That moment when you realize that you are really into that single but not-polyamorous girl…

So, you know that trope about the guy who is into the straight guy (or girl who is into the straight girl)?


So, people who are not really familiar or comfortable with polyamory, or who explicitly say they don’t think they can or want to get involved with polyamory themselves (whether their reasons are well articulated or not), are perhaps the kind of people in whom it might not be smart to become interested.  Especially if you have any reason to believe that if you were not polyamorous, and you were single, they would potentially be into you.  Also if you are really attracted to them, and you somehow cannot help but keep talking with them knowing all that is the case.  You know, because we are always rational and wise beings, with our ability to control of motivations, who we’re into, and all that jazz.

You see, sometimes when you are in such a predicament, you get to that point where you realize that you are being sucked into that hole; you know that hole where under any reasonable set of circumstances you would feel happy, elated, giddy even.  Except in this case, rather than cutesy giddiness you end up feeling like the only response that makes sense is to stare blankly at the wall (or computer monitor or whatever) and say to yourself “well, shit, this is going to suck,” while you secretly, deep down, hope that it will not.

You know, that delusional part of you deep down where neither love, lust, nor respect are ever unrequited.

But also in there, perhaps deeper or perhaps of similar depth but like to the side or something (my knowledge of depth psychology is obviously not, ahem, deep) you know it probably is just going to end up with a (figurative, hopefully) kick in the stomach.  You know that it’s probably a terrible idea to keep hope alive for any romantic, sexual, or even heavy-make-out-esque relationship, but you also know ridding yourself of such hope will be quite difficult and painful.

You, of course, have already made it clear what your goals and desires are, and they have respectfully rejected the proposition and you move on to talk about other things.  Other non-romantic or sexy things.  You have told them that you are attracted to them, you talk about polyamory a little and they are uncertain (at best) about it, and then you go on and have a friendly conversation with them.  Because you really do like talking with them and you can have a good time as platonic, non-sexual, friends with them…or something.

Because you totally can just pretend that you don’t find them very sexually attractive and just be friends.  Because you are a decent person who doesn’t need to have sex with someone just because that’s what you want…like what you really, really want…and be just a friend to them because you like them and they are a god person and because you have stuff in common and because that’s the decent thing to do, dammit!


So, Wes wrote about being friendzoned recently, and I agree with what he said pretty much, but this situation is different than what he explained there.  This is a situation where the intentions of both parties are clearly stated, but still one finds himself (it is me we’re talking about, after all) with a friend, and not a lover.  And while I am happy to be friends, there is that moment when I realize that the attraction is a little bit more than merely physical, and there is nothing I can do about it.

It’s one of the things that really sucks about being polyamorous in a monoamorous-dominant world.  Because it’s one thing for someone to not be into you, but it’s quite another when they might be into you, but it does not matter because you have other women (or men, or both) in your life.  It makes one ponder what the world would be if we all were polyamorous, or at least poly friendly.  It makes me, specifically, yearn for a world where polyamory was not so strange, so uncomfortable, so radical.

Then there is that little voice that, in the back of your mind, whispers little things to you like “just wait, she’ll change her mind” or “she really is into you, she’s just not sure about the poly thing; she’ll get over it!”  But, that’s a tricky road to navigate, because it’s probably a delusional little voice.  While that voice might keep that flame alive, that flame might just burn you as well as a potential friendship unnecessarily.

Then there is the other voice, the one that says “dude, you are just infatuated.  Even if she changed her mind you would have like a month of really hot sex, and then what? Can you expect a monoamorous girl to first get involved with you then accept the potential role of being your close friend who you used to have sex with a lot? perhaps even still do occasionally? That’s a lot to transition to from a monoamorous worldview.”  And that voice, while possibly also wrong (because who knows? she might end up being a long term girlfriend!), has a point.  Because a friend who I have sex with is not a stretch of the imagination for me; a polyamorous, sex-positive, slut.  But for someone who has a different set of experiences, that might be destructive, hurtful, and it might preclude the possibility of a friendship continuing.

It’s so much easier when all you’re interested in is sex, because in that case when the rejection comes you can just move on and not worry about it.

So, what to do? What do you do when you realize that being platonic friends with someone may be too hard for you, even if the friendship itself will almost certainly be rewarding in itself? I mean, I know monogamorous people deal with this all the time (and for them, I advise them to just get over it already and be polyamorous, knowing most won’t), but monoamorous people are generally used to suppressing such desires. That’s why cheating is so rare.  Right.

Ugh….  Having a conscience sucks sometimes.

It sucks because in such situations you really do want to be friends with them, but you also know that the attraction will sit there between you the whole time.  You can try and keep it away from your conversations with them, but it will poke it’s head out now and then to remind you, and possibly her, that it’s still there.

Of course, then you realize that you’ve had a couple of drinks and you are tired, and that is potentially skewing how you feel.  So maybe you should just sleep on it.  Perhaps tomorrow you’ll feel differently.

Yeah, that’ll work!

Well, good night then.

7 thoughts on “That moment when you realize that you are really into that single but not-polyamorous girl…

  1. When my partner and I opened our marriage in the ’60’s, it was hard to find poly lovers, but we did, mostly by bringing it up with people we felt we could have a multifaceted relationship with. Mostly they weren’t interested, but enough were to make those years very fun. And some of those people are still friends, if not lovers, today. So in those days, a scenario like you describe seemed normal. But today, it does not.

    Today, the poly community in Seattle is large enough so there is no reason to go outside it. It is easy to let go of any interest in someone, however attractive, if they are not part of the community. There is some poly or poly friendly, sex positive event every night. So my recommendation is to put your effort into nurturing community until it is large enough to nurture you.Don’t spend time trying to turn a sows ear into a silk purse. And the idea that someone is so attractive that you are tempted in spite of knowing better sounds pretty mono to me.

    That said, there is a big difference between someone who is repelled by the concept of poly and wants sexual exclusivity with a partner and someone who is fine with poly, but for whatever reason is not interested in having more than one partner themselves. I’ve had good, long term relationships with the latter. And a few disasters with the former, until I learned better.

  2. “And the idea that someone is so attractive that you are tempted in spite of knowing better sounds pretty mono to me.”

    Wait, what? What does the human phenomenon of being attracted to unavailable people have to do with the distinction of polyamory and monoamory? We are attracted to who we are attracted to. We don’t choose that.

    Also, I don’t really involve myself in the poly community locally, mostly because many of them simply annoy me. But that’s also generally true; people generally annoy me. You know, because of religion (usually paganism in poly circles) and other stupidities.

  3. So, I can’t help posting on this slightly older post because it spoje to me – right to the heart. My wife asked to open our relationship a year and a half ago. Neither of us had real prospects at the time but she knew she needed to explore her interest in women and felt fair was fair. We had a new friend that was interesting and fun… And suddenly she was a lot more interesting. By February, I had to say something and it was incredibly scary but she didn’t run away – she did politely state it would never work and she could never share. So, I was feeling exactly this post.
    We stayed friends and became really close friends. Eventually snuggle buddies. But Im still interested and she knows how I feel and we are constantly navigating the difficult path of a more than friends but non sexual relationship. Most if the time, it is incredibly rewarding and I love her deeply. But every so often I fall back into the feelings expressed in this post and find myself wondering if it wouldn’t have been easier to just not be friends at all and take the short term pain over the recurring. I dont think I would recommend our arrangement but I these feelings run really really deep now and I cant imagine letting go of the feelings.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. Ive never been happier than when Im with both my wife and my friend. Ive also never been sadder than when I find myself wanting more… And kicking myself for it. 🙂

  4. It’s not any easier for monogamorous people dealing with poly friends. You have needs that mono friends can’t deal with, mono people have needs that y’all can’t deal with. What do you do? You accept that you can’t have everything you want all the time, you appreciate what you have with them, you love the person for who and what they are without making demands on them that you know they can’t handle. You basically grow up.

  5. Oh yeah… Not too long ago I met Mr. Right (which isn’t exclusive of other Right people, but I enjoy having a “primary” sorta defined as the “holiday default”) except that he’s both monogamous and Christian… and exactly the sort of person I really love spending time with. We’ve had sex once, before he decided that it’s not right for him, so I know that the chemistry is *excellent* – and he made his decision without negative judgment against either me or himself, which seems damned surprising for someone who fits his demographics. As I get to know him better, my appreciation has only gotten deeper. I’ve trusted him with things I’ve never told anyone and he’s responded appropriately (also a bit surprising). Damn. I can’t realistically imagine either of us ever converting – religion maybe, but orientation seems harder – and our friendship continues to grow. I’m definitely planning and expecting, as is he, to encourage the friendship and it’s really hard to turn off the fantasies of a mixed marriage.

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