My poly bf has another girl

… and she’s only 17! He’s unlikely to change, thinks our elder.

You deserve better than second place.

Dear EWC

I’m a university student. I have known my boyfriend since the start of this year but we only started seeing each other romantically in August. We have amazing chemistry; we get along with each other so well, share the same interest, respect each other, and I always feel at peace with him. I have steadily grown to resent him though, in the moments when my rational self is not overshadowed by admiration, as I am not his only significant other. He has another girlfriend, the one who he has been seeing longer than me, and worse even, who just turned 17 over summer! (He is 20 and a half years old). He selfishly did not let me know about her, or that he was polyamorous until we had gone too deep in the relationship. I felt betrayed when I found out, basically heartbroken. I was so upset that I ended things with him, but I was so upset and so overwhelmed by the loss I felt, that I got back with him again.

I am always upset these days and dissatisfied. I always feel like I am second best, and that he cares about her more than me. I find myself questioning at numerous times in the day what she has that I don’t, and why he keeps taking me for granted. Because of all this frustration, I usually lash at him in revenge and I don’t stop until he is agitated. Seeing him in the same dismay that I am constantly in gives me a sense of comfort, as bitter as that sounds. It doesn’t seem fair for him to be winning on both sides and me losing either way. It is a toxic situation for the both of us, but neither of us wants to leave each other, and he doesn’t want to leave the high school girl either, as appalling as that is. Sometimes I think I really can’t leave him, and sometimes I actually do, but something keeps drawing me back. I keep thinking that I would be making a mistake and am not sure when I will meet someone else I get along with that well. What should I do?

Linda replies

If your boyfriend subscribes to polyamory as a lifestyle, then you are likely fighting an uphill battle. It is my understanding from researching this topic on the internet that someone who practices polyamory can have as many partners as they want. If you don’t personally embrace this lifestyle then you’re going to continue to feel hurt, betrayed and certainly marginalized.

Since your boyfriend knows how much his relationship with this other girl hurts you and yet continue to see her despite your objections, then it doesn’t appear he’s willing to let this lifestyle — or her — go. Is this really what you want going forward? Holding onto the hope he will change is only going to frustrate you. The truth is he could meet someone else who tickles his fancy and before you know it you’re sharing time with two other women — or more. You might ask yourself if he’s hiding behind the label of polyamory as an excuse for poor behavior.

Lashing out in revenge or arguing over this situation is adding a level of toxicity to your relationship. There are enough things to disagree about in life but when you have a fundamental difference on such an important issue, you’re destined for failure.

One thing I’ve learned during my very long life is the importance of having a healthy and balanced relationship with someone. When it’s tainted from the start how can you hope to build anything meaningful and lasting? As much as you may feel this man is perfect in every other way, one crucial component is missing… fidelity! Each of us needs to feel loved and valued in any romantic relationship. How is that possible when your significant other is also sharing intimate moments with someone else? I can’t personally imagine anything more hurtful or demoralizing than that.

Perhaps it’s time to objectively view what you have with this man through a different lens. The fact he’s also dating a “child” does not speak highly of his character or his judgment. This should represent a huge red flag to you. Not only is he unwilling to end his connection with this girl but being attracted to a juvenile makes the situation that much more abhorrent.

Throughout our lives we meet and sometimes fall in love with people. The truth is not every situation is meant to last. What I do know for sure is that we are each capable of falling in love multiple times throughout our lives. When someone is ultimately the wrong fit there will be someone else who is. Sometimes there’s no way to avoid getting hurt. Falling down and getting back up is part of life — an important part. It is only through some of our darkest hours that we grow and evolve as human beings. Sometimes you have to let your logical side prevail to see when a battle has already been lost.

I think it’s time to ask yourself if this is the kind of life you want for yourself. If you know on a gut level that it is not, then you must summon all your courage and sever the tie between you. The truth is, the next person he falls for might be even younger than this girl. You appear to have a sensible head on your shoulders so please love and value yourself far too much to “settle” for such mediocrity.

You deserve better than second place. If he’s unwilling to put you first then find someone else who will.

Letter #: 430684
Category: Dating/Relationship

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