What if you fall for someone who falls for you but isn't poly?

My wife and I are actively polyamorous, but just barely.  We've gone through one situation and are easing into others, with the caveat that it may not work in the end (if anyone has any advice on this, I'm all ears).

In the meantime, I'm a pretty emotionally-connected individual and love sinking into people even if I don't plan to have a physical or long-term relationship with them.  And, I've fallen for a person or two that I haven't started a physical relationship with, but with whom they and I have shared intimate moments, thoughts, and confessions of attraction, each time, I've told my wife about them (though not without some difficulty. . .funny how getting your mind around something new can be so difficult).

One of them is married and herself wondering about other relationships, and she and I have had several lovely conversations, but have also agreed that, though attracted, we wouldn't do anything physical b/c of the honesty question, and she hadn't figured out how to chat with her partner about it, and, even though they have come clean on much of it, they aren't interested right now (as a couple) in the concept.

So, when you meet people who you are attracted to and visa versa but who don't move in poly circles, what do you do?  Hang it up?   Bring them into this interestingly fantastic world?  Keep distance?  etc?  It doesn't help that both of them are friends and creative partners of mine.

Ah, attraction, such a wonderful part of our makeup. .







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Replies to This Discussion

Sigh...a woman I was getting close with fell for someone like that, and kind of put everyone else on pause. She is married, and her and this other guy obviously had a lot of chemistry, so she is polyfidelitous for the time being, even though I've heard she's getting kind of frustrated b/c she still wants to make out with other people! I know she's taking it slow with him but I don't know if he's ever going to be comfortable with it. Sometimes you can tell what is going to be a huge problem or dealbreaker between two people but those two people are still irresistably drawn to each other. I've done this too. I'm sad about her. I've tried to meet new women, but I just can't replace people that way.

It is admirable that you were honest all around...able to talk about how you feel but also avoiding having any kind of secret affair.

I have another girl crush who I know I don't stand a chance with (she's from India, sexually conservative). People are always going to have crushes, I figure. We're still friends. I finally told her I was bi and mentioned the relationships I'd had with women while married, and she was accepting, but I think her head might explode if I told her all about polyamory.

My husband is not that actively poly. I also have another partner who is free to do what he wants, but he is more from a "not getting any action" background than a poly background.
PRG: thanks for this. I read your reply this morning b/f taking my pup on a walk and it was incredibly comforting somehow, and led to a series of very interesting explorations.

Particularly, I've been struggling with "but those two people are still irresistably drawn to each other. I've done this too. I'm sad about her. I've tried to meet new women, but I just can't replace people that way."

I think I may have turned down a road that better helps me be with this. . .I think:) But, at any rate, just reading those words from someone else is powerful supportive.

The questions I've been asking myself over and again as I've been in the poly circle (a year and a halfish now) are

1) why do we have to give up people. . .that is, once we love someone, don't we always love them? (depends on definition of love, which is kindof the point)

2) why is sex the BFD?

3) what does it mean to connect, and why are we people not more conscious of this question?

Actually, I think this last one is at the heart of religion, but that is a circuitous conversation that has too many variables for brief posts. Suffice it to say, I think more of my hyper-religious friends (and I have a lot of them) could be more happy if they sunk their energies into people instead of dogma and started fucking a little more frequently:)
Aww, well that makes my day too that I was comforting!

Question 1: I realized that (with unrequited love), if I love someone, I have to love them as they are. If I want them to fall in love with me, that is wanting them to be someone they're not.

Question 2: it's funny how sex is less of a BFD in polyamory. Some people do some things but not full out sex, and I even know some people who have a "gay boyfriend" or some other non-sexual thing that they consider a relationship. It's easier to deal with if the person isn't your only source of sex. Still, what I like is to relate in whatever way feels right with a person, so I still feel sad when I am not able to.

Question 3: you're right, it could be an entirely separate post!
See if I can do this again (using mother-in-law's boyfriend's computer). . .

I find comfort in your reply again:)

I like "I have to love them as they are". Have you read Proust? In his second book ("In The Shadow of Young Girls in Flower" --great title) he posits the idea that love is really a reflection of yourself onto someone else, that we never really know others. Your #1 seems to me the extension of his theory. . .that if, through injealousy and knowing our own needs we are able to understand ourselves, we can better see other people and who they are for/to us.

I like "It's easier to deal with if the person isn't your only source of sex" too. Ashley, my wife, and I had a lovely conversation on the airplane last night (surrounded by southerners on the way to Bham, fun:) about how we define love. She asked if I would say that I love this other girl, and we chatted a while about what that means, etc. Ashley is pretty amazing, and we have a nice way of exploring difficult emotional things together, and she said at the end of the conversation that it's still hard to hear me talk about other people, but that she has a stop-gap that allows her to realize that it's not a negative statement about her.


As for #3 and all of it, I guess, this whole thing is about definition of self I suppose, and polyamory gives us the leverage of understanding that other people needn't be crammed who we are. When we follow a traditional view of love, then one other person must "complete" us, thereby becoming part of us (here we see parallels with religion, yes?).

It's all making for some great music composition energy too, which isn't a bad thing at all:)

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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