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X-posted to polyamory

So… I’m Katy, and I’m new here. *waves* I was looking around lj for poly resources, and I was very glad to find some. I guess what I really want is advice on my current relationship, because I don’t know that it’s going very well. My situation is long and complicated (whose isn’t?) so I’ll put it behind a cut.

Well, to begin at the beginning, I’ve known I was poly for a few years, starting from before the last relationship I was in. It was a non-ideal situation because the guy I was falling for, J, was already in a pretty committed relationship with a girl, B. I was friends with J for a while, and also knew and liked B. J and I talked a little, but we decided never to do anything, because we both agreed that cheating would never be a good answer, and we both cared about B. J and B eventually broke up, but still had some physical aspects off and on. Then B started going through some rough stuff with her family, and J and I were the only ones really there for her. That was when I sort of figured out that I really did care for and desire relationships with both of them. J shot the idea down, since his brother had tried poly relationships that all ended horribly. Anyway, J and I ended up dating, and B has moved on to other people, but refuses to speak to me anymore.

Then I came up to college. The long-distance relationship with J worked for a while, but eventually the time we could spend wasn’t enough (mostly for him) and though neither of us ever cheated, we broke up last year.

During my relationship with J, I met another guy, T. We were friends, hanging out, talking a lot. He was the first person I seriously brought the idea of poly up to, because he was the first person I’d met who was open to the idea. I didn’t really have any interest in him, but he was a good guy to talk to. T was(is) dating a girl, Z. I got to know the both of them some, though T was trying to keep Z and me apart for a while. T tried to get me to cheat on J with him, also without Z’s consent. I basically said fuck no, and things continued in a friendly kind of way for a while more.

After J and I broke up, I started relying on T and Z for more of my emotional needs, as far as friendship goes. Over the summer, T tried to get me into a relationship with the both of them. Eventually, the three of us did.

Then T left to study abroad in China for a year, leaving Z and I living together. We get along well, and honestly I have more interest in her than I do him. (I’m bisexual, but lean towards women, and he’s about as masculine as you can get, physically and mentally. Plus T and I clash over a lot of stuff.)

So that’s just background information. My problems are as follows:

1)    T has a girlfriend in China. He’s been far more intimate with her than he has been with me, despite not knowing her nearly so well. I’m slightly jealous, and I realize it. I’m not jealous of the physicality, but I’m mad that he would get two girls here, and then turn to someone else as soon as he was away. I am poly, but the idea of polyfidelity appeals to me more than the idea of polyamory in a broader sense. I want to know and be involved on at least some level with all of my partner’s partners. He doesn’t seem to get my problem, but hates the idea that I even spend time with male friends. He acknowledges it’s hypocritical, but also thinks that his situation deserves special consideration.
2)    T and Z have a very BDSM relationship. Not like an occasional thing, but a true 24/7 thing. That’s fine with me, but I am NOT interested in being a part of that aspect. But they both border on obsessed with it. I don’t know how long I can really avoid being a part of it, because it is tied into almost every aspect of their lives.
3)    Because of T and Z’s relationship, T sort of forced her to accept me as a part of the relationship, when she really probably didn’t want it. It’s better now, but that was a shitty way to start, I think.
4)    I am still in contact with J, as he now goes to the same school as I do. The reason we broke up was mostly over his want for more physicality than I wanted, but also because of the long distance. Now that that’s removed, I find myself still wanting more emotional closeness with him than I “should” want from an ex. But I miss the intellectual relationship we had, because we were both into literature and some degrees of philosophy. And with T and Z, everything they read or think about on a larger scale is related to BDSM and sex, which is NOT my philosophy at all. But I’m “not allowed” to find outside partners, even non-sexual ones, because it’s an all or nothing type group, despite T’s thing with the girl in China.
5)    T has expressed that any type of closeness, including friendship, leads him to want physicality. He wants to have a sexual relationship with everyone he is close to (not that he expects to, but that he does want it.) I am very disinterested in sex, especially with men. It’s partly due to past shit, but also, it just holds no appeal to me. I’ve been in the same bed while T and Z have sex, and even helped Z get off. She and I have done some stuff, but mostly her for me, and I don’t reciprocate as much as I should.
6)    I have no one outside of T and Z to talk to about it. I haven’t even come out as bi to my family, and that’s kind of a lot to hit them with at once. And many of my older friends are very religious and I know they disapprove of the idea of multiple partners.

I guess I’m just want advice, or commiseration from anyone who has “been there before.” How do you deal with this type of stuff, especially when one of your partners is literally halfway around the world? I don’t know that my problems are particularly unique, but they’re ones I’ve never dealt with before. Anyone have any advice to offer?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 6th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you for all your input!

Mn, it's worried me too that T might just be basically playing me. But he's never been in a poly relationship either, so it's not even that he's more experienced, it's just that he talks a good game.

(I understand what you mean about opportunities or ideas as long as they don't come from specifically looking... the best relationships tend to happen when you aren't trying to force them.)

As for T's additional relationships, he thinks his reasons are legitimate, and I disagree. He is alone in China, but he put himself there. If he wants another girlfriend, then I think Z and I should be given the option of outside relationships too. But he says that because Z and I are together, that we shouldn't want or need more. (However, then why did he want me when he had Z? I wish I'd thought to ask him.)

T and Z are well-suited to each other, and I don't want to fuck up anything between them. But yeah, their lives quite literally revolve around their BDSM relationship, which doesn't interest me (as either a dom or a sub.)

Z and I have worked stuff out. But initially she really didn't care for me as more than a friend, and T was trying to force more. It's been resolved for the most part though.

I like the idea of poly, but I don't like the idea of not knowing who my partners are involved with. Even if they and I don't have any interest romantically, I'd want to at least be friends with them.

(Part 2 will get a response when I'm off of work. D:)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 7th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Re: part 2 :P
Yeah, making my boundaries more clear would probably help.

J and I got along great for the most part, so it really does make sense that I'd still sort of "have a thing" for him. I'm not sure that J and I would ever have another relationship, but it'd be nice to know that I could.

I think the fact that they were both open-minded people was what prompted me to join them. And we have some stuff in common for sure... but there are definitely more differences. They've told me that they initially wanted me in their group as a BDSM thing, not as a poly thing. They've readjusted and are okay with both now, but I think that made stuff hard.

You're of course right; communication is the most important thing.

Thank you. I think I might friend your journal, if that wouldn't bother you. ^^ We seem to at least have some stuff in common.

Thanks for commenting and helping me out, even if the community is a little slow.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


poly & poly-curious people in their teens and 20s

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