I can see where you are coming from.
I just saw the newer posts as I was typing this, so I'll actually shuffle this around a bit.
Actually, why it's important to some couples for them to meet play partners before sex happens is only an issue if you are genuinely wanting to change your viewpoint, learn and grow so that you can become more flexible about meeting a date's partner in the future.
If you are looking to expand your viewpoint, that's great.
Here we go - it's important for a variety of reasons, some of which have been covered. It's not always about fear. Sometimes partners are just nosy. Sometimes they don't get out much and want to socialise. Most often, they just want to know that this person entering their orbit is a good egg.
It doesn't actually matter if, for example, you date a guy and never meet his wife - you're still entering her orbit. You're going to have some sort of effect. Whether your sex life with him sucks and his wife reaps the rewards of that, whether your sex life with him rocks and she suffers for a few weeks, whether he sends you a text whilst they are at dinner.... in some small or large way, your existence is going to effect this other person.
From a more human perspective, let's say someone does feel a little threatened. Let's say that they want to meet you to dissolve that fear. What's wrong with that? That's a great thing. They are promoting the longterm happiness of you, themselves and their partner. That's something I'd encourage, not be hesitant about.
And incidentally... yes... meeting someone can definitely remove fear. Instead of being this scary object, you are suddenly a real, talking, living person. If you're a good, kind, compassionate, understanding person, that will help even more.
As for what I was originally writing...
I am just speaking for myself here.
If I date a person who is already in a relationship, I do not consider them single. I consider them '+ baggage'. Their '+baggage' is that they have another very significant other to consider. If I'm getting involved, I have to consider them too. If I don't like that, well, I can go and find myself a single woman. If I want to be the top priority, I'm not going to get what I want if that person believes in hierarchical poly (primary/secondary).
You can look at meeting a person's partner two ways:
1. You're meeting because you all want this to go further, to get the 'green light'
2. You're meeting because meeting the partner is a prerequisite before the real dating stage - regardless of whether you know how well things are going to go
For me, I always take it the second viewpoint. If I choose to date a married woman and their husband wants to come along on the first date (this has actually happened), I make a decision on what I'm comfortable with.
Incidentally, I'm 100% fine with that - because to me, she's not single. She's +baggage. They have their own relationship setup and I'm the one coming into that relationship. Whatever makes them happy, makes me happy. Essentially, let's put it bluntly - I want to bang his wife, I want to make sure he's ok about that. That's just good manners! It doesn't matter if he wants to meet me because he's threatened, nosy, extremely social, doesn't get out much. The reason doesn't matter - it's their relationship guideline and it's my choice whether or not I can mesh with that.
Even if the reason was fear, I'm not going to judge that. I feel compassion for the partner of any woman I might date. I want to help settle their fear, if they have it. Fear is human. Whatever they need in order for that to happen, I'll do. As long as I'm happy too.
Now, to me, that's not about the primary couple making all the rules. It's about the primary couple having a relationship that works for them and trying to find people who are compatible with that system.
So... if you know that you do not like to meet someone's partner quickly, that is your own personal relationship expectation. But just as you would not want to be pressured into meeting quickly, it's not fair of you to expect their relationship setup to stretch uncomfortably. Compromise is a beautiful thing - but when you can't compromise, you're just not compatible. It's just the way of the world.
Ultimately, you have a few options here:
1. Stop dating men whose partners want to meet you quickly.
2. Start only dating single men or men with no primary partner.
3. See if you can become more comfortable with meeting quickly, by taking a different viewpoint.
4. Keep dating men whose partners want to meet you quickly and hope for a happy compromise.
5. Consider swinging, or some kind of casual sex group kind of dating, since polyamory usually has more emotions/guidelines/hierarchy
To me, poly guidelines are no different to any dating guidelines. It's all about compatibility. We all have relationship expectations; some we can budge on and some we can't.
me: female, 29
GF: my primary girlfriend, 39
3 year, open poly V, long distance
Last edited by sparklepop; 07-18-2012 at 01:37 PM.