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-   -   Poly messages on dating sites (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69441)

RedPanda 03-27-2014 11:44 AM

Poly messages on dating sites
 
I've bumped into a lot of poly people I already know locally on OKCupid. Messaging them is usually pretty easy but I am finding I have lots of trouble messaging people I don't already know. The chief pattern I've noticed is that if I DON'T mention polyamory in my message, I am much more likely to get a response. What the heck???

Obviously this also holds true with people who are not poly (or at least don't say so in their profile). For me, it would seem disingenuous to hide the fact that I'm poly just for the sake of getting more responses.

I tried that once and got a coffee date on practically the first message. The girl was energetic and outgoing and didn't even read my profile. So it became apparent that she thought I was single. Awkward.

Before I was poly I learned how to message single monogamous people and get responses but apparently there's something I'm missing in messaging poly people. What gives? To be up front and honest or mildly evasive through omission?

vanquish 03-27-2014 12:05 PM

Here are my thoughts. I'm sure they deviate from conventional wisdom.

You aren't looking to get locked down right away, are you? So being poly is similar (not the exact same, mind you) to simply dating many people at the same time. I'm college, I did that and it was pretty well understood that others were doing that too. I don't just mean having sex, but actually dating.

I don't think that you have to make a big thing out of the label "poly" so that it gets a weird reaction. Just say you're dating other people. If they ask about those people, I wouldn't hide the length or significance of those people you are dating, but at least until you see if the new date is even going somewhere, I don't think you're sinning by omission to say that you date other people. Anyone who expects a monogamous commitment on the first date is a stage 4 clinger.

But I'm an odd duck.

WhatHappened 03-27-2014 12:15 PM

RedPanda, I'm assuming you say in your profile that you're poly?

I completely disagree about it not being a lie of omission. When someone is dating multiple people, there is an expectation that eventually one will be chosen for the monogamous commitment. Living in the world we do, there's every reason to believe this.

If, however, you already have a permanent, lifetime commitment, house, children, marriage, etc. with someone else, then this is not the same as simply dating multiple people, because you cannot offer at any time in the future what most people expect dating to eventually lead to.

For most people on dating sites, that monogamous commitment is really the ultimate point and goal. To simply not mention that you're not offering that is a huge and vital omission.

If you've already mentioned it on your profile, then you've said it, but I think I would personally say it in a message, too, to be absolutely clear.

RedPanda 03-27-2014 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vanquish (Post 263179)
Here are my thoughts. I'm sure they deviate from conventional wisdom.

You aren't looking to get locked down right away, are you? So being poly is similar (not the exact same, mind you) to simply dating many people at the same time. I'm college, I did that and it was pretty well understood that others were doing that too. I don't just mean having sex, but actually dating.

I don't think that you have to make a big thing out of the label "poly" so that it gets a weird reaction. Just say you're dating other people. If they ask about those people, I wouldn't hide the length or significance of those people you are dating, but at least until you see if the new date is even going somewhere, I don't think you're sinning by omission to say that you date other people. Anyone who expects a monogamous commitment on the first date is a stage 4 clinger.

But I'm an odd duck.

That's a good point. I have to consider the motivations of the people I'm messaging. A lot of twenty-somethings are not looking for anything serious so if I say I'm dating they are not intimidated by something scary like polyamory.

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhatHappened (Post 263180)
RedPanda, I'm assuming you say in your profile that you're poly?

I completely disagree about it not being a lie of omission. When someone is dating multiple people, there is an expectation that eventually one will be chosen for the monogamous commitment. Living in the world we do, there's every reason to believe this.

If, however, you already have a permanent, lifetime commitment, house, children, marriage, etc. with someone else, then this is not the same as simply dating multiple people, because you cannot offer at any time in the future what most people expect dating to eventually lead to.

For most people on dating sites, that monogamous commitment is really the ultimate point and goal. To simply not mention that you're not offering that is a huge and vital omission.

If you've already mentioned it on your profile, then you've said it, but I think I would personally say it in a message, too, to be absolutely clear.

Yeah I see this too. I do say it in my profile and I do have a committed life partner (not that I wouldn't mind having two) but yeah that's a LOT for someone else to chew on especially from a first message! I can imagine them thinking whoa! Too much emotion and strings and feels, red alert! Do not!

vanquish 03-27-2014 01:50 PM

I agree that the audience/recipient does control the message. With a younger crowd, the method above works. I can say that confidently, because that's the method my partner uses. Does she shy away from explaining she's with a committed partner when asked? No. Does she scare them away with it in her dating profile? Also no. If you're on a dating website you're presumably an adult. An adult can ask a simple question or questions about the person's dating situation on a first date. I can tell you anecdotally that of the younger crowd she dates, its no big deal because many of them are also dating multiple people. That's something you can find out when you get to know each other in my opinion.

Dagferi 03-27-2014 02:04 PM

By not sharing the fact that one is married, dating someone long term, or a domestic partnership is a douche bag move.. Saying you are "dating" or "seeing" others gives the impression that may or will change down the line.

How about being honest.? Lying by omission to bolster your response rate and dating poll is disgusting.

vanquish 03-27-2014 02:15 PM

Putting to the side that you basically just insulted someone I love (and me), you're missing my point. The question is not IF they deserve to know. I've already said they do. The question is WHEN. And furthermore, you're assuming for the sake of argument that the person listing the profile is committed to someone long-term. The OP didn't post that. The OP simply said they are poly.

Go ahead and make a bunch of assumptions about the people you're interacting with. Assumptions that don't hold true in reality in the area that I live in. Besides calling it a lie and being disgusted, you haven't addressed my point that other people are capable of handling the information on a first date or when they ask. You've also failed to address the idea that a lot of people reading the profile may be dating multiple people themselves, but have an irrational reaction to seeing the word "poly".

EDIT: In addition, I've seen people on this board (I believe london, but don't hold me to that) say it's no one's business who you're dating and that relationships can be kept separate.

RedPanda 03-27-2014 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vanquish (Post 263198)
EDIT: In addition, I've seen people on this board (I believe london, but don't hold me to that) say it's no one's business who you're dating and that relationships can be kept separate.

I did get a response from a poly girl when I invited her to a poly cookout meetup. She said that none of her metamours know each other. I found that slightly disappointing but there's no single way to do poly. My group is all very intimate. All of our V's, Y's, W's, and X's go out to the bar and restaurants together.

Maybe my problem is that this is my expectation? Do most poly people all hang out or keep relationships separate? I wouldn't want to date someone who wanted to be strictly separate. Maybe that level of inclusion is intimidating or rare?

Dagferi 03-27-2014 03:18 PM

I would't consider London the board's resident Poly expert. (No offense London )

Plus I take the statement as you do not have to have your metamours hang out or even be friendly. But they need to know you have a regular partner .

Other than kid events and holidays. My husbands rarely spend time together.

vanquish 03-27-2014 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dagferi (Post 263208)
But they need to know you have a regular partner.

Agreed. The question is whether it should be on a dating profile or discussed when daters meet. The same people can have vastly different responses depending on the method. Someone who might pass by a profile that said "POLY!!! SIRENS!! ALARMS!!" might meet someone for a date, find out they like the person and also find out that person is poly. Working around the stigma, assuming you are honest, is only fair in my personal view.

Trust me, I'd hate it if my partner went out on dates and didn't acknowledge our relationship and how important it was to her. I'd feel like our relationship didn't even matter. It was in a thread on that very subject that I got the advice that I referenced above.

There's also another concern...time and energy. Putting poly on the profile may save you time weeding out those who aren't ready for it. You could leave it off only to have wasted date upon date with people who reject you once they find out. That's actually an argument in favor of putting it on the profile.

Sure, all the participants getting along and spending time together is ideal for moderate to outgoing people. But not all people/groups work like that. Polyamory is a rarity around here (Montgomery, AL), but people dating multiple people as casual singles isn't. I can't set a norm from that data. ;)


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