Deciding to Date - Discussions
So far the only information I have shared about the structure of my poly is that Kuroi and I were poly in High school (without realizing we were poly). And that our poly as married with a kid started with me as the hinge, became a triad, then Kuroi became the hinge.
As adults, the decision to start a family made us rethink acting on our poly interests. Our child would be a huge new responsibility, and the kids needs come first. So poly was put off. Meeting my ex, was unexpected. I wasn’t looking for a date/partner/SO. But this person found me. It was a very social setting, so Kuroi and I presented ourselves as married. Kuroi was supportive, and the door to poly was reopened.
Not long after Kuroi became the hinge, I decided I was ready to date. At the time I was not comfortable with the idea of meeting people while out at a club, bar, or such settings. I am also more interested in relationships with people who understand non-herterosexual romantic preferences/desires. A conversation with someone on OKC who was looking for the same thing called it a “friend revolution”. We had both come to the realization that our friends, and family’s are all hetero, and while most were accepting of our different romantic relationship needs (bi/Pan) they did not have an actual understanding of how our minds, and libado’s work.
While considering online dating sites - I had a conversation with Kuroi about what I was looking for, what I felt I had the time, money, and energy for. Kuroi was surprised that I was not looking for someone to spend several day/nights a week with. I was also more interested in someone who was already partnered, versus someone who was single. Of course one can not count on one preference being what they find.
At this point there was NO ONE I was considering dating at all. I was not getting out socially on my own, or in ways that would introduce me to potential SO’s (or even new friends).
The meat of my conversations with Kurio?
The potential pitfall of meeting someone face to face from an online source were discussed. Safety being key. The assumption I often hear at this point is not a surprise to me.
a) That in this discussion Kuroi would expect that I have my date over to our place first.
b) Or that I would be expected (by Kuroi) to go to my first date with Kuroi as "chaperone".
That however was NEVER considered by either of us. Our focus was on safety. We had never created “rules” for what was acceptable in poly between us.
There were all of two “rules” really they are more like expectations.
1) safety in meeting online person(s) face to face.
2) sexual safety
We discussed choosing places where I would be comfortable meeting. Public locations, coffee shop, book stores, events, hobbies activities. Meet my date there, get a feel for their physical personality, versus their online one, and decide at that point if I would be comfortable meeting (or moving to) a more private setting. Knowing my comfort level, should make setting up a date with someone much easier. If they are more comfortable in a more private setting then that’s something to be considered; however I intend to stick to my comfort level.
In other words, I was not OK meeting my date at my place, nor was I OK meeting my date at their place for the FIRST date. Which means that if that was a requirement, I would be outside my comfort zone, and would therefore not agree to such a request. I have this same reservation meeting friends (for the first time) outside of work environments. I do not invite them to my place, I do not accept invites to their place, nor do I invite Kuroi, or Momoiroi to tag along. If my friend wants to invite my family they can do so, it is not assumed.
One of the people I met on OKC specifically asked that I meet them with no one else, alone. I was surprised by this request. It would never have occurred to me to bring someone else to a first meeting/date with anyone. So I responded explaining that is not my style. The closest I would come to such an arrangement would be to be dropped of by Kuroi at the meeting location. I asked if that would present a problem, and promised to inform them if being dropped of would be necessary on my end.
Because I am married and filling out an OKC profile I asked Kuroi to do the same. I wanted interested people to see Kuroi’s account I was hopeful that this would alleviate “cheating” concerns. I also asked Kuroi to answer the poly-relevant questions that were findable through the questions on my profile. Kuroi agreed. In answering these questions, Kuroi also answered several others. Kuroi’s answers sparked further conversation.
I am not big on PDA with people I hardly know. Even with long time friends there is little PDA going on. One of my closest friend and I did not even hug until about 2 years ago (we had known each other for 6 years at that point). My friend made a comment about it, that pointed out the difference in our personal space requirements. I am one of those that does not like to be touched unless I have given permission. Permission takes time, I have to have a certain level of comfort, and safety within the relationship before I will be comfortable with PDA.
The question that sparked further conversation? What does it have to do with PDA?
The question asked about the likelihood of sex on a first date.
My answer: not very likely
Kuroi’s answer: likely - or likely, but not expected (I don’t remember, but Kuroi was much more open to that possibility then I was/am)
I asked Kuroi about that, explaining why I put not likely. I wanted to understand Kuroi’s more casual approach. Kuroi said that sex on a first date isn’t very likely for Kuroi either, but Kuroi choose to always leave room for passion. That saying it would “never” happen for you is cutting yourself off from having options, and it puts unrealistic expectations on oneself. Passion is an emotional thing, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying a positive emotion. If it leads to sex on a first date that is fine by Kuroi, for Kuroi, or for me.
Hmm, interesting. I had not thought about sex on a first date in that fashion. I decided not to change my answer, but to be open to the possibility of such an eventuality. So I asked another question.
Me: Kuroi, what about Safe sex practices? Anything you want me to keep in mind, or that you require of me?
Kuroi: *laughing* I’m not worried about it Murasaki, you are paranoid enough for the both of us.
Me: *smiling* Yeah I suppose so.
Somethings were not discussed, and are “assumed” so to speak. Or have been talked about in the moment. Things like staying out later than originally expected. (We do not have “curfews” though I meet someone who did). The expectation is to inform each other when plans change, so no one is in the dark worrying about the other.
Kuroi didn’t express any issues with any of the ideas I brought up as possibilities, and made some suggestions on things I should think about and consider (like sex on a first date/passion). Kuroi also did not make any assumptions on being introduced to to my date(s). All Kuroi was interested in was my safety in dating for the first time in oh 20 years, and in being informed of major changes.
As it happens I dated 3 different people over several months. Each person I talked with online for 2-4 months before meeting them face to face. During those conversations, crushes were created. Important informations was shared; time constraints, hobbies, jobs, and relationship interests, ect. Two of these people were also partnered (married), one of which has kids, and other was divorced. The date who was also married with kids, I meet the spouse, and several friends. We were having a great day together, and didn’t want to end things, but my date had plans that evening. After my date called the spouse I was invited. I checked in with Kuroi, everything was good on the home/family front, so I accept and went to meet my date’s spouse, sibling, and a few of their friends for dinner.
I’m not actively dating anyone right now. When I am feeling like I am ready to do so, I will check with Kuroi to see if the previous conversations are enough, or if there is anything new to discuss. I will also be talking to Momoiroi. Momoiroi and I have a standing “date”, so I expect keeping that will suffice to make Momoiroi feel happy, and connected with me even if/when I begin dating, and am not home as often as Momoiroi has again gotten used to.
Me - Murasaki - Bi/pan
Kuroi - Straight (LTR 22+ years, married/fwb)
Momoiroi - child of Murasaki & Kuroi
Kimidori - Kuroi's SO
My lovers - Darkness & Mysteriousness (2+ years)