“I’ve been with my girlfriend (let’s call her Shay), who is mono, for almost 4 years at this juncture, talking about how and who I am and my poly inclinations the entire way. Communication has never been an issue for us, so opening up to her about my feelings for people that she either knew or didn’t know wasn’t ever really an issue.
The big issue I always had was coming to terms with myself and my feelings for others, how that may affect my girlfriend and how I always felt utterly selfish for being this way. It was years of progress and I can comfortably say I don’t feel selfish or bad for being who I am anymore.
Yesterday I admitted to my girlfriend’s best friend and roommate (we’ll call her Amanda) that I have feelings for her that I’ve harbored for a couple of years.
And it went surprisingly well for everybody involved, and Amanda was open to the idea of us dating and wants to give it a go.
My thing is; I never actually thought it’d get this far. I was comfortable just being open about my feelings but wound up having those feelings returned to some degree.
So we’re a day into this new relationship paradigm, I have two nesting partners I think? and I really don’t know where to go. Amanda’s lived with us for a couple of years before now so it feels kind of weird trying to initiate first steps into going on a date or cuddling or something. Shay is taking this all very well and is looking forward to seeing Amanda and I happy while also looking forward to working on insecurities that come with this new experience for her. I absolutely want to make sure that I’m there for Shay and she’s got everything she needs and feels relevant and wanted while I explore these feelings that Amanda and I share.
What would you guys do in my situation? Everything’s great for everybody involved. I just need to make sure I’m taking the right steps for both of them.”
– /u/JoppiSaus on /r/polyamory
Welcome to polyamory!
So much of everyone’s respective journey through self-discovery in the medium of polyamory is different and unique. And it certainly sounds like your polyamorous journey is off to a great start!
Let’s take a step back and recognize what you have done correctly here.
- You have communicated with your existing partner about the kind of relationships you wanted to have.
- You have recognized that your desires are perfectly reasonable even if your social conditioning around monogamy held you back at first (manifesting in guilt and projected selfishness).
- You have rolled out potential polyamorous relationship with a new partner in a very respectful and honest way.
- You continue to include your existing partner in an ongoing dialogue to make sure she isn’t being left behind.
You have done a phenomenal job of it so far with a level of care and attention that I do not often see among poly newbies. Keep doing you!
Hinge (V) polyamorous relationship is one of the most common forms of polyamorous relationships mainly due to how simple it is to form. But it definitely comes with its own unique set of challenges.
You’ll soon find that managing different relationships is going to be a major challenge in your different relationships. Some of the questions you’ll quickly have to figure out an answer to are:
- How many days will you dedicate to each partner? And in your case since you live with both Amanda and Shay, how many days will be spent in overlap?
- What do those quality times look like for you?
- Are your partners open to displays of affection in front of each other?
To answer your later question about how to get more comfortable with Amanda, the best way to get more comfortable is by going outside of your comfort zone and creating new chemistry and connection at a new place. Take her out for drinks and talk about your feelings out loud. Get real comfortable and discuss each of your concerns and patiently hash them out. Remember that just because you happen to live in the same place with Amanda doesn’t mean you’re automatically at that same emotional bondedness as if you are actually ready to share a place with her. Her previous role as your roommate is going to change quickly.
As for Shay, doing a regular check-in (after every date, every week, or every month) just to go over what you have been up to. Doing so will help you nip those early insecurity buds early and make it easier for you to stay connected and aligned with Shay.
And to round out my advice, please be mindful and considerate of the impact a New Relationship Energy (NRE) will have for everyone. It’ll become a more of a conscious effort to date Shay as you develop and explore this new connection with Amanda. So don’t forget to continue taking Shay out on dates. She deserves it too. She’s been a trooper so far.