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Old 06-03-2010, 10:27 PM
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Question I'm still stuck on Square One after 18 months... any ideas welcome!

I'm glad to have found this forum! It's taken me a few days to read through the threads and has been very educational; I really appreciate so many people sharing their experiences in this lifestyle. My problem might not be exactly a poly problem, but is a dating problem in a poly setting...

I'm male, 46; I've been married to a great women for about 10 years (she's 41). We are both straight. We have no children and have taken steps to keep it that way (vasectomy). A year and a half back, we decided to open the marriage. We did our research as much as possible; reading "The Ethical Slut" and "Polyamory: Roadmaps...", as well as online resources on the subject. Luckily there have been no issues with jealousy and no negative drama; I count us VERY FORTUNATE there! We are pretty relaxed and "open" to the experience and lifestyle. We are level-headed and communicate very well (we always have); so far we have avoided the more common downsides of poly life.

My wife has two secondary relationships; she sees each of them approximately once per week (more if their schedules allow). They are both likable guys and visit socially when they can. She also has three friends-with-benefits she sees intermittently, as time permits. No one co-habits with us; she occasionally will sleep over at one of her secondary's places. These are all "V" relationships with my wife as the pivot; there are no triads or quads.

I'm really happy for my wife and gratified to see her so happy in her relationships; she really blossomed and has been able to shed negative feelings she used to have about herself and her body. All in all, she is in a great place in her life!

My problem is that I cannot find anyone interested in me. I would like to have a girlfriend/secondary (or two). Since I'm primarily looking for "V" type relationships (where I'm the pivot), I'm not limiting myself to finding partners who identify as poly, but am looking for open-minded women in the larger population as well.

We have attended local poly meetings; I have not met all the members yet, but the ones I have met are not very compatible or interested/interesting (many of them are pagan or Wicca or new-age, while I'm of a science/atheist slant)...... I don't want to pursue anything where I work; that seems like a recipe for trouble...... I have profiles on several social network and dating sites (including PoF, OKC, fetlife, DateHookup and Tagged) and have been diligently trying to make connections there as well. I send out lots of messages & contact requests, but receive very few responses. Those who do respond will typically politely decline further contact once they understand my situation.

I don't think I'm a boring person; I have many interests and hobbies and am always glad to share them with others. I think I can carry a conversation well and am friendly. I don't think I'm repulsive physically. One thing that does work against me; I make sure to include a brief mention of my open marriage/polyamory in my profiles. That probably keeps a lot of mono women from even responding.

What I've been doing doesn't seem to be working, so I've probably got to try something else; however, I'm a bit stumped as to what.

Like I said in the title, I've been trying for a year and a half with no success. Unfortunately, instead of enhancing my life with polyamory, I'm starting to feel like an incompetent fool, pursuing a lifestyle that doesn't want me. My wife feels bad that I'm struggling and is doing what she can to help. She has tried to re-assure me, and encourage me to be persistent, but I'm still mired in pessimism about a fulfilling outcome, and much less confident than I was 18 months ago. Poly is a really comfortable lifestyle for my mindset; I just can't seem to get a foot in the door. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!

-Bill

PS: If there are any ladies in the Tucson, AZ area who would like to talk, I would be delighted to hear from you.
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:21 AM
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Hello !! I don't really have any advice for you....but just wanted to welcome you to the forum. I do find that it's harder (in general) to find women who are open to getting involved in the poly lifestyle. Good luck and keep sharing !!!
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:06 AM
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I really can't say from your post why you would be having troubles, other than your time hasn't come yet. Have you been socializing, making time to meet up with people? Has anyone popped out as a good match for you? Have you asked anyone out?
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:02 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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As far as I can figure, the best bet would be looking for other women who are in open relationships. Those are probably some of the only women who are both open to dating and not looking for marriage.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 06-04-2010 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:03 PM
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EL314 EL314 is offline
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SchrodingersCat,

You could well be right! The most consistent contact I've had online has been with women who were already in open relationships. They are at least willing to message back and forth.

On the more vanilla sites I see many women who either want a relationship leading to marriage, and/or single mothers looking to meet someone (with the possibility of marriage implied if not stated). Very few state that they are looking for something less traditional.

Thanks for your reply!

-Bill

PS: As a side note; it's pretty sad to see all the single-mother profiles that come up day-after-day. Each represents a failed relationship that usually results in hardship for the kids (and the mother).

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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
As far as I can figure, the best bet would be looking for other women who are in open relationships. Those are probably some of the only women who are both open to dating and not looking for marriage.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:52 PM
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EL314 EL314 is offline
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redpepper,

I have found some women who sound like good matches based on their online profiles. The difficulty then is convincing them to meet me. Most don't reply to my initial "hello" message; those who do reply usually decline further contact due to discomfort with my poly situation. There are a few who also identify as poly who are interested in continuing discussion... unfortunately, they have not been interested in meeting either; they are already comfortable with their arrangements. There was one who sounded interested in meeting; she would actually call and message me (almost daily) for a little over two months, but kept putting off any meeting until she felt a "little more comfortable". She finally declined to meet when I pressed.

You asked "Have you been socializing"... That sounds like a good idea; I should try to attend more social gatherings. I've been approaching things mostly over the internet since there are so many dating sites; probably been neglecting the "old fashioned" way of meeting people face-to-face in a social setting. Summer is coming up; there will probably be lots of events and venues... I'll look into it!

Thanks for your reply!

-Bill


Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I really can't say from your post why you would be having troubles, other than your time hasn't come yet. Have you been socializing, making time to meet up with people? Has anyone popped out as a good match for you? Have you asked anyone out?
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:42 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EL314 View Post
redpepper,

I have found some women who sound like good matches based on their online profiles. The difficulty then is convincing them to meet me. Most don't reply to my initial "hello" message; those who do reply usually decline further contact due to discomfort with my poly situation. There are a few who also identify as poly who are interested in continuing discussion... unfortunately, they have not been interested in meeting either; they are already comfortable with their arrangements. There was one who sounded interested in meeting; she would actually call and message me (almost daily) for a little over two months, but kept putting off any meeting until she felt a "little more comfortable". She finally declined to meet when I pressed.
This isn't a you problem. This is being a guy problem. And really...do you blame her. If she is meeting her men online mostly, she will want to be very comfortable before meeting. You just don't know, regardless of conversation, what the person on the other end will be like (heck you could be a girl). Pressing the issue will only increase the chance of it not happening. You might need more patience here.

as a husband, with a wife who is beginning her own journey, I would be very protective of her meeting someone online...I have been doing this internet thing longer than it has been called the internet. I am very cynical towards online meets generally.

Ironically, I have made/and am making some fantastic friends online. But YOU have to let things happen naturally. ...Rushing or pushing is not the way to do it.

Quote:
You asked "Have you been socializing"... That sounds like a good idea; I should try to attend more social gatherings. I've been approaching things mostly over the internet since there are so many dating sites; probably been neglecting the "old fashioned" way of meeting people face-to-face in a social setting. Summer is coming up; there will probably be lots of events and venues... I'll look into it!
You are a lot more likely to impress in person...my take on the online thing is simply how easy it is to

flirt unabashedly...
become sexual with tonnes of safey (amazing how penis's aren't 5000km long)

but
people can come across as pushy
people can easily be fake
In person the creep factor can possible go away
physical flirting becomes key (brush of the hair, touch of the leg etc) in person, which is also more fun

...good luck and keep trying, try some meetups in your area.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:21 PM
EugenePoet EugenePoet is offline
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Yeah, it's a guy thing. Women who self-identify as poly are probably perceived by most unaware guys as "easy" and so get a lot of attention. Guys who self-identify as poly are probably perceived by unaware women as "cheaters" and are shunned.

Personally, I would always put my true relationship situation clearly in an online profile. Always. Misleading someone, even if only by omission, is exactly the wrong way to start a relationship. I applaud your honesty.

I did meet an activity-partner online, but while I like her a lot I am very wary of getting intimate with her. She has been dreadfully hurt by men in the past and I simply will NOT be someone who she could ever suspect of using her for sexual purposes. So I'm the best just-friend that I can be.

Good luck with your searching. It's process. Life is never static, is it?
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:45 PM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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I think that Pepper's Nonmonogamy for Men/ essay is very good, and might give you a few ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EL314 View Post
You asked "Have you been socializing"... That sounds like a good idea; I should try to attend more social gatherings.
Red Pepper's advice is really good; the more socialising you do, the better.

One impression that came to me when reading your posts is that you're very clear on the type of relationship you're looking for. I've met very few people who are interested in a secondary relationship as a general concept. Nevertheless, people keep getting into them because they're interested in a relationship with a particular person, and that person happens to have other commitments.

I'm not saying that nobody out there at all is hunting for a secondary relationship, I'm just saying that you may be putting the cart before the horse. Rather than look specifically for relationships that fit your life, just look for people who you relate to. If romantic feelings develop, some of those people will want to date you, not necessarily because they wanted to have a secondary relationship with a married man, but because they want to date you! I have absolutely no idea how this could possibly work on internet dating sites, but that is how I typically see secondary relationships form.

As a side note, having a no-Pagan rule is definitely going to limit your partners in a lot of poly- communities. You might consider being more flexible when it comes to a relationship that, after all, is not going to be your main source of love and companionship. Obviously, dating someone whose worldview you have no respect for would be terrible, but you might find that you can be compatible with more people than you thought when the pressure on the relationship is low due to other commitments.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:05 PM
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EL314 EL314 is offline
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jkelly,

Thanks for the insights; I hadn't even realized that I was approaching my search from such a "secondary"-centric point of view until you pointed it out! That is probably an unusual way of going about the process and definitely was causing me to have limits on my thinking. Also, you are right... I should try and be a bit less focused on the belief systems of potential partners. They are likely to be unconcerned with my thoughts on the subject; why should I get hung-up on theirs?

Thanks,
Bill

PS: Heading over not to read Pepper's "Nonmonogamy for Men" essay.
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