My Advice for People Considering Polyamory

Discussion in 'Dating and Relationships' started by ControlledXaos, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. ControlledXaos

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    My Advice for People Considering Polyamory
    By Jeff Leavell

    September 8, 2016
    [​IMG]


    The author poses with his husband and boyfriend. Photo courtesy the author

    I have been with my husband, Alex, for four and a half years. And our boyfriend, Jon, has been with us for a year and a half.

    Before I found myself in one, I resisted the idea of a polyamorous relationship—I made fun of my friends who were in "triads." I thought the whole concept was ridiculous. But when we met Jon, my perspective shifted.

    As Jon entered our life, Alex and I tried to control the situation as best we could. We agreed to only text him in a group, so everyone could see everything we discussed with him, while Alex and I maintained our own separate conversations. Alex and I would confer together on the major decisions of our relationship, and then we would bring the results of those deliberations to Jon.

    Basically, we tried to treat a relationship developing between three people like it was developing between two, with Alex and I as one party and Jon as the other. This, of course, is untenable. Equality is essential to making relationships work. If we were really going to do this new thing with Jon, Alex and I would have to change how our own relationship operated. But I had no role models to teach me how to do this thing—a problem I hope to address in writing about our relationship publicly.

    People reach out to me all the time with questions about open and polyamorous relationships based on pieces I've written. A disproportionate number of them revolve around jealousy and insecurity: How do you avoid becoming jealous if your partner is sleeping with other men?


    I've found that if I ever feel jealousy, the root of that emotion almost always comes from not feeling good enough for Jon or Alex. Jealousy always equals insecurity for me.

    And jealousy is normal—it happens all the time, no matter what kind of relationship you're in. It's part of being human. But at the end of the day, it's how we react to that jealousy that matters. I constantly have to remind myself to shift the focus of my thoughts back to me: What am I really afraid of? Why do I not believe I am deserving of all this love?

    Falling in love with Jon—and watching Alex fall in love with Jon—taught me that there is more love out there in this world than I had ever imagined. But we struggled in the process. Three-way fucking is hot; three-way fighting is a nightmare.

    Once, I received an email from a reader who had started dating a new guy with his partner. The three of them had their first fight, and he felt like his partner and their boyfriend were ganging up on him—had I ever experienced that?

    Sure I had. In a relationship between three people, it is almost impossible for someone not to feel like the odd man out.

    I remember a fight Jon, Alex, and I had in Vancouver. Alex was about to go away for six months to work on a TV show, and we were spending a few days together, just the three of us. We were on Granville Island, and I remember a moment where I caught their hands touching. It was a romantic and beautiful image, but for some reason, it made me feel jealous, insecure, and afraid that they were falling more in love with each other than they were with me. That's when we started fighting, and though I can't remember what we fought about, I'm sure I started it. Even though all I needed to do to feel included was reach out to hold their hands, I closed off, shut down, and created what I was afraid would happen.

    Later that night, I pretended to fall out of bed (in reality, I threw myself onto the floor). I stormed out of the apartment we were renting and marched to the elevator, waiting for one of them to come stop me, to prove they loved me.

    People often ask me how we handled "coming out" as a polyamorous couple to our family and friends. There's no easy answer for that.

    Alex and I introduced Jon to our family and friends at our wedding. It seemed, at the time, to be a good idea—everyone would be in one place at the same time, and we wanted Jon there, to be part of that experience with us.

    Looking back, I can only imagine how hard that was for Jon, and for those closest to Alex and me. And today, my advice is to use caution and not open yourself up too quickly to the scrutiny and judgment of those who love you. While they may seem normal when you're part of them, polyamorous relationships are far outside the norm, and it's hard to expect everyone to just accept what we know: that love is vast, and that there are many ways to experience and express it. Polyamory scares people. For some, it challenges everything they believe to be true about love.

    Once, someone told me I was proving every right-wing religious conservative's wildest fears about gay people true—that we were all amoral sluts, incapable of monogamy or serious relationships, who couldn't take marriage seriously. And this dude was gay. My response was: So what? Why can't I live my life on my own terms? Isn't that what we're fighting so hard for—the right to live how we choose? To not have my love and sex dictated by some arbitrary social structure? Why should anybody tell me how and who to love?

    Then, there is the ultimate question: With all the complications and struggles, why do it?

    I don't have a simple answer. I have been called greedy and selfish, even psychotic and monstrous. I don't think I am those things. Maybe this is just part of my nature.

    I don't believe this kind of relationship is for everyone, and I don't think that polyamory is better than monogamy, or vice versa. I just think we find what works best for us.

    And I am happier this way. I am happier with Alex and Jon, and I am happier that we are in an open relationship, and I get to meet and spend time with other guys. I am happier knowing that Jon and Alex get to explore and play and fall in love, too.

    Being poly will not save your relationship. It won't solve any of your problems. Everything that scares you about it might come true. But it will also open doors inside you that you never knew existed—and it may even bring an opportunity to grow.

    Follow Jeff Leavell on Twitter and Instagram

    Source: My Advice for People Considering Polyamory | VICE | United States
     
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  2. OckyDub

    OckyDub is a Verified MemberOckyDub I gave the Loc'ness monstah about $3.50
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    What I'm missing is how and why did the poly thing start with them in the first place. If you were un-open to it, what, when and why did they become open to it?

    But good for them.
     
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  3. ControlledXaos

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    Yeah I want to know what did they feel they were missing? Why a actual boyfriend instead of the occasional third party?

    Who brought it up to include a new person? How did you decide on this guy? Were they dating other singles before settling on this one?

    There's so much complexity to this that seems self inflicted. Is it worth the extra layers of drama? Because to me it seems if they wanted a third person for occasional 3 ways, that would be better served by some random. A steady would increase the chances of jealousy and feelings of being teamed against.
     
  4. OckyDub

    OckyDub is a Verified MemberOckyDub I gave the Loc'ness monstah about $3.50
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    AND what does the third wheel boyfriend do? Does he date? Does he want a relationship of his own vs being and addition to an already established one.
     
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  5. Winston Smith

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    Humans prior to organized religion and certain forms of civilization were in polyamorous. On one hand, individual psychology made us sexually selfish (monogamous) in order that our genes are passed off in preference to others; on the other hand, we need others to live and survive and there is strength in numbers as well as redundant protection for offspring should a biological parent die (polyandry and polygamy). Unfortunately, when you try and study these things, society is unable to deal with biological and anthropological reality.

    Barbara Kay: What would the bonobos do?
     
  6. ControlledXaos

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    I understand the biological component, it's just that when people involve feelings and share spaces that it gets complex. This is why I would wonder of you are married, it would be more effective to have randoms instead of a steady third?

    I know triad relationships are possible and work for some but that's a special group of people who would have to find the right mix. It can't all be only about sex either because thats not enough to sustain a relationship with two people.

    I always found it hard to date multiple guys at once because I would usually like or enjoy the company of one more than the others and it became a little difficult to keep it balanced even when getting to know them. So where he saw the two holding hands I can understand that would hit the Jealous Button but as he said, he didn't recognize that as a point of entry for his hand. Also he's doing temper tantrums by running out expecting someone to chase him. Hell no.
     
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  7. acessential

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    It's hard enough finding ONE person who you want to date, let alone two.

    And it's hard enough trying to make a relationship work with one person. You gotta think about their feelings and come to a consensus when making major decisions. I imagine that even throwing one extra person in the mix makes it even more difficult. Does majority rule? One person get outvoted?

    I'll stick to my boring "unbiological" monogamy.

    Either way, I'm glad they're happy and making it work. I wish them all the best.
     
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  8. ControlledXaos

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    Bump.

    Polyamory.

    I have considered it.
    I have opened up to it.
    I'm now exploring it.

    When I shared this post back then, I'm was low key intrigued by the idea. I did some Google research and a lot of the articles and forums and Reddit I have read had people who expressed similar feelings that I have had for a while. A couple of conversations about past events and relationships and I had an "ah ha" moment that I could possibly be dormantly poly.

    Rereading this article now and I can relate to it a lot more than 2 and a half years ago.I think this is something you have to actually be in to understand and then you'll "get it". Maybe not exactly a triad deal but polyamory has different forms and meanings that will be unique to that set of people and each subset within. There's no one exact way to go about it.

    Being at point now where I was like "Why not? Let me just see while I'm unattached" and meeting someone who is already into these types of relationships and us hitting it off rather well, has opened the opportunity for me to try it out.

    In my situation, we're still working on establishing our base with each other and going from there. We have boundaries that we be both agreed upon. I am OK to meet new people and present them and vice versa. If there's mutual interest we can proceed. If not, they get tossed back into the pond.

    I acknowledge that it is definitely hard enough to find ONE. However going into this from the jump actually makes it easier for me because I don't have to feel awkward about bringing it up later or sitting back wondering about it and never acting on it. This way I can scratch the itch. If this isn't going to be for me then at least I'll have tried it. If it is then I'll know that what I was thinking about all this time was the right feeling all along.

    Keeping the lines of communication open and being honest about and with ourselves has been very freeing and having established a No Judgement Zone we're free to say what we need and desire and it will be OK.

    So with that I can say don't knock it until you've tried it. I know now monogamy works. I have done it and adhered to it. I know I could go back to it if I had to but since I don't have to right now, I'm going to enjoy this current journey and see where it takes me.
     
  9. mojoreece

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    Piggy back to my old post

     
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  10. mojoreece

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    I get the poly thing but it does seem a lil different to have your boyfriend introduced to fam as you're also marrying your husband.

    I mean yall couldn't have rented banquet hall space n scheduled a meet n greet event w/ ice-cream n cake for Jon. If i was Jon i would feel some type of way.
    :gucci:
     
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  11. ControlledXaos

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    Yeahhh they didn't have to do Jon like that. Lol I mean it's one thing to tell your family you're gay then another to tell them you're not in a monogamous relationship but to then be like...."oh BTW this is Jon and we're breaking his back out on the honeymoon." Seems like there was no thought into that other than that they had to tell them something about who that dude was with them all the time.
     
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  12. Lancer

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    Well @ControlledXaos I am glad for you. You have been monogamous and now giving this a chance. Its extremely difficult out here, to get one dude to be fully interested in you however you have mastered that and even bringing in more. That is some skill.
    [​IMG]
    Personally, I completely do not understand it as it comes of as another form of situationships that is very common with SGL men or dudes trying to have their cake(deep emotional connection and intimacy) and eat it too (scratching every itch they get, when they see a hot guy).
    Well to each his own, I still haven't gotten a reply text from 2 weeks ago so who am I to speak.
     
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  13. ControlledXaos

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    Lol I mean I have nothing to lose. I can only speak for myself. I did a lot of soul searching prior to this. 2019 was supposed to be a Hoe Year for me and I got hit up with the "What if I told you..." And here we are.

    As far as Situationahips go...having been in that before I think having defined lines works for me regardless of monogamy or polyamory. You give me the rules I'll abide by them.
     
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