Not Feeling My Girlfriend's Boyfriend Asks:
I'm bisexual and am in relationships with a man (my boyfriend of a little over a year) and a woman (which started as a platonic friendship but grew into a physical relationship as time went on). I was very open with each of them from the beginning about my orientation and my feelings, and both of my partners have always been accepting, comfortable even, with things.
Over time, they became close as well, something that I have encouraged, and we've reached a point at which our overall relationship is polyamorous. This does NOT involve threesomes; instead, at times he and I do things together, or she and I, or he and she (including sleeping together). We all communicate openly about plans, and we all live alone, so rather than the situation being awkward, it has actually been really nice.
We have rules about dating "outsiders" and safe sex, of course. My gf has been dating another guy (again, all on the up and up: he knows about us, and we about him) for the past several weeks. At first, things were cool, but lately he has been pushing to join our relationship, that is, to have an intimate relationship with me. But I'm not attracted to him emotionally (other than as a friend) or physically (he's a nice guy, but I don't want to sleep with him). It's awkward for me with him, and is causing a real strain in my gf's relationship with him, which is in turn causing stress between she and I, and I don't know what to do about it. Can you give me some insight/advice? Thank you in advance.
Ask Abbie Answers:
Continue being honest and communicating openly as you've done so far. That's the key. I know you had to specify that poly does not equal threesomes by default. Too many people make that assumption and demonize poly people. But anyway, back to this guy.
He might be an "outsider" who thought he'd get a 2-for-1 deal when he started dating your girlfriend. It's unfortunate that some people believe that bisexual people or people involved in polyamorous relationships are in fact open to everyone or indiscriminate. Or maybe he's just a dick. You're not attracted to him and he keeps pushing for a relationship with you even after you've said no. Not cool at all. He needs to respect your wishes and back off.
Some men believe they can grow on a woman; if they keep trying eventually she'll give in, her "no" isn't really a "no" but a "not now". Knowing that his advances are causing a strain in his relationship yet he still insists on trying to be sexual with you is a huge red flag that he doesn't have any concept of boundaries or respect for anyone's feelings. He's also not respecting the rules of the relationship you, your girlfriend and boyfriend have established. Over time, I'm sure this behavior will cause you to genuinely dislike him.
He hasn't been brought into the relationship so frankly it's on his/your girlfriend to put up the boundaries. She can spend time with him, solo. You have no obligation to spend time with him. As you explained, you spend one-on-one time with your girlfriend and one-on-one time with your boyfriend. I advise not to spend any one-on-one time with him. I also wouldn't hang out with him when he's with your girlfriend. Perhaps you're already cutting back on face time with your girlfriend and that's part of what's causing a strain between you two. You definitely want to do your part to make sure he doesn't ruin the solid relationship you've built with your girlfriend.
Is your boyfriend aware of what's going on? I'd say tell him and have your boyfriend "handle that" but perhaps your boyfriend is not the goon type. Have you considered a "family meeting"? Sit everyone down and let it be known to him (everyone) how you feel and that he needs to respect that. Maybe having your boyfriend there will make it easier for you; he could be a buffer or an enforcer/reinforcer. If there's still no change in his behavior, all signs are pointing to a break-up or two.
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