but not forever."

Otherwise... BELIEVE her! It's just not a problem. And you just move on to date other people. Done.

It's a real problem. You can say:

"You say you want to come out the other side and still be together. Right now I find your hinging skills lacking. I don't like it when when I want to set a time to talk about issues I'm having with transition, and you dismiss me or wave it away. This doesn't foster connection. Your behavior doesn't match your words. I want to talk that out in counseling." Stop pussyfooting.

I'm not trying to be mean or harsh. I'm just not a fan of people being taken advantage of, and double-standards stuff.

She wanted to open the relationship to poly-date Apple, but then she doesn't want to do all the work so it can be fair on both sides-- she poly dates AND you poly date? What kind of business is that?

Even if you didn't WANT to date anyone right now, I think it could be fair on both sides, where both could poly date if they wanted to. Then it is YOU choosing not to exercise your option, and not like you don't even get the option at all.

Galagirl
 
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I struggle with no names. I'm going to call her partner "Apple," and her "Cherry," like generic fruit names. If you want something else I'm happy to go with whatever you pick.

Veiledvortex said:
It's like she wants poly for her, but not for you.
That is exactly what she wants (and she's said that, in those words), but she also does not think that's fair and she does want poly for herself, so she's willing to try to deal with it.

It's on you to say, "No, thank you. I don't want to participate in one-sided poly, like it's poly for you and not for me. It's either both sides open, both sides closed, or we break up." Don't put up with shenanigans.

If she's willing to deal with it, set up counseling, set a timeframe, then once the timeframe is up, move on to dating other people, and LET HER PRACTICE dealing with it. Don't leave your own life on hold indefinitely.

Again, you don't have to be a jerk to her about it, but neither should you be a jerk to yourself.

I don't care if she does overnights with her new partner; it's honestly 100% fine with me. However...when we did not get much us time for the week and she spends two nights forcing that us time with her partner, when she could have (but didn't) with me, it starts to feel bad.

Are you saying it was supposed to be (you + her) date time, and Cherry just invited Apple along on your couple date, from the sky?

Are you not comfortable speaking up?

"Hi, Apple. Did you come to pick up something you forgot? Cherry and I were about to head out for our date night."

"Cherry, this was our date night. Why did you invite Apple along to it without asking me if it was ok to change to a group hangout? You care to explain this to me and Apple? Cuz you've put us both in an awkward spot here."

"Cherry, I did not agree to a group hangout and don't appreciate you inviting Apple to our couple date from the sky. I don't know about Apple, but I don't feel good about that. I prefer to bow out and skip this date. It's not what I signed up for."


In her view, she's going against what she wants in order to appease me, so she desires me... otherwise she would not go against what she wants. That said, the appeasing is imagined on her part, not real. I'm not upset that she spends the night at her partner's, or if her partner spends the night with her in our house...as long as I'm not kicked out of my bed hah.

She just expects you to take the couch from the sky? How about THEY take the couch? Or better still -- get a hotel?

Galagirl
 
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She drops Apple, you don't date anyone either. And you go back to monogamy. Or you part ways.


And don't you think it's a bit much that she can poly date, Apple can poly date, but you have to acquiesce to her wishes and don't get to poly date?
Technically I can poly date as long as I only date a someone who was a friend first and do not make an OLD profile…

But realistically that means I can’t poly date. Once I bucket someone as a friend I do not typically move them out of that bucket.

I don’t think there’s any going back to monogamy for me. I did it this once, but aside from this relationship I have never had a monogamous one, and I never wanted one.

I messed up and let myself get too involved with a monogamous person and I tried to make it work.

Why? Is this going to be like she accepts Apple's partners grudgingly because they were there before her. But if Apple dates someone new AFTER her she's going to have a cow? Doesn't really matter to you on your side... but observe.
I don’t think so because Apple appears to share her philosophy of only starting a relationship with a friend. I can’t say for sure, though, and it will be interesting to watch. It might also have to do with not living with Apple, so there aren’t so many ‘they violated my space’ feelings.

Is she your dependent? Would this be better if you date but NOT live together? So you each get more space on your own?
Yes, she is. She’s in school at the moment and is not working and can not afford her own place.
I see that is your goal. Just to confirm... Does she share in this goal?
I believe so.

I tried to tell her something similar (not using RADAR as a framework, but about problems and nipping them in the bud) and got "come back to me when it's a real problem, not a hypothetical problem" :/

Ok. It's a real problem.

"I have a problem with these double standards. You wanting to poly date Apple, Apple poly dating other people, and I'm just supposed to only date you. I plan to start poly dating. I can pause for a bit, but not forever. "
Hm, this might be a me problem — I don’t view it as a problem yet because I haven’t hit my breaking point, but if this continues I will get there. And when I do it will probably be too late.

She wanted to open the relationship to poly date Apple, but then she doesn't want to do all the work so it can be fair on both sides? She poly dates AND you poly date? What kind of business is that?
I think the suggestion of setting a time limit is a good one, it gives me security that it won’t turn into a “I’m not ready yet indefinitely” thing, and forces her to put in the work. Just need to figure out a time limit and what agreements / rules will disappear and when.

Are you saying it was supposed to be (you + her) date time, and she just invited Apple along on your couple date from the sky?
No, Apple was at our place helping make food for a party, she got triggered and Apple wanted to spend the night to provide support. She sent Apple away because she was afraid of hurting me if she said yes (but she wanted to spend the night with Apple). Apple was planned to be over but an overnight stay was not planned. I didn’t need to hear the ‘I really wanted to spend the night with Apple’ part.

She just expects you to take the couch from the sky? How about THEY take the couch? Or better still -- get a hotel?

Galagirl
I wasn’t clear enough — I’m fine if they want to spend the night on the couch or in the same bed as me, or in the guest room…my only boundary is that I will be sleeping in my bed.
 
Technically, I can poly date, as long as I only date a someone who was a friend first and do not make an OLD profile.

"No, thank you. I see you want me to do that, Cherry. And I would agree to reasonable and rational requests, like using condoms and other safer-sex practices. But this is not a reasonable or rational request. You don't get to tell me how to date. I have my own dating style."

You seem to have a very hard time standing up for yourself. Why is that?

I don’t think there’s any going back to monogamy for me. I did it this once, but aside from this relationship I have never had a monogamous one, and I never wanted one.

Then nope. No more monogamy. If she wants to go back to that, you get to say, "No, thank you. I don't want monogamy anymore. I am not going back to that. We are no longer compatible. It's best we part ways."

I messed up and let myself get too involved with a monogamous person and I tried to make it work.

That part is said and done. You and she are not doing monogamy anymore.

This new part? Do not accept double standards or her telling you how to date.

Reasonable and rational requests? You can consider those and decide yes or no.

Unreasonable or irrational requests? Pass. You do not even have to consider. You can say, "No, thanks. I won't be doing that." And let the chips fall where they fall.

GG
 
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I think the suggestion of setting a time limit is a good one, it gives me security that it won’t turn into a “I’m not ready yet indefinitely” thing, and forces her to put in the work. Just need to figure out a time limit and what agreements / rules will disappear and when.

GOOD! Work all that detail stuff out in couple counseling.

I wasn’t clear enough — I’m fine if they want to spend the night on the couch or in the same bed as me, or in the guest room…my only boundary is that I will be sleeping in my bed.

Why on earth would you share your bed with Apple and Cherry, when there's perfectly good other spaces in this floorplan for them to use?

I think you could change your mind on that. Since you DO have a guest room, I think you and Cherry could change, so you two have separate bedrooms NOW. And your bed is ALWAYS your bed.

Cherry can host you in her room. You can host her in yours. And if she has guests, or you do, you each host them in your OWN rooms.

The boundaries here are... weird. Straighten all that up more. That is my suggestion to you.

Galagirl
 
Why on earth would you share your bed with Apple and Cherry?
I don’t care, it really doesn’t bother me at all. I will freely admit that’s probably kind of weird but it’s not a thing I’m bothered by. This is assuming ‘sharing’ means cuddling and sleeping.

If it means sex, talking all night, heavy making out, etc., then I do not want it in my bed with me, unless I’m invited.

And yes, we have two guest rooms as well as two pull-out couches.

I do think that we should change so we have our own bedrooms and (maybe?) not a shared one. This deals with problems of ‘How do we host people?’

Edit: I think I’m getting stuck on the details here. I know Apple and I know Cherry. I don’t have a problem sharing a bed for the purpose of sleep with people I know, regardless of their relationship status.

If this was their first date and I’d never met the other person and they randomly showed up in bed with me? Yeah, that’s going to be a bit of a problem.
 
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I don’t care, it really doesn’t bother me at all.

Since you don't care, how about NOT doing it then?

If it means sex, talking all night, heavy making out, etc., then I do not want it in my bed with me, unless I’m invited.

Not doing it at all makes this a non-issue.

And since so much is going on here, a timeframe that includes more "formal polite" manners with Cherry might serve you both better in transition than everything "too casual and loosey-goosey."

And yes, we have two guest rooms, as well as two pull-out couches.

With ALL this space available and you wanting to sleep in your own bed I think it's time to just NOT let people in your bed that you don't want there. There is such thing as being TOO generous and accommodating.

I do think that we should change so we have our own bedrooms and (maybe?) not a shared one. This deals with problems of ‘How do we host people?’

Yup, it does solve the hosting thing. In fact, you could have a bedroom and a hosting guest room. And she could have her bedroom and hosting guest bedroom too.

You have enough space so BOTH of you can use TWO whole bedrooms, plus two couches.

There could even be a shared bedroom. Your own hosting bedroom. Her own hosting bedroom. And a guest room for family when they visit. And when you host it's "just not in the shared bedroom." There are many ways to approach this when you have this much space. Why not avail yourselves?

Why do people have to pile up in YOUR bed? If YOU invite them there for sex or group sex, that's your deal. But her having her guests pile into your bed? Even if you "don't mind," maybe it's time to have some space and some breathing room here? Start minding it SOME and ask her to host her guests NOT in your bed?

Galagirl
 
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You’ve made your point and I’ll take it into consideration. However, I’m wondering why it matters so much. Yes, I don’t care so I could make it a hard boundary, but why create one where it isn’t required?

I was a bit too flippant with ‘my only boundary…’ above. The reality is that I have a few more conditions on it. If you want it rephrased appropriately the real boundary is:

My partner is free to ask me but if I say no they should find another sleeping arrangement.

Your point about stricter boundaries is well taken, however. I’ve allowed the mono relationship to atrophy my autonomy muscles through ‘sometimes sacrifices are needed’ and ‘I can get over that, in the grand scheme of things it’s not such a bad thing’. I need to start asserting myself and what I want.
 
You’ve made your point and I’ll take it into consideration. However, I’m wondering why it matters so much. Yes, I don’t care so I could make it a hard boundary, but why create one where it isn’t required?

Well... this is what I think.


Your point about stricter boundaries is well taken, however. I’ve allowed the mono relationship to atrophy my autonomy muscles through ‘sometimes sacrifices are needed’ and ‘I can get over that, in the grand scheme of things it’s not such a bad thing’. I need to start asserting myself and what I want.

If that is the goal, when there are 4 bedrooms available, this is an "easy way to assert."

You get a bedroom to yourself. She gets one to herself. And the other two bedrooms? Do as you please. One that is shared, one that is guest room. Or two guest rooms. She can't argue that. It is fair. Plenty of space here. You could still share one if you both wanted. But you really need to set up for hosting better. This is not especially stressful, right?

There will come a time in your journey where you will need to be assertive about things again, a time where you have to set and enforce personal boundaries. And it will be in a harder scenario than this with the bedrooms. She might step on your toes or she might argue the point, making it harder for you to stick to your guns. Emotions may flare up. All kinds of things.

So, you could practice assertiveness and setting boundaries when it's NOT a crucial thing or an especially stressful time. Start small, and work your way up, especially since you've allowed your autonomy muscles to atrophy.

Galagirl
 
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