Adding a third

I’m going to take a look at another all too frequent scenario. You will probably notice that I am intentionally avoiding buzzwords that can be laden with emotional value that could misdirect the reader:

A man and woman are married. After a few years of marriage they come to realize that their comfortable, monogamous relationship feels unnatural  for them. They have both occasionally found themselves strongly attracted to someone other than their partner, even though things are going well in their relationship. They may be poly by nature, and wish to act on that nature.

So they begin to discuss how poly might work for them. What would be the characteristics of the ideal person for them to find?  They often decide that the ideal solution would be a bisexual female. How might that relationship work? They discuss it at length, and get themselves on the same page with each other. They discuss their wants and needs, and their expectations of what they desire from this possible third person that they may not have even met yet.

Sadly, when they finally begin actively seeking this hypothetical woman out there in the real world, they are often guilty of negative behaviors toward the third partner including disrespect of their desires and feelings, overtly sexual remarks and requests at inappropriate times, and often outright sexual objectification.

I honestly think they may not do it intentionally, but they spend so long imagining how wonderful it could be, creating a role for this hypothetical woman in their lives, coming up with rules, and fantasizing about how good the sex will be…that when they sit down with an actual live bisexual woman they naturally see her in the role of “third” and don’t even comprehend how demeaning that is. It’s possible that they may not even realize that they are being rude, condescending and disrespectful.

They’ve spent so many weeks or months (or possibly years) talking about this hypothetical “other female” who is going to “complete our family” that they can no longer grasp that she is a free, autonomous individual who is most definitely NOT “completing” anything that already exists, like finding the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle , but instead is an individual who is now faced with the need to build two completely new relationships that need the freedom to develop over time, as well as integrate all of that into the deceptively simple looking entity that we call a triad.

So if you are a member of that couple that is just starting out as poly, remember this… Each relationship must grow organically, naturally, to be fair to everyone involved. Whatever fantasies that you have for a new possible partner need to be laid aside. Allow each aspect of  the relationship to reach its potential without forcing it through a horn into the shape to fit your fantasy. You just might end up with something that is more than you could ever imagine!!

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