You are doing good work in writing thoughts out to help sort yourself out. Kudos on that part!
I am not sure what I am hoping to gain from posting this. I think some understanding or other perspective would be helpful. We are young (24 & 23), and I know a lot of the people on here are older than that. It has been extremely rewarding to read about other people’s experiences with poly, and the advice and comfort that are shared here. I would appreciate advice and comfort about our journey.
On the larger question? Carts before horse to me based on the original post and only that much info.
What does swinging have to do with this poly arena? Nothing. What does using labels mean? Nothing, shy of giving things a handle. There's MANY types of polyship configurations. The bottom line? How do YOU play and can you play well in all your buckets?
I feel each one of us is mind, heart, body, and soul. The smaller buckets that make up the Whole Person and their Whole Well Being.
Opening to swing is one thing. You can take each other along to swing as a safety/security blanket thing because it's one offs of casual, recreational sex. You only tend the body bucket for the most part -- you physical safety and physical health. A bit of the other buckets to look out for since they are all always interconnected. But the main deal is the body bucket.
Opening to polyamory is another thing. There your main deal is the Heart bucket -- emotional health and well being. The other buckets come into play -- mental health, spiritual health, physical health. But really? Heart bucket is the main stage. Polyamory = ability to love more than one. You have the capacity. Yay. You have some equipment.
NOW how will you play?
Over here? Believing this?
I think maybe you guys have come to find that you Opened to poly without doing enough homework in the Heart Bucket. You don't sound sure you are in the right arena to begin with. You want to play....something.
I'd suggest temporarily Closing to catch that up. Learn what poly is and is not for your INDIVIDUAL selves. You will see that "doing poly" is as varied as there are poly people. (Ex: I have no interest in a poly tangle. I want a poly V. I'm also a married. And I don't want to mix children in there.) This is figuring out your wants from your needs.
Then reality test it to see if poly works for you as a COUPLE. Playground some common situations – not just the ones you have already tasted. So if you bump into any others, you go in better prepared. This is knowing your limits as individuals and what the couple can take. Keep in mind once you Open, you are not longer only you two. The other person has their feelings and their heart too.
In kinkytown? Whether your flavor twist is rope or knives or whatever? To play well in that edge play? You have to know your materials well and the materials tolerance/breaking points. You also have to know yourself well, and how you handle yourself when things are cool and how you handle yourself when things hit crisis/emergency. As a top, bottom, or switch. Also negotiate with your play partner(s) where their wants, needs, limits are for the scene. Then you determine if you can be in business together or not.
This is similar – call poly edge play of the Heart.
You have to know your materials – emotions, emotional management, emotional articulation, emotional limits, emotional wants, emotional needs.
You have to know yourself. You have to negotiate with your existing partner. You have to decide your scene (poly configuration) and then write a job desc -- the job of being your poly person partner. (Looking for a single? married? Older? Younger? Bi? Something else?)
You have to interview your applicants. (Dating that ones that seem interested in what you have to offer them and you find interested. do not date anyone who comes alone who is merely poly. Be picky). Then you have to decide if you want to hire or not. And what to do if this person sucks at the job.
So homework time. That is my advice to you.
Decide were you want to go, how to best get there, then get in the car and drive over there with intent. Stop getting in the car, starting it, putting gas pedal down, and takings hands off steering wheel to cover eyes and hope you get.... somewhere ding free.