I need some help. I am new to the world of poly, in fact I would go as far as saying it’s just a curiosity. But I have kind of put myself in an awkward situation now.
I have a boyfriend whom I love very much. We have been together for just over 6 months. Everything about our relationship is pretty great. We are very honest and open with one another and I’m very comfortable around him, he’s very respectful and the sex life is GREAT. I should be happy with just that, right?
But then there’s this other guy… A mutual friend of of a friend. And there’s just something about him that I needed to pursue. I can’t shake it.
I spent a lot of time thinking about if I really did want to be with my current boyfriend if I was having these feelings. I didn’t tell him about it, it’s the first time I’ve ever hidden anything from him. I decided I would go hang out as just friends with the second guy (stupid, I know) and it went wayyyy beyond just friendship. I slept with him and now I feel like I have cheated on the both of them. I am overcome with guilt about it, I feel like I am lying to both of them (at this point, I’m not sure if the second guy even knows I am in a relationship, but its posted on facebook for him to see so I think he does)
My problem is, I have asked for advice. Looked online. Everywhere and everyone says “compare and pick the best suitor” or something along those lines. And after all the mental lists. A physical pros and cons list. Many best friend conversations. I am left with the realization that I want both of them. They both have wonderful things to offer that I just can’t do without anymore and I can’t pick just one. I just don’t know how to communicate this to them without losing both of them in the process. I am a strong believer that monogamy is NOT human nature and it has been placed on us by religion and social conditioning, but only a small percentage of people think that way. How do I go about discussing this with either of my partners?
Just a curiosity? What the hell is wrong with you? People’s hearts and emotions are on the line and you call it “Just a curiosity?”
Sorry, had to get that out of my system before I could respond more calmly. I even deleted and re-wrote it three times before I decided to leave it in.
If you slept with someone and you’re in a relationship with someone else who has an expectation of monogamy, YES YOU CHEATED! You need to own that and sit with it a while.
Do you understand that the people you are sleeping with are human beings with thoughts, feelings, and emotions? ‘Cause in reading this letter, I am getting the terrible sense that you’re not thinking in those terms. I mean, if you’re wondering whether not someone you’re having sex with knows whether or not you’ve got a boyfriend, you’re not communicating with these people as if they’re people. You’re not communicating at all. You need to start that.
You owe both of these people a conversation. Oh, very yes, tell them you want to be involved with both of them, if that’s what you want. I’m all for asking for what you want. You could get insanely lucky.
But holy crap, do you have some work to do. You’re going to be working from an area of negative trust and the only honest way forward is to state simply and honestly that yes, you cheated, yes, you’re sorry (if you are). Then you can go on to tell them that you really do want a relationship with both of them and you understand that you did not communicate fully and honestly from the git-go. Tell them that you are going to do your level best to correct that mistake going forward. Nope, there’s no way around it or manipulation that’s going to get you out of it or their reaction. You’re going to have to take your lumps on this one, and never refrain from communicating as honestly and as fully as you can manage ever again. It’s entirely possible that you’ll be forgiven, that the guys will both want to be in a relationship with you and you’ll repair the broken trust.
Not that I’d count on it, mind. Having this conversation is risking losing both of them, and you still need to have it if you have any hope in the world of being successful in polyamory. Polyamory requires courage and integrity.*
Are you up for it? I think you could be.
* Okay, so does being a decent human being, and I hope you’d choose courage and integrity, polyamory or not.