I recently became friends with benefits to a friend who has an ace partner that rarely experiences/wants that. Both of them agreed to it, but the ace partner has been more into that sort of thing lately and I’m no longer sure whether I fit in the dynamic. Recently I’ve now kissed both of them, and the ace one has made some comments about threesomes I’m unsure if are serious. As the third party I’m not sure if I should press a discussion about the dynamic shifts?
Yes, you as a third person absolutely have the right to “press a discussion.”
Hey, quick aside to everyone but the letter-writer: We all, collectively, as a polyamorous community, need to do a much better job to squash this weird cultural notion that’s out there about “thirds” having less agency, less security, and less of a right to assert their needs. Let’s just end that. Okay?
Back to you, letter-writer: of course you can bring this up. They already kissed you. You have every right to talk about that. To know where you stand. To get some clarity on the shifting-but-unspoken terms of the relationship.
Say something like “Hey, can we talk about something? We’ve kissed a few times, and I just want to know where we stand on that and how you’re feeling about things.” or “Can I ask you about something? You’ve made some comments about threesomes, but I’m not sure if you’re serious. Here’s how I’d feel about a threesome - what page are you on?”
If they act like you are somehow out of line asking for clarity on this, to know what you can expect and what is expected of you - then they’re not healthy to be in this arrangement with. But give them the chance, first, to have this discussion in an open and intentional way!
Now again to everyone, though I’m mostly speaking to my past self here: if you feel, in a relationship situation, like you have to just sort of go along with your partner; if you feel like something fragile will get unbalanced if you set any boundary, ask for something, make the unspoken spoken - that’s such an insecure place to be, and it’s awful, and don’t let yourself linger there. There’s a big difference between someone who is mature and independent and someone who just never ever causes a fuss. Be more willing ask for things! Any relationship that’s threatened by you articulating your needs and asking for clarity from them is not worth preserving with all the emotional labor you’re doing on their behalf.
Also,never ever keep someone in this emotional zone. Especially couples who date thirds, and men who date women, but also, everyone: take heed.