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Old 04-18-2012, 12:30 AM
Mudita Mudita is offline
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Default When and how do you tell them?

This is from the thread "Is it actually possible to pickup mono girls off the street without being creepy?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
Approaching a potential partner is essentially the same, whether you're poly or mono.
When it's time to discuss the possibility of dating "seriously"--which in mono circles would involve exclusivity--is when these things get negotiated.
So this gets me wondering.

When you date or sleep with someone, at what point do you folks ask if they are seeing someone else?

How do you ask?
- are you seeing other people?
or
- is there a SO in your life?

How much of the onus is on the person in the relationship to volunteer the info, and how much is on the other person to ask?
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2012, 12:34 AM
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LotusesandRoses LotusesandRoses is offline
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Right away, I guess. I usually tell people right away about my friend I see about once a month, who's kind of like an occasional boyfriend, that I have no primary, and I don't date a lot. That's when I wait for people to tell me about their dating situation. I'm fortunate to meet mostly good, honest folks.

Take the initiative and tell people about you. If they don't open up after that, RUN!
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:00 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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I should preface this by saying that I don't actually "date" but when it would have come up: Either I know them well enough to already know the answer or it's such a superficial sexual encounter that I didn't care, so I really have never had the opportunity to ask.

Anyone who has ever actually talked to me for 5 minutes knows that I have a husband since I barely have a life story that doesn't involve him in some way (not to mention that I wear a ring)...although they might not realize that I have a boyfriend too (depending on the context).
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MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
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Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 04-18-2012 at 04:02 AM.
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2012, 04:33 AM
Mudita Mudita is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe View Post
or it's such a superficial sexual encounter that I didn't care
Interesting.
In a way it's a kind of DADT between the people having the "superficial sexual encounter".

At the risk of derailing my own thread, some related questions are:

What constitutes cheating to the folks on this forum? Or more to the point are there some kinds of cheating that are ok?
Is a "superficial sexual encounter" with a person who is involved in a relationship with a partner who has not/would not consent tolerable to you?
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:17 AM
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I wouldn't have a one-night stand with someone whose partner did not consent, no. I don't feel any form of cheating is okay. I define cheating as breaking the rules of one's relationship without consent. Say a celebrity crush (who is not hirself cheating) propositioned me or one of mine? Call home, sort it through, things are most likely okay. For me, it is NOT easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2012, 04:00 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Just posted about this on another thread, but I will give a summary here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudita View Post
What constitutes cheating to the folks on this forum?
Breaking the rules of the relationship that we have agreed to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudita View Post
Or more to the point are there some kinds of cheating that are ok?
No, if we agreed that there should be things restricted by rules, then breaking of any of them is a major issue in our relationship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudita View Post
Is a "superficial sexual encounter" with a person who is involved in a relationship with a partner who has not/would not consent tolerable to you?
No. Absolutely not. But that's just me, and I won't pretend that this is some universal standard.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:50 PM
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A DADT policy with people someone is dating in a poly setting seems the same as dating in a monogamous setting as far as I can see it. Just thought that was an interesting thought that came to mind as a result of this thread.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudita View Post
Interesting.
What constitutes cheating to the folks on this forum? Or more to the point are there some kinds of cheating that are ok?
Hmm... dictionary time! (All definitions in this post are from Merriam Webster

CHEAT

transitive verb
1: to deprive of something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud
2: to influence or lead by deceit, trick, or artifice
3: to elude or thwart by or as if by outwitting <cheat death>
intransitive verb
1 a : to practice fraud or trickery b : to violate rules dishonestly <cheat at cards> <cheating on a test>
2: to be sexually unfaithful —usually used with on <was cheating on his wife>
3: to position oneself defensively near a particular area in anticipation of a play in that area <the shortstop was cheating toward second base>

Essentially, to cheat is to violate rules, act dishonestly, or deceive others. It also mentions something about baseball which doesn't apply. It also mentions sexual unfaithfulness. Unfaithful means:

UNFAITHFUL adj.

: not faithful: a : not adhering to vows, allegiance, or duty : disloyal <an unfaithful friend> b : not faithful to marriage vows <suspected her husband of being unfaithful> c : inaccurate, untrustworthy <an unfaithful copy of a document>

Again, breaking agreements, deceit, dishonesty...

Therefore, in the context of romantic and/or sexual relationships, cheating is not adhering to agreed upon rules. Many monos I know would be disappointed to discover that exclusivity is not intrinsic to the concept.

As for whether or not certain kinds cheating are okay: If a situation exists in which dishonesty is okay, then in such a situation cheating is okay. If a situation exists in which dishonesty is not okay, then in such a situation cheating is not okay.

As for the original question, when to reveal that one is polyamorous: With those I date, as soon as possible. In general, monogamy is the assumed standard. The longer any deviation from this goes unmentioned, the greater the chance for misunderstandings. It can be argued that if one waits, the other person may be more open to polyamory if it's not something they're used to than if it is mentioned upfront. I do not agree with this as I feel I'd be misrepresenting myself. Also, if someone's reaction to me saying "I'm polyamorous" is to make assumptions, not discuss it with me, and walk away, they're not the kind of person I want to be romantically involved with. I'd much rather be with someone that will ask questions and try to understand my point of view, while at the same time sharing their views and helping me to understand them.

Those I'm not dating, when it's relevant. In general I'm fairly open about myself, but I don't wear a t-shirt that has "I'm polyamorous" printed on it or anything. Although, that sounds like a fun idea.
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:59 AM
Jade Jade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusesandRoses View Post
Take the initiative and tell people about you. If they don't open up after that, RUN!
I have to agree with this. I tend to think that people who aren't interested in sharing information with "significant" others are either: 1) not that "significant," or 2) caught up in "control" issues. Neither is appealing or trustworthy.
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  #10  
Old 04-19-2012, 02:21 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe View Post
...it's such a superficial sexual encounter that I didn't care
Since I was the one who entered the phrase "superficial sexual encounter" into the conversation which then generated some more discussion, perhaps I should expand on the situation as it actually happened.

I was 18 years old, I went to a party, I hooked up with a slightly older guy, we went our separate ways. I was single (with the exception of a number of NSA FWB) and had no agreements with anyone (other than myself) regarding my sexual behavior. A few weeks later, this conversation happens:

Friend: "Hey, JaneQ didn't you hook up with Sam the other week?"

Me: "Sam?"

Friend: "Yeah, Fred's roommate, he brought him to that party at John's house. Short guy, blond, you two were drinking gin straight from the bottle?"

Me: "Ah yes, I remember that guy. His name was Sam?"

Friend: "Yes, and apparently his fiance is really pissed at him."

Me: "Fiance?"

Friend: "You didn't know he was engaged?"

Me: "WTF...I didn't even know his name. His fiance should really reconsider the whole marriage idea - seems like a real dick."

***

At that particular point in my life (20 years ago!) it would never have occurred to me to ask if some random pickup was seeing/dating/sleeping with/engaged to someone else. My motives at the time could be summed up by - "You're Hot, I'm Horny, Here's a condom - don't call me." I definitely was of the opinion that it was the responsibility of the person who was in the relationship to enforce its rules and boundaries - I was merely a disinterested bystander looking to get laid. (By the way, MrS and I have had several heated discussions about this over the years - he completely disagrees.)

Now, if it had been someone that I was interested in getting to know, or a friend that I cared about, or, hell, someone that I ever expected to have contact with again, then I would have cared about how this sexual encounter would affect them and their lives and relationships. But an almost-anonymous one-night stand, nope - I probably would have assumed they were lying anyway...
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 04-19-2012 at 02:31 AM.
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