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RickTheToad

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So there are four men you are sleeping with... and that's not casual sex..... OK..... I guess this is the 'new normal'.:D
I'm not understanding that either. For her, it's good. For them, not understanding it. Then, just remember @SeekerOfTheWay, 4x + to catch a nasty STI/STD. If you have 4 partners and they have 2 - 4 partners, you are 8 to 16 times more likely to catch something. Just keep that in mind.
 

SeekerOfTheWay

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I think you found your answer earlier in the thread---which is simply reassurance and that it's ok to be off the beaten path, taking the journey on your own terms. Some posters are expressing their tunnel-vision based on where they are in their own journey, and much of that is either inapplicable or not helpful. I commend you for sticking around despite that.

My own situation bears some similarities to yours, so perhaps I can provide some validation to where you are and whether you believe you are moving in a healthy direction.

I'm a 18-months post-decree of a 20+ year marriage that was toxic from the start. But I was a zombie AFC paired up with a narcissistic woman who was on the spectrum towards BPD. We have two boys (budding adolescents now), and towards the end I was basically carrying the entire load. Between the physical, mental, and emotional burnout, coupled with individual therapy, I finally woke up.

So here I am, after a 20 year stint that had its rewarding moments but was mostly an exercise of me putting my own needs dead last and having no ability to set boundaries. Triaging your needs downward is a legitimate part of the bargain when being the parent, but not in a healthy relationship.

I am much better off now. We have an amicable 50/50 co-parenting arrangement, and so I find myself with a mix of "being single" in the way that you probably experience. But that is combined with the responsibilities of parenting, and rebuilding a career that took a hit during the divorce process.

Almost a year ago I met an attractive, high-quality (if on the younger side) poly woman. She has a primary GF, used to have a primary BF (his other primary was total BPD and my guess is he went MGTOW, throwing the baby out with the bath water in the process when he broke things off with all of his partners). Some might call us FWB but I see myself as a secondary. A monogamous offshoot in her poly community as it were.

She recently has been introduced into other poly communities, thus is finding new people to forge connections with and move beyond the social circles that her ex-BF inhabits. I'm very happy for her and this renewal of her spirit is very obvious when we get together now. In short, the strengthening of her other relationships serves to strengthen our own.

So our relationship consists of seeing each other about once a week, and every few months we manage to take a least a short trip somewhere. This is my "recharge" time and I guard it vigorously. Despite living very different lives, we get along effortlessly and I enjoy every minute we spend together. I do find sometimes that our time together seems too short. I occasionally fall into the trap of monogamous thinking and let my insecurities take hold when she talks of other people she's dating. It's pretty clear that this relationship, while clearly already LTR, is not forever.

But overall I am happy with this in my current phase of my life. I would have not imagined this being the path I would be on, but for the here and now it serves me well. I am getting much-needed companionship and a healthy personal connection. I have my freedom to tend to my responsibilities and have my own time. As challenging as it can be sometimes, watching her navigate her poly lifestyle has been a tremendous opportunity for my own personal growth. Poly, if done right, is not easy. It requires excellent relationship skills, and understanding of your own needs and the ability to set boundaries that work for you and each of your partners.

Apologies for the length, and this post could definitely use some editing, but I'm out of time for the moment. I hope I've managed to add another useful data point in your thought process.
Thank you so much for sharing! Yes, we have a very similar background in that my ex of 20 years was an alcoholic. But i stuck by him for him and my own issues too. He finally stopped drinking and he is a great guy but after all that (and the extreme age difference) I knew i needed to be on my own and live my own life fully as i wanted. It was so hard to leave and i still have guilt. We are still friends somewhat and I tend to “check up” on him.

The other areas of your life are also so similar! What you said, “I am getting much-needed companionship and a healthy personal connection. I have my freedom to tend to my responsibilities and have my own time” is exactly what I want! I am finding it has to be with people who are comfortable with poly relationships or at least okay with me seeing others. I def don’t sleep around (i did for 6 months post divorce) and I prefer stable, committed relationships and closeness. Just... not 24/7. Lol.

Man i really really appreciate your post and i think my struggle is some of “trying to be normal” and also feeling bad for being selfish when i never was. i ALWAYS put my husband’s life and needs before mine. To the point i lost myself at one time. I am afraid of doing that again.

Again, thank you for your thoughts post and insights. I understand everyone is posting from their own experiences and so i don’t take things personally really. But some assumptions are dead wrong. My hubby and I never even discussed money or property. I don’t get anything from him nor do i want it. Part of me leaving was to prove to myself i could be on my own. i went from living my my folks to being married at (met him at 17) 18.

Enjoy your weekend!
 

SeekerOfTheWay

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I'm not understanding that either. For her, it's good. For them, not understanding it. Then, just remember @SeekerOfTheWay, 4x + to catch a nasty STI/STD. If you have 4 partners and they have 2 - 4 partners, you are 8 to 16 times more likely to catch something. Just keep that in mind.
They understand it. Two i have been seeing for over a year. One i have known 10 years! And one only a few months. but i am open and honest and i don’t try and play games.

As far as STIs, that’s a concern of mine! I am a bit of a germaphobe and health nut. I am in really good shape, yoga, STI free etc. i do testing every 6 months and use condoms. But of course there’s still a risk. But i have to accept that and be careful. I ask to see my partners tests every 6 months. If they would decline, it’s a dealbreaker for me. One of MANY dealbreakers that i have. And they are welcome to have theirs.

I don’t undertand what you meant by “for her good, for them not understanding it”. Can you explain so i can reply. Do you mean they don’t understand it? thanks for taking the time to talk by the way.
 
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SeekerOfTheWay

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After a while, these poly things become empty and just sex. If that is what anyone is after, might as not be in a relationship and call it what it it is.. Fvck buddies; and there is nothing wrong with that. However, you are still depending on another person for fulfillment. Yes, it's not a relationship per se, but you are still needing another person to fulfill a need or desire. As I said prior, this is okay in your teens - maybe 40's for the ladies, 50's for men (if they have $$$ and are in excellent shape). However, play the game too long and a person will find themselves up the river with no paddle in their mid 40's and above. Sex, prob. no problem. Anything more, little chance. I am not pro or against anything, just laying down the facts. I am not saying I'd go the relationship route either. However, what I am saying, is if you are looking for someone else to fill a void, need or desire, then that person will have a tough time later on.
The relationship that is doing the best has been poly for 30 years. I am not sure how long it can work, you may be right. I don’t need a relationship to be fulfilled. Hence my OP about preferring to be single. So i think maybe a lart time relationship (poly) is the only thing that will work for me. He and i are very close and while the sex is amazing he is older and i think like another poster said older guys aren’t hyper focused on sex. Though i have been a bit because i didn’t have much in my marriage the last 10 years and had only had 2 sex partners when i got married.

So who knows. i think i need to try and feel less guilty or like there’s something wrong with me and how i am living.
 

ChristopherColumbus

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I'm starting to think a 'mid-life crisis' here.... and in questioning your own lifestyle an awareness of such. I think a lot of the mid-life crises you see come from an over-valuation our culture puts on sex. In this regard, on a Venn diagram, both red and blue pill would intersect. Awareness of crisis is progress if it's rejection of bourgeois middle class consumerist values, but there's no resolution in the red pill, where you take sex liberation to the extreme. Resolution has to be found in developing other aspects of yourself such as the ethical, aesthetic, cultural etc, where you develop a more rounded and resilient character that copes with the difficulties of life... without having to escape into addictions and distractions.

I blame Freud.
 

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RickTheToad

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They understand it. Two i have been seeing for over a year. One i have known 10 years! And one only a few months. but i am open and honest and i don’t try and play games.

As far as STIs, that’s a concern of mine! I am a bit of a germaphobe and health nut. I am in really good shape, yoga, STI free etc. i do testing every 6 months and use condoms. But of course there’s still a risk. But i have to accept that and be careful. I ask to see my partners tests every 6 months. If they would decline, it’s a dealbreaker for me. One of MANY dealbreakers that i have. And they are welcome to have theirs.

I don’t undertand what you meant by “for her good, for them not understanding it”. Can you explain so i can reply.
As am I. Already had a scare, but was clean w/o an infection. Do you practice safe oral and anal sex too (condoms 100%)? If not, there's an increased chance of the STD superbugs colonizing in your throat. This is not the 80's, 90's or early 2000's. It's very dangerous. Fvck AIDS/HIV. There is a vaccine for that now that will protect you and your partners 98% of the time. However, gonorrhea and syphilis are now becoming superbugs and are resistant to many meds. Then there's da herp. Something that everyone needs to think about...

As good for you.. Well, you are getting your needs met by four dudes. However, are they really being met? If you need four dudes to satisfy you, them maybe you need to look inside and see what you are missing. Another person cannot complete another person (besides what is said in Jerry McGuire). Only you can complete you. Yes, the sex is great (or good enough), but is that all you are looking for over the rest of your life?
 

SeekerOfTheWay

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I'm starting to think a 'mid-life crisis' here.... and in questioning your own lifestyle an awareness of such. I think a lot of the mid-life crises you see come from an over-valuation our culture puts on sex. In this regard, on a Venn diagram, both red and blue pill would intersect. Awareness of crisis is progress if it's rejection of bourgeois middle class consumerist values, but there's no resolution in the red pill, where you take sex liberation to the extreme. Resolution has to be found in developing other aspects of yourself such as the ethical, aesthetic, cultural etc, where you develop a more rounded and resilient character that copes with the difficulties of life... without having to escape into addictions and distractions.
i was enjoying exploring sex and my sexuality as i never did before. my ex was super jealous to the point i would wear baggy men’s clothes so men wouldnt look or comment. it was not a healthy relationship. Maybe it’s midlife, maybe it’s i am single now. Not sure.

Definitely agree with you about focusing on sex though. I don’t think that would be healthy. I have lots of hobbies ans intersts as well a s have been exploring them as well as new ones (sailing, etc) like i have been with dating.

The relationship part us what’s bugging me as i don’t know they are worth it to me. especially because they take a lot of time and energy. And i am traveling much more, doing events, concerts, etc. something has got to give i guess. :)
 

SeekerOfTheWay

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As am I. Already had a scare, but was clean w/o an infection. Do you practice safe oral and anal sex too (condoms 100%)? If not, there's an increased chance of the STD superbugs colonizing in your throat. This is not the 80's, 90's or early 2000's. It's very dangerous. Fvck AIDS/HIV. There is a vaccine for that now that will protect you and your partners 98% of the time. However, gonorrhea and syphilis are now becoming superbugs and are resistant to many meds. Then there's da herp. Something that everyone needs to think about...

As good for you.. Well, you are getting your needs met by four dudes. However, are they really being met? If you need four dudes to satisfy you, them maybe you need to look inside and see what you are missing. Another person cannot complete another person (besides what is said in Jerry McGuire). Only you can complete you. Yes, the sex is great (or good enough), but is that all you are looking for over the rest of your life?
I am satisfied with no dudes. That’s the thing. i most times would rather do things on my own. I don’t need a relationship and i was wondering if that is healthy. But i take Guru’s advice and just live my story!

Going to run now and sail! i appreciate your replies!!
 

RickTheToad

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I am satisfied with no dudes. That’s the thing. i most times would rather do things on my own. I don’t need a relationship and i was wondering if that is healthy. But i take Guru’s advice and just live my story!

Going to run now and sail! i appreciate your replies!!
Then you're golden.
 

DelayedGratification

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The other areas of your life are also so similar! What you said, “I am getting much-needed companionship and a healthy personal connection. I have my freedom to tend to my responsibilities and have my own time” is exactly what I want! I am finding it has to be with people who are comfortable with poly relationships or at least okay with me seeing others. I def don’t sleep around (i did for 6 months post divorce) and I prefer stable, committed relationships and closeness. Just... not 24/7. Lol.

Man i really really appreciate your post and i think my struggle is some of “trying to be normal” and also feeling bad for being selfish when i never was. i ALWAYS put my husband’s life and needs before mine. To the point i lost myself at one time. I am afraid of doing that again.
Glad I could help. Also nice to know that I am not the only one who thinks this way. I get the sense that my therapist sees this is as a detour and would prefer I be working a more "normal" path to a new LTR. But my instincts and conversations with the few people I trust indicate otherwise.

And I'm right there with you... I completely lost myself. I know that now and I am better at asserting needs and boundaries (in all sorts of relationships: personal, family, work), but I'm not yet ready to trust myself in a serious LTR where I have the danger of falling back into unhealthy habits.
 

zekko

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Wow, the acronyms and vocabulary on this thread is something else. I guess a kind of scientific jargon helps normalize it. lol
I was thinking we need to add an acronym for "Exclusive Long Term Relationship" since LTR doesn't seem to quite cover it here. Maybe XLTR or ELTR.
 

SeekerOfTheWay

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Glad I could help. Also nice to know that I am not the only one who thinks this way. I get the sense that my therapist sees this is as a detour and would prefer I be working a more "normal" path to a new LTR. But my instincts and conversations with the few people I trust indicate otherwise.

And I'm right there with you... I completely lost myself. I know that now and I am better at asserting needs and boundaries (in all sorts of relationships: personal, family, work), but I'm not yet ready to trust myself in a serious LTR where I have the danger of falling back into unhealthy habits.
i am still really bad at setting and/or maintaining boundaries. So, that’s a big fear of mine. i tend to like alpha men with strong personalities and sometimes they don’t recognize boundaries. Or maybe it’s just thr men i attract or am attracted to. Not sure. But i know i am better off more on my own at this point.
 

mrgoodstuff

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i am still really bad at setting and/or maintaining boundaries. So, that’s a big fear of mine. i tend to like alpha men with strong personalities and sometimes they don’t recognize boundaries. Or maybe it’s just thr men i attract or am attracted to. Not sure. But i know i am better off more on my own at this point.
So you was attracted to that but they fvck up your life in certain ways and thus you keep your distance.
 

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samspade

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What are your thoughts on desiring to be, and staying, single? Is it unhealthy? I am struggling with this recently forcing myself to date. And also struggling with keeping these relationships at a certain level as i guess it’s human nature to want more and deeper relationships. But it’s not what I want and i end up pushing my relationships away. For the record i am dating 4 guys, two have been for a about a year, one for 2 years on and off (and i keep pushing him away) and one a few months. Others have also come and gone.

Thanks for any opinions or insights.
To thine own self be true.
 

ChristopherColumbus

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I was thinking we need to add an acronym for "Exclusive Long Term Relationship" since LTR doesn't seem to quite cover it here. Maybe XLTR or ELTR.
lol. Just gets weirder and weirder....

looks like the name of an alt coin.
 

Trump

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As far as STIs, that’s a concern of mine! I am a bit of a germaphobe and health nut. I am in really good shape, yoga, STI free etc. i do testing every 6 months and use condoms. But of course there’s still a risk. But i have to accept that and be careful. I ask to see my partners tests every 6 months. If they would decline, it’s a dealbreaker for me. One of MANY dealbreakers that i have. And they are welcome to have theirs.
Wow. You are having sex with 4 different guys? Do they know?

I couldn't have sex with girl who was having sex with 3 other guys, even if she was a movie star.
 

mrgoodstuff

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Wow. You are having sex with 4 different guys? Do they know?

I couldn't have sex with girl who was having sex with 3 other guys, even if she was a movie star.
Maybe you could after justifying a large amount of non movie star single females do the same.
 
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