Telling someone I'm poly and the problems that brings...
I’ve had this experience a few times. I’m involved with someone in a poly arrangement. We go out dancing. A guy hits on me.
Ok, then it gets complicated.
What I want: To be able to move past the novelty, confusion and misrepresentations about poly.
What actually happens: Telling a guy I’ve just met that I am involved with someone, but we’re poly often translates into, “I’m open minded and therefore have no boundaries, so anything goes. Now you have permission to put your paws all over me because I’m one of those girls”.
I have so far never found myself in a poly circle where I meet someone new and we can move past the assumptions that poly=slut. Just because I’m involved with someone else, but open to others does not mean I want to move from “Hi, what’s your name?” to making out in the corner in one hour!!!!
It does mean that I am interested in talking to you and finding out about you. Connecting with people is a huge part of what feeds me, but it is often non-sexual. Getting to a sexual level often takes me a while. Of course! I would like to feel free to talk about my S/O, (within reason, of course) because that person is part of my life. And you are free to talk about your interests, potential S/Os, etc. And I would like to move as slowly with you as I did with the person I am in a poly relationship with!
I want to move past the initial stage of adopting poly as a lifestyle, ie: I’m in a primary relationship where I find my stability, so now I can fuck around freely because my “serious” needs are met. All secondary relationships are loose and casual.
Ugh, that’s not at all what I want!
I would like to start being around more poly circles. I would like the people I meet to know that I am falling in love with 'R' and still be considered in the same way I would be if I were single. In other words, not defined by him and my relationship with him. I would like to remain a separate person. Please get to know him as him. Yes, we have a lot in common and many points of contact with each other, but you will have different and unique points of contact with him. Please explore the ones that emerge between you and I separately from the ones that emerge between you and 'R'.
Another thing that happens is I start to feel shallow with the romance of NRE. 'R' and I held hands and kissed for the first time a few days ago. So, meeting this guy at the party who cuddled with me, he said similar things like, “your hands are so soft”, etc.
I don’t want to only be a shiny new toy with soft hands. I want to know your bliss, desires, fears. I want you to be real, have integrity, do real-world things with your life. I don’t want to get lost in your sea of zen-like non-attachment, which for me translates into you not knowing what you want from life and having less ambition than what feeds me.
I don’t want poly to automatically mean that my standards and integrity go away. Poly is not synonymous with “anything goes”!!