Note from Zinnia: I apologize for missing posts the last few days; I got very sick and was sick for longer than my queue was full.
Hi, my fiancé and I are polyamorous. One of his partners suggested they go salsa dancing on their date and he agreed. I have been suggesting the same thing once in a while for a year and feel hurt that he said no to me, but not to her. He says that he misunderstood what kind of dancing I wanted to do and that he does all sorts of other stuff with me. He says that her actionable plan made it easier to accept than my general proposal. Is this justified? What do I do?
That certainly sounds frustrating! I think your question, though, of “is this justified” is perhaps not the right way to frame the situation. It’s not a question of who’s “right” or whether your feelings are “justified,” is a question of where to go from here?
Both of you have really understandable positions here. It’s incredibly annoying that your fiancé was willing to do something with his partner that you’ve been asking him to do for a while! But, he did a very good job explaining to you what the difference was - it sounds like she said “I know you’re free on Friday night, so I found a salsa dancing class nearby on that night, let’s go,” which was easier for him to sign onto than someone saying “hey, let’s go dancing together sometime.” It’s also possible that he is feeling some NRE with her, which makes it easier for his mind to jump into new experiences that might otherwise sound like too much energy or too new.
Hopefully understanding where he is coming from can help you feel a bit less hurt, since it wasn’t a malicious attempt to hurt you, or a conscious decision to make his other partner happy at your expense. But an explanation is not an excuse. He has to carry his share of the situation: the fact that he relies on his female partners to do all the legwork of offering an “actionable plan” is not cool, and is something you can ask him to work on. Since he recognizes that as a weakness of his in relationships, and he now has the knowledge that this has caused you pain, he should be willing to address that!
And now that you know this about him, you can meet him halfway - if there’s something you really want to do together, you may need to be more assertive about making concrete plans. Then, after you two have a good time together, you can point out the work you did to make the plans (syncing schedules, looking up local events, figuring out transportation and parking, identifying what to bring or wear, etc.) and ask him to start learning and using those skills as well. You can remind him that even thought your relationship is long-term and committed, it still needs to be tended, and not taken for granted - and he needs to do his part to keep things exciting and romantic.