Hi, my wife and I are writing this together. We'll try to skip to the chase; we're newbies (super-newbies, really) and unicorn hunters (and trying not to be). I'm sure this is an all-too-common story for most of you, but we're trying very hard to be responsible and understand what we're getting into. That's involved treading through a few websites, reading some articles (this one, which we found on these forums, was one of the first and was really helpful -- so, thanks!
), and trying to go through some forum posts. While we'll still be doing that, we're hoping it doesn't seem lazy posing some questions, since we're pretty well aware there's a lot we've got a chance of missing.
To clarify, we're looking to try for a closed, long-term triad (I think, we're still only vaguely literate in poly terminology). I'm a straight guy, she's a bi girl. We're pretty happy in our relationship, this was more something we wanted to mutually explore as opposed to needing to fulfill something missing -- we'd probably both be just as happy if it never happens. We started the initial discussion knowing nothing, hit every trope possible, started reading, discussed not hitting every trope possible, and then managed to get to this point. That said, onwards?
1. What can we do in our position to be polite to the rest of the poly community and not be horribly obnoxious, both in real life and on the forums? We'd both like to avoid being, 'that guy,' 'that girl,' or I guess in this case 'that couple.'
2. What can we do to be polite to others when trying to make our intentions clear? I realize this is really situational, but some nebulous advice would be nice. The reasoning behind this is that we've realized that simply poking around 'likely' areas online (like this one!) isn't the most realistic stance to take, but we'd also like to not make friends or likely acquaintances too uncomfortable if possible.
3. What makes a well established couple comfortable to work into if you're polyamorous? We've already gotten over the 'treat them like a real relationship' stage of ignorance, so no lists of weird rules or behind-the-back whispering between ourselves, but there's probably things that we haven't heard about yet and haven't thought about that would be helpful to know.
4. How rude would it be to ask a potential individual to do as much as possible 'together' as a trio? The aforementioned article we stumbled into on this site it discouraged it, but we were hoping to pose it as something to aim for as opposed to some overbearing, mandatory rule. We're not talking about some weird balance of "love us both equally, damn you," and more along the lines of trying to go on dates or be intimate together as much as possible.
5. Any advice on getting this across to family in a smooth fashion? I'm estranged from mine, but we're not clear on how to explain this to my wife's family. I realize this is again in the field of very general and situational. Her family is very liberal, but they still have pretty traditional views of relationships. We're worried that, if we managed to get into a serious relationship with someone, they'd get treated poorly by my wife's family. They're unlikely to really hold it against us, but we'd like to do it in a way such that they're more likely to accept it, and as an extension any partner we become seriously involved with.
6. Is dating together a really poor idea, or does it just make things harder, or...? My wife and I would like to do it together if possible; we think it would be fun. If it's considered in bad taste or makes it near impossible, however, we'd like to know. If you're of the opinion that it's not advisable, is there any advice on how to work the additional person in later down the line? Again, silly question that's very situation specific, but it seems worth asking. If it's reasonable or can be done if done right, is there anything to make it more platable for the potential individual? We can imagine specifics like trying not to be too much of a 'unit' during the whole affair (at least, I'd find it awkward if I was in their position), but it'd be nice to hear anything relevant since we're still pretty clueless.
7. We think we're prepared for this and we've put some thought into it (and continue to). But we're both vaguely aware that all the planning in the world often doesn't matter. We've been monogamous for all our lives and both of us very heavily so. We're wondering what kinds of issues we may run into once things start progressing (if we're lucky), and if there are any really common scenarios? We're aware jealousy and unfairness are pretty obvious issues to run into as well as a few other things, but there's probably a lot we wouldn't think of.
Anyway, this is probably a lot to read. We hope someone takes the time; if so, thanks! Even moreso if you have the time to respond to any of the above, or shove us in the direction of an article or post you think would be enlightening.