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Old 12-02-2012, 03:41 PM
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Question Mono is a feature not a bug

Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against being poly. Anyone out there wanting to try me for a possible poly relationship - long-term, temporary, whatever, just drop me a line. I am smart, interesting, not even that bad-looking, just ask my wife.

Nevertheless, now that I have been "out" as a poly for about half a year, reading the literature, going to poly events, I have started to reflect.

How will this actually happen? Why would someone actually choose me as a poly companion? In my single days, way back when, I wasn't that successful - I was too intellectual, too serious, and - for some - too unconventional. It took me quite a bit of effort to find the right kind of female company.

But when I did find someone suitable, I knew I had a trump card. My trump card was being single, sane and solvent. I could jump into a relationship with no baggage, and had the wherewithal to participate in it 100%. Not for me the lack of willingness to "commit". Marriage, children, bring it on, I'll give it my best.

But I don't have that trump card any more - I am married. My wife loves me dearly (and I her), and has no problem with me becoming poly. But why would someone else wish to be with me? There are plenty of men to choose from out there: there are the charmers, the soulful ones, the ones with sexy hobbies (sailing, glacier skiing, whatever), the ones who really know their wines and their whiskey, not to mention the ones richer and just plain better-looking (and younger!).

I know I have enough to offer in a mono world. Hey, my father (with many of the same virtues) remarried, very happily, at 72. But are my virtues sufficient in a poly world?

Just some of my thoughts. Any comments?
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:50 PM
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What about: yourself? The person you are? Why wouldn't that be enough? I really don't get your main problem, I suppose. Even in a mono world, someone who is dating you/wants to be in a relationship with you for the 'extras' you have in your life solely ... is that what you have been looking for? I don't think that I am wrong when I guess that there was more special about you than a 'mono trump card' you don't have any more.

And btw: Don't regard your wife as 'baggage' just because your family life and your relationship with her takes up some of your time. Aren't you a happy and fulfilled human being because of this? That's plenty to offer to any new person coming into your life, from my point of view.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phy View Post
What about: yourself? The person you are? Why wouldn't that be enough? I really don't get your main problem, I suppose. Even in a mono world, someone who is dating you/wants to be in a relationship with you for the 'extras' you have in your life solely ... is that what you have been looking for? I don't think that I am wrong when I guess that there was more special about you than a 'mono trump card' you don't have any more.

And btw: Don't regard your wife as 'baggage' just because your family life and your relationship with her takes up some of your time. Aren't you a happy and fulfilled human being because of this? That's plenty to offer to any new person coming into your life, from my point of view.

Hi Phy, and thanks for your comment.

Of course I have many things special about me, or so I like to think. But these things are not the qualities that are most appreciated in the dating world - if they were, I would be overwhelmed by offers. I never had trouble having female friends - but, by and large, when these friends were (and are) looking for something more, they normally look(ed) elsewhere.

And when these same women were complaining about their love lives, it was usually not because their boyfriends were not exciting or affectionate, it was because they were two-timing them, or were unwilling to move in together (let alone get married), or were not interested in having children (an important issue when the biological clock really starts clicking).

As for baggage, of course I don't consider my wife as baggage. But just think: as a single man, I knew that I could bring something to the table that many of my competitors couldn't or wouldn't. As a married man, even at poly social events, I am not sure what such qualities might be. If I had a better idea, I would start broadcasting them, loud and clear!
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:24 PM
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Maybe I am just the wrong person to answer to this ^.^ I have never 'dated', I just in a way 'found' interesting people in my direct surroundings and developed deeper feelings for them with time. I know two people that are interested in me on a more than platonic level, despite the husband and boyfriend that are by my side. All told me "Because you are special ... " It's the same for me: I am fascinated by someone or I am not. The second thought is about the possibility, the first is what I like about this person and why.

Wouldn't those women you are talking about be happy with a man willing to be honest and open and invested in their realtionship? As they learned, even the most exciting and affectionate man will not be the right one to be with if he is lying and cheating on them. Of course, they need to see that the 'mono dream' won't come true with you. Maybe you are talking to the wrong women *scratches head*

And about the qualities: You know how to lead a successful, trusting, honest, satisfying and stable relationship (Guessing from what you described ). Those are qualities that said other men obviously don't have, don't you think?

[Maybe there will be others more qualified to answer your question, but I am wishing you luck on your way ]
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:37 PM
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I can't imagine that your wife consented to date you, and then marry you, just *because* you were single, sane, and solvent. You call it a "trump card", but if that were so, why wouldn't she have hooked up with the first interested man she met who had those same qualities... surely you couldn't have been the first man she met who possessed all three? You talk about that combo like it's some extremely rare thing, but in my experience it's really not. Also, believe it or not, there are plenty of women who like serious, intellectual, unconventional men. At least, there are in my world of female friends who are geeks, computer programmers, scientists, medieval enthusiasts, non-profit employees, artists, etc. Maybe you were just hanging out with the wrong crowd before?

You're still sane, you're still solvent, you're just not single, but a woman who's poly, who may very well have a marriage of her own, isn't going to have a problem with that. In fact, I get the impression that some partnered poly people prefer, when they form new entanglements, to get involved with people who are also already partnered, so that they don't feel responsible for fulfilling a role in their new partner's life that they just don't have the time or logistical ability for.

Whether you believe the things I've written or not, just go ahead and jump in. Maybe you *won't* find a gf, maybe you're right. But it'll be diverting to look, yeah? Just try to project some degree of confidence... if you do find an interested woman, don't tell her how puzzled you are that she's into you.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:48 PM
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Thanks, AnnabelMore and Phy! I am obviously looking for insights by outsiders, and all thoughtful comments are welcome. I am not so much looking for "dating" advice as for pointers as to how to behave in the poly world so that I can function more effectively in it. And who knows, some of what I say may also resonate with others. In a world where "The Big Bang Theory" is a hit, I am clearly not the only person with predicaments such as mine.

On dating, I don't particularly want to date at all - in my experience it is a highly unnatural activity. It would be best to bypass it altogether. Within two or three weeks of meeting my wife, we were not dating any more, we were just together in most of our free time, as if we were meant to be that way. We even stopped keeping our finances apart, it was too much of a bother.

But, realistically, it is unlikely to happen like that in a new poly relationship, for how else can two people get to know each other? I am retired and I don't (aside from going to poly meetings) engage in many activities where I get to meet the same people over and over again. So, should I meet someone (in person or online) even remotely compatible, I will have to ask her to get together for coffee, a walk in the park, a movie, and what are these if not dates?

AnnabelMore, indeed my wife had met others willing to take the plunge, in fact she was wary of such people. But our meeting was a once-in-the-lifetime experience, unlikely to happen again. Should it happen with someone else, I will be delighted, but for now I would be happy with a nice easy-going girlfriend even if the compatibility factor is not in the stratospheres.

---------------------

Of course, one likely possibility is a partner who is already in one or more existing relationships. But how to even start talking to such a person? The typical pattern I see is for women to come to poly meetings with a partner who seems to be quite protective. They sit together, they react to others like any other couple in a social setting. I know it's my attitudes that have to change here, but I find it hard to imagine how to go up to someone with a husband/boyfriend nearby and say "Hey, we seem to have something in common, would you like to have coffee with me sometime?".

And since most such suggestions are likely to be met with a (possibly friendly) no, I will have to relearn to deal with rejection, not a pleasant emotion at all. After all, most men my age play golf or something...
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:03 PM
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OP, i don't know if you do Facebook or not, but my Spouse and i put "Open Relationship" in our profiles and tagged each other in them so that anyone potentially interested in pursuing a relationship with one of us could see that it was out there and could even check out the other partner or interact with them independently. I feel that this has helped facilitate at least one "other" relationship. Of course, it isn't really a way to meet new people, but a way to break the non-monogamy ice with people we've already met without putting them in the position of having to be pro-active when it comes to bringing up that topic in conversation. Also, it helps if you're not worried about being "outed" to family, colleagues, people at church, or whoever, without having to customize the privacy settings.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
OP, i don't know if you do Facebook or not, but my Spouse and i put "Open Relationship" in our profiles and tagged each other in them so that anyone potentially interested in pursuing a relationship with one of us could see that it was out there and could even check out the other partner or interact with them independently. I feel that this has helped facilitate at least one "other" relationship. Of course, it isn't really a way to meet new people, but a way to break the non-monogamy ice with people we've already met without putting them in the position of having to be pro-active when it comes to bringing up that topic in conversation. Also, it helps if you're not worried about being "outed" to family, colleagues, people at church, or whoever, without having to customize the privacy settings.
Thanks, BoringGuy (which I am sure you are not )

This brings up the topic of coming out to one's friends and family, which is quite another topic from what we are discussing here.

I am on Facebook, and for a while I did put "Open" into my profile. One reaction I got was from a former girlfriend, who is quite "protective" of my marriage, as are quite a few of our friends - it seems that we represent for many people an idealized form of marriage (we have been together happily for 30 years, after all), and they would hate to see it fall apart. Anyway, my friend asked me if B. (my wife) knew about my "Open" status (of course she did), and gave me a little lecture on how being open was just a prelude to splitting up in her experience.

I decided not to open myself to further discussions of this kind, so I changed my status back to plain "married" on Facebook. Interestingly, not so much because I am worried about my friends' displeasure, although that is also a concern - yes, my friends do matter, and I'd hate to worsen my relationship with them on this account. But, mostly, because I don't want to be seen by friends and relatives as "cruising" - it's a rather pathetic image at my age and state in life. If I did find somebody, I have little doubt that I would be able to handle it quite well, because I usually handle life-changing situations well. I already have quite a few female friends, I can always introduce another such friend to my social circle if need be - it's no-one's business who sleeps with whom and when, after all. My children would probably catch on, but even if not, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:55 PM
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I think people are over complicating this. The real answer is:

Just look for women who like intellectual, serious, unconventional men.

Be careful talking about "majorities." Doing so robs people of their individuality.

You said you had no problem having women as friends... so it sounds like women DO like you. They enjoy your company and like what you have to offer. Maybe your problem is not knowing how to make things sexual/romantic. Hell, maybe your only "problem" was just missing these friends' signals that they would have been interested in more.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:12 PM
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Yes, it's no one else's business who sleeps with whom, but being in the closet gets old real quick. I imagine that it's cool if your wife holds your hand in public, gives you a long hug goodbye, says hello with a peck on the cheek -- a potential gf would probably want to have that same freedom, in time. You certainly can cross that bridge when you get to it, but it's something to keep in mind...
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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