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Advice – I think I’m in love. What do I do?

“Poly friends, I think i’m in love for the first time since I left my last long term relationship- at least this is the first time I’ve admitted it to myself. But I need help telling him.

A while ago, I started seeing a man who was in an open relationship, and at first it was sexual, but I caught feels, and so did he, and the relationship slowly became more and more emotional. I met his spouse, and now we’re also like a happy little triad situation. So this open relationship slowly turned into a poly relationship in the sense that they are now ok with feelings and emotions and solo dating and all that. But we’re all new at this together.

Ya’ll, I’ve fallen in love with him.

I want to tell him, but I also don’t want to push the boundaries of their freshly poly relationship and fuck shit up. OR what if he doesn’t feel the same?! I’m losing my mind. I wasn’t expecting this to happen, I didn’t intend for this to happen but he’s amazing and she is amazing, they are amazing and well. Here I am just sitting in a fucking puddle of feelings not sure how to contain them.

Also, I’ve only ever told one person I was in love with them in my whole god damn 20-something years on earth. Do I just blurt it out? Make a speech? Hire an airplane to write it in the sky? How does this shit work?!

Thank you :kiss:”

/u/fuckithinkiminlove from /r/polyamory

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Dear /u/fuckithinkiminlove,

Your post made me so giddy and happy. I love hearing and reading about natural progression of various relationship styles, and it certainly sounds like you found something really truly special here with your partner. I am so happy for you.

As far as I can tell, there isn’t a poly-specific protocol for professing love. Heck. I don’t think there is a mono-specific protocol for professing love either.

I will say that your concerns here regarding possible boundaries regarding their poly relationship definitely holds some water. Their relationship started out as an open relationship, then transitioned into poly, then became a loose triad.

(I am going to assume here that you are romantically and emotionally intertwined with his spouse as well, since that is triad by definition.)

This all tells me that there has been a lot of boundary-shifting going on in their relationship as well. That is natural; relationships adjust and shift as expectations and objectives change.

But with all those changes and adjustments also come some unexpected growing pains. So you will have to be mindful in building a large enough container to hold all those feelings in while you gauge their reactions as well. So I believe you should go as slowly as they need to in revealing how deeply and intensely you care about your partner(s). If you don’t feel verbalizing it out loud quite yet, you can display it in different, more creative ways.

From the verbiage of your post, it sounds like you don’t have quite the same depth of feelings for his spouse yet, which definitely throws a wrench into this situation as well. That will require some emotional labor on their part to figure out how to balance equitable love in the face of unequal feelings. All the more reasons to go as slowly as possible.

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Questions like these have always puzzled me in my own dating life because there wasn’t the same kind of stigma or intensity about the words “I love you” in Korean culture that I was/am a part of. You just share those feelings whenever you feel it, and go from there. It wasn’t something that I had to sit with and dissect to make sure love was the feeling I was truly experiencing, and not some variations of lust or infatuation. This is why when I personally feel “love” with my partners, I say it to them in Korean (“사랑해”, pronounced sah-rang-hae) because that is honestly the form of love I feel the most comfortable expressing in this context. There is less pressure of “getting it right” and less fear of “what if they don’t feel the same way.” Because they really might not. And that’s okay too.

Whatever the case may be, celebrate the love and affection you have for your partner. You’ve achieved something incredible here in finding love. This is why we are all here in this crazy, wild world. Love sometimes makes up for it So have some tea, take a breather, and enjoy it for what its worth.

Good luck!

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