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Boyfriend out as poly

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by NotSureWhatIam, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. NotSureWhatIam

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    My boyfriend wants to try an open relationship, as in the past weve had different sex drives. He's interested when I'm not, and vice versa.

    Recently hes told me he may be poly, and may want to try other people. I was okat at first, and after trying some dating apps and hopelessly flirting with people. I decided that I am a monogomist. I can't do it, I am simply uninterested in everyone but my boyfriend. But he's resisting that, more than I thought he would. He's pushing that eventhough I don't want to open the relationship, be may not be able to control the urges. He said he wouldn't cheat on me, but he may not be happy. I don't know what to do. I want to keep us together, but I cant do an open relationship.

    Is this the same as a gay man staying with his wife simply out of love? Should we stay together?

    It's been a year and a half that we've been together.
     
  2. Jonathan

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    I'm actually in a somewhat similar situation myself. In my opinion, I think it depends on how strongly you two care for each other. If he gives in and agrees to a completely closed relationship then most likely he will be unhappy. If you give in and agree to a completely open relationship then most likely you'll be unhappy. To truly make this work, you two need compromise and find a middle ground. If he only wants to be open for the sex, then perhaps find some kind of sexual act that he can refrain from (something that you really enjoy). That way he can play with others but there will be something that will be saved particularly for you. I know of certain couples where one partner is allowed to have sex with others but will only kiss with the other partner (as an example). Or maybe come to an agreement that he can be physical with others but emotional bonds are off limits. That he's free to have sex with people but can't develop other relationships (meaning that his romantic/emotional side is just for you).

    In my own situation I'm trying to look at it from the perspective that if I can't fulfill all of his needs that it would be selfish to say he can't get them fulfilled at all just because of my insecurity. Rather, that it's just a physical act for pleasure between him and someone else. Nothing more, nothing less.
     
  3. NotSureWhatIam

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    Is this an orientation? Would I be wrong in saying no yo this?
     
  4. Jonathan

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    No, I would not classify this as an orientation. It is a form of relationship and lifestyle. Some people can be happy in a closed monogamous relationship and some people can't because they have needs that are not met in that form of relationship.

    Are you wrong in saying no to that form of relationship? Absolutely not.
    Is he wrong for pushing for that kind of relationship? Absolutely not.

    You both are striving for happiness and to make sure that your personal needs are met and because of that neither one of you is in the wrong. It just appears that you two have a different set of needs. It's up to both of you to see if you can accommodate each others' specific needs while not sacrificing your own needs. You're not wrong to say no to that form of relationship but keep in mind that it could lead to a separation if your boyfriend feels like his needs cannot be met.
     
  5. CameOutSwinging

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    If he is poly (or wants to explore it) and you are monogamous (and have no interest in the poly lifestyle), then what you have is a fundamental difference in values. Neither of you are wrong or right, but you are definitely in completely different pages and it's probably not the type of thing that you'll find a middle ground on. Chances are this is a fundamental difference big enough to mean you're not right for each other. It sounds like you would be miserable in any form of open relationship. And he will be miserable in a completely monogamous relationship.

    Ask yourself if there's any form of open relationships that you would be okay with. Threesomes maybe where you're always involved together and just inviting a third in for some fun and something different? If you want to try that of anything else, there's certainly nothing wrong with trying.

    But end of the day, I think you'll end up being happier finding a guy who is perfectly happy with monogamy, and your boyfriend will be happier finding a guy who is all about open relationships (and FYI, being poly and being in an open relationship are two different things). You love each other, but sometimes when the fundamentals don't match up, love isn't enough. If it were, my wife and I could have been happy forever.
     
  6. OnTheHighway

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    If he is of similar age, he might be less poly and more in need of finding himself and exploring. I think it is normal for people to go out and play the field, see what is out there, while learning about themselves.

    I would venture to guess your boyfriend does love you, but his emotional maturity might not have yet caught up to where it needs to be to have a proper relationship (however you and he define that). And he may not even recognize that himself.

    At the same time, after 1.5 years in a relationship, a normal progression of a relationship is for the initial connection that brought you two together to settle down. There is actual chemistry involved in this and it is not purely an emotional dynamic. And once the powerful emotions settled down, partners may tend to seek out those initial feelings again.

    If your at a different emotional level than he is, you then have two choices, either have patience with him while he catches up or decide that it's best you and he goes your own way. You obviously have invested a bit of time in the relationship, and it might be beneficial for you and he to sit down and have a discussion about it. In a non threatening and supportive way, ask him what he really wants and see if you can help him identify his underlying issues.

    I speak of this from experience. My relationship had a similar dynamic. My partner showed great patience with me while I developed my emotional maturity. By being completely transparent and honest with each other, we established the proper guidelines and balance between us. I was in need of maturing, and I have since done so. It was not easy for either of us, but today we are engaged and will be married soon as a result of both of our hard work, trust and dedication to each other.
     
  7. NotSureWhatIam

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    Thank you on the highway. It may be just wanting to explore. We started dating when I was 19 and he was 17. Now hes 19 and I'm 21. I'm ready to settle down and have a family, but he isn't quite there. He has never been with anyone but me.
     
  8. OnTheHighway

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    At 21, are you sure you are at a real point where you should be looking to settle down? Be sure to be thinking about that as well.
     
  9. Chip

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    As others have said (in so many words), "coming out" as poly makes no sense, as it isn't an orientation; it's a lifestyle. And in his case, it's unlikely that this is really what's going on.

    More likely, he's bored, seeking greener pastures, especially since he's only been with you.

    Here's the rub: it is very, very hard to have a healthy polyamorous relationship. It requires an incredible level of openness, self-work, and nonjudgment in order to make it work, because nearly always, what ends up happening is one or more party starts getting jealous.

    And at 19, it's highly unlikely he's done the level of self-work necessary to not have that happen. Additionally, since you aren't interested in a non-monogamous relationship (which, by the way, is perfectly reasonable and normal, and you shouldn't let him push you into it), it's a non-starter from the get-go.

    Now the issue is going to be... if you're clearly not OK with it, and he really wants it, this is likely setting up a scenario where he's going to want to cheat. I hate to say this, but I can almost guarantee that he's thought about it already if he's brought the polyamory thing to you. So you need to really think about this carefully.

    I'm not suggesting you break up with him, but I do think you need to really consider what's going on here. This may be a situation that is entirely out of your control... if he wants to experiment with being with other people, he may simply not be happy staying in a monogamous relationship.

    Perhaps the best thing you can do is to start talking openly about the concerns, and see where it leads.
     
  10. iiimee

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    This relationship personally doesn't sound very healthy to me, but I could be wrong. The thing is, people who end up announcing they're poly mid-relationship rarely end up having that relationship work out, mostly likely because the person who's mono was planning on having a monogamous relationship and isn't okay with being with a person who's poly, especially when you thought they were monogamous. If you have any doubts over this, I really would recommend breaking it off, but of course that's up to you... I'm sorry you're dealing with this layer of stress in your life.