I met my secondary partner earlier this year and we took our time getting to know each other before we played, and agreed to start a play-partnership.
Then a few months ago she met a new primary, and I only found this out when she added a new relationship status up online.
As a result I haven’t seen her since August. She’s in the throes of NRE and has bailed (last minute) on every one of our 5 arranged dates since meeting him.
Well, one of my own rules for myself that a string of bailing means I stop initiating. (If I ever did initiate. I tend to be bad about that and am trying to work on it so my partners get the message that they are valued.)
I’ve communicated that I want to see her, it’s been too long since our last meeting and that I miss her, which she reciprocates in words but not actions.
Okay, while I’m all into believing one’s partner, when one’s words and actions do not agree, believe the actions. What are her actions saying?
Part of the annoyance is that she lies about her reasons for bailing, citing illness or lack of funds to see me yet managing to see him and go clubbing etc.
I feel like I am the only one doing the chasing, messaging her, arranging meets. I feel like I have communicated the desire to see her.
From what you’re saying, it looks like you are the one to take the initiative and that it’s not being reciprocated. I’d say this is a good time to stop initiating and be done with it.
As far as the lying thing? You could ask her to explain discrepancies between her words and actions if you want to. I do say “ask” rather than “accuse” on purpose. It is just possible you don’t have all the information. Then again, she could be a lying flake, but if you value the relationship, I’d go with the assumption you don’t have all the info, first!
I don’t want to end the relationship, I really like her and I am happy for things to be very laid back and to only see her every few months if needs be. But I don’t want to be bailed on, and treated badly as I see it. I realise she loves her new partner, but I also think she needs to make time for our relationship too. Ultimately if she takes months to make some time for me I can only interpret that as a lack of feeling for me, and end the relationship.
I don’t know that I automatically would assign seeing someone irregularly to the “lack of feeling” category, but bailing several times in a row does indicate that maybe she’s just not that into you. I mean, it sucks and it hurts, but it doesn’t look good to me.
You don’t have to make it all official and “end the relationship.” You can just stop initiating. Now, if what you’re saying is that there are things that are deal-breakers for you, you do need to express that. Bailing five times in a row in general would be for me —barring professions or activities that duty requires one to be “on call” frequently. You know, like being an on-call medical/rescue professional, on-call tech support, or new parent.
Words of wisdom and advice on how to deal with this would be great. I do worry that because things are new with us and we haven’t done much poly negotiating, she won’t be prepared to discuss boundaries and stuff. She added this primary without even telling me until after the fact, which I also felt was a bit bad of her. Im at a loss really – I do like her but I feel hurt by her. I don’t have a deep emotional attachment to her at this point (luckily perhaps) but the way she is behaving is making me unhappy.
I actually do have a relationship with someone who I see quite infrequently. He added a primary and did tell me about it after the fact. Did it bother me? No, actually, I thought it was cool that he fell in love. Why? We only see each other every few months and we’ve never explicitly negotiated anything about each others’ other relationships. Of course he’s free to add a primary if he wants to! And… well, he’d established a pattern not only of keeping me in the loop, but being quite willing to listen if I asked for something and to give a clear yes or no. What I didn’t have was the baggage of getting bailed on or felt like I was being lied to. That does make an enormous amount of difference. I knew damn well he was (and is) interested in me about as much as usual.
Do I challenge her on her behaviour and explain that bailing on me all the time makes me feel unwanted? Do I leave her to it and see if she comes to me? How long do I leave it before I finish the relationship?
Certainly it is okay to say, “I don’t like being bailed on.” Is that going to change her behavior? Dunno. You’re going to have to try that and see. I wince a bit at the use of the word challenge, though. Approaching a partner in an adversarial frame of mind has its drawbacks. (Enemies and Allies discusses this. It was written by a wise and wonderful friend of mine.)
I will say that since you don’t have a deep emotional attachment to this person, that in terms of a relaxed life, you might just want to let this go.
One of the things that I’m seeing a bit more in poly discussions is the importance of good partner selection. I don’t mean that any worthy human being would make a good partner. In fact, they wouldn’t and that’s exactly the point. You’re a unique human being with unique needs and desires. What’s good partner selection for you? It sounds to me like this person isn’t a good match for you. You might benefit from thinking about what qualities make a good partner for you and decide if this person has them.
I hope things work out for you!