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-   -   People I meet back off when they know I am in a relationship...? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13475)

yul 08-15-2011 03:53 PM

People I meet back off when they know I am in a relationship...?

just slowly adding some flexibility and permissiveness in our couple.

Nothing major but we have had some experiences here and there and I am trying to explore the possibilities.

So I am an adult man and want to meet people in everyday situations outside the regular circle.

It's easy to actually "meet" people but when it comes to developing a friendly relationship (keeping contact?), people back off once they know I am in another one already....and this is by just trying to make opposite sex friends at that point...nothing more.

I am surely a bit flirtatious and like to compliment the women I like but they get uncomfortable once I tell them I am in a relationship.

One girl emailed me and everything changed when I told her I had a GF and that it was OK for us to be friends...

It's no big deal but is there a wat to approach it sensibly without scaring people off?

I will not just go out there and tell people "just like that" that I am in a flexible relationship...that won't happen.

I want to make friends first.

Maybe it's just the nature of the beast?

zylya 08-16-2011 09:27 AM

Why are you telling them you're in a relationship? I generally don't tell people I'm in a relationship until I want to form a new relationship with them, same way that I wouldn't tell people I was single if that were true. The fact is, I'm free to form relationships and so I go and do that.

Some people think that it's a dishonest policy, but if I ever get asked straight up, I'll give an honest answer, I just don't believe that my OTHER relationships are anyone else's business when I first meet them. Honesty is not the same as verbal diarrhea, you don't tell everyone everything about you when you first meet them, and for me, the status of my other relationships (even if that's a complete lack of relationships ;) ) is something that only concerns me until I'm ready to form a new relationship with the person.

That said, I won't ever give someone false hope for monogamy, I let it be known that I'm not interested in monogamous relationships, but the actual details remain with me until I choose to tell a person.

EDIT (for clarification): When I say I generally don't tell people, what I mean is that people tend to have a lot of loaded expectations about relationships and what they mean, and explaining to them about open relationships etc doesn't mean anything to them. Indeed, I don't view myself in the facebook-style relationship status of single, in a relationship, in an open relationship, but I see myself as either "Free to Pursue Romantic Interests" and "Not Free to Pursue Romantic Interests" (sort of a moot point since I always remain free because of the polyamorous lifestyle I lead, but I include Not Free for completion's sake) - the other relationships don't actually come into it at this stage.

nycindie 08-16-2011 09:44 AM


Originally Posted by zylya (Post 97494)
I don't view myself in the facebook-style relationship . . .

Huh??? Facebook-style relationship??? What is that?

zylya 08-16-2011 10:18 AM


Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 97496)
Huh??? What ever do you mean by this?

Haha sorry, that's what happens when I think and type at the same time. It should be facebook style relationship STATUS. I'll explain what I mean by it below.

Basically on Facebook, you select your relationship status as Single, In A Relationship, In An Open Relationship, Engaged, Married etc etc. However, to me, those are limiting terms, because they don't encompass the broad variety of relationships that you can form. You can't even select more than one!

However, my "relationship status" is a personal thing (i.e. I'm a sexual unit of one person) and therefore I don't see myself as "Single" or "In a Relationship" or even in open/multiple relationships, I see myself as free to pursue others, regardless of other relationships.

To try and explain by a comparison, if a single guy is talking to a girl he's interested in, he wouldn't have to tell her he's available, the fact that he's talking to a girl he's interested in and trying to form something implies it.

Same sort of thing for me, although I'm not "single" in the traditional sense. It's like, when I meet someone for the first time, I prefer it to be about me and them rather than me and all the other people I'm involved with.

Reading that back, it doesn't make a lot of sense logically, it's really just an internal process that I'm struggling to explain. I guess it boils down to the fact that I know deep down that I'm available, and people can pick up on that, so I never bring it up as a topic of discussion when I first meet someone, and it's only when I get to know someone better that a) I tell them I have multiple relationships and b) they get to meet their metamours.

yul 08-16-2011 01:55 PM

Thanks a lot for your feedback!

nycindie 08-16-2011 07:19 PM


Originally Posted by zylya (Post 97498)
Basically on Facebook, you select your relationship status as Single, In A Relationship, In An Open Relationship, Engaged, Married etc etc. However, to me, those are limiting terms, because they don't encompass the broad variety of relationships that you can form. You can't even select more than one!

Yeah, I'm familiar with those designations but it just never occurred to me that making a selection on FB would matter much to anyone in the real world. FB is so unimportant to me that I couldn't see applying anything about it to a relationship.

zylya 08-17-2011 11:01 AM

You're getting tied up on the whole facebook thing, it was really only meant as an example of how people define their relationship status, i.e. restrictively.

Just ignore the word "facebook" wherever it appears in my post, and just think about relationship status.

It's not about applying anything about facebook to a relationship, it's about how you define your relationship status, in the case I'm trying to explain it's that most people base their relationship status off of OTHER PEOPLE, whereas what I'm trying to say is that my relationship status is based off of MYSELF ALONE.

Teiksma 08-17-2011 07:00 PM

It is hard with people I already know. They think that I am engaged and already almoust dead to them. I want to date two of my frieds, but they are confused and don't believe me when I say that I am in an open realationship and I can do what I want. Maybe one of them not poly, ok, but second is poly, I just cant understand why he is so confused. Maybe of my close wedding? It is strange... I can't get used to this, I was poly all of my life, it is hard to think different.

sagency 08-18-2011 07:12 AM

I believe a lot of the disconnect is from expectations. Poly folks are likely not a majority. If they are, they're a very quiet major. (Not to imply that monks are torch-wielding villagers, but...) As such, most people you met will be mono and have mono programming to overcome. Many will have no desire to change their ways or their thinking. So a lot of your potential people just won't pan out.

To improve the math, try looking at your selection process. Random will be the lowest for success. Online sites and meetup groups will help because you'll be interacting with poly-friendly folk. For people you already know it may help to not be so shrouded in mystery.

If someone is developing an interest and you suddenly spring an existing relationship on them, it seems deceitful and easy throws people for a loop. The natural response according to mono programming is to back away. Instead, consider being open about having one or more relationships. Your target is less likely to flee because they know about stuff from the start. Build a normal, friendly relationship.

In the meantime, as a self-identifying poly, provide insight and perspective in discussions with that friend. Doing so will help them realize 1) you're interesting and concerned about their situations and 2) that poly thinking is reasonable and healthy. Once you have a friend who also understands how poly works and that it is a good thing and not whatever their programming said, then you can introduce the idea of them exploring with you. They'll feel more like they know what they're getting into rather than something that surprises them.

yul 08-18-2011 10:16 PM

Wow thanks a lot!!! I will ponder on this.

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