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Old 12-10-2010, 01:20 AM
pixie pixie is offline
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Hi

I don't know if my situation is technically polyamory or anything, but I'm hoping that I might be able to get some advice here.

I am in an open, long-distance relationship - we both agree that the time we spend apart (which is for months at a time, 5,000 miles apart) we are free to see other people. We don't consider ourselves to be officially 'dating', but when we are in the same place, we are together and act in every way as a couple. We have both been burned badly in past long-term monogamous relationships and are both very reluctant to commit to that at the moment. What we have works very well for both of us.

I would like us to be very open about the other affairs we have, but he has said he doesn't want to know what I get up to, so we have a 'don't ask don't tell' with the flipside that he will tell if I ask. I do feel pangs of jealousy when I see photos of him with other girls; but then I am very much enjoying seeing other people myself, so can hardly deny him, I do feel secure in how he feels about me, and in many ways I am pleased to know that he is enjoying himself away from me and not just moping (I guess I have some compersion there - I've been reading and learning the lingo!)

So far I have had very short-term flings and one nights - with people that I know are leaving etc. Recently I have met a man that I am getting on with very well and I think it has the potential to be a more defined relationship. I've only known him a week, we haven't even gone out on our first proper 'date' yet as I was ill when were supposed to meet, but we've been talking every day and getting to know each other, and already there is more to this than most of my other affairs.

It's early days to worry this, but at what stage is it appropriate to bring up the open nature of my other relationship with this new man? I was thinking of giving it a few weeks, 3 dates or so, and if it is going well, then sitting down with him and explaining my situation.

Is there any accepted etiquette about this kind of thing? Any insight is welcome.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:23 AM
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Your mileage may vary, but I meet guys on a dating site open to poly people (but we are in the minority). I say I am poly in my profile, so most men who msg me know it upfront. Some dont carefully read my profile, however, but I always let them know before the first date. I guess I lose some guys because of that, but better to let them know before we start caring too deeply for each other, is my opinion.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:11 AM
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Polyamory is different for everyone. To me, I'd just say you're in an open mono relationship. You say you've not yet had a relationship with anyone else, just dates and one nighters? Seems like you've been in it for the sex. [doesn't have to be a bad thing!] But you also say you've met this guy you could have more with. I think that could be polyamory, if you do end up loving him. I don't personally enjoy that the openess is gone when you guys are together again either. Poly isn't something you can just turn on and off.

I hope you have a good time in whatever it is you're wanting to do though and hope it's something that makes you happy. Because that is the most important thing. =] If you want to talk more personally at anytime, feel free to send a PM my way. Welcome to the site.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:42 AM
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I would think you will know when the time is right. Sometimes people talk about their relationship status on the first date, sometimes the third, whatever feels comfortable. Everyone has their own pace. But when you do talk about it, I don't see it as having to be much harder than saying, "I am seeing someone but we are not exclusive and are free to see other people." At least while you're first getting to know him. If it progresses and he wants to know more details, then supply what you feel comfortable with.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:39 AM
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Here are some great threads I found by doing a search in the tags... I don't know, maybe it will help.

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2513
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1742

There is lots more if you start searching in tags and stickies on DADT and when to tell a prospective partner that you are poly or the like.

Generally it seems to be an established theme that the best time to tell someone you are not monogamous is in your dating profile. As soon as possible is not soon enough. In your dating profile you don't even have to meet the person, if they see you aren't mono then they can decide for themselves what to make of you and if you are worth contacting. Why get involved, fall in love and make plans if you are essentially lying about who you really are... if I were in your shoes I would be telling him right this very second... you are not being truthful. I would be very upset if I found out a partner was not telling me the truth about who they were right from the beginning. I would lose trust before even getting started... Mind you DADT would create that kind of mistrust for me too. I wouldn't be with someone or in a situation where large parts of our lives are secret. I don't need details but I need to know what my partner is doing or I just eventually would feel there is no point in being together. I prefer to bond with my partner, connect on such experiences and build more depth rather than move further and further away from our connection. That has been the experience I have had with DADT anyways.
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Last edited by redpepper; 12-10-2010 at 05:50 AM. Reason: adding
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:22 AM
pixie pixie is offline
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Thanks, I'll read through all that carefully and those links, thankyou

Just to clarify a few things if it makes any difference
- a few of my affairs have been ongoing (well, two to be precise) just never, from my point of view, felt like they were ever going to be long term. The other parties in those knew of my open status from the start; from mutual friends in one case, and the other started as a one-nighter and then turned out we got on as well, but it was always a casual fwb kind of thing, although genuine friendship.

- we don't have secrets, I don't make any attempt to hide anything - my fundamental requirement in this relationship is communication and honesty, I've never been so honest with anyone. He just doesn't particularly want to hear about my affairs especially details. He does know about some that come up in natural conversation. He answers honestly when I ask about his. Personally I would prefer we were totally voluntarily open about it all - but I think he struggles with jealousy more than me so I respect his wishes.

- this new man I did not meet through a dating site, I don't use those, so there is no profile for him to check! I met him just chatting in a random public situation and swapped numbers, there are no mutual friends. It just doesn't seem like something to bring up via phone/text (how we're communicating now) and not sure about discussing it on a first date, before even of us even know if this is an important thing or not. I think there could be a great friendship here if the romance doesn't turn out and I don't want to blow everything early on by making it unneccesarily complicated.

Last edited by pixie; 12-10-2010 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:47 PM
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Hi pixie, its in the life stories and blog section. There are some really good stories in there, not just mine. You could also do a tag search for my name as I tagged it as "Redpepper"

It sounds like your situation is a matter of starting to talk really in order to see where you get.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:41 AM
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Well, things are moving on a bit. And I am itching to talk to W about everything, but have to wait a few weeks until we are in the same place again. But a few things have happened - one, he said those three words to me, which was an incredibly special moment. It's not like I didn't know that, and don't feel what is between us, but I'm a bit too scared to admit it and he isn't - I didn't see him cracking first! Two - he's invited me to spend next thanksgiving with his family. Now I'm not American, but I'm told that's a bit of a big deal. He's already met my mum and grandmother on his last visit. I can't wait until we get this month together. It seems plain now how we feel about each other and I want us to be able to talk and work out the practicalities of how we can make this work - with the distance, and the open aspect of it, what is and isn't acceptable there.

On the other side, I had the most perfect first date with T. Dinner, a few drinks, talking, laughter, a romantic moment and public display of affection(!) at the end, both wanting to meet up again. What with xmas, it looks like we won't be able to for a while though, but we are keeping in contact once a day or so. I was careful to present my attitute towards life and relationships how it is at the moment - easy, open, free and generally unplanned. I didn't explicity say what it was I was looking for from him, or directly mention W. But we got on so well and talked very freely together, I feel I will be able to address those issues the next time we see each other, if it goes so well again and it's clear that we do like each other.

So I guess I have to figure out what it is I want so I can communicate that.......I hope I am handling things fairly so far. I feel I am.
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