Originally Posted by beautifulthings
Is there a good way to tell whether someone's interest in this lifestyle is from living consciously and desiring to be generous with love - or whether it's just very cleverly hidden commitment issues?
Use your "polydar!" Heh, just kidding. Although I have heard some people talk of the similarities that we all seem to have when it comes to poly. When you look at the Myers Briggs results you will see that many are the same type. Of course you can't really ask for Myers Brigg results before asking someone out.
I suggest being yourself as much as you feel comfortable and let people come to you. They will make themselves known if they are interested. Some educating along the way might be an idea as Poly in some circles is not seen as it is here. It is sometimes seen as an open relationship, open cheating or just cheating.
Someone who is dating is not necessarily poly. It depends on their attitude and description of themselves. They could be just looking for the right mono situation or they just like dating... dating doesn't require the same ethics. In fact it often means opposite ethics in that there is no requirement for being honest about who you are dating. Quite the opposite, its almost frowned upon to tell a potential partner that you are seeing someone as well as them... not poly, everyone knows and is on the same page together even if they don't spend time together.