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Advice – Now in a V. What do I do next? (Pt 2)

[This post is an update to a previous column post last week on Oct 14th.]

/u/JoppiSaus on /r/polyamory writes…

“…Everything is going better than expected? It’s hard to imagine, but between Shay and I it’s been more of an ongoing discussion about how accepted I feel, her feelings and insecurities when those come up (which is a constant thing for her; the insecurities are always there) and how much we deeply love and care for each other.

Amanda and I have been going slow, I think for her benefit and Shay’s. She’s very conscious of Shay’s feelings and keeps in mind that Shay needs extra attention as we all get used to this new dynamic. Both of them discuss boundaries together and don’t seem to have any visible tension while hanging out, just the two of them. Shay, despite her insecurities, will point out gift ideas that she thinks I should get for Amanda, gives me hints about how to handle certain situations with her and is essentially acting as a dual wing-man for both of us.

The issue I want to address isn’t so much of a problem, per se. It’s more that Shay is dealing with negative thoughts and feelings on the matter that are more intense and prevalent than she initially assumed.

… My question is basically; what can I do to help Shay, if anything? She’s being a fucking trooper throughout all of this, and I know this kind of thing takes alot of time for it to not feel so sharp and painful. Despite strong feelings of NRE with Amanda and being with Amanda and growing more affectionate with her over time, Shay is still always on my mind and I’m always making a point to break away from Amanda for a few moments to sit and hold Shay in the other room, tell her how much I love her and that I’m not going anywhere. So, in your opinions, what more can I do to help Shay? She’s determined to see this through and wants Amanda and I to be happy, but I don’t see any reason why she should have to go without the best that I can give her.”

Dear JoppiSaus,

I am so thrilled to see this update!

Things really do seem to be going well for you. I can see that there are some very obvious growing pains for everyone involved. So let’s take this one relationship at a time.

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

You & Amanda

I advised in my last post to develop your own romantic relationship with Amanda, completely different from the one you previously had as roommates. And it looks like you’ve been enthusiastically adapting to the new relationship dynamic at play. However, I do think you need to slow down even further. Sex might have been too soon at one week into this new arrangement, even with how long you two have been nurturing feelings for one another. I know it’s tempting to jump into the full polyamorous relationship experience right away, especially with all the NRE swirling inside of you. But you have to understand that this is a very delicate and possibly terse situation to navigate, especially considering your current living situation. A lot of experienced polyfolks struggle with their partners becoming intimate with their other partners in the same residence. It is why I initially suggested you date outside of your house at least at first. So you might need to slow down even more.

Amanda & Shay

Shay also has to recognize that her previous connection to Amanda as a friend and roommate is also shifting here as metamours. That is a lot to handle. Shay is a treasure. But she too is human. And while she is clearly trying very hard, accepting polyamorous relationships at face value is much different in practice than in theory. So give both Amanda and Shay some time and space to figure their new interconnected relationship out. And not just as your dual wingman either. Shay is doing a LOT by supporting both you and Amanda here. Support and compersion is nice, but not required. Maybe Amanda and Shay can go out for dinner without you and just reconnect as best friends again one-on-one.

I’ll also add here that a role of metamour is not something that Shay has had to ever experience, but something that Amanda has already had extensive experience in. Since it isn’t a role that is well-defined, it’ll be up to Shay to figure out what that role specifically means for her while you continue to explore your relationship with Amanda.

Shay & You

I see that you are regularly checking in with Shay. That’s good! Keep doing that. But I do think that a discussion here is in order for emotional responsibility.

Shay’s comfort level regarding your relationship with Amanda is her own responsibility. You are doing great by being compassionate and checking in with her even during your quality time with Amanda. But it might also be constantly flagging and re-triggering that constant insecurity for Shay. So let her chew on her feelings and prepare to discuss them together during your one-on-one quality times with Shay. Obviously, negative feelings like jealousy are totally natural. I’d say that majority of experienced polyfolks experience jealousy, but do our best to keep it in check. Some of us distract ourselves by participating in an engaging activity. Some of us recognize those feelings as just feelings and press onto diagnose the source before dissipating those as temporary insecurity. Some of us write our feelings down so that they don’t take up more space in our heads. But figuring how to handle her negative emotions too is Shay’s responsibility.

Your responsibility here is very little different. As I mentioned above, going slower with Amanda would be a great start. Giving space for Amanda and Shay to reinforce their kinship would also do wonders. Letting Shay process her own feelings and come up with her own coping mechanisms for jealousy would be amazing. But most of all, be patient! It has only been one full week. And you are running off with these relationships faster than my dog can chase after a dropped piece of chicken on the floor. Instead of “What more can I do for Shay?”, you might benefit from asking yourself “What more can I do for Shay so that she can be there for herself?”

Good luck!

Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com!

Categories: Advice

Tagged as:

teatimewithtomato

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