Episode 93: Meeting Metamours

Sometimes people are jerks and sometimes experiences help us learn when we can also step away.

A metamour not wanting to meet you is not always a sign of insecurity or jealousy but demanding to meet and be friends with a metamour might actually be about insecurity.

That’s what’s on this week’s episode of Non-Monogamy Help.

Discussion Topic:

How would you feel if a metamour did not want to meet you?

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Thank you to Chris Albery-Jones at albery-jones.com for the theme music and a big thanks for the podcast art to Dom Duong at domduong.com.

Podcast transcript

I find myself very confused in this “relationship”. I have been hanging out with my friend J for over three years. We are not in a relationship, but are friends with benefits.

We have both established that we have strong feelings for each other, and we are open to a non-monogamous relationship. I have known for years that he has another relationship with someone else, which I am fine with and I am willing to be in a relationship with her as well.

Unfortunately the other woman is 10 years younger than we are and has jealousy issues and is not willing to meet with me yet.

I know in my heart I have very strong feelings for this man, I do not know if I love him but it is very strong. He does not garner the same strong feelings as I do but cares very deeply for me. He has also expressed it is my decision to leave the situation we are in.

I find I am extremely happy with him and only look forward to the time with him, but my feelings of not being able to be with him fully without her yet hurts me.

Is it wrong of me for wanting to leave an amazing friendship because of my strong feelings? I’ve tried to leave my feelings at the door but it is hard.


The first thing that I would ask is what's behind this request? Why do you need to meet her in order to be with him? Where is this request coming from? Is this only coming from you? Or is this also something that he's said is a sign that you're together because she doesn't necessarily have to want to meet you. And just because she doesn't want to meet you doesn't mean she has jealousy issues. I'm not sure if that's something that you've picked up because of some other things that have happened.

Or if you're assuming that she doesn't want to meet you because she has jealousy issues, or if she's said she doesn't want to meet you because she's jealous. Either way, she doesn't have to meet you necessarily if he doesn't want to. And he also doesn't have to have you meet her to care about you or to be in a relationship with you. So I think that there is more to this than meets the eye and there is something that you want or something that you're afraid of which you're not really tackling and you're kind of using this obstacle of meeting this person, instead of maybe facing what the real problem is.

Is the real problem that you haven't defined your relationship and you are friends, but you haven't really established that you're a couple? Whereas it seems like he's actually established that with this other person. And the thing that kind of confuses me a little bit is that and it may be like just your wording in terms of like how you've said this, but you said that, you know, “we have strong feelings for each other and we're open to a non monogamous relationship. I've known for years that he has another relationship with someone else”. Is the other woman interested in a non monogamous relationship are they non monogamous?

Because if she's monogamous, then I absolutely understand why she doesn't want to meet you. And I won't blame her for that. But it's not really clear what's going on right here whether or not they are already in a non-monogamous relationship, how long that relationship has lasted, what that relationship has been like there are all sorts of different complications as to why she may or may not want to meet you. But what is it that you want? And why is it that you feel that meeting her is an essential part of your relationship with him?

Because it isn't really. Now you may want a kitchen table style of polyamory. If you're unfamiliar with that means kitchen table polyamory basically is a setup where all of the metamours meet — everyone meets everyone's partners and everyone sort of gathers around the kitchen table as it were as a big family. And that's not a bad thing to want. I'm not saying that you're wrong to want to meet her or you're even necessarily wrong to feel like your relationship isn't established until you have.

That's absolutely fine to want and need as a person. What I'm saying is that may not be what they want, that may not be what she wants, that may not be what he wants. And it doesn't seem like he has given you an understanding of why she wants or doesn't want to meet up it doesn't really seem like he's taken a side here which is it's okay. Like, you know, our his thoughts that he doesn't have any strong opinions either way, and she doesn't really want to meet you and you do really want to meet her. So the only people who have strong opinions about it, are you both so it's sort of like “Well, I don't care either way, so I'm not going to get involved”. Which is fine.

Or does he have a an opinion? Either way, the thing that kind of concerns me about this is that you're not saying what his opinion is about this, or how he feels about this? You've just said that he has said that you can walk away at any time, which is a kind of crappy thing to say like I'm sorry, but I hope he didn't say it in that way. But to be like, “Well, you can walk away at any time. It's your decision to leave”. I mean, yes, it is your decision to leave and yes, you should leave if you really want to kitchen table style of polyamory or non-monogamy and they do not.

But to be like lackadaisical about it is kind of a jerk move. And I hope that maybe this is just me interpreting you wrong in terms of how he's gone about this. So I think that, in general, you probably shouldn't base your relationship with him on a relationship with her and I don't necessarily think that polyamory or non-monogamy inherently means that you have a friendship with your metamour or that you even meet them. If that's what you want. That's fine.

But hopefully you aren't deciding that this relationship is not full until you meet somebody else, or they become friends with you, which isn't something that you can control. You could meet her and you have absolutely nothing but the fact that you're dating the same person in common and therefore a friendship really wouldn't work very well. And as I've said before, in, you know, the discussion question we just had, you shouldn't really force yourself to try and be friends with someone that you don't really have anything in common with.

Now, maybe you're the kind of person that can be friends with anyone and it doesn't really bother you and that's fine, but maybe she's not. So there's all kinds of different things going on here. I kind of wonder if the reason why you care so much about this is because you don't really have an established relationship with him. You clearly have a lot of feelings about him. And for whatever reason, he doesn't have the same feelings for you.

So maybe you're kind of pushing for this as some type of way of securing yourself or making yourself feel a little more anchored. Because if you met her, then maybe you would be a little bit more of an established relationship in his life. And I don't know is that pushing so hard to meet with her isn't necessarily going to solve this. I am a little bit worried by the fact that you say you feel strongly and he doesn't. And I don't know why it is that you feel he doesn't feel as strongly for you.

If you outright said that or if this is just something that you're gathering from your own personal observance. I think that sometimes it's easy for people to assume that their feelings are stronger than their partners, especially when their partner is not as expressive as they are, which isn't necessarily the case. If you're assuming that he doesn't feel as strongly about you either because you haven't met this other partner he has or because he isn't as expressive, then I don't think that you should.

However, if you feel he doesn't love you as much as you love him, because he doesn't do things for you or doesn't give you time or doesn't meet your needs, then that is a bigger issue than meeting this other person is not going to solve. So I think that you need to think about this a little bit more and ask yourself why it is you want to meet her What will change about your relationship if you do and why do you feel comfortable with the fact that you know you feel stronger than he does? How does that make you feel?

Where do you feel this relationship is going? Where do you want it to go? Does he share that vision with you? Because even if you're just friends with benefits, and that's fine if you both share the same vision of what you want the relationship to eventually be, then that's okay. It doesn't have to be established. It doesn't have to follow all of the rules. But if you think that this will turn into something that is a different type of relationship that involves more time commitment from him, more emotional commitment from him, or something else.

And he doesn't share that vision then maybe this anxiety about meeting this metamour is not really about meeting the metamour. It's about the fact that maybe you're feeling like you don't share the same vision for how you want this relationship to go about eventually. So yeah, to recap, I think that this is about more than just meeting your metamour. And in general, I think if you're going to go down the route of polyamory, understanding what style you want is really important and making sure that if you want the style of polyamory where you definitely meet metaphors, and you definitely have a friendship.

That's something that you have to make clear from the beginning and share both of you because for a lot of reasons and not necessarily jealousy issues, people don't always want to meet their metamours. And that's perfectly valid. They don't have to, it doesn't have to define your relationship. And I would personally be quite annoyed if someone demanded to be friends with me, and stated that they couldn't have a full relationship with my partner until they were friends with me.

I would find that really awkward for me personally, but how you want to do it is fine, but you need to understand it and you need to know enough about it to ask for it. I think that maybe this anxiety about meeting this metamour has more to do with the instability of your current relationship. And the fact that you know, you feel more for your partner than he does for you. And maybe you want more from him than he wants to give you. And so maybe you need to have a discussion about where you all think this relationship will eventually evolve into or not evolve into.

And if you don't share a vision of that or if you want more than he is willing to give than it's at this point that you may need to make the decision to find a relationship that will give you what you want, instead of just staying in this because you're getting a little bit of what you want. And that satisfaction is only going to last you so long. Last but not least, I think that you should in the future consider avoiding trying to define your relationship with someone by things that involve third parties. I mean, I understand if you want to meet your metamours.

I understand if you want to be friends with them, I understand if that brings you closer to your partner in some ways, and I'm not trying to criticise that. But just understand that there's only so much that you can control when it comes to that and you may have a fantastic wonderful relationship with someone who is dating someone who doesn't want to meet you and that is also possible and there doesn't have to exist only this one future where you have a wonderful partner and then also a metamour who you get along with fantastically.

Like I think that you can have a good partner and a good bond with them without it having anything to do with anyone else that they date. And that might be something you want to open yourself up to as an option. Just so what I'm trying to avoid here for you is you don't break up good relationships that you have with people because they're dating people who just don't necessarily want to have a friendship with you for whatever reason, when that relationship that you have with that person might be really good and really beneficial for you.

In the same ways that monogamous people can kind of get suckered in by Disney films and not necessarily Disney but all all media and the idea that like their partner is always going to be there for them in terms of being perfect and they're always going to have a passionate relationship and there's never going to be an absent downs. That's really unrealistic and if a monogamous person goes into a relationship and believes it because it's not got that constant passion, then they have been suckered into a false ideal and my worry is that maybe at some point, you have been sort of not led into a completely false ideal but you've led into a belief that there will be this kind of idealistic scenario where you always get along with your metamours.

And maybe that will happen and that can happen. But don't throw away something good that you have, just because that doesn't happen. And in this case, this isn't about meeting the metamour. I feel this is about something that's a little bit more, and there are things within your own relationship that you might want to pay attention to like the fact that he doesn't seem to have the same kind of feelings that you have, and you both haven't really sat down to talk about your relationship where you want it to go. If you want it to go anywhere. And that is probably what's bringing you more anxiety than necessarily the metamour. So yeah, I hope that helps and good luck.

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