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-   -   Unicorn Hunters, and Trying Not To Be (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48717)

Root 06-13-2013 04:24 AM

Unicorn Hunters, and Trying Not To Be
 
Hi, my wife and I are writing this together. We'll try to skip to the chase; we're newbies (super-newbies, really) and unicorn hunters (and trying not to be). I'm sure this is an all-too-common story for most of you, but we're trying very hard to be responsible and understand what we're getting into. That's involved treading through a few websites, reading some articles (this one, which we found on these forums, was one of the first and was really helpful -- so, thanks!), and trying to go through some forum posts. While we'll still be doing that, we're hoping it doesn't seem lazy posing some questions, since we're pretty well aware there's a lot we've got a chance of missing.

To clarify, we're looking to try for a closed, long-term triad (I think, we're still only vaguely literate in poly terminology). I'm a straight guy, she's a bi girl. We're pretty happy in our relationship, this was more something we wanted to mutually explore as opposed to needing to fulfill something missing -- we'd probably both be just as happy if it never happens. We started the initial discussion knowing nothing, hit every trope possible, started reading, discussed not hitting every trope possible, and then managed to get to this point. That said, onwards?

1. What can we do in our position to be polite to the rest of the poly community and not be horribly obnoxious, both in real life and on the forums? We'd both like to avoid being, 'that guy,' 'that girl,' or I guess in this case 'that couple.'

2. What can we do to be polite to others when trying to make our intentions clear? I realize this is really situational, but some nebulous advice would be nice. The reasoning behind this is that we've realized that simply poking around 'likely' areas online (like this one!) isn't the most realistic stance to take, but we'd also like to not make friends or likely acquaintances too uncomfortable if possible.

3. What makes a well established couple comfortable to work into if you're polyamorous? We've already gotten over the 'treat them like a real relationship' stage of ignorance, so no lists of weird rules or behind-the-back whispering between ourselves, but there's probably things that we haven't heard about yet and haven't thought about that would be helpful to know.

4. How rude would it be to ask a potential individual to do as much as possible 'together' as a trio? The aforementioned article we stumbled into on this site it discouraged it, but we were hoping to pose it as something to aim for as opposed to some overbearing, mandatory rule. We're not talking about some weird balance of "love us both equally, damn you," and more along the lines of trying to go on dates or be intimate together as much as possible.

5. Any advice on getting this across to family in a smooth fashion? I'm estranged from mine, but we're not clear on how to explain this to my wife's family. I realize this is again in the field of very general and situational. Her family is very liberal, but they still have pretty traditional views of relationships. We're worried that, if we managed to get into a serious relationship with someone, they'd get treated poorly by my wife's family. They're unlikely to really hold it against us, but we'd like to do it in a way such that they're more likely to accept it, and as an extension any partner we become seriously involved with.

6. Is dating together a really poor idea, or does it just make things harder, or...? My wife and I would like to do it together if possible; we think it would be fun. If it's considered in bad taste or makes it near impossible, however, we'd like to know. If you're of the opinion that it's not advisable, is there any advice on how to work the additional person in later down the line? Again, silly question that's very situation specific, but it seems worth asking. If it's reasonable or can be done if done right, is there anything to make it more platable for the potential individual? We can imagine specifics like trying not to be too much of a 'unit' during the whole affair (at least, I'd find it awkward if I was in their position), but it'd be nice to hear anything relevant since we're still pretty clueless.

7. We think we're prepared for this and we've put some thought into it (and continue to). But we're both vaguely aware that all the planning in the world often doesn't matter. We've been monogamous for all our lives and both of us very heavily so. We're wondering what kinds of issues we may run into once things start progressing (if we're lucky), and if there are any really common scenarios? We're aware jealousy and unfairness are pretty obvious issues to run into as well as a few other things, but there's probably a lot we wouldn't think of.

Anyway, this is probably a lot to read. We hope someone takes the time; if so, thanks! Even moreso if you have the time to respond to any of the above, or shove us in the direction of an article or post you think would be enlightening.

Dagferi 06-13-2013 05:19 AM

I know a couple successful triads the key to their success seems to be that one member of the couple dates the individual first. They form a successful relationship then the other member of the couple is SLOWLY brought in and then forms their own seperate relationship with the individual. Dating as a couple works as well as playing the lottery for a retirement plan.

Why do you feel the need to share a person. Why not share the experience of each of you exploring relationship with separate individuals.

Root 06-13-2013 05:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dagferi (Post 209460)
I know a couple successful triads the key to their success seems to be that one member of the couple dates the individual first. They form a successful relationship then the other member of the couple is SLOWLY brought in and then forms their own seperate relationship with the individual. Dating as a couple works as well as playing the lottery for a retirement plan.

I assume it just tends to be too demanding a situation or undesirable to other people in other forms? I'm trying to understand the other point of view so I can clue in on the why of it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dagferi (Post 209460)
Why do you feel the need to share a person. Why not share the experience of each of you exploring relationship with separate individuals.

My wife will have to speak for herself (she's likely to open an account to mitigate confusion if she wants to respond -- I'll probably encourage her to!), but this question doesn't make sense to me entirely. I want a relationship where we're all connected, that's what appeals to me. I can see why other people would enjoy V's and other setups, but it doesn't click much for me. It'd probably be like someone asking why you're not monogamous, if that makes sense? Just not what appeals to me on a base level.

That's probably an awful explanation, but it's my best shot at the moment!

kdt26417 06-13-2013 05:57 AM

Probably the thing to keep in mind here is that the more specific it is what you're seeking, the longer it's likely to take to find the right person that fits the plan. You have to decide what trade-off is best for you as far as how long you're willing to search, and how specific you want the outcome to be. Many people just fall into a poly situation, not having a plan for structure at all ahead of time.

Re: coming out to your family ... I don't know of any special way of doing that to stave off negative reactions. It's really not up to you to convince people to react positively (or even reasonably), it's up to them. The best you can do is explain the situation to family members using respectful language, and being prepared within reason to answer any questions they may have. Sometimes people just have to freak out about it for awhile, and then very slowly they might get used to it.

Sorry that's the best I can offer in that area. :(

Otherwise, you should just continue to read and study and post any additional questions. You need to be flexible with whoever you meet, but I think you know that.

Good luck.
Regards,
Kevin T.

london 06-13-2013 06:18 AM

I recommend this

Root 06-13-2013 06:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kdt26417 (Post 209464)
Probably the thing to keep in mind here is that the more specific it is what you're seeking, the longer it's likely to take to find the right person that fits the plan. You have to decide what trade-off is best for you as far as how long you're willing to search, and how specific you want the outcome to be. Many people just fall into a poly situation, not having a plan for structure at all ahead of time.

Thank you. We've been trying not to get too specific for that reason. :) We did kind of fall into the problem of initially getting very specific and having odd expectations, though we obviously took some time to think and realized we were being silly. It's more exciting to meet a real person and get to know them, anyway, insofar as I've concluded.

That said, I do realize that aiming for a triad doesn't make it easier! I think my wife does as well. I was reasonably open to her dating without me to make this more fluid, but she doesn't seem to enjoy the idea, nor I the reverse. I think part of our fear is that we do, in the very least, have the relationship structure as one of those sticking points that we're supposed to avoid, and having either of us date individually seems dishonest unless the other person understands our intentions fully.

I imagine it varies by person, but again I don't have any experience. Is it realistic to lay that on the table when you make your intentions clear? I think we both know it's one of those things that's awkward for the other person but it'd be dishonest if we did anything else.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kdt26417 (Post 209464)
Re: coming out to your family ... I don't know of any special way of doing that to stave off negative reactions. It's really not up to you to convince people to react positively (or even reasonably), it's up to them. The best you can do is explain the situation to family members using respectful language, and being prepared within reason to answer any questions they may have. Sometimes people just have to freak out about it for awhile, and then very slowly they might get used to it.

Sorry that's the best I can offer in that area. :(

It was a vague question, really, so anything is good. I do realize to a degree that it's in their court to try to get a grasp of it, but I guess there's that desire to try to do whatever you can, even if you shouldn't have to. That said, one of the advantages of my situation. No explanations for anybody. :cool:

Quote:

Originally Posted by kdt26417 (Post 209464)
Otherwise, you should just continue to read and study and post any additional questions. You need to be flexible with whoever you meet, but I think you know that.

Good luck.
Regards,
Kevin T.

Thank you very much! The encouragement is appreciated, as is the post. ;)

Root 06-13-2013 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dagferi (Post 209460)
I know a couple successful triads the key to their success seems to be that one member of the couple dates the individual first. They form a successful relationship then the other member of the couple is SLOWLY brought in and then forms their own seperate relationship with the individual. Dating as a couple works as well as playing the lottery for a retirement plan.

Why do you feel the need to share a person. Why not share the experience of each of you exploring relationship with separate individuals.

I already answered this and thought my post was in moderation cue because I closed my browser too quick to see what the little window wanted to tell me. :rolleyes: Hopefully this won't become a sort-of-double-post.

I do understand that a lot of triads form that fashion, and most don't seem to form in the fashion that we were hoping for, if any. As I mentioned in the post above (much better than my original missing attempt, maybe recaptcha ate it?), we're trying to be as flexible as we can but still be honest.

What would be the perspective of a person hearing the proposition of most silly unicorn hunter people like myself? What makes it particularly undesirable to consider? I'm still a total newbie so I don't have a very good perspective of how someone else would feel in that situation -- I do get parts of it, but I don't understand why it's as unrealistic as it's stated to be if the couple was reasonable. That said, please don't insult my retirement plans. :(

Finally, we're not so much hoping to share as to just have an all-around relationship, except with one more person. I don't know if that's a meaningful differentiation to anyone else! I can't give a really great answer mostly because it's just what seems natural to me. Wife feels the same way, I think.

Quote:

Originally Posted by london (Post 209469)
I recommend this

That appears to be the article from this site I found very enlightening and helpful (but on a different site, and through multiple posts?)! We've both been doing our best to appreciate what it had to say since it was probably one of the most enlightening single pieces we stumbled upon at this point.

Root 06-13-2013 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BoringGuy (Post 209474)
Drop the "we-speak", get used to saying "I", "me", "you", "both of us", etc. Stop thinking of you two as one unit. Make separate profiles on forums (on this forum you are not supposed to share a profile) and dating sites.

This is my account -- wife will make one if she's inclined to do so. I do think I understand what you're getting at, so thank you. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by BoringGuy (Post 209474)
Get into the mindset that you are two separate people. Get comfortable with not being all up in each other's business day in day out.

Not sure what to say to the first; I'm pretty aware of that. I'm of the impression that she is too. The second, though, doesn't seem terribly sensible. Both of us like our relationship as it is. It's possible to spend a lot of time around another person without them stealing your soul. ;) I'm trying to be lighthearted, but I really do just enjoy being in very active and close relationships.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BoringGuy (Post 209474)
I think that married people who spend all their time together and feel like they should date "as a couple" because they are joined at the hip and have no separate interests or relationships are not ready/suited for nonmonogamy.

Being inexperienced I'll try to be humble in this. You may well be right; maybe it's a terrible idea! But I think this assumes too much on too little and may not even apply. I realize that dating together is not easier. I do want to understand the complications from the other side and how it's a bad idea for everyone in question. In doing so, maybe I will clue in to what you're saying.

But I don't understand the why. You've simply stated bare that my desire to date "as a couple" is a bad idea. Which is cool! I expected that. Can you please explain why? And the later part of this is kind of brash; my wife and I have separate interests, it feels you're making quick assumptions based on the fact we spend a lot of time together.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BoringGuy (Post 209474)
Also, if you go around meeting women and constantly thinking, "Are you in a relationship? Are you bi? Are you attracted to my wife? Are you interested in being in a triad? What does your family think of marriage? What color is your toothbrush? Do you enjoy caring for children and walking dogs?" then you are going to put out one hell of a creepy vibe.

The Lonely Island taught me well, what can I say? Use about a kilogram of hair gel daily. Anyway, this seems out of the blue and not productive. If you get this vibe because I posed a bunch of questions my wife and I thought up, I can only say that I'm trying to avoid being an ass and trying to leave someone feeling screwed over because I didn't understand what I was getting into and didn't have the sense to ask people who understand better than I do.

I am actually just trying to approach this in the best way possible from my point of view -- as implied in my first question, I am really open to being corrected if there's something that would be more polite.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BoringGuy (Post 209474)
I do not understand this whole "Yay we're poly now! Let's go find someone to be in a poly relationship with! It's our lifestyle! Yippee!" mentality. I'm one of those, "Here's A, here's B. I don't have to pick one and leave the other" people. Like, when you're in a relationship already and you happen to meet someone you'd date "if I was single"... You don't need the "if i was single" in order to do that. But not, "we want a relationship with a bisexual female. How do we get one of those?"

I do understand that you guys get a lot of unicorn hunters who jump on the forums and are really annoying; that's the impression I get from other posts on the subject. I'm trying pretty hard to avoid that and understand what I'm getting into. That's the point of the silly questions. I'm not saying I'm succeeding, but I'm really trying, even if it's just having the exact opposite effect.

To the blunt, the above doesn't seem relevant. I can totally understand your point of view. I can understand why people in my position could be really irritating from where you're standing; I just spent a lot of time reading about that. My opinion on relationships simply does not coincide with that. Even were I single and had an interest in two women that I could date simultaneously, I'd greatly prefer one, the other, or a triad. Why? Because that's how I roll. :cool: Whoo.

That said, I'm not sure what else to say; that last part in your post seemed a little on the spectrum of hostile. If that's not the intention, sorry. If you are a little annoyed because you probably get this a lot, I do get it in some vague fashion (I don't presume to know terribly well, but I do get it on some level!). Both she and I came here to figure out if what we wanted was viable or even a good idea. Both of us are here trying to be humble about it; if we really are that poorly suited to it it's unlikely we'd pursue it. Neither of us want to cause drama or muck someone's life up or something equally stupid.

Emm 06-13-2013 09:33 AM

You say you're here to learn, but you appear to be more interested in defending your initial position than anything else. My suggestion is that you read up on Unicorn Hunters both here and elsewhere, and either stop getting defensive when people answer your questions or stop asking questions you don't want answered.

BoringGuy 06-13-2013 10:31 AM

I'm not here to explain why or understand you as the yewneek individual you are, or be your relationship coach. You came on here and asked a bunch of stuff and i posted my bit.

I think YOU are the one who is being "hostile". You say you want to hear what other people think, but you really want to hear all about how fabulous and self-aware you are because you are NOT LIKE all those OTHER unicorn hunters.

Predictable.


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