Originally Posted by JustAGirl
I don't want to pre-judge people and turn down simple dates, but I also don't want to give someone the "wrong idea". And I definitely don't want to go on very many dates with a strict monogamist OR a "oh yah, I'm poly too!" newcomer.
I have this feeling that the moment I accept an invitation to one date I'm going to have to agree to myself to accept one or two other dates as well, so when I go on any of them I can make a "I'm having a lot of fun dating, you're the funniest/cutest/smartest one yet!" comment.
Okay, a question:
How do you start the conversation with someone who knows you're dating multiple people right from the start (second date) and effectively discuss the fact that you yourself (me) are not using this "poly thing" to find "the one", but in fact you intend to continue the poly lifestyle through to cohabitation some day?
And more importantly, how soon into the dating did YOU talk about this kind of thing? How many dates max did you go on/how much time passed with a person before you knew how well they could deal with the Poly lifestyle*?
* Your particular BRAND of poly lifestyle that is, since we all have slightly different beliefs and wants and expectations
I'm single and poly, so, to the outside world, I just look like I'm dating. The easiest thing, of course, is to date poly people. Most of the ones I've met have been online (through OKCupid) because I live in a small town. Barring that, through trial and error I've decided that the best thing is not to mention it on a first date (TMI) with someone who's never heard of it before. I, contrary to the OP, don't at all feel that agreeing to one date means there will be others. There quite often isn't another and, if that's the case, there's really no point in explaining all about poly. I never go on any dates at all without them knowing that I am dating other people, though. That's not really a problem since we are all single adults who are dating so no one is going to assume they are the only one right off the bat.
So, to the question, second date is still a bit early unless we're having sex and/or have a really strong emotional connection, but that's because I've made it clear by then that I'm not looking to settle down, "not looking for anything serious or exclusive," and for most people, that's sufficient. I attempt, most of the time, to hook up with people who feel the same. (Again, dating sites are wonderful for this because you already know what people are looking for.) If this is the case, that neither one of you is looking for something serious, then the whole poly thing can come up in normal conversation as you get to know each other. If they aren't looking for the "one" they generally don't care that you aren't either. I've even had a few people start thinking they might like to identify as poly after hearing about it. For people who wouldn't get it, it's not really necessary to identify it as if you had joined a cult or something. For me, it's just that I'm not interested in a monogamous relationship again, I like my freedom, I'm dating several people, nothing serious, blah blah blah. It's not really that big of a deal.
By far the most difficult situation is when you have someone who is monogamous fall in love with you, but, really, that happens sometimes no matter what they were told or when they were told it. You can't avoid it by telling them in the right way.