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-   -   Where to start? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21683)

twojays 02-21-2012 05:40 AM

Where to start?
We are a husband (34 ) and wife (31) in Texas (DFW area) and have been discussing the poly lifestyle for several months and have explored a bit and are looking to expand further. This is something we are both very interested in -- turns out we both have been for some time, we were just hesitant to admit it to one another until about seven months ago, and were both surprised and ecstatic when it came up and we were open about it -- and are starting to take active steps to find like-minded people. We are just kinda unsure exactly where/how to start.

My wife found this forum and suggested it to me a few days ago, and here we are! Joined today and so far the things we have read in the different threads have answered some questions that we had so this looks like it was a good place to turn to help in our learning. We are just not sure how or where to find people who are into poly. My wife wants to find a girl for us so she can continue to explore her newly admitted bi side with, but also wants the girl to be with me and both of us at the same time. She's a bit shy at first, and neither one of us is really sure how to approach someone with those things in mind. The experiences we have had with chatting and meeting in person was with a friend from college (well within our comfort zone) - but she lives several states away. What has been most successful for other members in meeting people? Internet, lifestyle clubs, chance meetings at bars where you run across someone who is into poly? :confused:

Any helpful advice would be appreciated!

NovemberRain 02-21-2012 05:46 AM

The old timers around here (of which I am not yet one) highly recommend each individual having their own screen name/account. It can be confusing to reply and not know to which person we are speaking.

You might want to do a tag search for 'unicorns' and read up those threads.

I recently went to my first 'real life' meeting of polyfolks in my town, and it was lovely. I wouldn't go there looking for 'a girl to join us,' though.

Folks around here also highly recommend okcupid for a site to meet people into poly. It's free, and easy to make your preferences known.

twojays 02-21-2012 06:28 AM

Let me start off by apologizing for the confusion. :o I am the husband half, the wife half pointed this out to me and I registered before she did. She is doing so tonight. Second apology - if I say something that sounds uninformed, it probably is. Like I said, we are new to this, and I am still unsure about how to phrase some things. More likely, I will say things that are misconstrued due to me not choosing the best wording. I know how internet forums can get testy at times when people take things the wrong way because of misinterpreting or misstating facts. I will be the first to raise my hand and say I have been guilty of it in the past and that it will probably happen on more occasions, but thank goodness so far it was just in a debate on a college football forum. :D That being said...

When I was talking about what we were looking for in my first post, I can see where one would think that 1) our focus was hooking up with a girl for "exploring," and 2) we only want a girl. That just isn't the case. My wife is not opposed to another guy (in a mf/mf type setting), she is just focusing (at the moment) on her recent discovery that she very much enjoys her bi side. She is quite intrigued and excited by it. Either one of us (I like to think at least) could go find a person in a bar or club to have a one-night-romp with, and we know of plenty of places to go find that, but that's not what we are after. Both of us like a bit of consistency, we want to find a girl/couple who like the same things we do so we can all hang out, enjoy having fun and getting to know each other with the beforehand knowledge of what we are interested in and looking for - so that if things progress past that "just getting to know each other" phase, there is none of that awkward "Y'all want to do what?!" talk.

It is finding places to meet the types of people that are into the same things we want to be into that is iffy on us.

I'll get this thing down with phrasing things correctly. I'm here looking for advice and ideas, not to offend anyone by coming across like a person/couple who is only interested in themselves. I deal with enough people like that everyday in my job, I sure don't want to be that type of person when I get home :D

twojays 02-21-2012 06:31 AM

But thanks for the advice, NovemberRain. It was a help already.

NovemberRain 02-21-2012 06:38 AM

You're doing just fine. Most people in here have pretty thick skins, and they don't seem surprised by much. You don't need to apologize until somebody says they're mad. ;)

My mom used to say, 'I could be a lesbian, but all the women I'd possibly be interested in are as hopelessly hetero as I am.' Which made me laugh. Unfortunately, the poly community isn't that huge (yet) that places, virtual or real, to find them aren't that large or common or readily accessible.

You'd probably be best off making friends and being open and finding out who is open to you(s). I was recently listening to a podcast (sorry, I don't have the name, someone else posted it in a different thread ~ it's a couple that does weekly podcast on poly topics) and they were discussing that she just talks to everyone and gets lots of possible dates, whereas him, not so much. She was encouraging him in just talking to people without expectations of dating or sex or poly or anything.

Unfortunately, some of those 'you want to do what?' conversations are just gonna have to happen. My current situation was eight years in the making. I had no idea this is where it was headed, but I'm happy I'm here now. I've often thought of poly as an ideal, but thought that seeking it out from people who were 'already' poly would be creepy (unfortunately, that was probably a leftover bad taste from the night a couple tried to pick me up in a bar). I'm having a different perspective now; but I'm also older, and know more about what I like and what I don't and I have the ovaries to speak up about it.

redpepper 02-21-2012 07:38 AM

We have seen everything here. Nothing really phases anyone that has been here awhile. No worries about being a newbie, this place was built on newbies. :D

I would suggest though that you have a look around and read lots. Try threads found in the search engine with tags such as "lifestyle" "secondaries" "unicorns" "veto" and mostly "lessons" and "foundations"

The joy is that you can decide how to create whatever works for you, but be warned, you will never have the same relationship again in my experience. Mono culture teaches us to be glued to each others side... poly is the opposite of that... its not so much a lifestyle as a way of life. I would suggest you be sure that you are ready for that by educating yourselves together.... good luck! :)

AnnabelMore 02-21-2012 10:54 AM

Welcome! The partners and poly lovers I've had over the last several years have been friends, friends of friends, and one lovely gentleman met at a BDSM party. So, I'll second NR in saying that making friends is probably the best way to go, with no particular expectations that the friendship has to be more than that.

There is probably a poly social group in or near your area if you do some internet searching. Some people here have also had swinging-friendships turn into more, though I'm not sure how common that is? I guess one big question is, are you just excited about the idea of finding a lover or lovers that can also be good friends, or are you open to one or both of you falling in love and forging a real relationship or relationships with new people? There's nothing wrong with the former, but if that's the case the swinging community may offer you more of what you want than the poly community, and it's good to be aware that love, not entirely unlike an std (forgive the analogy), can never be 100% guarded against.

If the latter, it's great that you guys are open to what you find. Experienced poly folks tend to shy away when they hear "we want a girl to join us" or even "we want a couple to join us" because it implies a mindset of "couple plus 1" or "couple plus 2" that ends up tripping people up when they see one member of the couple falling faster than the other. Love is unpredictable, and while threesome or foursomes aren't too hard to find, trying to develop loving relationships between all involved can be a huge mess. Staying truly open to what you find, and not having any expectations that things have to happen with both of you present and involved, will be the best way to go. I find this set of advice, from the point of view of the person outside the couple, to be particularly useful: http://www.morethantwo.com/coupledating.html

Good luck!

Magdlyn 02-21-2012 12:47 PM


Originally Posted by AnnabelMore (Post 126034)
Experienced poly folks tend to shy away when they hear "we want a girl to join us" or even "we want a couple to join us" because it implies a mindset of "couple plus 1" or "couple plus 2" that ends up tripping people up when they see one member of the couple falling faster than the other. Love is unpredictable, and while threesome or foursomes aren't too hard to find, trying to develop loving relationships between all involved can be a huge mess.

This can't be said often enough. There are a hundred stories here about disasters involving 2 women and one man. Beware!!!

twojays 02-21-2012 07:17 PM

Thanks to all for the kind words of wisdom. I have always prided myself as someone who doesn't blindly jump into things, I like to do a little research beforehand if possible. It has kept me alive on more than one occasion at work, but can sometimes aggravate my other half. It is a great trait for me because of what I do, but I can let it overtake me in things that I should just let go and go with the flow. This is a topic that I am trying to find a good mix of the two; I want to ask questions and look into this for the very reasons you have all mentioned (strictly swinging w/ preset limits of comfort vs. finding others and allowing what happens emotionally to happen, the falling in love unexpectedly issue, etc.), but I don't want to be such a stick-in-the-mud that I don't try something if the opportunity presents itself before the analytical side of my brain has done "enough" research. I have a large nerdy side, I will freely admit it. I will also freely admit that it frustrates the piss out of me when I am unsure about something and can't make that analytical side calm down :rolleyes:

In the everyday course of my job, I deal with people who are in/going through/coming out of bad relationships. I see a variety of reasons for this, but by far the biggest reasons are money and trust. My wife and I have great trust in each other, a large part comes from the fact that we can be open with each other without a great fear of backlash (other than the typical apprehension anyone feels before bringing up a new idea or concept with their significant other). The falling in love issue is probably the thing that would concern anyone the most. It was the first thing that crossed my mind when this topic first got discussed. A little back story here:

My wife (J) was a friend of my younger sister in grade school. I was older than them (senior when there were freshmen), and I first really met J when they were freshmen, she and the girl I was dating were close friends. I picked on them because they were freshmen (typical, I know) and once I graduated didn't see her much until my second year of college (parents moved out of state after my graduation). J was dating the guy who was my roommate my second year of college (another high school friend of mine) so I saw her occasionally when she would come visit. She ended up coming to the same college and we became good friends her freshman year. I stayed a fifth year and we saw each other on a daily basis and hung out in the same social circle, but there were absolutely zero interest in each other other than good buddies. I moved off and started a career and lost touch with her (before the wonders of MySpace and facebook), and she moved off and started her life. We both got married. Fast forward seven years... we both ended up divorced. We ended up back in contact through her ex boyfriend/my ex roommate on the internet. We started chatting and carrying on like old school friends. One thing led to another and boom - the falling in love sneak attack hit both of us. Things definitely changed and we could tell so one day one of us (cannot remember who) brought it up. We both told each other how much our feelings had changed, and a year later we were married. Fast forward to present...

When J and I started dating, I was aware that she had a best friend (D) that had been her best friend since before high school. J and D were close. They talked every day and I could tell something was special about it because there was a subtle change in J's voice when she would talk to or about D. I asked her about her relationship with D on a couple of occasions and she would tell me the same thing each time, "I can't explain it, I don't know how. She's my best friend, more like a soul mate, and yes I love her but I can't explain that love." I didn't get it. I knew they were both free spirited type people, modern day hippies in professional settings if you will, who love life and living. Both denied having any sexual feelings for each other, saying they weren't into the "bi thing" even though I knew (and both freely admitted to) they had "made out" on a few occasions in the past when hanging out with their boyfriends/husbands and that the male halves hadn't been involved, so I just took it as carrying on the hippie ideals that young people tend to fall in love with and shrugged it off - "girls". Three years of marriage goes by, and D (who lives several states away) had gone through a bad split with her husband (who also was a school friend of ours). By this time D and I have become great friends and also talk almost everyday and seek each others advice on matters of great importance. She wanted to come back home and see some of her family and get away from the drama with her family issues so we invited her to stay with us for a weekend to get away and clear her head. She comes down, we all go out and relax and hang out a bit. We end up in deep conversations while drinking alcohol and one thing led to another and they both ended up having their first girl/girl sexual experience (other than the before mentioned light making out). I wasn't an actual participant. The next night was the same except I took some part in it. The strange thing was, there was no awkwardness between any of us the next day or since then. It was odd to me (analytical thinker) that things were "business as usual."

Some time rolls on and D and I get in a minor spat over unrelated junk and we don't talk for a few weeks. She thinks I don't want to talk to her, I think the same, and J is frustrated with us both :o She talks to both of us separately and realizes that we both terribly missed each other and the close friendship we had forged and pointed it out to us and things went back to "normal." J asked me how I felt about D, what my true feelings were about her. I couldn't answer her. I couldn't explain it. I was driving down the road when we were talking when it hit me. I looked over at J and said, "I finally understand." I understand how you can love someone and not be able to fully explain it to someone else verbally. J loves D in ways I kinda understand but will never fully comprehend because of the 20+ year friendship they share that I don't. I have grown to love D for other reasons (our friendship and ease of talking to each other about anything at all and brutal honesty with each other that is refreshing - she is a fairly analytical person like me at times). D loves both of us and tells us that every time any of us talk to one another. It was an odd (not in a bad way) situation in my mind...until now.

I put that out there because, in a way, I kind of feel like I am living the warning you all spoke of with the unintentional intimate (not purely sexual) love warnings. I never looked at it that way until I read several of the stories on here and coupled them with the warnings in this thread. I kinda understand the notion that this isn't something you do, that it is something you are, its a way to live your life. I am surprisingly (related to that analytical thinking side of me) totally at ease with it. We all love each other for our own reasons, and I'm totally cool with it. I just never looked at it in that light really.

I guess that I (we) are just unsure about how to seek these out closer to our location. The long term/albeit long distance relationship we have with D is great, but we both are interested in something closer and more frequent; not to replace D (which will never happen), but to (I guess for a lack of a better word) supplement (wording issue - I know it sounds horrible) our new found likes and desires if you will, and our joy at spending time with other people that we can be free and be ourselves around (I hope that makes sense). The advice and words of experience have been a great help. You have made me feel much better about my feelings and have pointed out an issue to discuss with J that I hadn't thought of (swinging v. this) to see what it is that we really want closer - distance wise - and more frequent. I guess that the best way is the make new friends route and let what happens happen if it is something that everyone is comfortable with, and you all have pointed me in directions to help in that aspect as well.

Thank you all, you have made me feel welcome and not like the confused, uninformed, idiot that I was picturing myself as in my mind :D

A couple of Advil or Tylenol and a glass of water, wine, beer, or mixed drink will help ease the eyestrain I am sure you are all experiencing if you made it this far down through my ramblings... :cool: Have a great day everyone!

redpepper 02-21-2012 09:45 PM

It sounds like you have figured some stuff out. Good for you :) You are not alone in your feelings, we, for the most part, get what you are saying.

Read some blogs and you shall see that many people follow their hearts without really understanding what's going on. You have been very fortunate to of had the experience you've had. Most know that they are able to love many but the actual process to get to a place where they can just let love flow is few and far between.

Great idea to find like minded friends. Good place to start. And keep getting involved. Stuff happens when its not expected and when people spend time with each other. Just as your relationship with your friend, it often happens over time and through evolving together.

Looking forward to meeting your partner :)

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