Thursday, June 24, 2010

My poly partners' other partners

Being poly, embracing polyamory, is still quite new to me so a lot of what I'm encountering as I sort through poly relationships with my partners is new.

What's new and even more unexpected is the fact that I'm sorting through the poly relationships my partners are having with others too.

During the short time I was with 9, we'd established that we were to be each other's primary partners and that we'd pursue other relationships outside that. These were to be primarily D/s relationships since we were both Dominant and topping each other was not an option.

9 decided to consider a femsub he'd previously dated and actually brought into the lifestyle years ago. We talked extensively about this. I urged him to be clear with her so that she understood what he wanted from her. I didn't want her to mistakenly think that there was a long term relationship in their future when he wanted her friendship and submission only.

I didn't want to be involved in direct communication with her. I just thought this was between them. Fairly quickly though I was sucked into being friends with her and I found it more pleasant than I anticipated. She did understand her "place" in things but still had lots of questions about how this poly relationship would work. I think the ease of which she was handling things surprised even her and was mostly because she liked me.

Had things worked out, I'm not sure where things would have gone with 9's sub and me. But after 9 walked away from me, her and the lifestyle altogether, 9's sub and I were left to scratch our heads and wonder what the fuck happened. Together.

In the week since the break up, we've grown quite close. As different as our relationships were with 9, there are similarities and it's weird but nice we can help each other through this. At the same time, it's distracted me somewhat from my own process of getting through the breakup.

In many ways, her attachment is so much stronger due to the past they shared. I diagnosed her early after they breakup as having an addiction to Man Crack, with 9 being her drug of choice. So I've spent a lot of time helping her through all of this much in the way you'd help a friend whose boyfriend dumped them. Only it was MY boyfriend who dumped her.

With another poly partner, I've spent some time coaching his prospective poly partner. I've answered questions and tried to give examples that might make sense.

He's already got a primary partner. I went into things with him knowing that wouldn't change, not even trying to seek a relationship with him and then being a little surprised to find myself in one.

I look at what we have now much like friends with benefits with a deeper connection. He won't ever be my primary partner. I'm not sad about this and am happy to enjoy him just as he is.

I suppose this was easier for me because I am polyamorous. For his other poly partner, it has not been.

As we've gotten to know each other, she and I have grown into a real friendship. We have a lot in common so it's been easy to enjoy getting to know each other. Still, I steered clear of talking to her about their relationship. I knew she had real concerns about engaging in a polyamorous relationship but I refrained from talking about her relationship with him, and my relationship with him, until she was ready.

When she did want to talk about it, I found it difficult to navigate the subject without stomping on the land mines. I tried not to use my relationship with him as an example and tried not to go into too much detail.
I tried to be a friend without meddling, but occasionally the craziness of what I was doing struck me and I almost had to laugh. I was helping a guy I adore get another girl. And I was helping that girl understand why she could and should be with that guy.

Compersion is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

I am not his primary partner. I'm not setting rules. And she's not his submissive. My role is simply to be his friend. Now, I'm hers because of that. And the fact that I adore her.

Perhaps I'm lucky that in both situations, my poly partners' other partners are women I adore.
Maybe I should just chalk it up to the fact that I happen to choose men who have excellent taste in women.

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