Dating As A Poly Single
Great to be a part of your community. I've done some reading and am pleased at the well thought-out answers (although white space needs to make friends with SOME people ;) ) and look forward to getting solid input from you all.
I especially look forward to having my ass kicked when it's necessary. I'm glad this isn't a responsibility-bereft relationship board, but hey, normally Poly ones aren't :)
On to my question!!
I'm single right now. I have a FWB but consider him more a good friend, protector and confidante than a "boyfriend".
After taking some re-adjustment time after my 9 year marriage dissolved (he wanted kids, I was clear from the start I didn't), I'm now looking to actually get more social again, to look people in the eye and make a new gaggle of friends.
In making new friends, I do expect to be asked out a few times, and that's where my questions begin.
I don't want to pre-judge people and turn down simple dates, but I also don't want to give someone the "wrong idea". And I definitely don't want to go on very many dates with a strict monogamist OR a "oh yah, I'm poly too!" newcomer.
I have this feeling that the moment I accept an invitation to one date I'm going to have to agree to myself to accept one or two other dates as well, so when I go on any of them I can make a "I'm having a lot of fun dating, you're the funniest/cutest/smartest one yet!" comment.
Okay, a question:
How do you start the conversation with someone who knows you're dating multiple people right from the start (second date) and effectively discuss the fact that you yourself (me) are not using this "poly thing" to find "the one", but in fact you intend to continue the poly lifestyle through to cohabitation some day?
And more importantly, how soon into the dating did YOU talk about this kind of thing? How many dates max did you go on/how much time passed with a person before you knew how well they could deal with the Poly lifestyle*?
* Your particular BRAND of poly lifestyle that is, since we all have slightly different beliefs and wants and expectations :)
I've been poly single for a while, now have one partner but we're long distance. I am frank from the get go with anyone I go out with that I am generally non-monogamous. They pretty much know that before the first date.
I have lots more thoughts on it, but am about to move overseas in about an hour or so. Perhaps more from the other side!
So, to the question, second date is still a bit early unless we're having sex and/or have a really strong emotional connection, but that's because I've made it clear by then that I'm not looking to settle down, "not looking for anything serious or exclusive," and for most people, that's sufficient. I attempt, most of the time, to hook up with people who feel the same. (Again, dating sites are wonderful for this because you already know what people are looking for.) If this is the case, that neither one of you is looking for something serious, then the whole poly thing can come up in normal conversation as you get to know each other. If they aren't looking for the "one" they generally don't care that you aren't either. I've even had a few people start thinking they might like to identify as poly after hearing about it. For people who wouldn't get it, it's not really necessary to identify it as if you had joined a cult or something. For me, it's just that I'm not interested in a monogamous relationship again, I like my freedom, I'm dating several people, nothing serious, blah blah blah. It's not really that big of a deal.
By far the most difficult situation is when you have someone who is monogamous fall in love with you, but, really, that happens sometimes no matter what they were told or when they were told it. You can't avoid it by telling them in the right way.
Since I'm married, I always tell people before the first date. But that's obviously a different situation.
When I wasn't married, I always got it out there pretty quickly, usually at or before the first date. My philosophy was that I didn't want to waste time (mine or theirs) with people who would never be open to the idea at all. I also always claimed that I wasn't looking for anything serious, just friendship and see if it leads to more. I honestly think that's one of the reasons I was able to find the love of my life, because I had finally stopped looking :) But either way, I've found that people with no poly-experience are much more open to the notion of being friends and seeing if it leads somewhere... after all, there's no "monogamous" expectation of friends. Can you imagine??
I'm married so I get it out early.
1) I don't waste their time if they are not interested.
2) They don't see my wedding ring and think I'm sleazy. ;-)
Warm regards, Rick.
Thank you for the varied perspectives! That's great :)
I'm a little leary about the online dating sites but can definitely see their pre-screening value. Maybe after this summer I'll sign up on OKCupid since I hear it mentioned regularly in Poly circles these days. This summer I'm going to do the "increase your social circle" dating lure instead ;)
You're definitely right about how, when dating early on, nobody expects exclusivity. My history has not had a lot of light dating in it, however, so it'll be fun to challenge myself to overcome old habit with new lifestyle desire.
Thanks so much for your responses, I'll see you in other threads!
OKCupid is good for finding poly people in your area, for sure, although it can get a little frustrating sometimes, with the drive-bys ("Yes, of course I'm poly - can we screw now?")
Again, I am in a V right now so anybody with any potential interest in getting to know me, even as friends, knows that I am non-monogamous. I usually try to find some natural way of bringing it up in conversation, rather than making a "big thing" out of it.
I tend to go very slowly when getting to know people - I would like to see if they can be friends before I think of them in a romantic way, because I find it builds a foundation for any relationship and maybe show up some "red flags" before anybody gets "in too deep".
The best way, though, in my opinion, is to mix socially with other poly folk. Get to know them as people, rather than looking at them as prospective dates. If there is a local poly group to you, then consider going to one of their get-togethers.
I have been a single poly for about a year. I am very openly poly and my life seems to involve and endless succession of monogamous women who seem to be generally interested in me "except for the polyamorous thing" and sometimes "except for the overacheiver thing"
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