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Relationships become very complicated very quickly, don't they? - The Average Homosexuals
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Brad Hopkins posting in The Average Homosexuals
User: average_homos (posted by evil_admiral)
Date: 2010-12-05 21:50
Subject: Relationships become very complicated very quickly, don't they?
Security: Public
The last time I posted in here, I had just been dumped. But since then I have met a really nice guy, and I am starting to develop some serious feelings for him. We've been dating for about three months now, and I really like what he offers. I would like to move to serious dating with him, and I have told him that. The great thing is that his feelings for me are pretty much the same.

The bad thing is that his former partner may come back into the picture down the road. They were a couple for about four years before 2007 when his partner moved away from Atlanta for a job in VA (the bf already had his dream job here in Atlanta, so he didn't want to move since he couldn't get a job like it in VA). From how I understand it, they went into this understanding that this was a hiatus in the relationship, and they were both free to have sex with other men, and they'd resume the relationship when the partner comes back to Atlanta in 2012 (apparently the job has a defined time line and everything). Initially, that what the bf was: a hookup. But along the way we realized that we have some amazing chemistry together, and exploring that chemistry has yielded some awesome results.

Now here is the tricky part: the boyfriend has not told his former partner that I am anything more than a good friend who he went to Dragon*Con with. I have made it quite clear to my boyfriend what kind of relationship I want from him (including introducing him to my family to show him I'm dead serious about my feelings), what I need from him (i.e. tell his partner), and that I will leave the relationship (unwillingly) if he is not able to make himself available for something beyond serious dating. If anything happens, it would happen after we pass the six month mark to one year mark. If he's available past then, then awesome. If he isn't, well I'm not going to make myself emotionally available just to get dumped in a year (nor will I be "the other man").

What I would like to hear is whether or not any of ya'll have been in similar situations, how you handled it, and what happened. I mean I really like my boyfriend, but I don't want to get really hurt, and its kind of difficult trying to figure this out. Thanks! :)
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James
User: sourdick
Date: 2010-12-06 02:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Just stop being a whore, and try being honest with yourself and your partners. God, its not rocket-fucking-science here.
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Dustin H: hawkward
User: derflughafen
Date: 2010-12-06 04:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:hawkward
Lol
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Volodya
User: shuffle81
Date: 2010-12-06 08:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have to say, I couldn't agree more.
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B Monster
User: keinaubergine
Date: 2011-01-11 09:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
yeah its pretty common sense
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Cree
User: weekend_play
Date: 2010-12-06 03:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You referred to the other guy as your boyfriend's partner.

That should answer any questions you have.
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Daniel: Aloof Daniel
User: rogonandi
Date: 2010-12-06 03:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Aloof Daniel
You should date someone who isn't 'on hiatus' from a previous/another relationship.
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Dustin H: my life
User: derflughafen
Date: 2010-12-06 04:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:my life
God wtf, are boyfriends falling out of trees or something? Maybe there are benefits to hooking up...
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Dustin H: my life
User: derflughafen
Date: 2010-12-06 23:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:my life
Nooooooooooo
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Brad Hopkins
User: evil_admiral
Date: 2010-12-06 23:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yay for manhunt (and Grindr)...
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El Brucio
User: shonokin
Date: 2010-12-06 21:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So basically this guy loved his partner to the extent that rather than move on after they separated, he is willing to wait five years for him to return.

That is a giant can of worms right there. Since he hasn't said anything to his partner about you, it means he is still committed to this path, whether or not it is good for him in the long run.

You'll notice I haven't referred to the guy as a former partner, because from what you've said, he isn't. They're simply a couple not having sex due to distance. I hate to tell you this, but at the moment, you are "the other man" in what is essentially a temporarily open relationship.

As I see it, you have three options.

1) Guard your heart, and just enjoy what is essentially a time-limited sex between really good friends arrangement. Continue to look for other people who are worthy of your love.

2) Actively try to win him for yourself, but be prepared to face the same hurdles you would trying to get anyone else out of an open relationship.

3) See if all parties are willing to explore the possibility of a poly relationship. I've met quite a few poly people, and for the most part they seem to have similar levels of happiness to their monogamous counterparts.
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Brad Hopkins
User: evil_admiral
Date: 2010-12-06 23:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So basically this guy loved his partner to the extent that rather than move on after they separated, he is willing to wait five years for him to return.

Well they were together for four years. So there's something there. At the time (and until me) my bf's assumption was that since he works night shift in his job (usually like 10pm to 6am) with odd weekly blocks of days (like his "Monday" might be on a Thursday), he was unlikely to meet someone who would put up with that.

Thanks for the advice, though #1 is unfeasable to do our strong chemistry and emotional connections at this point; I respect boundaries too much to attempt #2 (it has to be his decision and his alone); and while I have nothing against poly relationships, I don't think its for me.
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candide: Gir::piggy
User: _candide_
Date: 2010-12-11 05:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Gir::piggy
it sounds to me like they moved to an open-relationship due to the separation. They may not have discussed polyamory.

They need to.

When it comes to polyamory … real polyamory, not covering-up-being-an-asshole-by-calling-it-polyamory … all parties have to maintain "nonstandard" relationships with each other. Ferinstance, if Ed is in love with Jude and Alan, he loves Jude for who Jude is, not because he's not Alan. And Jude and Alan will have a form of relationship with each other, not merely, "through Ed," but because of who they each are as people — and it won't look like what we're used to when we hear the word, "relationship."

(Lotta extra maintenance there, far more than what's required for a 2-person relationship. That's why polyamory isn't very common, not because it's, "immoral," but because it's too much effort.)

So your beau needs to have a long, honest talk with his partner. Mainly, about what makes their relationship. That, by definition, has nothing to do with you. You're not involved, nor should you be.

Your responsibility is realizing that you're not the primary. You're not, "the other woman," not in true polyamory. You're not, "lesser than." You just weren't there first. You have to respect that.

Will this guy who (for you) is your boyfriend break things off? Maybe. Maybe not. Will you be at odds with his partner? Possibly not, once any jealousy is put aside. You and he may have overlap, have qualities in common. You are, after all, both compatible with the same man, so there has to be some commonality.

The question that you need to ask, however: Do you want this man, or do you want a boyfriend? There is a difference. And you need to take a good long look at that.
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Brad Hopkins
User: evil_admiral
Date: 2010-12-11 17:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't know about my bf or his former partner, but polyamory (in general) just wouldn't work for me. At least when it comes to a relationship, more than one guy is enough (hell, just casually dating two guys at once was enough of a headache!). Plus, it would be hard for me to get past the jealousy and insecurity from that type of arrangement.

Your responsibility is realizing that you're not the primary. You're not, "the other woman," not in true polyamory. You're not, "lesser than." You just weren't there first. You have to respect that.

That hard, especially knowing that the bf and I have amazing chemistry, I rock his world in bed (apparently unlike his former partner when they would have sex), and it feels so right with him.
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candide: Gir::piggy
User: _candide_
Date: 2010-12-12 02:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Gir::piggy
Understandable.

The thing is, jealousy and insecurity … and the latter is the source of the former … are things that one should work on overcoming anyway. Learning to accept who you are, for both your flaws and your good qualities, is very important mental hygiene.


I do agree that good sexual chemistry is very agreeable. ^_^ What about the rest? We all have flaws. You do. He does. Can you live with his flaws? Can he deal with yours? Because that is a major cornerstone of any long-term relationship. My partner and I had to do that, and we've been together for 17.5 years now. And we've had to work on our sex life.


But none of this addresses the elephant in the room: he already has a partner, one who he is not living with. If he readily drops his partner for you, what does that say about how serious he considers any relationship. If not, what if he's torn between you and his partner? Do you want to compound his suffering? Then there's possibility #3: his partner comes first, in which case, you're setting yourself up for hurt.



So, if you want advice: (1) Understand that he's not a boyfriend, or at least not a serious one. Nevertheless, enjoy this relationship for what it is, while it lasts. (2) Don't interfere with his situation with his partner. What will happen, will happen. (3) Work on your insecurities. It's worthwhile anyhow. Don't beat yourself up about your flaws, accept them and think about which ones you can live with, and how you can change the others. Also accept your talents, your positive features, your strengths. (That's not arrogance, BTW. That's realism. Arrogance is lording your strengths over others.) Acknowledging your strengths will make you feel more secure about yourself.

That's my $.02, for what it's worth. ;)
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Brad Hopkins
User: evil_admiral
Date: 2010-12-12 06:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What about the rest? We all have flaws. You do. He does. Can you live with his flaws? Can he deal with yours?

I'll be the first to admit that the bf doesn't exactly fit the profile of the type of guy I was expecting to date, but once I realized I had chemistry with him I said, "Maybe degree and all of that doesn't matter as much as I thought it did..." We each have other things we are looking to compromise and work around to make things flow as smoothly as possible. He votes left, I don't. I want to ultimately start a family with the right guy, he doesn't. I'm brilliant with numbers, he's brilliant with creative stuff. He works at night, I work during the day. We have differences, but we meet in the middle, or at least we try to, and it works out.

As for #3 down there, I'm still working on that. I left a prior LT relationship with a lack of confidence in my dating abilities and all of that (yet I had no lack of confidence in my professional success). I'm doing better at loving myself and recognizing that I deserve a loving, available partner who loves me for me. Its just that I've had a few bad experiences where I wasn't enough though, and I guess that's where that is coming form: that who I naturally am won't be enough to win him (or many other men) over.
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