Hello, Chase, and welcome to the forum. I think you'll find many wise, witty, loving and compassionate people here, as I have.
I'm sure there will be more experienced poly-folk who will weigh in with better, deeper advice on how to proceed in your transition to a poly lifestyle, but there are a few points I'd like to address, if I may.
Originally Posted by Chase
Basically, it seems like starting a poly relationship with someone new to it has two levels of complexity :
- make that person be willing to start a romantic relationship with you
- make that person accept the idea of polyamory
BrotherMan, not to put too fine a point on it, but you cannot make
anyone do or be or accept anything, especially when it comes to something as far outside the cultural mainstream as polyamory. And the sooner you stop thinking in those terms, the happier and more successful you will be.
The key to successful polyamorous relationships, IMO, is honesty, compassion, personal integrity and open communication. Lots and lots of communication.
As for when to broach the topic of poly with a potential new lover, my opinion is earlier is better than later, but only you can know when the time is right for you. I have enormous respect for those members of the forum who can walk up to an attractive stranger in a public place and open with, "Hi, I'm Janet and I'm polyamorous." Puts it right out there and opens the door for either acceptance, rejection or exploration and discussion. I myself am not that bold.
But I am currently developing a friendship that has romantic possibilities. Should those possibilities continue to develop, before I/we cross any lines that would create jealousy or insecurity, I will summon up my courage and talk it out with both my friend and my husband. My friend may be perfectly appalled by the idea of poly, or he may be enthusiastic about it, or he may be curious to learn more. Obviously, what happens next depends on his response. But assuming he doesn't run screaming away, we keep talking. In an open, honest and loving way, so that everything is out in the open, everyone involved is clear about what's going on, all necessary boundaries are discussed and agreed on, and all three of us know that we are loved, valued and supported. If it all works out, we three will be off to a good start toward poly-happiness together. If it doesn't, so be it; nothing ventured, nothing gained, and everyone will have been treated with respect and love.
Some of the things you write deeply concern me that you are not coming from a place of respect and love, but rather selfishness and deception. For instance, you wrote:
Originally Posted by Chase
In what order should I tackle these two obstacles ? Gain her trust, see how she reacts to the idea of poly, and finally seduce her ? Or try to seduce her, and then explain that I'm willing to build with her, but under specific conditions ?
Why would you approach the beginning of a potential relationship as a series of obstacles to be conquered? If everything works out, you'll be in an ongoing relationship with this girl. Wouldn't it be healthier to start out by sharing with her who you really are and what you really want, rather than devising a gameplan to "make her" go along with your plan? The fact that you are even considering the option of winning this girl's confidence to the point of seduction and then giving her an ultimatum to "accept polyamory or I'm out" shows that you do not care at all about hurting her.
I urge you in the strongest possible terms to take that option off the table and re-think your priorities.