Was in open relationship, now considering poly


New member
Hello friends!

Sorry in advance for the long post! I am having a difficult time and am hoping this community can offer my some guidance. I have been engaged to my fiancé (BF of 4 years) for just over a year. I am a touring musician and my career has been picking up really heavily lately with my two touring original projects! At the same time I'm 33 (going on 34) and we're thinking about kids in a few years. My life dream has always been to take music as far as I can and I know that although I am fit and feel in the prime of my life, my music career also has an expiry in the capacity that I am doing it now. I feel this is my shot! Our wedding is supposed to be in 7 months and nothing is planned or booked yet.

My fiancé and I talked about an open relationship after a year or so and it made sense (arose totally organically) that we pursue that when I'm away on tour. It made me happy knowing he was happy and free when I was away and it felt good for him too. I actually never slept with anyone else, but he did a couple of times.

On this last tour of Australia, I met with an old friend (we'll call him OF). We had always had a close bond and been affectionate with one another, in a totally plutonic way (though we had a certain special spark between us). He lives in Australia but I met him here, in Canada, just a little before I met my fiancé (and I told my fiancé about my special friendship with him). He moved back to Australia and over the years we've kept in touch here and there and always supported each other when in need. When I saw him, got to hug him and be around him, I felt something strong I hadn't felt with him before. A powerful attraction. He felt it too. Fireworks. From then on I could barely eat or sleep...

We ended up spending two magical days together and it was completely mind-blowingly amazing for both of us. The way we can talk to each other is something I have rarely experienced but there is also incredible fiery sexual chemistry and connection. Even though this was technically within the consensual bounds of my relationship, it has completely thrown me for a loop. I told my fiancé when I got home a few days later (just a few days ago)... He just smiled and shrugged it off "I'm glad he was good to you and that you had fun". I said... "thank you but, how do you feel about it that it might happen again - when I tour there again? I just feel a real connection to him, it was really nice" he said "as long as you're here, with me, in my bed, I am fine with that - I don't see him as a threat". I recently bought "the ethical slut" and I told my fiancé I thought we should both read it and continue to have more open conversations.

Since then I have talked (or messaged) OF every day for long periods. We just relive our encounter and old memories, want to know everything about each other and he's so unbelievable. I felt that it was important to bring this up to my fiancé and keep everything in the open. This time my fiancé got very upset and scared I was leaving him, but kept saying he still wants to be together and is happy with me. I told him we should postpone the wedding and do some thinking. I feel confused - I still love my fiancé, he's been my rock. The pull of OF is very powerful and has blindsided me. I am considering poly but this is new territory. I don't want to be selfish - I posted this in another forum (one that clearly wasn't familiar with open relationships) and they ripped me apart. Please help!!
Welcome to the Forum! I'm sure folks will do their best to offer their best recommendations to let you find your way.

New relationship energy (NRE) can be a powerful force... and there's a wisdom in not making any major/permanent decisions under it's influence. Delaying matrimony may be advisable given the uncertainty, although I would be curious if the career aspect wouldn't also play a factor in that, but also be cautious of wounding the relationship with your fiancee.

Ethical Slut is a good book to start on... and you can find others in the threads on poly resources (check Golden Nuggets area)

I would anticipate your fiancee's reaction will be based in something that has spooked him. That the assurance that you'll be back in his bed later is on uncertain ground. Where that feeling comes from for him is probably a good place to start exploring the reaction, and what changed for him in his perception of the situation.
As far as the conventional advice, it sounds like you're on a good track for keeping communication open, and keeping your partner informed. The trick is being honest with partners, but keeping trust with them such that their imagination doesn't run away with them to dark places.... too often.
Welcome, Fickle. You've come to the right place. No one here will rip you apart, unless they've also been burned by the "poly bomb," and/or a LDR (long distance relationship). You can do a tag search for NRE (new relationship energy), or LDR, or opening up, to read stories of how people have handled these issues, either successfully or not so well.

In reading around, you will see your feelings for your old friend are extremely common. You're in a huge hot bath of hormones and idealization of your friend.

There are 2 other good books on the market that are terrific to help you understand your feelings, and what to do with them to avoid long term damage and upset. Opening Up, and More Than Two (the second one is also a searchable website that is great).

A quick list of things to do, and not do:

Do not gush to your fiance about how great your friend is. Take those thoughts and feelings and bring them here. It's not fiance's job to help you handle them, except as they affect him. We have a blog section too, if you're not looking for frequent advice and just need to vent.

Know that LDRs are hard. There are a lot of miles between Canada and Australia! Skyping and the ability to text may make it seem easier, but it gets old for most people over time.

Do not neglect dating your fiance. Your old friend is now the new and shiny. Fiance is all wrapped up in domestic life, chores, errands, finances. The new will seem perfect, for a while. But he's human just like anyone else. He is an "escape" from real life now. How much chance is that he will figure physically in your life now and in the future?

Many people are blindsided when their agreement/expectation for a (mostly or purely) sexual openness turns to one of romantic love, or NRE/limerance. But it's very common for a sexual relationship to develop feelings of "love," which is really infatuation at first. That is how bodies/brains/hormones work. Of course, you do care for OldFriend, but that romantic spark is new, or has gone from a spark to a bonfire, and makes your world feel so different. Be careful how your new feelings cause you to ACT.

How will this new infatuation affect your long term plans for a stable home life and children? Think long and hard about that. How will it affect the trust you and fiance have for each other? You do risk losing him, without careful respectful negotiations and much patience on both your parts.

NRE generally lasts 6 months to 2 years, but being long distance with infrequent romantic reunions can extend it for years. How will this passion throw your present arrangement for a loop?

Right now you are having an emotional affair, which violates the spirit of your agreement with fiance. You need to sit down and be completely open and honest in communicating. Don't make the mistake of talking for long hours into the night. Try to keep conversations fairly short. Make sure you and fiance do self care, eat, sleep, exercise, go on dates. Make sure you're not so exhausted you can't think or work or keep up with any other responsibilities.

Your sexual desire for a long term partner can wane when in the grip of NRE. His for you might wane with his new hurt and fear and distrust causing jealousy or envy. This can be very hard to deal with as well.

There's a start for you of the speedbumps and possible obstacles ahead in your present journey. Good luck.
I agree with Magdyln. She's given you a lot of things to think about.

I want to underline these:

Since then I have talked (or messaged) OF every day for long periods. We just relive our encounter and old memories, want to know everything about each other and he's so unbelievable. I felt that it was important to bring this up to my fiancé and keep everything in the open.

How are you telling him? Because it is one thing to tell him "I want to make you aware that I'm still keeping in touch with OF and enjoy my crush on him. I would like to consider poly" and not TMI.

It's another to gush at your fiance with all your NRE la-las as they happen like a play by play. Esp if you are texting daily and whatnot. That can feel fun for you, but not everyone wants to be hearing it at that level. YKWIM? It's fine to talk to OF, but don't become obnoxious about it like texting at dinner with fiance or bedtime with fiance and being all sucked into the phone. There's lots of posts here about people not BEING PRESENT and the phone issues. Having a crush on a potential new partner is not an excuse to lose all good manners with an existing partner.

Don't take fiance for granted or neglect him.

This time my fiancé got very upset and scared I was leaving him, but kept saying he still wants to be together and is happy with me. I told him we should postpone the wedding and do some thinking.

I think postponing the wedding is a good idea. I'm a fan of long engagements.

It's not like anything is booked, and this gives you more time engaged, discussing things, assessing deep compatibility, seeing how this poly V thing will play out with LDR, etc.

Def don't ADD to changes right now -- considering poly is change enough. Don't pile on wedding and TTC or anything like that to it.

I feel confused - I still love my fiancé, he's been my rock. The pull of OF is very powerful and has blindsided me. I am considering poly but this is new territory.

Could learn more about poly. Take it slow, and take it easy.





It may be that OF awakens you to poly and something more develops with OF.

It may be that OF awakens you to poly and it doesn't develop into more because of the LDR... but you still want to poly.

Take it easy and let it unfold as it will.

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Wow, thank you all so much for your wise and considerate replies!

This forum is such a blessing - especially after being shamed and judged so harshly in the previous one. I am truly grateful for your insights. Your advice all resonates so much with me and I am pleased to say I have followed my gut and kept a level head in this. I have not been talking about OF or gushing about him to any extent... I simply said we felt very connected and that there were still feelings there (which I knew was in breach of our relationship agreement) and that we had been messaging (I did not specify frequency). Perhaps that was even downplaying it too much but I agree that those are the facts he needs to know - no need to twist the blade.

Since our talk things have gone somewhat back to normal and my fiancé and I have a date with each other tomorrow night. He has been very loving towards me and said he really appreciated and respected my honesty. I have made an effort to be extra good to him to ease his mind! I know this NRE is powerful in this moment, and may fade, I am thankful that OF is on the other side of the world right now so that I can sort out my feelings and be true to my fiancé. Thank you for reinforcing my perspective and offering so many great resources! This had solidified my direction and put my turmoil at ease.

I appreciate your reinforcing the point about not being rude to my fiancé by:eek: going on my phone talking to OF. This is very good advice for me, as in the past my fiancé has been annoyed by me doing that for business and I know it's one of my weak points. I have been trying to curb it in general.

Yes LDRs are very hard, I've been in one once before and only for a year before we decided to move in and give it a real shot! OF and I have come to the conclusion that both of us are touring musicians with solid plans of touring each other's countries and so this bond creates extra positive motivation towards our existing goals. We both released albums this year and this gives us both extra fire to push hard and succeed. It is not unrealistic at all, as the plans existed prior to our meeting each other and we had discussed touring together as a possibility too. Whatever this evolves into, we are both grateful for the inspiration.

Well, I have a lot of reading to do! I will continue to update and please feel free to continue to pass me resources. I can't thank you enough!!
Hello MyFickleHeart,

It sounds like you are getting things figured out; that is good to hear. I think the key thing here is to be extra nice to your fiancé, be present with him when the two of you are together. In the meantime you can continue your relationship with OF, just be aware that LDR will make things difficult at times. It's good that the two of you can get together while you're touring.

You do need to come to a decision with your fiancé about whether the two of you will be in a poly relationship, and not just open. Polyamory is when you fall in love with multiple people (fiancé and OF) and have emotional involvement with them. It's not so much like having casual relationships or hookups. Your fiancé will have to figure out if he can handle poly, and the two of you will need to come to an agreement.

Hopefully the two of you will agree to do poly.
Kevin T.
So just an update, my partner and I have had several open conversations since I last wrote. I’m still reading up as much as I can about poly and really enjoying The Ethical Slut. It’s not been easy, as we have both had fears of losing each other and everything we have built... but at the end of it he says he feels his needs are being met and he supports me in my following my heart and exploring this NRE with OF. What a good man I have. I have tried my best to give him lots of attention and love through this - which he has appreciated. I think the most important revelation for both of us is that I have discovered this aspect of my personality. Knowing that I am able to connect and care deeply for others (emotionally and physically) as well as still love my partner, was confusing at first. Now that it’s out in the open it makes so much sense and feels so freeing. To be honest about this is paramount for me and has bonded us even deeper than before. He and I both know this is potentially shaky ground and uncharted terratory but our communication has been clear and from the heart. OF and I have shared many deep meaningful conversations as well and have a sense of filling each other up emotionally - giving each other so much energy and vitality, which helps me give that much more. I am so grateful to have the privilage to get to know him better through this LDR, and feel optemistic that I am on the right path with all of this. Thank you all again for sharing your resources and wisdom!
Glad to hear that things are working out.