Dear Papa Bear,
I'm a polyamorous fur with a bit of a problem. You see, about a year ago, I met a wonderful, wonderful friend, whom I will be referring to as Eri, at a con. We talked online most days and developed a very close relationship. Eri was in a relationship with someone else, who will be called Scorpion.
Now, about a month or two ago, both Eri and Scorpion came up to visit, along with several of our other friends for a birthday party. Scorpion and I spent some time together, and the next day, told me she was also polyamorous and found me attractive. I reciprocated the feelings.
With Eri's permission, we began a friends with benefits type of relationship. I became extremely close to Scorpion, and have remained so to this day.
The next month, the both of us took a road trip to see Eri, as she lives far away from the both of us, and I began a similar relationship with her.
However, soon after this happened, Scorpion and Eri broke up. Scorpion is somewhat indifferent to the situation, although is not fond of some of the recent choices Eri has made, but Eri was really hurt by this. And I'm caught in the middle.
My feelings for both of them are different, though. With Eri, she is my best friend that I happen to have sex with, but it's a more friendly type of relationship. I act as a sound board for her to vent out ideas and we tell each other everything. Scorpion is different. It started out as just a fling, but has become more emotionally charged, and I've found myself falling hard and fast.
We've both discussed becoming more exclusive with each other, and are both quite open to the idea. The problem here is Eri. She's still very hurt by what Scorpion did, and has told me that she views me as her replacement.
I don't want to hurt my friend, but I very much want to be with Scorpion. Is there a balance between this, or should I just follow my heart?
* * *
While there is nothing inherently wrong with polyamorous relationships, the problem with them is that they become complicated. Most people have a hard enough time maintaining a stable relationship with even one person, let alone two or more. Yours is the perfect example. Although you like both Eri and Scorpion, you now have a break-up between the two of them. Therefore, you no longer have a working polyamorous relationship. What you have is your relationship with Scorpion, and then you and your friend-with-benefits, Eri. This is no longer a true polyamorous trio.
Now, according to your letter, you are in love with Scorpion, but you see Eri as more of a friend that you have sex with. Eri, however, wants you as a replacement for Scorpion. If you don’t feel for Eri the same way she feels about you, you need to tell her this. You need to tell her you see her as a friend.
Frankly, what is likely to happen here is that Eri, already upset about Scorpion, will see you as taking Scorpion’s side and she will be upset, which could, in turn, mean the end of your sexual relationship, at the least, and possibly your friendship, as well.
BUT, if you take Eri’s side, then Scorpion will be mad and that would cause a rift between you and Scorpion.
At this point, it’s a mess, let’s face it. You can try and salvage it by telling Eri you still want to maintain your relationship because you feel it is separate from what you and Scorpion have, but chances are this will not convince her.
Based on what you have said in your letter, unless you can get Eri and Scorpion to make up and be friends again, this trio is done and you’ll have to choose between Eri or Scorpion. Since your heart is with Scorpion, that is the way to go. You can tell Eri how you feel and that you don’t want it to end, but brace yourself that in all probability you will end up losing Eri.
Not every story has a happy ending; not every relationship works out. I hope it does for you, but if it does not, then you will need to be strong and go on with your life with Scorpion only.
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