Kare identifies as monogamous. I am his first polyamorous partner. He and I started dating during the last six months of my year and a half relationship with Wife. By that time, she and I were only seeing each other about once a month due to schedule conflicts and my issues with Husband (Forgive Me, Girlfriend, For I Have Sinned). During that time, since Kare and I live very close to each other, we had the luxury of spending every day together and sleeping over every night. Our relationship was less affected than usual by my other relationship, which means we both had it easy.
Recently, I mentioned to Kare that I would eventually like to start dating again and what his feelings are regarding that. I explained that since the tail-end of my last relationship looked much different than the beginning (which he didn't experience), I needed to know what he was comfortable with during this process. While he believes he will be ok with it, he pointed out that he's never been in this position before and is uncertain of how he will actually react. Fair enough.
In the meantime, we were able to figure out a few things:
- I informed him of how I structure my poly relationships and how I function within them (which I will share, in detail, in future entries), giving each of us the opportunity to share our preferences and voice our concerns.
- He is unsure of whether he would want to pursue other relationships in the future. I am ok whether he does or not.
- We agree to make each other aware of potential new partners before anything more sexual than kissing occurs or before we become significantly emotionally involved beyond friendship, whichever comes first.
- We had another discussion on safer sex practices and what we expected from each other. Since we are fluid-bonded (and tested regularly), it is very important to both of us that these boundaries are clear to us and all future sexual partners.
- I reminded him that it is each of our responsibility to let the other know where we are emotionally - both in our relationship and the relationships we have with others - and that it's important that we update each other regularly. (We're both really good at doing these things, but it never hurts to restate it during a period of transition.)
- We agree that nothing is set in stone and that we can discuss (and possibly change) our agreements if needed.
I had many more questions for him (ie: veto power on potential new partners; or sleepovers with other partners) but since he is unsure of his needs/concerns regarding them, we agreed to address them as they arise. (This makes me slightly uncomfortable. I am much more proactive in my approach to these things and like to address them before they become problems, if possible. However, he prefers to deal with problems as they arise, particularly if he is inexperienced with the situation at hand. We often frustrate each other in this regard. I find that a healthy compromise is periodic status updates and honest communication. That way I'm not caught off-guard when something does become a problem and he doesn't have to guess at his reactions to hypotheticals.)
Time to roll those dice.