But really, tell me your stories.
How did you bring it up? How'd it go?
"I like you. I want to date you. Here's some things you need to know about dating me though..."
And I gave the run down I gave at the time as a single young woman:
- Do not lie to me. It's a deal breaker. Hard truth it to me. I can take it.
- I am not exclusive right now. No interest.
- I am ok with you seeing other people. I expect to see others too, so fair is fair. Don't date me if that's not your scene. We can be friends.
- Just keep it clean and give me the heads up if it will go loverly so I can make an informed decision about my health BEFORE you go there. No unplanned babies or cooties. I feel this is reasonable expectation. Do not play with me if you can't hack that. Lies of omission are LIES.
- If one of yours is changing, I can check out and we can be friends or we can see about renegotiating with the new person if this is going to be some overlappy thing. But just TELL me the news. I will tell you mine.
- I do not need to know every little thing. I only get excited when it is time to get excited. Just tell me someone new is in the picture. After that tell me when there's something to get excited about like it is looking to go lover. All the rest I don't need to know if you don't want to tell and some of it I don't want or even need to know. I figure you on same page unless you tell me otherwise on my others. We can fine tune specifics there.
- Repeat -- do not LIE. That's the quickest way to get me all excited in way you DO NOT WANT. Hard truth it to me or don't even bother to play here.
- What's on your calling card? What do I need to know about you and your wants, needs, limits? What are you looking for in relationship?
Over the years it's become this
. But it is much the same style.
Some were intimidated, and nixed right off. Found it too scary/bizarre/new concept.
Some signed up and then bailed when reality hit.
Some wanted to play DESPITE the fact they were looking for something totally other -- like a WIFE. When I was looking for poly (though at the time I did not know the word so I just used "not exclusive."
For some reason they thought it meant I was automatically what? I was not
into swinging, and honest, good swinging also carries ethics! I was not nookie for all. Sheesh. Shoo from here. You are weird, I changed my mind. Do NOT want to date you.
Some signed on and I had lovely experiences. One of 'em I married.
DH and I are closed for now -- raising kids, eldercare for parents, plates are full. We started talking about it again lately and it was easy as pie because... well, I was honest when I met him decades ago! He's not surprised.
"So, babe. I've been thinking on the poly thing again. I know we agreed to be closed for this time of life. I'm still on board with that. But can we just talk about what it MIGHT be like if/when we get to another place and want to reassess? Cuz I was thinking... man. NO WAY it could be like when I was a footloose single. The married approach would have to take tweakies, no? Talk to me. What would the new plan be like?"
And we've been talking and enjoying it. There's stuff here there wasn't before. Like a kid, a home, financial entanglements, if it sours, what an amicable divorce would be like, and so on. We keep it real, and in doing so, it fosters great emotional intimacy/security.
Has anyone left a partner because they wouldn't 'let' you be yourself be being poly?
Sure, but it was dating partner, not married person. I have not had the experience of "realize I'm poly after already being married and signed up for THIS type rship."
In my case it was like "Dude... I was honest from the get go. I am not seeking exclusive. I warned you all about me, my wants, needs, limits. Did you think I was KIDDING when I said do not date me if this is not what ye seek and we can just be friends? You cannot get mad at me for false advertising. You have to be mad at YOU for not listening. This is not my bag to hold."
And I left him because he did not want to own that he did not listen, because he wanted to mold me into something I am not rather than loving just me as I was and accepting me as I was. This was not soft limit stuff I could negotiate. This was hard limit stuff like denying me my personhood even after I laid it out in the front window, so to speak! I didn't want to sign up for THAT so I checked out. It takes two to tango and I decided I didn't want to dance there.
What's the best way to bring it up with a dude who has trouble saying what he actually thinks at times...?
Ask him first how he wants to communicate on big talks. Set the appointment.
Do it by person, by phone, by email in written word, etc. Being in a space/place where both feel safe, both feel respected, both aren't being interrupted by dogs, kids, flying aliens, TV, under work pressure, etc.
Then when appt comes? Float it honest and speak your truth.
"So I wanted to talk without interruption. This is me talking only, I am seeking your thoughts and feedback. I am not doing anything horrible, right? So I've been thinking/reading about polyamory. I'm curious to know your feeling(s) if any on that? "
Though honestly I cannot see me marrying a person who cannot communicate and get their thoughts across. I talk a LOT.
It's a major love language thing -- words. I wouldn't make it past dating because I'm not into the "silent type" -- I need to be with another yammerer.
So... I'm just gonna go in there and speak my truth whether it's hard to hear or it is hard to get out and I can only manage to say it in a whisper. It must be out there for clear communication to exist. BOTH have to lay it out on the table for any kind of interaction to be going on. I don't want a one sided relationship. I want a two sided back and forth thing going on.