I think preparing for poly is kind of like preparing for pregnancy, birth and a new baby. You can read books and websites, talk to lots of new parents, take childbirth and breastfeeding classes, but you can't know the joys and challenges of getting pregnant (esp if there are fertility issues), being pregnant, changes in one's body image, nausea, extreme fatigue, choosing a dr or midwife, birthing, breastfeeding, pediatrician visits, lack of sleep, til you're really doing it. Not to mention the stress it puts on the partners' relationship, because you now have so little time to talk, date, have sex, connect, be spontaneous.
That was my experience when my ex and I opened our marriage. I'd read the Ethical Slut, my ex and I seemed to be in a good strong place in our marriage, I am bi, he is straight, we found a nice woman... but I had no idea what NRE would do to him, and us. I didn't know how I'd feel about their romantic dates, how I'd feel about the time he'd be taken away from our kids, hadn't thought about how I'd feel about him spending OUR money on taking her out and buying her gifts, the constant passionate emails, how she and I would manage trying to become friendly metamours (since I'd imagined she'd be my lover too). I'd imagined feeling jealous of her, but hadn't thought about her jealousy of me, etc etc.
So, please don't judge us so harshly, Cindie.
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley
Mags, F, 60, poly-dating, loving and living with
miss pixi, F, 38
Punk, 41, M (dating since Oct 2015)
and a few more casual relationships