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Insight Needed: Figuring Out How to Interact with The Ultimate Aro


omitef
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I'm currently trying to figure out how to deal with my now ex-queerplatonic friend, who cheated on me by having a drunken, queerplatonic hookup with one of their friends without intending to tell me--largely because they had no idea that what they did actually counts as cheating. After talking to them extensively about this, I discovered something terrible--that the concept of cheating doesn't actually exist in their mind.

 

Actually, the concept of serious relationships--romantic, queerplatonic, or otherwise--doesn't actually exist in their mind, either--because they're willing to be emotionally and physically intimate with just about anyone who's nice to them. They're essentially willing to do anything from buying dinner to having sex with all of their friends, because they think that it's "nice" to "make people happy," even though they personally think of everyone as only a normative friend. In fact, after finding out that the friend that they queerplatonically hooked up with actually has queerplatonic feelings towards them, they decided that the "nicest" thing to do was to offer to keep engaging in acts of intimacy with the poor friend, even though they have absolutely no queerplatonic feelings towards the friend at all. 

 

And, to make matters worse, they told me they were hoping we could still be friends, even after all the shit that's happened between us. I asked them to define what they meant by "friends," in terms of how close they wanted to be emotionally and physically, but they couldn't give me a clear definition because they had no idea what they even wanted. So I told them that we should just stay on talking terms now (for practical purposes, since we're unfortunately roommates), and work things out later. But I feel like things are not going to "work out" later. I feel like my ex-qpf is just going to fuck over everyone they interact with, because of how...unconventional...their way of conducting relationships is...and I feel like I should actually keep myself away from them as much as possible, before I get fucked over a second time...

 

I don't know what to think my ex-qpf's concepts of "friendship." I don't know what's the best course of action to take with my ex-qpf. Does anyone have any insight?  

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How do you cheat on a QPR? What exactly did he do?

 

Also, had you and him ever outlined what the rules of your relationship were, or did you just assume he had similar expectations to you?

 

One of the challenges with a QPR is that there aren't societally mandated rules for how they work. Which means that you need to negotiate everything, or else find that you both thought the rules were different.  

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Just a sidenote, my ex-qpf uses they/them pronouns.

 

You cheat on a QPR the same way you cheat in any other open relationship--by starting engaging in serious acts of intimacy in secret. It wouldn't have been cheating if they were just hooking up with a total stranger, but it was cheating because they were hooking up with a friend, who had QP feelings for them. Even if they didn't reciprocate their friend's QP feelings, the hookup was serious in nature, because the friend thought it was serious.

 

Yeah, we outlined expectations, and they kept saying that they were okay with everything, but evidently, they were saying "okay" just for appearances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm confused. What exactly did they do and did they break explicitly stated and agreed upon terms?

 

As far as I understood it, exclusivity isn't necessarily a thing in QPRs? Is it? You identify as poly-platonic. I guess it's bad, that they didn't tell you anything about their hook up, but how is their situation different from a poly-platonic QPR situation? Maybe I'm also an ultimate Aro, but I personally see no glaring problem @__@ (I mean no disrespect here. This seems important to you and I'm trying to understand the problem.)
I mean, if exclusivity is a thing, what differentiates a QPR from an open relationship/marriage? I always thought the whole point of a QPR was friendship with more commitment towards each other than normal. I mean, I guess you can negotiate the terms of every relationship, but as an aromantic, monopolisation of someones feelings, platonic or not, seems a bit.... off?

 

That aside. Seems the core problem is their lack of transparency and their disregard for outlined and agreed upon expectations. I'd say you'd have to get them to understand that their way of doing things can be potentially hurtful and that they should be more mindful of other people's feelings, even if they themself don't understand them. Otherwise their intention of "making people happy" will probably backfire. One should be transparent, specially if they have an unconventional way of playing the relationship game. 

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Heck. Now I'm confused--is it not common sense to expect all people in an open relationship to disclose who's having serious relations with whom? I did a lot of research on polyamory before going into a second qpf (since I actually have another qpf, in England), and I was told that being transparent to your partners about what serious relations you're having is an expected norm, a basic rule. 

 

Exclusivity isn't my issue. My issue is that my ex-qpf was starting a new connection without telling me anything, which broke that rule of being transparent. Had they only told me about wanting to try qp things out with their friend, I would've been fine.

 

During the talk, I did explain how they'd probably end up hurting people, with their way of "being nice." And they did take the explanation seriously, but personally, I doubt they'll be able to follow through and try to be better at communicating with others. I just don't trust them at all, anymore.

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Ok now I get it! Then I'm with you. I think transparency is really really important, too. It's the base for trust.

I guess I wouldn't call what they did "cheating", but I'd probably be hurt that they didn't tell me about this, since it's probably not a one time thing.

 

A friend of mine was deeply deeply deeeeeply hurt once, because her poly boyfriend let her to believe that they were in a monogamous relationship. When she found out that he'd slept and had relationships with other women the whole time, he gaslighted her. Said she'd restrain him to much and that it's her fault and all that shit. But it was his. He was the one arbitrarily promising shit, agreeing to the terms of their relationship even though he never really intended to keep them.

I guess what your ex did isn't as strong a violation of trust, but I still get your point and why you'd get trust issues. I can personally relate to their sentiment towards relationships/people but I absolutely get where you're coming from, too. I'd say, if you want to save this relationship in any way, try to continue to emphasize the importance of communication. If they really care for their friends, they should get it. If not, well... this might sound cruel but maybe you dodged a bullet there? 
Some people never change and I personally would hate any kind of relationship, platonic, friendship, family etc. in which the other person won't tell me important stuff like this.

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Oh my god, I'm so sorry. What your friend's poly boyfriend did was not okay at all. I almost wish that my ex-qpf did have more...malicious intent...behind their actions. But no, they just acted out of what they perceived to be goodwill. I can't really hate them, but I can't really forgive them, either. It's like trying to condemn a child who accidentally murdered someone while they were playing with a gun.

 

I've thought about the situation some more, and I've decided that I'm not going to engage in any acts I consider to be intimate with them, until they're able to give me a clear definition of what type of friendship they want to have with me. It's the best way to protect myself, and the best way to keep them responsible for communicating. Thanks for the support/feedback.

 

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