So now we come to the past two years and our experiences with poly relationships, which is after all why I'm here in the first place
We laid out a few ground rules/boundaries which I think should seem pretty familiar to many people here; complete honesty with all parties involved, always use condoms with outside partners, tell each other about new interests & sexual partners before doing anything with them (or asap afterwards if there should be something spontaneous - which hasn't happened yet), everyone has to be able to get along (don't have to be best buddies, friends would be nice, civil at a minimum)...and that's pretty much it!
We were pretty open with friends about what we were doing, and shortly after we agreed to be open a girl we knew approached Hunter and expressed an interest. She is a lot younger than either of us and was curious I think. She actually expressed interest in both of us but I wasn't interested in her in that way. Anyway, the two of them talked about it and then they slept together. And then they slept together several more times and started behaving like they were in a relationship.
So, at this stage a miscommunication came to light. Don't get me wrong, we hadn't put any restrictions on emotional relationships or anything like that. But we were/are open to the idea of more casual sexual encounters too, and I had got it into my head that this was going to be one of those rather than anything else, mainly because of an assumption on my part that the age gap was a bit too big and Hunter wouldn't really want that. I became very uncomfortable, for a number of reasons including a need for secrecy and that I felt we/he might be taking advantage of her. I expressed this to Hunter and he broke up with her. He would probably tell you I vetoed the relationship. I'm not sure to be honest, I think maybe I told him my objections and he made the decision, but it's probably a grey area
She was very upset, naturally. Hunter and I talked some more, and I began to feel more comfortable wth the idea, providing certain concerns I'd had were addressed. Shortly afterwards they began seeing each other again. After a couple of months, Hunter decided the relationship wasn't working and after some discussion with her, he ended it (again). This whole thing lasted maybe three to four months maximum, it wasn't particularly long lived. She is now happily monogamous with a boyfriend and as far as can tell has just chalked the whole thing up to experience.
A lesson in communication and not making assumptions if nothing else!
Our own sex life (which has ebbed and flowed over the years, mainly as my sex drive goes up and down) had improved when we agreed to open up, as many people experience I think - the new buzz of excitement that comes from the idea of poly, even if you're not doing it yet
Hunter was a bit impatient to 'get started' though. I think he felt he wanted me to jump in and start having experiences now that he'd had the first one. I even had to point out to him a couple of times that it almost felt like he was pimping me out, but thankfully he got the message and relaxed a bit!
Then we had the conversation with Pixie and Stargazer.