I have to start this out by saying, my metamours (partners partners) DO NOT SUCK. This post is more of a general post. I’ll admit that I’ve had these conversations with my metas and with my partners and others and I’ll admit that from time to time I’ve seen some of this stuff. Sometimes, much to our consternation, our partners are gonna pick people that we wouldn’t pick.
Recently I met a guy online that worked for a while with one of my partners. I told my partner I’d met this guy online and he said only “Oh. That’s cool. Maybe meet him in person before you make any decisions”. It turns out this guy was maybe a little bit nutty. Afterwards I asked my partner why he didn’t warn me. He said that he didn’t want to meddle and he had no way of knowing how this guy conducted relationships, of course. He said he didn’t want to appear protective or to influence me into not dating someone if I liked them.
We try to not meddle in each others relationships. Beyond matters of safety, it’s honestly none of my business. I choose for myself how involved I am with the people my partner is dating. Some of them I have become absolutely loving with and some I see now and then. I haven’t always liked everyone that dated everyone I dated and I likely won’t. What matters in who my partner dates is who THEY want. Now, clearly if my partner has issues with partner selection and maturity, that’s gonna be an issue eventually. But it will be an issue between my love and I, not between me and who they date. Take for example dudes that seek out youngin’s all the time.
I am 39 years old, almost 40. I don’t date 20 year olds because they are simply too young for me. It’s a maturity thing.
I’m not saying that there isn’t the occasional hard-bodied young lovely that I might be tempted to want to play with, but no normal mature person wants to date someone in their early 20’s when they are in their 40’s. Or it’s pretty rare anyway. There is a certain kind of guy though that views dating young women as some kind of status symbol, like they “still have it” if they can bag nimble girls. This kind of guy and I would be a terrible match. I would never tolerate the endless drama of strings of young girls and I would have trouble respecting a man like that. This is MY problem though. I don’t get to tell anyone who they should date. If he and his young girl are happy, why would I stand in the way of that? I just don’t date guys like that. I choose for me. If a current partner began dating a young woman I would have nothing to say on the matter until or if it affected me. But if it happened a lot I’d likely walk away. I can choose what I am willing to have in my life but not what you should have in yours.
Let’s say that your partner is with a horrible person though. Let’s say they treat your partner badly. They lie. They aren’t kind. They are manipulative and lying. They are using them. There is very little you can do about this. I know. It sucks. It’s awful to watch someone mistreating someone you love. You can and probably should say your peace to your partner, but you only get to say it once. You can share what you have observed and they can do with it anything they like. They can do not a damn thing. Yep. They can choose that. I can tell my partner what I have observed or what I feel and I’m allowed to feel anything I feel. But I don’t get to harp and bring it up all the time. It is their choice. It is their relationship and they can conduct it any way they like. It is their choice and my job becomes to respect it. I don’t have to like it. I don’t have to hang out with my partner’s others. I don’t have to help them or cover for them or do anything with them at all. If my relationships are constructed that there will be group outings, then my job is to be civil and kind to to the people that show up because I’m an adult. I can’t whisper my feelings about things or advise my partner behind the scenes. They don’t need my constant observations, and if they do.. if they are such a lunkhead.. why am I dating them?!? I really shouldn’t date stupid people who I can’t trust to make decisions for themselves.
If the situation is so upsetting to me that it affects my relationship with my partner I might consider asking that we not talk about the person that is making me crazy. I might talk to uninvolved friends to vent. I might journal or work out or whatever. If that relationship affects mine adversely I would consider asking for what I want or need from MY relationship and if it continued or became very troublesome I might consider leaving my relationship. Otherwise.. I am there to support my partner and hopefully there to pick up the pieces if they are hurt.
Maybe that is a lesson my loved one needs to learn. They are there for a reason and I don’t have to get it.
I know. This can feel unfair. But.. but.. I’m just wanting to help!
The thing is.. and the thing I TRY to remember is that I can make choices for me. But I don’t get to make choices for others, maybe especially if I love them. I have to remember that no matter how much I think it, I don’t actually know best. I do not know the future or the contents of others hearts. I don’t know the things that relationship is giving to or teaching my partner. They might NEED to have this experience. It might make them grow in a way they need to grow. I might want to protect the people I love from all the dents and shocks and hurts of life, but I really can’t, and even if I could I wouldn’t be doing them any great service. We are tempered and shaped by life, and as much as I only want good things for those I love, this tempering is a good thing too.
I hope that my partners always date wonderful people who recognize and appreciate their worth and treat them with love and care. And I hope we all get along and have fun. But if my partner picks someone I wouldn’t pick, I try to remember to mind my own business and my own relationship. I don’t talk smack to a partner about another person they are dating. Period. I don’t advise my partners about what they should do with their other relationships. I can listen without opinion if I am able. I tell the truth and say my peace if I need to.. once. And I’m here to pick up the pieces if dating treats those I love poorly.
I focus on my relationship and I make decisions for myself. I take care of myself and I share those feelings somewhere else if needed, with a trusted friend or confidant. I take care of me because it’s the only part that is really mine. Practice practice practice. None of us is perfect at this.