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I'm mono, she's poly...my head hurts

randomquestiongeneratorrandomquestiongenerator Registered User new member
I believe alt accounts are safe in H/A, but if not then sorry and I'll take this down.

This is probably going to be a long post, but I'm looking for advice and experiences of others who may be or have been in a similar situation. Obviously if you'd like to stay anonymous about you or your partner's lifestyle choices than I welcome PMs as well.

Backstory:
Summer
I met a woman while in traveling for a work conference. Company she worked for was doing work for the company that just bought the company that I worked for, so a group of us met at a bar as a "good to meet everyone face to face" thing. What was supposed to be 5/6 of us having a quick drink ended up turning into 7-8 hours of drinking and hanging out. The entire time she and I were flirting and laughing and light touches, etc. The end of the night is drawing near as I have a 5:30am plane to catch and she was going off to meet up with friends. Before leaving she grabs my phone, puts her number in, hands it back, and walks away.

Next day after my very hungover I wanna die flight I send her a text. A few go back and forth and I get a "why didn't you take me back to your room last night?" Hm. Right. That. Well, one is that it's not usually my style. Second was the stupidly early flight and third was that I was actually sharing the room.

Anyway...Texting continues.

She's based on one coast, I'm based on the other. She's going to be in a city which was a quick hop from me and suggests we get together. K. I head up there for a night and we explore the city, each other, etc.

We both have to travel to another city for work. We spend that time and night with each other. We have to travel to another...we spend it together again.

Texting and chatting continues and eventually get to stuff like "what is this with us?" Both are ok with keeping it light as there is a country between us and yea.

Spring/Summer
Eventually she moves out of the city where she's at to another 5 hours away (her job is letting her go remote). Then I left said company and took a job in the city she just moved out of. Offers to pick me up from the airport when I flew out but I declined because...well, I don't know.

More texting and talking. Keeping it light. I'm not happy in the city and things are weird for me, but we see each other whenever she's visiting the office.

Fall/winter
I realize that I'm starting to go head over heels for this woman. Falling hard and how come it always has to be about a work trip? So I haven't been to her place yet and ask about taking a long weekend up there. "yes!" and it's pretty awesome. I need to tell her how I feel.

Work collapses around me and things are bad. I put personal stuff on hold.

Still talk, just not as much. Still see each other, but I can't focus enough to be present.

Winter/spring
She suggests a weekend away to clear heads and we go and I'm at my worst. She tells me she loves me. I lock up. Didn't want to, but did.

Something rather bad happens in my world, I tell her and she drives the 5 hours without hesitation. Talking all the time now. Then we take another little weekend trip to really just relax and it's amazing. Plan for me to come up to her place. Flirting like crazy the whole time, and a text comes through from her - "am I nuts or is it time for a face to face talk?" I get up there, it's awesome and that night we talk. I lay it all out. That I don't fall easily and that I love her. She loves me too! Yay!

Current Situation
Last day I'm there we're on a hike and she drops "what do you want this to be?" And I couldn't really articulate. I'm currently attempting to shift my job perspective and it means I don't know where I'll be soon. I just want to spend more time with her, be with each other as we're able, maybe get to the point much further down the line where we think about living together. Build a life together if it works but enjoy it for what it is now.

Turns out she's happy with what we've got as it allows for freedom for her to live her life.

Present Day
She was passing through on her way to see another friend of hers (and no, I don't know if it's that kind of friend and I'm not asking) yesterday and stopped by my place for a few hours. Dinner and activities were had. She's been talking to me all day and is going to stop back by on her way home and spend the night tomorrow.

Once my job stuff settles we're talking about taking a trip somewhere we both really want to go together.

Got a message from her, "I don't know the rules on this, but how far out are we allowed to plan? Can we pencil in <these dates>?" Let her know I was going to ask when I can see her again when I next saw her so yea..absolutely.

And this is where the story telling is going to breakdown because I'm not sure how to structure it:
- What I knew: She's been married and divorced. It lasted 10 months and he just gave up and it fucked her up on the whole concept of marriage. She hates it and doesn't want to go anywhere near it again. What I didn't know: However, it was an open marriage and her husband was encouraging her to seek a relationship with one person in particular. She did and, as I understand it, still maintains that relationship.

- What she's hinted at and since talked about openly: She's been in relationships with couples, she's seen someone and the two of them were in a relationship with another couple, there's been swinging relationships, there's been a BDSM she's in a cage style relationship.

- I have zero idea how many relationships she's maintaining right now and I'm not sure I want to know. Though, if I asked I'm positive she'd tell me.

Quotes and stuff:
She asked me my thoughts on love and what that means and I told her. Her response - "I've never met anyone who loves like you do. It's amazing. It's how I love and want to be loved."

"I want to take time to think about this and you. For what it's worth, you're the only person I've ever been with that has ever made me want to consider a monogamous life."

When I was last at her place we were sitting curled up on the couch and she began crying. Holding her she finally said, "I'm going to miss you so much." That was the longest time we've spent together. 3 nights and 4 days.

She didn't explain her take on relationships monogamy and poly well, and she knows it and has reserved the right to re-articulate at some point. Things like "just not wired for it" "I can be in love with more than one person and share that with them."

"You don't strike me as the type who would be ok living with me and then when I go away for a night or two be ok when I came back." She's not wrong. It would break my brain like you wouldn't believe.

"I'm not into long distance relationships. You're at about the cusp of where I'd be ok at and that's because I really like you and am comfortable in that city so I can show you around."

"If we were to live together my friends would wonder what happened to me as I think for 6 months straight we'd fall into each others arms and the bed and never come out."

"You can't hang on to this hoping that I'll change or that I'll grow out of it. I don't think that this is a sustainable lifestyle and I'm not sure I want it to be, but that's not fair to either of us." For what it's worth, I did say that I understand that and wouldn't so much as try to change who she is. I've never shamed or judged any of this - it's just who she is and what she believes.

That's kind of it. It's enough.
I don't know what kind of advice I'm looking for, honestly. I wish I did. Right now we're sort of in a holding pattern until job stuff settles. If I'm still in the area then we'll have to see what happens. If I'm not, then I guess it fades away.

But if I stay? I don't think I can much bear the woman I love going to bed with other people. And I know she loves me, I'm very well aware of it and she's amazing at proving it and is so caring and kind. But yea... we didn't define ourselves as anything more than we love each other, we're in some kind of undefined relationship/dating, and things are well beyond the "keep it light" and into the medium to heavy range.

Anyone in a similar situation? Have insight into that particular mindset? I've been doing a mess of reading, but might as well reach out to you folks.

Thanks.

Posts

  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    I don't have much experience with this but I'll say, it sounds like you're handling it rather well so kudos. If you love someone and want to make things work it's always gonna be some hurdle trying to keep you from doing so. I say really think about why her doing those things with others bothers you. I know why it would bother me, and it has to do with past infidelity experiences, and the baggage that causes. Definitely no easy answer here but it sounds like y'all click well so I say keep working at it.

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    If it's ever going to work you guys need to try and get to a place you can talk about it frankly. Open relationships have rules, communication, and understanding. You have all these unknowns about how she feels about monogamy and what this thing you guys have means. If you plan to have a more long term thing, that information is something you need on the table, and you have both learn how to put it on the table.

    People tend to think that open relationships either 1)Are a myth and never work or 2) Must be for people who never get jealous or only have casual relationships, but neither is true.

    I've been in a open relationship for about 3 years now, while I wouldn't claim to be an expert on it, I could give some advice on it.... However, everything in your above post sounds like a guy whose heart broken that this woman is probably never going to want exactly what you want, even if none of the other outside factors were present.

    My hunch is that you dont know what to ask because you aren't interested in non-monogamy but you know, as you get to know this woman, that it probably means you need to walk away.

    If you dont even have a curiosity about the lifestyle, or can't really get into her history without feeling threatened (and if she isn't articulate enough to reassure you and get a conversation going), It's going to be hard to convert either of you to anything. No one goes from poly to monogamous without a lot of hard talks, and no one goes from monogamous to poly without hard talks.

    I'm sorry you are in such a rough spot, its not an easy conclusion to have to come to even if you didn't have geography/jobs in the way.

    Blameless ClericmysticjuicerShadowfireBouwsTToxKayne Red RobeNijacabsyIncenjucarCantide
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I am non-monogamous. I'm like her, something in me just fundamentally does not get it, and I think my efforts to fight that earlier in my life only ended up making people more unhappy than honesty with myself ultimately would have. My husband is very much monogamous. We've done okay with it (I think largely because we waded into things before I jumped off the high dive), but he also knows that he and our kids are the primary concern in my life. No matter how serious I get with someone else I'm not leaving him, and if someone asked me to that would be a dealbreaker for me.

    But anyone who requires monogamy of me, including him if he were to decide to one day... I just can't promise that, and he's known that for about seven or so years. It sounds like you've got something like that going, but even if you chose to do what my husband did you would still need to accept that she is going to have someone else and do her own thing from time to time in order to be happy with her. That has to sit okay with you at least enough that you can talk to her about it and process your feelings honestly together.

    If you don't feel like you're equipped for that at all, you should really take some distance. She's not likely to change that about herself, and it sounds like if you're being honest with yourself you know you wouldn't handle it well.

    Feel free to ask details, I'm pretty open about my experiences and things between us.

    I say this over and over again because to me it is the MOST important thing: Everyone deserves a relationship structure that they can feel safe and happy with; that includes you just as much as it includes her. If the two of you can't give each other that then the most mature, least painful thing you can do is let the other go. It just is. It's hard and it's painful and it sucks, but not as much as trying to force it to work when your needs are just too much at odds.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    mysticjuicerShadowfireBlameless ClericUsagiMulletudeTofystedethLocal H JayToxKayne Red RobeKwoaruNijaGnizmoCambiataJihadJesusIncenjucar
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    What Ceres said, though if you're open to learning and leaning into new experiences, by all means do.

    And also, one of life's tougher lessons: just because you love someone doesn't mean you should be in a relationship with them.

    MichaelLCceresTofystedethShadowfireGiggles_FunsworthFeralMulletudeToxKayne Red RobeAngelinaNijaGnizmoInfidelschussWheatBun01DoctorArchZilla360IncenjucarJean
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Usagi wrote: »
    What Ceres said, though if you're open to learning and leaning into new experiences, by all means do.

    And also, one of life's tougher lessons: just because you love someone doesn't mean you should be in a relationship with them.

    There are few realities harder to cope with than this one.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    TofystedethGiggles_FunsworthLostNinjaToxDirtmuncherAngelinaKristmas KthulhuNijaBloodySlothUsagitynicDoctorArchPsycohedDisco11Zilla360IncenjucarFiendishrabbitjoshofalltrades
  • EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Usagi wrote: »
    What Ceres said, though if you're open to learning and leaning into new experiences, by all means do.

    And also, one of life's tougher lessons: just because you love someone doesn't mean you should be in a relationship with them.

    There are few realities harder to cope with than this one.

    I will echo this as well. Very much so.

    I'll also reinforce the fact that you should NOT, under any circumstances force yourself to be ok with this situation if you really are not.
    Maybe you will be the one person out of who knows what astronomical number that can actually deal with that, but I've never personally met a poly/mono couple that's worked when the monogamous party was doing the relationship version of sticking their fingers in their ears.

    You two need to have a long talk about each other, what you both expect, where you both might need compromises, etc. If you aren't OK with what comes up there, no matter how much you might love one another, chances are that going down that road much further is going to do little but bring pain.

  • Gemini ManGemini Man Registered User regular
    Man I would get out of that just real fast. It sounds like one of those roller coaster situations. You are both addicted to these wild highs and lows, seeing each other, leaving. Her crying while you hold her. The thing is if you are monogamous at heart, you are eventually going to want things to stable out, but she won't. She loves that roller coaster, and will constantly seek out new love interests, fresh drama.

  • ZxerolZxerol Registered User regular
    edited March 24
    Gemini Man wrote: »
    Man I would get out of that just real fast. It sounds like one of those roller coaster situations. You are both addicted to these wild highs and lows, seeing each other, leaving. Her crying while you hold her. The thing is if you are monogamous at heart, you are eventually going to want things to stable out, but she won't. She loves that roller coaster, and will constantly seek out new love interests, fresh drama.

    Your insinuation that polyamorous people are thrill-addicted drama seekers is pretty uncool dawg.

    Zxerol on
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