Originally Posted by KharmaCanuck
Did you go looking, fall into it by circumstance, or were you introduced.
! No, actually, I started out looking for a triad situation on OkCupid, and thought things were going well, but the couple bailed on me after our first get-to-together - never gave an explanation.
I met a guy through the local poly group who had two relationships already, and we saw each other for a while, but things came to an abrupt end. However, he did introduce me to VanillaIce (a former sub of his) which makes the whole brief thing with him totally worthwhile
In the meanwhile, I quite accidentally developed feelings for a man in my gaming group, which I hated myself for, him being married and all. Sweetheart's wife struggled with the idea, and since I have yet to receive the "all clear" from her, I think of my relationship with Sweetheart more of as an online long-distance crush because the sexual side of things is lacking due to his commitment to his wife (that is the least of our problems, but that's off-topicky).
I met the Sweets (Moonlight and Windy) through the local poly group aswell, and although I was originally a bit hesitant because of my earlier experience with a couple, it turns out my triad dream was to come true after all
Originally Posted by KharmaCanuck
Are there things you'd do different? What pit-falls could us noobs easily avoid if we had your experience?
Considering how well everything's gone so far, I don't know if I would do anything differently as much as maybe change my emotional orientation a bit. Not everyone you chat with, meet up or even have sex with is going to be your life-long partner, even if they seem to have great potential. Sometimes there is just not enough time, or you don't really fit well together, or the attraction isn't mutual. I find I really make time for the connections that matter to me most.
If dating isn't working out for you, take a break. Don't categorize people into "this will work out in the long-term and this will not" boxes; love requires an element of surprise. Don't have a strict list of expectations as to gender, relationship type, location, life situation etc. for your future partners. Hang out with polyfolks, either virtually, or even better, IRL. Watch/read polyfriendly material - seemingly trivial but it will help you feel more normal and see the possibilities out there.
Be very clear, once you enter into a relationship, what it is that you can expect. How many times can you expect to see them per week? What would you normally do? How much sex can you expect? Use primary/secondary/tertiary language if need be. It's nonmonogamous but is it open, closed, swinging, FWB, play partners only or what? Self-educate.
Bring up problems immediately when they arise. Even the slightest wicker of insecurity will grow to monstrous proportions if you let it fester. And don't trust you emotions - ask what kind of a position you have in the life of your partner(s), don't go by gut feeling. Have that in writing if need be, so you can revisit when insecurity and jealousy raises it's ugly head again.
Trust what people tell you - if they are lying, it's on them, not you. Don't agree on stuff you are not comfortable with only to regret it later. If you have a repetitive pattern of mis-communication, recognize it and change it. If you or your partner feel a need to introduce a specific boundary, be very clear on why it is needed - what insecurity or fear does it cater to? Don't cling to old boundaries just because you agreed to them a while ago. Also learn to recognize red flags, some of which ray and BG listed already. Know your limits - what are your dealbreakers when it comes to relationships?