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Old 07-25-2010, 07:32 AM
FormerUnicorn FormerUnicorn is offline
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Default Criteria for New Partners

So there has been a lot of discussion going around lately about how poly women seem to have a lot of relationship options and that the name of the game is really just separating the wheat from the chaff.

For the purposes of this discussion, we'll assume the above statement has enough truth to merit some exploration.

With so many options, how does a woman decide what avenues to pursue? How does being poly differ from being single when you're choosing a new partner? What things do you have to take into consideration? Granted, some times lightning just strikes and you hit it off with someone instantly, but what do you do when you have potential and you are not sure whether to pursue it? What factors help you decide?

See, I feel that looking for, or being open to new partners is an entirely different position to be in now that I'm married. I have an existing relationship that is important to me, and another person's opinion that is important to me. Right off the bat I have criteria that are based on my desire to maintain and possibly enrich those existing connections.

When I was single and looking, I pretty much let my heart or my libido guide me. I didn't have much at risk, except for my own happiness and well-being, and those were easily preserved by making smart decisions once I had established a relationship.

I find that while I might still be open to lightning striking, I'm much more invested in weighing whether or not a person would be a good addition to my life than I was when I was single and willing to figure things out in situ.

I'm less in need of a stabilizing factor. I'm not looking for someone to contribute economically unless they wish to. I'm not feeling the pull of my biological clock since I already have a willing mate. I don't have to worry at this point about finding someone that I can compatibly live with. I'm not interested in people who don't have their own life and goals. I'm not looking to fix anyone broken or act as a crutch to someone dysfunctional.

The list goes on, but the bottom line is that I didn't really THINK about whether or not someone would make a good partner. It's like I wasn't even aware that I could have a vetting process for these people beyond whether or not it felt right. It's not that I didn't have standards, I just didn't think about what I wanted or needed before I got involved.

I'm sure some people would find this pre-judgment stifling, but in the context of my own life I feel a little forethought is a more mature outlook that will contribute more towards my happiness in the long run.

What are some things that you consider?
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:47 AM
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I like "maintaining and enriching" relationships that are already there. That is so important for me now. It wasn't before for me either.

Someone who is able to be independent, has similar values, I like the smell and taste of, has similar humour, that all my other partners get long with.

Might come back to this though as that is not all
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:38 PM
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Excellent question FU. <--( Haha had to shorten it. Just once. for kicks. )


I am much like you. I have a primary who I cherish and love deeply. We are each others #1, no questions asked. On top of that, we have a family together.

It does not mean I look at any secondary relationship as unimportant, or something that doesn`t deserve true consideration. It does mean, that I have different criteria for a secondary, or tertiary.

In some ways, there is more freedom. With someone who is a potential secondary, or tertiary, it means I don`t have to worry about the small pet peeves that drive some couples crazy.
For example ;
- Useage and spending of joint money.
- Differing views on politics.
- Living habits.
- Any fundamental differences on raising children.

I have found I do experience a higher need to have more things in common with someone of a secondary or tertiary stature. The 'opposites attract' thing does not work out very well. I now understand that.

So while I recognize that some differences are nice, on a whole, I prefer partners who have similiar hobbies, or interests to me. I enjoy getting to know someone who I can relate to, about a variety of topics.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:13 PM
marksbabygirl marksbabygirl is offline
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I just blogged about this this morning.

Anyone who comes into my life will, by the nature of my marriage and family, be involved with them to some degree as well. That doesn't mean that we'll necessarily be "one big happy family" but they'll have to be comfortable enough with the rest of my life to come hang out on a Sunday at the lake with my kids and me. I spend so much time away from my kids that there will be overlap with my new partners and my kids - we'll occasionally do 'kid' stuff

They'll have to be willing to spend time with my husband as well. Not all the time - but he likes to know my friends. So even if its a matter of 10 minutes waiting for me chatting with hubby while I'm finishing up getting ready or hunting for my purse... there has to be a comfort level and maturity that allows that.

SO yeah - there is a greater consideration for whomever I will get involved with - because there's so much more to think about other than getting my itch scratched.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:34 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Reading this thread with piqued curiosity
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:35 PM
marksbabygirl marksbabygirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariakas View Post
Reading this thread with piqued curiosity
Ah yes, but what are your thoughts?
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:08 PM
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I don't have anything to add but love the use of the word "criteria"
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:51 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marksbabygirl View Post
Ah yes, but what are your thoughts?
My thoughts are simple actually. I don't tend to like using criteria or checklists. They limit the potential of what can happen. By creating a positive checklist you are inherently going to ignore the possibility of meeting someone that may not fit it all. Its actually why I find online dating generally counterproductive...

So my wants are the same as they always have been when I was single. I want someone who is loving caring, sexual, ideally kinky. Honesty is important because I am honest and very blunt (as you are learning), I expect the same in return, especially if I am meeting someone online. I hate disingenuous people online.

some of the criteria for what I would normally not want but has changed.

a) I don't want to do distances, I was very against an LDR
b) I had only been interested in finding a "3rd" and she was a unicorn (self proclaimed unicorn hunter here)
c) ummm...honestly I have never had a friendship turn to romance in my life. I am more open to that possibility happening now...

There were other things borne from both ignorance and fear I had in my criteria list. Each one of those slowly but surely being knocked out of the park the more in interactions I have with good people.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:38 AM
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RatatouilleStrychnine RatatouilleStrychnine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superjast View Post
In some ways, there is more freedom. With someone who is a potential secondary, or tertiary, it means I don`t have to worry about the small pet peeves that drive some couples crazy.
For example ;
- Useage and spending of joint money.
- Differing views on politics.
- Living habits.
- Any fundamental differences on raising children.
This is true for me too. I had a very long, complicated check list of what I wanted in a partner before I was married, because I knew what I needed to make me happy and secure long term. I only had relationships with people who could tick right boxes on my list.

Now I have someone I live with very happily, I don't need to worry about that as much. If I find another well-matched, potential primary, then that would be okay, but that isn't my only goal anymore. If we click, are attracted to each other, enjoy each other's company, then that is good enough for me, now; it just might not be a long-lasting relationship or a love-match.

The only new criteria I have now that I am married and poly, is the one that LovingRadiance mentioned: respect for my marriage is absolutely crucial. In fact, this was one thing that attracted me to my bf - he understood that it was in his best interests that my marriage was happy, and he went out of his way to make friends with my husband. I couldn't date someone who was awkward around my husband, or who was uncomfortable or resentful about my marriage.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatatouilleStrychnine View Post
This is true for me too. I had a very long, complicated check list of what I wanted in a partner before I was married, because I knew what I needed to make me happy and secure long term. I only had relationships with people who could tick right boxes on my list.

Now I have someone I live with very happily, I don't need to worry about that as much. If I find another well-matched, potential primary, then that would be okay, but that isn't my only goal anymore. If we click, are attracted to each other, enjoy each other's company, then that is good enough for me, now; it just might not be a long-lasting relationship or a love-match.

The only new criteria I have now that I am married and poly, is the one that LovingRadiance mentioned: respect for my marriage is absolutely crucial. In fact, this was one thing that attracted me to my bf - he understood that it was in his best interests that my marriage was happy, and he went out of his way to make friends with my husband. I couldn't date someone who was awkward around my husband, or who was uncomfortable or resentful about my marriage.
This is...what I needed to read today. For someone who writes I have a hard time with figuring out how to word what I'm thinking when it comes to this.
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