Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Three Men and a Question: How to Negotiate a Polyamorous Triangle? (Part One)

Dear Viny,

I've been in a monogamous relationship (M/M) with my partner for ten years now. In the past year or so he has hinted at adding a third but also sort of brushed it under the rug and teased me for being a prude (I'm not, though I wasn't really bothered by this). I eventually called him on his bluff and said we should go for it.

We talked about it at length -- what type of guy we wanted, what we would do with this person, what was off limits, where we would find him, etc. My partner is in a somewhat public field so I did the search online myself, though we both chatted with the responses until we found someone respectful that we both dug.

We met this third and everything went really well. I felt thrilled during and after and was glowing all week. My LTR partner was also very into it and we checked in with each other about this. I was really surprised how into it I was – to be honest, I have sort of looked down on open/poly relationships in the past. We made plans to meet again and in the past month or so have hung out and slept with this guy several times together.

The problem that I'm having now, though, is that I want to see him even more often. I've checked in with him to see how he feels with things and he has told me he's very happy and also wants to see us both more. I recognize that I have developed "crushy" feelings towards this guy and that they will dissipate with time, but regardless they make me want more of him both physically and socially. I am not worried at all about losing interest in my LTR and have explained this to my LTR partner and believe he understands. Even still – the more interested I get in this third, the more my LTR partner seems to pull away from him. I don't feel comfortable bringing his name up at this point even though I feel it has brought a newfound passion into my LTR and has benefited us both. I'm crushing on this new guy a bit, but I'm also crushing on my LTR in ways I haven't felt in a long time.

I'm very communicative and my LTR partner tends to be reserved and frustrated when I push to tackle issues like this. I have a hard time reserving my emotions and that can make me seem over-eager. I'm having trouble understanding how best to communicate what I want without sounding like I'm beating a dead horse. I've tried to turn all my excitement back on my LTR partner and that is working well at helping me deal with all this energy, but it isn't really advancing the new relationship in a way that I would like it to.

I don't have any friends I feel comfortable enough opening up to about this just yet. I have no problem being open if I know all three of us are on board, but right now my LTR partner is waffling a bit and I'm really worried. A door has opened for me and I don't want it closed just yet. How can I better communicate this without frustrating my LTR partner?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Wants More (and more)


[NOTE: the following reply is an edited version of a personal email sent to "Wants" on 8/7. His response, along with my subsequent reply, will be posted in Part Two.] 

Dear Wants,

Since you are obviously chomping at the bit, and since I don't have time to write a full-length reply until after I return from an upcoming backpacking/camping adventure, my "what you can do right now" advice is to go to your LTR partner and say something like, "Hey, how would you feel about me seeing X [the new guy] on my own this week? It seems like you may be pulling back, or becoming less interested, and I don't want you to feel pressured to get together with him if you'd rather not – but it's definitely something I'd like to do."

I know you said you don't want to seem too eager, but the truth is, you ARE eager – and this approach is at least less likely to annoy your partner than, "When can we do another threesome? How 'bout now? No? Okay, how 'bout now?" Asking your partner how he feels about you seeing the new guy on your own also has the advantage of giving him an opening to talk about how he's feeling about other things, if he wants to, without demanding that he "process" everything with you. (I have been in your shoes before, and I know how frustrating it can be when an LTR partner – who is not feeling particularly motivated to help move things along, or even to discuss why he seems to be balking – seemingly has control over the pacing of a new relationship. And while we're at it, why is it that taciturn reluctance so often has more say-so than loquacious exuberance? Why does the person who doesn't want to talk always get the last word? Argh! End of rant.)

This all presupposes that you would be okay with seeing your crush on your own, so long as your partner is okay with it. If seeing the new guy on your own isn't something you're willing to do, or if your partner really doesn't like the idea, then you've got more thinking (and more waiting around impatiently!) to do. If your partner does give the go-ahead on a duo date, then your next step is to ask the new guy if he would be okay getting together with just you.
It's rarely the case that two people are equally interested in the exact same type of relationship with a third person, which is why it's my opinion that the individual is the fundamental building block in every relationship, whether or not that individual happens to be coupled. I wonder if this is a conclusion more likely to be reached by heterosexual couples in open relationships, who are much more likely to form V's than triangles.... Stay tuned for more on this topic later. Meanwhile, thanks for writing, and good luck!
Cookies & Cacophony,

No comments:

Post a Comment