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Anonymous asked:

I'm in a committed monogamous relationship &it's been going well since we started over 1yr ago. Yet I've never felt suited for monogamy; I often have strong feelings for like 5 people at the same time. It's not that I don't love him enough 2 make sacrifices,I just love others &don't think it's bad 2 wanna embrace that. He won't want an open/poly relationship &I don't wanna break up. If I tell him I'll feel selfish &complicate things, if not I'm afraid I'll eventually make a mistake &cheat. Help?

Unfortunately, it kind of sounds like you know your options and just don’t like them.

You’re in a monogamous relationship with someone who wouldn’t be interested in a nonmonogamous relationship. So you can stay with your partner faithfully, cheat (which I don’t recommend), or pursue nommonogamy honestly elsewhere.

Unless you’re wong about your partner never being interested in an open or poly relationship. If you talked to him about how you felt, maybe he would surprise you. Or perhaps his feelings will change over time. It’s happened before!

I don’t think nonmonogamy alone is really a good solution for the fear that you’ll cheat. Just like monogamous relationships, nonmonogamous relationships still involve committment. Regardless, you have to take responsibility for your actions.

I recommend you talk to him about how you feel, and then you do some serious thinking about whether this relationship is right for you. You’re allowed to love someone dearly and still realize being with them isn’t what you want.

Communication And Negotiation

Communication and negotiation are important in all relationships. That obviously includes nonmonogamous ones.

And when you throw out a big piece of the model for what you should want from a relationship, you’re faced more directly with figuring out what you really do want from your relationships. Do you want to be in touch with you partner every day? Do you want to sleep together every night? Do you want to share a home? Do you want your relationship to go in a certain direction over time? There’s a lot that’s up for discussion!

I think monogamous couples can also benefit from talking about the same things, but people in nonmonogamous relationships often find a little more drive to hash this stuff out. There’s less inclination to do something one way just because that’s how other people do it. And this is good, because examining what actually matters to you builds a stronger relationship.

Nonmonogamous relationships also face a unique set of challenges that arise from balancing communication and negotiation between multiple partners. One issue that comes up is when a third partner’s feelings, needs, and boundaries get steamrolled by the momentum of an established couple. Even without meaning to, there’s a tendency for couples to expect new partners to fit neatly into their desires and patterns. But everyone needs to be given a voice and have their desires valued.

Another issue that comes up is what role one partner should play in conversations or issues between other partners. There isn’t a right answer to this. Sometimes it’s useful to have an outside opinion and someone to play peacekeeper, but sometimes bringing another partner in just tangles the web of interests and emotions. It should never be one person’s responsibility to solve the issue between other people though.

Self-awareness is a foundation for communication. It’s not that you have to know exactly what you want before you can say anything to a partner about it, but the more you understand about your own feelings and desires, the easier it is to express those things to someone else. So it’s important to take some time to reflect on what your ideal relationships look like and how well your current relationships are working for you.

Not all communication needs to be goal-focused. Even when there is an issue, it’s not always necessary or possible to find a solution immediately. Sometimes people just need to vent. Sometimes people want a sounding board to sort through their own thoughts. Sometimes it’s beneficial for people to compare their desires without looking to make any particular changes based on what they learn.

When partners do want to make a relationship agreement, however, a collaborative process is useful. It’s okay to have some deal breakers, specific things you know that you need from a relationship to be content, and respecting your own limits is important. But creating a relationship in which all partners are happy depends on each person having the space to communicate their desires, and it generally requires the ability to make some compromises that will work for everyone.

I believe it’s really helpful for people to start with an emphasis on expressing what they truly want for themselves. Sometimes people make assumptions about what their partners want. Or they jump in to talking about what they want in terms of what their partners want. But people often don’t really understand where other people are coming from. I think starting there makes it a lot easy for people to then find a balance between their different perspectives.

It’s useful to recognize that people have different communication styles. Some people aren’t as comfortable expressing desires directly. Some people ask more questions. Some people find it much easier to answer questions. I think we need to resist the urge to say there’s one way to do things that’s always best. Though there are some styles, like constant yelling, that just aren’t so appropropriate. The trick is learning how your partners communicate, and paying attention to your own style too.

There are a couple of tools that can help partners in communicating and negotiating about their relationships. One of these tools is a relationship contract, a written record where people record their expectations, boundaries, and obligations in a relationship. Another tool is the Yes, No, Maybe List, where each partner fills out a chart marking their comfort level with various sexual and romantic activities. The charts can then be compared to find areas of mutual interests.

I don’t think everyone needs to use these tools, but they are worth considering. These tools can be an awesome way to get people talking, or go deeper into exploring how you and your partners feel, but there is a risk in letting them become the end of the conversation. Things change and sometimes need to be revisited.

Communicating and negotiating is an ongoing activity. There’s certain things it’s good to sort out towards the beginning of relationships, but it’s also important to continue consciously thinking about and working on your relationships. Early on you might talk about safer sex practices and how much you want to know about other partners. Later on you might revisit the same things and start talking about longer-term commitments like buying a house or having children.

In Rico Love’s hip-hop hit “They Don’t Know,” he sings about a very discreet yet honest, emotional, and generous relationship. The song stresses that the relationship is kept private with lines like “let’s keep it between you and me,” “you ain’t even tell your sister,” and the refrain “they don’t, they don’t, they don’t know.” But the song also includes the lines “they don’t even know that I share you with my wifey” and (in the radio version) “wifey know about you though.”

Although his lyrics about buying her a Mercedez Benz and Birkin bag are probably more relatable to other famous hip-hip artists, he also describes a situation that is representative of many in the poly community: carrying on relationships with multiple partners honestly while still feeling a pressure to hide those relationships from the public, even perhaps from family. It’s cool to see this represented, particularly because the song features a relationship where it’s not just the man being non-monogamous, it describes a relationship that is emotionally intimate rather than just sexual, and it’s an image of non-monogamy featuring someone who isn’t white.

Anonymous

Anonymous asked:

So I'm in a poly triad and I'm in love with both of my partners but I'm starting to think that I might not be sexually attracted to one of them (we haven't had sex). Is this something to be concerned about because in worrying myself sick...

I wish you had told me a little more. Like, have you had sex with your other partner? Have the two of them had sex? Were they a couple before this? Were you and one of them a couple? How long have you been in a triad? What is the living situation? Are you a closed or open triad? What are the group dynamics like? What are you looking for in this relationship? What have your partners said about what they are looking for in this relationship? How do you feel about each of them? How have your feelings of sexual attraction worked in previous relationships? But anyway…

I generally think it’s helpful, when people are hoping to find an ongoing, sexual, satisfying relationships, to give sex a try before committing to the relationship. Committing, in the broad sense I’m using it here, includes even starting to call it “a relationship” (or “a triad”). Sometimes people, even if they work great together in many other ways, just don’t work that well together sexually. That isn’t an issue for everyone, but it can be a big issue for people who want ongoing, sexual, satisfying relationships. But anyway….

It’s possible sexual attraction will grow. Things like that can change over time.

It’s also possible something between the three of you could work even if two of you never have sex. Maybe you could be a triad where two of you have other kinds of intimacy but don’t have sex. Or you could think of yourselves more as a V, where two of you have sexual relationships with the third person while just being intimate friends with each other. (The difference between those two things might be perspective more than practical.)

But it’s also possible that you’re not sexually attracted to one of these people, you never will be, and that won’t work for one of your partners. Maybe one of them really wants a triad relationship where all three of you are sexually involved with each other. Or maybe the partner you’re not sexually attracted to just won’t want to remain in any sort of close relationship with you after learning that.

You do word it tentatively, though. You say “I’m starting to think” like you still have doubts. If you’re really not sure, maybe you can give it a little time before you do anything.

But maybe you already do know how you feel. And once you know, I think you have to tell them. It’s hard. I’m sorry. But if you don’t say anything, I think your partner will assume you’re sexually attracted to them, and I think letting them do that is cruel. When you tell them, they might realized this relationship isn’t what they are looking for. That is a decision they need to be allowed to make. But maybe they’ll decide it’s something that could still work.

Legally Recognize Non-Binary Genders | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

Why I Hesitated About Signing This Petition:

1. Because I’m not really convinced the ultimate goal should be having the status of one’s sex or gender legally defined at all.

2. Because this petition site is specifically run by the Obama administration, and it’s not exactly clear what people expect them to do regarding this issue.

3. Because reaching the goal doesn’t mean they are actually going to do anything about the issue, just that they will write a response.

4. Because their responses often just kind of totally shrug off the issue actually at hand with a short, vague non-answer.

—-

Why I Signed This Petition Anyway:

1. Because it obviously makes sense to legally recognize more than two sexes/genders (if we’re doing it at all).

2. Because other people and communities I care about care about having people sign this petition.

3. Because this occasion serves as a moment to spread awareness of some broader issues.

skelletonclique asked:

I'm looking for a second partner - sort of a secondary? - & I found this great guy & he actually brought up going out first (don't know if it was a date or not but I was going to ask him to make it one) but he had to cancel because his cousin'll be in town that weekend & he doesn't see this cousin very often. We're both going to this thing in April & I want to ask him to go on a date after it but I don't want to annoy him. He isn't replying to messages much & he's probably busy but ugh

Good luck!

I am not sure if there is a question here that you want advice about. But here is what I think:

I think you should ask him to go on a date after the thing.

I think you should message him once soon and just ask. If you haven’t heard back after about a week, I think you should remind him you asked once (like “hey, you never let me know about this, just wanted to check”). Then drop it. If he never answers you and then you’re both at the thing, though, and you’re having a good time, you can ask him out again. Either for immediately afterwards, if that makes sense, or some later date.

That keeps you in the range of not being annoying/naggy. Unfortunately, some people suck at messages. More unfortunately, some people don’t know how to say no and use not answering as a way to do it in circumstances where that is not really cool.

I want to assume, since you didn’t mention anything, that he already knows you’re in another relationship and figuring out how to handle that isn’t an issue. If he doesn’t know, though, you should tell him.

Anyway, good luck!

the-otherside-of-love asked:

So I've been with my boyfriend for 4months and we're in love, I do trust him but in school he sometimes hugs a girl and hangs out with her. I told him that I don't think it is normal but he keeps telling me that she's just a friend.. I don't know what to think because my jealousy might be destroying my relationship and I'm really scared to lose him. Do you think he just doesn't care about me or something else?

It’s definitely possible he has a totally platonic friend that he’s just a bit physically affectionate with. That’s pretty normal. I have some relationships like that, and I really appreciate them.

It’s also definitely in the realm of possibility that he is totally interested in this other girl too. And maybe he’s not really aware of how he feels, or maybe he know it and just can’t admit it.

While we’re talking about possibilities, we should also consider that he might have no interest in this girl, but she could still be totally into him. He might inadvertantly be being a jerk to her.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty impossible to tell without just being good at reading people. Your best bet, I’d figure, is finding a friend who is good at that and actually knows the people invovled. Get their opinion on what is actually going on with your boyfriend.

But at some point, being in a relationship also means accepting vulnerability. Sometimes you have to just try to trust people even though you might get hurt. It sucks, but I don’t know a way around it.

I don’t think you have a right to demand he not hang out or hug a friend of his. I do think you have a right to talk to him about how you feel and ask him about how he feels. Like if you feel like he doesn’t care about you, that’s something you should talk about.

I’d assume he does care about you. It would probably be more reassuring to hear him say it, though, and hear him explain that hugging someone else has nothing to do with how he feels about you.

(I mean, I’m in the camp that says he could totally love someone else and want to have sex with them and that still wouldn’t say anything about how he feels about you, but hugging someone else doesn’t have to mean any of that either.)

duoconcertant asked:

I'm going on my first date outside of my relationship tomorrow. We've recently decided to try polyamory, and I'm really interested in the person I'm going on this date with, but I'm not sure how to bring up that I'm currently seeing someone else as well and am in a polyamorous relationship. Any advice?

That might depend on this: How did this date get planned? Did you meet this person on a dating website? Did you just meet somewhere and they cold asked you out? Do you know each other through someone else? And is this 100% clearly a date? Or anywhere in the vaguely ambiguous territory of maybe just someone asking someone else to hang out?

Generally my answer is to tell people before we go on any dates. But I mostly meet people through online dating, where my profile makes my relationship status clear. Or I meet people through mutual friends, which generally means people have met the people I’m involved with before they’d consider asking me out. But even if someone cold asked me out, say in a coffee shop, my ideal answer, if I was interested at all, would be: “I’d love to, but you should know I’m in an open relationship. I’m happy to tell you more about that. Still interested?” My friend got an answer like this from someone he’d just met at some kind of dance event, and even though he’s generally only into monogamy, he gave it a go and dated them for a bit.

But now you have a date schedule and maybe you could text them or say something as soon as the date starts but maybe that’s kind of just more awkward for everyone. Like, if your date totally isn’t in to it, they might still feel weird about canceling or ending the date. Or now you’ve sort of worked yourself into a place where telling them like that is kind of over-apologetic. Because this is something they should know, but it’s not something bad about you!

I think you owe it them to say something before a second date. So if you want to tell them now, cool. Or if it comes up naturally during the first date and you want to just tell them, cool. If you feel like saying something at the end of the date like “hey, I’d love to do this again, but I have to tell you this…” that could work too. Or maybe you’ll realize one date was all you wanted, and that could take care of the issue too. Or a text/call/whatever after the date. I think you’re okay if you tell them before a second date. I think if you go on a second or third date without telling them, that starts being not very nice.

I recommend starting with the phrase “open relationship” instead of “polyamory,” as far as trying to communicate to a new person the nature of your current relationship. If they are interested in dating you more, you can tell them more specifically how your open relationship works. Or, they might immediately know they have no interest and not want to hear anything. Since polyamory more often requires it’s own whole explanation of what that word even means, and that complicates the discussion, I think it’s easier to keep it simple to start.

Best of luck! If you’re willing, please tell me how it goes!

Considering Nonmonogamy

Poly relationships can be awesome, but they can also be challenging. Sometimes they can require a lot of care, consideration, and communication. Other times they can just feel really easy and natural. What I’m saying, then, is that poly relationships are mostly just like other relationships.

Different kinds of relationships work for different people. Monogamous relationships work for a lot of people, but nonmonogamous relationships work for a lot of people too. Some people can be happy in more than one kind of relationship. Some people, though, prefer not to be in any sort of relationship. It’s okay that people like different things! What’s important is that relationships work for the people in them.

There is lot of variety between nonmonogamous people in how they structure their relationships, even specifically within polyamory. Some people prioritize their commitments to multiple partners with an explicit hierarchy. Some people have relationships that are kept totally separate from each other. Some people have groups relationships where everyone is involved with each other. Some people are allowed to have casual sex outside of established relationships. Some people have rules about staying overnight or posting pictures online.

You might find yourself considering a nonmonogamous relationship in a few different ways. Maybe you figure out you want nonmonogamy, and some details of what sort of structure, before you look for partners who want something similar. Or maybe you find yourself starting a new relationship or in a committed couple before you realize nonmonogamy is something you’d like to consider.

In considering nonmongamy, there are two different questions that come up. The first is a question for personal reflection: What kinds of nonmonogamy could work well for me? The second is a question for partners to discuss together: What kinds of nonmonogamy could work well for us?

Nonmonogamy isn’t a good fit for everybody, but I think more people should consider whether it could work for them. I think a lot of people, given our culture of monogamy, just assume it couldn’t and don’t pause to really examine this. For example, jealousy can be an obstacle in nonmonogamy, but it isn’t always as insurmountable as it first appears.

For example, how big an obstacle jealousy is can depend on how a nonmonogamous relationship is structured. Jealousy is less of an issue for some people if they never ever meet their partner’ other partners. And for other people, jealousy is less of an issue if they only pursue dating as a couple, with them and their partner looking for a third person to join their relationship. Just because a particular way of doing nonmonogamy might be awful for someone doesn’t mean all nonmongamous relationships would be a bad idea.

Sometimes two people find themselves in a situation where one person wants monogamy and the other person wants nonmonogamy. (Or even one person wants one style of nonmonogamy and the other wants another arrangement.) This is a tricky situation that’s hard to deal with.

I don’t think you can talk someone into wanting a different kind of relationship. And it’s usually pretty bad to give an ultimatum like “I need to be in an open relationship or I’m breaking up with you,” even if you’re positive an open relationship is what you want. People will sometimes agree to that and just end up with a lot of frustration and resentment, and without a lot of willingness to try to make it work.

I think the best you can do is lay out all your thoughts and feelings, ask them to consider the possibility of being in a different kind of relationship, and give them some time and space to do that. Maybe they’ll decide it could work for them, and maybe they won’t.

Compromise is also a powerful tool. I think it works best when the conversation is framed so that relationship agreements are seen as a collaboration, and so both partners are reminded that they each have the power to decide if the relationship is a good fit for them.

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