Hi, good people!
Since my first attempted post of this seems to have vanished into moderator approval land, here goes my second attempt, I think I remember most of the original post, in spirit if not to the letter.
I've been lurking here and reading this forum for about a year now, but haven't posted until now.
I am a 45 year old heterosexual white male living in the United States. I am pretty conventional and "normal" (bordering on conservative), except for one area where I'm a bit "bent" if not outright kinked. I have never had an intentionally monogamous romantic relationship in my life, I have always lived with or dated poly "others" even if we were temporarily monogamous in practice due to circumstances. I lost my virginity to 2 girls when I was 18 after an angst filled teenage existence with no girlfriend, and since then I have never had the desire to try out a traditional monogamous relationship. I was married once in my life, but my marriage was basically a "cover" at the time due to my work and social situation, I went home every night to my 2 women and our "husband" during this time. I will never be married again, it is not fair to the other(s) in the relationship in my opinion.
I mentioned that I'm heterosexual. I have absolutely no interest in anything romantic or sexual with another man, but I have no problem whatsoever sharing my girlfriend(s) with the right guy, up to and including group sex, cohabitation, and sleeping (as in snoring) together. I have been in 2 "quad" relationships in my life, both of them FFMM, and several "Triad" relationships: FFM "V" and "Triangle" configurations, as well as MFM "V" configurations. What can I say - I did mention that I'm a bit "bent". I am empathic and extremely compersive, so it doesn't matter to me all that much what the configuration of the poly triad or quad is, as long as it's semi-balanced (I would not be interested in MFFF or FMMM for instance). All of my relationships, without exception, have been polyfidelitous, closed committed families with an eye toward staying together for the long haul, lifelong if possible. In short, think typical monogamous lifestyle and goals, but with 3-4 people instead of 2. My current mindset is that 3 is best for me, quads are very difficult comparatively in my experience. This is all based on me and my preferences, I'm definitely not recommending any of this to others as any kind of superior ideal of any kind. My current partner is in agreement with me on all these points.
My current situation is this: I have been with my current partner (We'll call her "H" for now) for a little over 11 years. We love each other to the moon and stars, we want to spend the rest of our lives together, and probably will. She is very, very poly, she agrees with me 100% about the ideals of it, even though her first hand experiences with it have not been quite to the extent of mine. We met during the alcohol-fueled disintegration of the last "Quad" relationship I was in, one of the women had moved out and H was thinking of moving in and taking her place, but it never got beyond the family platonically dating her before the whole thing imploded. We ended up standing "alone" together when the dust had settled, tried for the next 5 years various other poly relationship options together, then settled into a somewhat monogamous existence for the last 6 years or so until we could find the right person(s). We have tried, and failed, several times since then - mainly because the potential "third" did not end up being a good fit considering our personalities, interests, future plans, and the various social pressures involved. We don't have a strong preference either way as to whether our potential mate is male or female, or (if our partner turns out to be a woman) what her sexual orientation is (straight or bi). We are not Unicorn hunters, although we would not turn down a HBB if one should appear!
We are a bit unusual in several respects. We both have fairly low sex drives, just don't have the interest or impulse most of the time. We are both committed to polyamorous ideals more out of romantic ideals, friendship & companionship, sharing life and travels, family living, and snuggly caring type stuff than because of sexual reasons - although we are both pretty bent sexually and we both really like group sex when it happens. It's just that sex is not our driving force or main reason for being poly, sex is kind of the "icing on the cake" you might say. We do not find our lives "incomplete" or "lacking" or in need of "spicing up", we are very happy together - we are just not living the way that we ARE as people when we are living monogamously, if that makes sense. H and I want to find someone we can be happy with for the long haul, share our lives with in every meaningful way, and hopefully grow old with in a happy kind of way. From our eperience, true love does not subtract... it multiplies! Seems like a simple enough thing to desire, but alas.
We live in a fairly conservative rural area. Everybody talks and gossips about everybody. Consequently, we need to be a bit discreet, and not too obvious. This has not proved to be overly difficult so far, as most of our closest friends know who and what we are, and our particular "bent". They accept us, to varying degrees, and have maintained silence about us to the outside world - at least so far. Moving is not an option, for more reasons than I care to list.
Seems like somewhat of a mess, yes? It gets worse.
We are both very poor, we eek out enough of a living to stay fed, clothed, and sheltered with a few running cars, but that's about it. No money for luxuries or much travel. This makes finding a potential partner a bit difficult. We are both Atheist, yet politically a bit conservative (I would actually describe us as politically "libertarian" and fiercely independent), and these stances add further difficulty, most poly people seem to be socialist and/or theistic or pagan of some flavor. We are not kinky sexually, pretty boring actually. We have no interest in BDSM, swinging, or sexual fetishes (other than group sex on occasion, but with traditional one on one bedroom time too!) We don't smoke, drink, do drugs, or gamble. We have zero interest in sports or most of the rest of what society calls "entertainment", and we don't watch TV. Many aspects of H and my lifestyle are so 180 opposed to the "typical" poly mindset and lifestyle that it makes us wonder sometimes.
This is so frustrating - how do you all do it? How do you date as a couple in a situation like ours and not get completely discouraged and depressed? This really sucks.