Mono and I are sitting here together and so write this together. We just talked about this last night!
Mono thinks that age plays no part in whether a person is poly or not. But it does effect how your approach to poly. There are different external influences and goals depending on age and stage of life.
I agree with him but would add (and I am realizing I have much more to say than time allows right now) that there are different values to up hold in poly than there are in just dating for younger people. Of course this is true for a 40 year old who is single, childless and dating too. Poly seems to value respect, communication, compassion, honesty, and independence highly. More so than the regular dating scene where people don't know about each other.
I don't think that there is a certain age. I am 40 and only identified as poly about 5 years ago. I always knew I was not able to be monogamous though and called myself non-monogamous.
I really think young people have it made today. I struggled dating in my 20's with being called a slut and having to hide and lie about dating many people. Young people don't have to do that now and can call themselves poly. However, I later in life decided I was a lesbian and then had a traditional mono relationship and then tried a mono marriage...
I think younger people need to know that its okay to try everything until something fits. What I find is that some younger people think that because they identify as poly that that's it for the rest of their lives. My wish for them is that they realize it might not be. And that's okay. I have several friends who used to identify as lesbian who are now married with kids. A lot of them were *die hards* at the time. There is nothing wrong with any of it, just take it all with a grain of salt, sit back and enjoy the ride, without taking it all so seriously. I dunno, youth is all about taking stuff seriously sometimes though. I remember being in university and being a Lesbian Avenger (does that exsist any more), activist, boot stomping, ass kicking dyke. I was very present and out. I was embarrassed when u met and started dating nerdist and lost a lot of friends. I was probably one of the only lesbians that had a long term girlfriend. People looked up to us for that and then I went and fucked it up by marrying a man. People were not happy. I felt a fool, but went with my heart.
Anyway, the thing I'm saying is... Just go be yourself and do whatever, that's my motto. Things change, life brings new things and who cares if you identify as poly or not. Just don't show off about it I say
you never know what changes will come and you may just end up feeling the fool as I do now.
Now off to spend the afternoon with my two men! (life is so fucking weird isn't it? Thanks for the trip down memory lane).