So, I've been with boyfriend #1 for a while now. He's not had another girlfriend during this time. He dated someone for a bit when we were very first getting together, and I have to say I behaved like a crazy loon during that time. I try not to be too hard on myself. We were still trying to figure out what was going on with us, and I was trying to find my 'poly' feet. But I sucked at it.
When I got together with boyfriend #2 - when we started 'romancing', that is - he was getting together with girlfriend #2 at roughly the same time. So it was a 'package deal'. And though it was hard, because we were all kind of on a learning curve, I didn't get crazy loony.
Now let's be clear: I do get jealous. I get jealous of all sorts of things monogamous people will recognise, like whether my partner 'cares more' about another partner than about me, or whether the other partner is 'better at' certain things than I am. This kind of stuff doesn't bother me terribly though. I know it for what it is, and I can work through it (thanks to the awesome work and writing of a bunch of generous poly people who've provided tools for this kind of thing). I also know the difference between what I think of as 'trigger jealousy' (the stuff above) and 'problem jealousy' - where I'm getting a feeling of jealousy or insecurity because there's an actual thing going on that is problematic. A great example of this happened just the other day. Boyfriend #2 took a call from an overseas girlfriend right at bedtime, and I was asleep by the time he was done. It really bothered me. I felt he'd not respected our fairly limited time with each other. The solution in this case was super-simple. I told him how I felt and asked him not to schedule calls with other girlfriends during times like that. He said of course he was happy to do that. I could have stewed for days, but I took action, understood why it was bothering me, expressed my issue, and - what do you know? - we solved it. (Totes not blowing my trumpet - I surprised myself that I handled it that well at all.)
So. Boyfriend #1 might have a new girlfriend. Or be getting a new girlfriend. Or maybe they'll flirt a bit and just be really good friends. Neither #1 or I is completely sure how it's going to work out - mainly because it's very new and I don't think anyone is sure, including PNG (Potential New Girlfriend - which makes me happy because it references an obscure Dolly Parton song). Which is the way it should be. She only recently discovered that he's a guy she could like. She's already in a really great relationship with an awesome guy and, although they're extremely open and have been attending poly get-togethers for some time, they haven't identified as poly. Yet. Might not.
That's kind of beside the point though. Because that is in the future. Right now, boyfriend #1 has a silly grin and is being f*&ing adorably peppy. He's thrilled that putting himself out there a little bit and communicating with this gorgeous woman has actually resulted in her liking him. (I do keep telling him that is probably how it's generally going to work out, but he's wary.) He answers her texts (which, believe me, is quite something - he usually only answers texts from me or his boss, or in emergencies). He smiles when I mention her. He smiles a lot when she's around.
He's also been incredibly loving and caring towards me. He usually is, but lately he's been even more so. And I don't think it's a compensation thing. I feel like his happiness at this unexpected and lovely development is overflowing and I'm getting a benefit from it. And that is absolutely fan-bloody-tastic. Not just because I get the extra loving, but because I can feel how good he's feeling. It's tangible. And it's so wonderful to feel this coming from someone I love so much. It makes me happy. And that, kids is what the poly folks call compersion. I'm getting a high off his high. It's awesome.
I'm still totally worried that if this relationship goes somewhere further - which I'd welcome - I will find myself less kiff than I want to be. Basically I worry about turning into a loon because of my own insecurities (and, trust me, I am insecurity central). I might not be so great about the jealousy. I might interfere too much, because I'm used to boyfriend #1 relying on me in social situations. I might do what I did this weekend and just be dof - I sat around chatting to them both until *I* was tired and ready to go to bed, totally failing to realise they might want a little alone time to get to know each other. I might just worry too f*&ing much about whether she's ok and is handling things alright and whether her boyfriend (who I'm good friends with and care a great deal about) is cool and understands how much this whole thing is not just ok but awesome. I might feel the need to emote at them about that and make us all feel super-awkward.
Or, if I'm really lucky, now that I've shared it all with you - my sweet, hopefully not too confused by nicknames, readers - I'll have a bit of a handle on all those concerns, and I'll recognise them and deal with them in a mature and loving and respectful way when and if they arise. I guess I'll keep you posted. Wish us luck - PNG is really something special (as is her partner), and we want her in our lives for a long time, regardless of whether a romance pans out.