That was unexpected...

Token2

New member
Hello from Australia - where we've pretty much escaped the pandemic. 5+ years ago this forum helped me greatly while my partner attempted to steer us into polyamory.

Firstly THANK YOU SO MUCH for being such a kind, open-minded community back then.

To save you from needing to dredge through all my angst and emotions - we were/still are a swinging couple, back then he caught feelings and wanted to explore what that could be, I was feeling a lot of duress but tried to be supportive and nothing really happened with her in the end...

It took time but we grew as a couple, communicate well now and generally things have been good.

About 2 years ago we got really close with a couple, closer than anyone before, the boys were/are both straight and we ladies were more best friends and playfriends than lovers.

We all had love in our hearts for eachother, we were not interested in polyamory though. The bond between her and I was very strong, their relationship got very rocky very quickly, they were both divorced with kids - one kid was going through a lot and it became a strain.

So to our total surprise they broke up, we all kind of kept playing as a fluid-bonded 4some though for a few months, they saw eachother 1 on 1 on and off...

Then as things went sour, and the 1st lockdown kicked in, we became an unintentional throuple (FMF). Nursing her through her heartbreak, I made it clear we loved her but were not in love with her but really there was lots of love.

She's one of those people who somehow has you thinking about them a lot. I worried about her too much.

Once it was well and truly over between them she started online dating and met a guy she liked. We were still coming over every weekend while she dated him on weeknights and we asked her to start off the relationship by being open/truthful with him.

Instead she told him I was her girlfriend and we were an item (no mention of my partner). He got jealous, there were issues.

Things got messy, this is kind of unimportant but it becomes clear to us that she has issues with honesty.

Covid shuts Australia down again, we live in a different State, are barred from entering her State, she's not barred from entering ours. In the time we have hard state borders her new boyfriend comes in hard and she doesn't visit us once, despite us asking.

By the time the borders lift, she's monogamous with him. That was ok but the new boyfriend was too insecure for the friendship to survive, she couldn't tell him we were seeing her even as friends.

All this time she told us, from the beginning that we had our own relationship with her ex, so when it was clear she was ditching us we didn't feel guilty about seeing him - as a friend and a lover (for me). He would happy come down to see us.

This upset her, I'm not going to go into the granular details but as we understood more about her perchant for embellishing reality it became clear she brought their split on.

The thing is this post isn't really about us as an awesome 4sum, or our throuple woes. I just needed to get some of that off my chest. What's taken me by surprise and out of nowhere is the connection that's developing with our male friend.

We always really enjoyed our sexual relationship and as friends we resonated on lots of things but now there's clearly a deeper bond. We see eachother once every few weeks, he lives in the other state some distance away, single dad to 3 kids, busy job.

It seemed like a great fit, we trust him 100% so we've stayed fluid-bonded, he loves and needs sex but life's too busy for a real relationship right now. We've always enjoyed MFM play but never brought a guy back more than a few times and my partner really trusts and likes him as a friend.

It's kind of unspoken between the 3 of us - except my partner calls him my boyfriend. The 3 of us have discussed trying to find a lady friend for my partner so I guess it's not that unspoken but if you read my thread 5 years back you'll see that I would never have seen this coming.

I'm a little bit fearful to explore what I'm/we're feeling. This guy is world's apart from me in many ways, he's very loveable but so busy and focused on his family. There's no time for much more than texts, the odd call and our regular catch up.

My partner has said in front of us that he just wants me to be happy. I want to protect our 1 on 1 union above all-else but it feels like I am being provided a very safe space in which to explore something that I swore was not for me - polyamory - of some sort.

So if you’ve stayed with me through my swinger's soap opera I guess I need to turn this into a question or 2...

Long Distance Very Part-time Lovers - can that work out as a long-time thing?

I guess I need to vocalise some of this with the guys, in particular my partner (the one who tried me make me try polyamory 5 years ago) - do I really have to right now or can I watch things play out a little more 1st?

Can you tell everything about this terrifies me?
The risk of messing things up, of having my heartbroken, of saying the wrong thing.

What are some of the right things I could say?
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
Long Distance Very Part-time Lovers - can that work out as a long-time thing?
Sure. Lots of people do it.
I guess I need to vocalise some of this with the guys, in particular my partner (the one who tried me make me try polyamory 5 years ago) - do I really have to right now or can I watch things play out a little more 1st?
If you're asking, do you need to declare "love," no. You can do whatever makes you comfortable. Be honest. You love the guy. But he's busy and it's a LDR, so it doesn't really need to be a big deal. If you don't want to call him your boyfriend, you don't have to. If your partner calls him that, and you don't like it, you could ask him not to say it, and explain why it makes you uncomfortable.
Can you tell everything about this terrifies me? The risk of messing things up, of having my heartbroken, of saying the wrong thing.
No, you don't come across as terrified. How could things get "messed up"? What is the fear? Whose heart stands to be broken and why? What would be the right thing to say, what would be the wrong thing?
What are some of the right things I could say?
To whom? What is "right" to you? Leave aside labels, swinging, playing, polyamory, even love. How do you want your relationships to work right now? How do you see them working in 1 year? 5 years?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Token2,

LDR's tend to be super difficult ... especially right now with pandemic conditions. That's not to say that it can't work out, but I am thinking you'll have to be very, very patient.

You don't have to vocalize anything right now, but you are headed in the poly direction and communication is vital in poly. I would at least share some of what you've expressed here with your partner, perhaps with your "boyfriend" (don't know if you're comfortable with that label) as well.

You don't have to gush and say everything, just say a little at a time. "I think I am starting to have feelings for my boyfriend. Can we talk about that?" (You don't have to say "boyfriend," you can just say his name, or use whatever label you prefer for him.)

There's no urgency here, so try not to be terrified about things. If it doesn't work out, it'll probably be because LDR's are so hard, not because of anything "wrong" you did or didn't do.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

Token2

New member
Thanks so much for your thoughts. Really very helpful.

I'm really ok with calling him my boyfriend, ideally I'd like this to play out gently - and with some longevity.

Loosing the pressure to feel like I HAVE to bring it all to a head (thanks Mags) I found an opportunity at the weekend to have a soft conversation with my partner that went down well (thanks Kevin).

I verbalised that I found myself in the unexpected position of finding I'd let the boyfriend in. That the NRE wasn't as passionate and encompassing as when I fell hard for him but that I wanted to give it a chance to play out and develop however it may.

He listened, asked if I'd discussed this with boyfriend yet (no) and suggested we continue the conversation another time (we were out at an event).

He's been kind and positive since the conversation which I take as a good sign.

TBC I guess...
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
It sounds like you are doing the right things so far. Polyamory can be scary, but you can get used to it a little at a time, as you inch into it. Keep us posted!
 

Token2

New member
I have a little bit of an update. My partner kind of pretended that he hadn't really absorbed what I had told him and made me repeat it all twice.

He then went quiet for a couple of days and pointed out that maybe it's not information that the boyfriend might want to hear right now. Which I hadn't considered as our in-person vibe is so positive.

Turns out my partner was processing his resentment at my unhappiness 5 years ago. We're talking about 2 very different poly scenarios though - he was seeking 1 on 1 dating, parallel lives - he's very much part of this present dynamic.

I've been asking him since I broke the news 'what does he (partner) want our open relationships to look like?' and I'll mirror that. I feel I've been clear in saying that he doesn't get to say he wants something very closed (V) and then blow it all open (1 on 1) later once he's found a relationship he's comfortable in.

I said this in my original thread that it's part of why poly is so uncomfortable for me - the fact that I believe that love is love, and it's unfair to ask people who are in love to put it in a box over there. He feels relationships can have rules, part of why boyfriend is so perfect is he understands our rules but I wouldn't expect that from others as a given...

Anyway partner said the other day - why don't I set what it all looks like and he'll mirror that. I have ongoing trust issues with him left over from 5 years ago when agreements and boundaries were bent. It's my stuff though, we're not talking sleeping with people behind my back - more words that should have been said (to others) and pushing forward regardless of my feelings.

I'm not sure if I set the tone what I want to set. Maybe slightly increased physically contact with boyfriend from once every 3 weeks to every 10 days - an occasional 1 on 1 dinner date (neither of can take the other home and overnight hotel stays are hard because of his kids).

Anyway nothing that really changes my dynamic with my partner or requires complex scheduling.

So I've said nothing to boyfriend, I've not seen him and he leaves so much of the initiation of contact to me that I think he's trying to show respect for our (partner and I) space because he seems genuinely happy to hear from me.

What I have noticed is the range of emotions that have come up for me. I've got to say that feeling so conflicted has helped me process the thoughts and feelings that come up.

The fact that I am so irrelevant to boyfriend's everyday life led me to examine how I feel about affection without attachment. And to be ok with not needing more.

Once I told partner and put into motion in someway legitising my feelings my head was full of 'how will this relationship end (with one of us needing more?' & 'I'm going to be hurt' - this led me to understand I have unresolved issues that I guess I thought had been fixed through a 27 year long loving mono partnership but maybe not. And I'm willing to dig into those.

There's more but I'm still figuring it all out. I want to share some of my thoughts/intentions with boyfriend soon. I'm thinking sharing bits of it at a time?

Starting maybe with how glad I am to be able to support him through this difficult time when he's really got no room for a 'real' relationship. But seems at odds with what I'm then going to reveal.

I worry too maybe I'm reading too much into our connection. We barely see eachother but when we do it's always awesome. And my mood goes up when we text.

Thanks for reading, very cathartic to spell it out.

Any advice/thoughts?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
It kind of sounds like you are getting quite involved with this LDR man ... perhaps more than how involved he is with you. How often do you see him, and what is that like when you do? Do you see him as a (second) primary partner in the future, or are you trying to keep things casual? Will he always live far away from you? These are just some of the questions that spring into my mind.
 

Token2

New member
It kind of sounds like you are getting quite involved with this LDR man ... perhaps more than how involved he is with you. How often do you see him, and what is that like when you do? Do you see him as a (second) primary partner in the future, or are you trying to keep things casual? Will he always live far away from you? These are just some of the questions that spring into my mind.

We have a quality overnight catch up once every 3 weeks and sometimes some nice face to face time in-between but only sometimes. We met about 20 months ago and while he was in the couple we saw them weekly.

When we do see each-other it's always a great energy, my partner is there too, boyfriend and I may kiss and cuddle and he's very cool about it.

I think there's lifelong potential but not if a monogirl gets her hands on him. He loved the swinging lifestyle, is a great match for me sexually (same kinks). I'm being realistic though unless he stays away from mono and vanilla girls the clock will be ticking down as at some point he'll need and have time and energy for more than I can offer. (Although I guess he could use that time and energy finding ways to fit into our lives).

His kids (3 x teens) went through real trauma living with their mum, he didn't understand how much, wasn't there for them and now that she's asked him to do the full-time care he's really trying to make things up to them by being an extremely hands on dad.

They're a very active family, surfing almost daily and this also eats into his time, along with a busy business. I'd say there's another 6 years ahead where he would struggle to make a mono relationship work because he is so time poor.

We have talked though about the idea of the 3 of us buying a unit together so that speaks of perceived longevity.

In my fantasies as our kids all become adults we all get closer and become a strong vee, the guys are straight but we're a great team. Another best case scenario is that a woman comes along like his ex (without the lying) and we become an awesome foursome.

A girl can dream. I'm pretty good at maintaining relationships as long as they're worth the effort.
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Well, it sounds like it's worth the effort right now. I suggest you keep seeing this man. Do his kids also get together (as friends) with your kids? How far away does he live? Is he within driving distance (by car), or does meeting with him in person involve flying? Is he an hour away, two hours away, more? Depending on how involved it is to see him in person, it may or may not be feasible to get the kids together.

I hope everything works out with him. You do seem to have some concerns about what would happen if a monogirl came along.
 

Token2

New member
I've been thinking about this, the kids have all met the adults but not eachother - our youngest is as old as his eldest but she has quite a severe physical disability which affects her stamina so they're not a match for activities but there's common ground - and my youngest needs peers as she's doing Distance/Remote Education.

They're about 80 mins drive away and we live in a surf town, where Boyfriend's family lived when he grew up so at some stage we should bite the bullet and invite them down.

In 10 years we've only ever had 1 other couple (from the swinging world) cross over into our 'real life' so that's all new ground too. I sense partner's hesitancy - if it were just up to me I would have had them down as a family months back.

My partner is supportive but he kind of has to be because he's the one who wanted to be the hinge, and pushed poly as a good thing 5 years ago.

I can see his brain ticking as he processes information to do with all of this. He's a little controlling - not unbearably and in our daily lives I call all the shots so there's balance, but he's clearly challenged by wanting to be cool with it all - but not wanting to be left behind - which he'll never be in this particular dynamic. I think I said it before - because we come from the swinging world boyfriend 100% respects the sanctity of our primary relationship.

And because partner charged forward 5 years ago I'm extremely sensitive to his feelings because I'd never wish to hurt him the way it rolled out for me back then.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
So, coming from a swinging background, you and Partner have had some ups and downs, part swingers, part polyamory.

Right now, you're hanging onto Boyfriend from a former swinger quad. He's a busy dad of 3 and very involved in surfing. It sounds like you and Partner drive to meet BF every 3 weeks for a hotel overnight visit, 3 way sex thing. Someone must watch BF's kids (and maybe yours) while he has this little sexy getaway.

You find yourself feeling more and more love for BF, while partner does not have a GF, and is feeling a little wonky about the sharing sex swinging stuff the 2 of you do with BF. He'd probably prefer there to be another woman in the mix, for him.

There is resentment hanging around from when Partner fell in love with a former swinging partner.

You fear BF will find a "vanilla" (non-swinger, non-poly, but maybe kinky) woman to meet his needs locally, and then he wouldn't want or need you and Partner and your MFM sexy romance times anymore.

All 3 of you are holding onto the idea of "protecting the primary couple's relationship." BF takes a back seat so as not to upset the apple cart. But it seems you fantasize about an egalitarian MFM V someday, sharing a home with BF once all of your kids become independent. Or maybe BF will find a GF who is willing to be in a quad of some sort too.

Maybe BF is just enjoying the casual sex/friendship thing with you and Partner and does not fantasize about having more. He's pretty involved and in the moment with kids/surfing/career right now and not into making longterm plans, with all the variables you all presently have.

I think there are a lot of "ifs" in this scenario. Sometimes we need to put our adventures in Open marriage sexy romance on a back burner while our kids still need our deep involvement.

The blog of Broken Arrow, currently active, comes to mind. He and his wife are trying to do poly, but they've got kids and a small house. Arrow and their partners can't or won't host, and Arrow won't allow his wife to "bang" her bf in their house, and so he won't have sex with his own partner in their house... and Arrow works 11-13 hours a day, and he and his wife don't hav have time or energy for much sex... and and and... You might look at his blog and feel able to relate.

The situation is not identical. However, the "trying to do poly while our young kids still need us" scenario is similar.

I don't really have much advice. I know my ex h and I tried to Open our relationship when our kids were 11, 14 and 16 and it just didn't work. It just took too much time and energy we didn't have. Once our youngest turned 18, things changed. (And we divorced, but that was another story.)
 

Token2

New member
Thanks Mags - lots of that was spot on except for -

There is resentment hanging around from when Partner fell in love with a former swinging partner.

She was a vanilla work colleague of ours, and it was very much a 1 on 1 proposition.

Our kids are all adults, his are old enough to be left alone overnight every now and then. Most parents would be stepping back from parenting when they're that age but he's only taking them all on full-time for the 1st time since they were little so it's super important to him.

When I used the term fantasies I was kind of meaning Best Case Scenario - I'm not super invested in that outcome but it suits me. We're all in our early 50's so old age isn't as far off for us as it is for others.

I'm definitely stirring the pot here - Partner and Boyfriend who have happily kept going with the 3 week rendezvous but Partner has a history of getting grumpy about unrelated banal stuff and then powertripping/taking away his consent when it comes to my sexuality.

Not really with this guy but I felt myself developing a connection and then I wanted to make sure he (Partner) understood I didn't want any of that kind of reaction (stepping in between) from him going on.

To be honest I haven't used the term love yet to describe my feelings, I feel like it's a strong emotional and physical connection but if there is romance too it's a slow build - and so I'd just like to have the option of exploring what it is we actually have.

I feel my mood levels rise when Boyfriend and I communicate but it's nothing like how I've felt around past partners at the beginning.

I think Boyfriend would welcome the opportunity for us to connect even just for lunch at least once a week. He's offered lunches, catch-ups etc but for me I don't want to move too fast for my Partner but also it is something that motivated me to speak up.

Understanding sexy-time is not a weekly thing I'd like to spend time with Boyfriend however brief once a week, with or without partner, and I'll be freer to put my thoughts, and same for Boyfriend into words if it's without, at least once or twice.

When Partner proposed poly with the vanilla work colleague - he wanted weekly dates, and his own relationship.

As soon as I voiced my burgeoning feelings I put it to Partner - now that I'm open to this concept you tell me what you want in a poly relationship and I'll mirror that. He's put it upon me to sow the seeds and set the model - romance is not the centre of my situation right now but it was with him in the past.

I'll be honest and say it concerns me that if he (Partner) meets someone he feels a potential attraction to, romantically, I do not trust him to stick to the agreement of mirroring because it is so much harder for men and I think he'll feel entitled like he did in the past in his endless quest for balance.

And then I'm back to the can of worms that even though what I am proposing with Boyfriend is hierarchical I do not believe love can be put in a box, while my Partner does believe that - although is yet to put it into practice and already proved 5 years ago that NRE will make him discard his previous love-logic.

Over here in our Swinging world I am seeing more and more couples listing as being open to Poly relationships and I think it's going to be interesting to see how these two worlds interlace - swingers so full of no attachment and lots of rules and poly being pro-love and ideally equal respect for all.
 

Token2

New member
And immediately after writing that Partner comes in - says he's really comfortable with all of it, trusts Boyfriend and me, understands that wasn't the dynamic 5 years before and encourages me to seek a little 1 on 1 time with Boyfriend.

I share my musings on the emotional and physical connection potential lack of romantic in comparison and my motivation to speak out being driven by concerns about him shutting the 3way down.

Wouldn't have even known how I felt about any of that if it hadn't been for sharing here. Again - thank you 💖
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Sounds like things are going well; I'm glad to hear that.
 

Token2

New member
Quick update. We've found ourselves connecting weekly, although only for a few hours.

Partner has volunteered to sit out on our next hotel meet (tomorrow) so I finally have the opportunity to see what page Boyfriend is on.

Looking forward to being able to report some kind of outcome over the weekend.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Sounds like you'll finally be able to have that conversation with Boyfriend about where you would like that relationship to go. That's awesome!
 

Token2

New member
Well we had a great night together, I got to share my thoughts, simply positioned that nothing needs to change and I wasn't asking for anything new back but that I held genuine affection and esteem for him and wanted him to know I wanted to support him however I could through this time of focusing on family and work.

The Boyfriend word came up a bit. He drifted between smiling and looking genuinely pleased to hear what I had to say and using phrases like 'it's scary' and 'I've told other women I'm 18 months away from being ready for anything'...

So that was just over a week ago and whilst we continue to message he's definitely acting non-responsive a few times, when in the past he'd help drive mundane-ish message conversations it's beginning to feel like work to me.

That's really hit my self-esteem, I had felt really confident with our dynamic and the energy and flow between us. I'm struggling with ups and downs.

I have been comforting myself with the fact that I had 7 to 10 days of uncomfortable panic and then about a month to process my feelings when I worked out it was more than sex and I can't expect an instant reaction for such a complex and unusual proposition.

My partner has been great, talking me off the ledge when I've been about to throw it all in and walk away. I'm finding it all very emotionally draining. I've gone from this relationship (BF) being a fun, easy distraction which made me feel good to feeling blue and unappreciated.

I've only ever had 3 adult relationships in the past 34 years and the 2 long ones both started out with this same kind of rocky pattern where they were either protecting themselves or were actually unavailable (partnered). So I'm left feeling old wounds and realising I need to work on why I'm so tied up in needing his validation.

All 3 of us met for lunch and some intimacy yesterday, that wouldn't have happened if he were running the other way but the communication distance is still there today.

I had a sad moment today where I was frustrated with something domestic and 2 weeks ago could have/would have reached out for some comfort but felt I just couldn't.

I kind of wish I'd kept my mouth shut, let the mutual feelings continue to develop (he had been almost daily calling me, now 1 call all week) and then spoke out when it was undeniable. Hindsight eh?

I'm hopeful he stops feeling so challenged by it all but also I'm realising I really want that 'boyfriend experience' - genuine intimacy, mutual respect and being there for eachother - and if it continues to feel like he's emotionally withholding I am going to seek it elsewhere.

I'm blown away though about my mood swings, one minute I'm truly grieving and then I process the concept it'll be whatever it is, and I'm happy and peaceful - except then I swing back - and forth. I guess this all gets easier with experience?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Sorry to hear he didn't take it well (the news about your growing feelings for him). I'm sure he doesn't mean to be cruel, he is just overwhelmed and maybe a bit scared. Give him some space for awhile so he can process, then ask him if he is ready to dial the relationship up a notch or if he needs more time.
 

Token2

New member
Thanks Kevin, that's what I'm thinking.

One of his kids just had a minor accident and he's reaching out which I'm taking as him seeing me as part of his support network which is all I want - with some kisses and cuddles thrown in...
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
I'm sorry to say this, but I don't really think dating gets easier with more experience. I've had my hopes dashed again and again, after a particularly good date or two, or a 2 year relationship that suddenly ends for whatever reason. When hormones and romantic/sexual feelings are involved, it's difficult to not be invested. If you just feel moderate liking for a dating prospect, that's one thing. But if you really would like to see it play out, and you get rejected because "You're not really what I'm looking for," rejection still hurts. I don't go into a deep depression, but I do get hurt and ultimately jaded.
 
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