T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 90518
posted 09-29-2012 10:12 AM
I'm 20 years old, straight/poly
I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend (A) for just over a year now, and have been seeing another guy (B) since the end of July or so. Amanda Palmer is playing a show tonight, A and I (and A's roommate and two other friends) have had tickets for a few months now. A couple weeks ago B asked me if I wanted to go with him and I said I already had tickets and that we'd probably see each other there. I also told him that A would also be there and he seemed sort of intrigued by the idea of meeting A. A has also expressed that he is totally fine with meeting B. I'm head over heels for both of my boys and I'm just feeling a little guilty I guess (maybe unnecessarily.) I don't want to unintentionally give one of them more attention and I don't know how I should act with one in front of the other. I know in theory this doesn't have to be awkward, and since we'll all be with a bunch of other friends it's not like an actual date or anything but I'm worried that maybe A will feel neglected because of my new infatuation for B, or that B will feel intimidated by the longer history between me and A, and I just want to be able to enjoy the show without having to think about my every action beforehand. Has anybody else been here? Am I just over-analyzing the situation? Help!
Member # 25425
posted 09-29-2012 10:42 AM
If everyone is feeling happy and enthusiastic and open about this encounter (and it sounds like that's the case), I don't think you have much to be worried about. Could it get a little awkward? Sure. But that's totally fine! This is one of those things where you just have to feel it out. The best tip I can give you is just for everyone to be considerate, and if you are not sure about something (like how much affection to show), just ask!
And if you'd like to hear some personal experience: I introduced my primary and secondary partners to each other for the first time a little over a year ago, and it was super easy. They hit it off right away and we all had a great time. We had all talked about it a bit beforehand, but there's no way to cover everything, and for the most part we just went with the flow and made sure to check in with each other from time to time. What I found helpful was checking in with both individually afterwards, to double check that no one was feeling upset or anxious about anything, and to make sure there had been no missunderstandings. I wish you all the best. And have a great time at the concert! I wish I could see Amanda Palmer live, too
Member # 79774
posted 09-29-2012 10:47 AM
I think it's very understandable to be a bit nervous about something like this - when we really like two people, it's important to us that everyone can get along!
Usually the best way of ensuring that anything poly runs smoothly is to have loads of communication first. It might help ease your worries to communicate to both A and B before you all meet up that you're feeling a bit nervous and that it's important to you that they both feel good in the situation. If you haven't already made arrangements for this kind of situation, it might be a good idea to establish with both A and B what they need from something like this, and any boundaries they have - for example, are they comfortable with you hugging/kissing the other one in front of them? Are they expecting to hang out with you just the same as if you were another friend in the group, or is either of them wanting any kind of one-on-one time, for example spending a song or two holding hands? Of course, your own wishes and expectations are important too, and do share those with them - I was meaning that hopefully you know your own thoughts, but you might not know theirs. If you and they know the basic expectations and agreements in advance, then hopefully you can have that security, not feel quite so nervous, and enjoy the show. It's always a good sign when partners are positive about meeting each other, so I hope you can feel encouraged by that. Hope you have a good time!
Member # 90518
posted 10-01-2012 12:46 AM
I'll just follow up and say that the evening went quite spectacularly!
Everyone got along, even though at the start I was feeling a bit anxious, and trying to "distribute" myself evenly, but with some reassurance from A I relaxed a bit and it was great. Got some "alone time" with both partners, too. At one point during Amanda Palmer's set A and B were standing on opposite sides of me and so I got to hold hands with both of them at the same time - it was silly, and I was laughing, but I'll remember that as a very happy moment in my life
Member # 25425
posted 10-01-2012 03:46 AM
Glad to hear this went so well for you! Yay!
Member # 95710
posted 10-01-2012 09:46 AM
Hey! I've been reading through this thread, and I'm so glad that you had a good time! Those types of meetings can be hard if you yourself are nervous about them (I'm a very intense worrier, so I know what you mean about being nervous!), but it sounds like you did a wonderful job and everyone had fun! I'm so happy for you!
Member # 90518
posted 10-02-2012 09:00 AM
Sigh. I apparently spoke too soon.
While A felt that everything went fine, I had a conversation with B last night in which he expressed to me that, despite telling me when we started seeing each other that he was fine with poly, actually meeting A forced him to realize that he had been, in effect, pretending that he was monogamous with me when we were together. Meeting A sort of broke that illusion and he felt hurt, and told me that he couldn't in good conscience continue a relationship with me when he felt that way about my poly. Which is completely understandable and something that I addressed when I first explained the situation to him. Last night I asked him if, hypothetically, I were ever to stop seeing A, whether he would still be interested in a relationship with me (such a question made me feel awful, but I had to know) and he said that he would be, though he felt awful to put me on the spot like that. The problem is that I really do like B, and I have always felt like he is someone who I could be monogamous with - he's closer to my age, we go to the same university, we have similar career aspirations - and I feel like a relationship with B could be great and fulfilling and healthy. I've never been monogamous, not by choice, but because A is my first relationship, and I know that we will never be monogamous because we decided very early on that due to various factors it just wouldn't work. I have trouble believing in the permanence of any relationship, but I have always known (and A has, too,) that our relationship would end, eventually. And now it's me putting myself in this position of choice, because I feel like trying monogamy with B would be a huge risk (and a huge cruelty to A) that might pay off in the distant future, and staying with A and forfeiting a possible relationship with B would be kinder to both parties but something that might make me unhappy in the long run. I'm sorry that this thread has now become a downer, but once again, I just don't know what to do
Member # 25425
posted 10-02-2012 09:28 AM
I am sorry to hear that, redcat!
In situations like this where it feels like someone needs to make a choice between two partners, we always suggest framing the question differently. So, rather than making it a choice between A and B, try to focus on the people and relationships separately. So, if B were not in the picture, would you want your relationship with A to continue? Do you feel happy in that relationship? And also, as a separate but important question, do you feel happy with a poly relationship model? Would you be interested in switching to a monogamous relationship for yourself, or would you be doing it exclusively for B? How do you feel about that? What I also suggest you do is stop trying to think so much about the other people in the equation, and focus on yourself. You are obviously a very caring and compassionate person, and I am sure that whatever you decide to do, you will communicate it to everyone involved with caring and respect. But this choice (whether or not to end the relationship with A), is a choice that you need to make for yourself. If you feel that that relationship has run its course, then it is a good idea to end it, even if that will hurt A. Relationships end, and trying to spare someone's feeling, while noble, isn't a good reason to continue a relationship.
Member # 95710
posted 10-03-2012 03:43 PM
Hi, redcatmonster (whose username I just LOVE),
How are you? I understand that you're in an uncomfortable and stressful situation. From what I've seen here, it sounds like you're a very kind and gentle person, and so as September said, I am sure that you will handle this decision well and take care of the parties involved. Until you make a decision and afterwards, please remember to take care of yourself: eat, sleep, read books, take baths, go for walks... Whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself. Please take care!
Member # 90518
posted 10-03-2012 09:18 PM
Well now that I've sort of talked things through with both A and B and had some time to think about it I'm feeling better. It's not the end of the world.
B texted me in the morning to say that he was really sorry for putting me on the spot like that, that he's still not quite ready for a serious relationship, and so he has no right to try to force me to choose between him and A right now. He told me that he still wants to date me and if it does end up progressing into something more, then he will want to be monogamous, but it's still too early to make that call. We met at school and talked about it a bit and decided that we were both just unprepared for that conversation, and that it's something that needs to be given a bit more thought. I talked to A about it, also, and he felt bad but we went back to a discussion that we'd had quite early in our relationship, and that we've reiterated since then. I've said to him that monogamy is something that I'd be interested in at least trying, if only because I've never had that with anyone, and we both know that I can't have that with A, and that I have A's "blessing" so to speak, should things between B and I get more serious. It wouldn't be an easy decision, but we both have agreed that it's something that might eventually be for the best, and we will of course stay good friends. As for me, I feel I'm in a decent place - I suppose there's a part of me that entertains a distant fantasy of me and B being monogamous, and as hard as it will be to have to stop seeing A in a romantic capacity, I know it would be the right decision. At the same time, I don't think it's a good idea to make that decision now, when we're still just feeling things out, but I'm worried that A's presence will continue to bother B, and so I feel like that's something I still need to work out with him. [ 10-03-2012, 09:18 PM: Message edited by: redcatmonster ]
Member # 95710
posted 10-03-2012 09:40 PM
It sounds like you've handled this in a very mature way, and that you are definitely taking things one step at a time, which is great! I'm so happy that you're feeling better about all of this. I understand how you feel about B. If I can make a suggestion (though I am nowhere near an ace with relationships!), maybe you could just give B positive affirmation a bit more often, since he might still be bothered by A's presence? Please take care of yourself!