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Old 12-28-2012, 08:38 AM
hyena's Avatar
hyena hyena is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: ky.
Posts: 20
Default discretion vs. meeting people

Hello, ya'll. I'm new to the forum and (relatively) new to the scene. I looked around a bit to find a thread about this particular situation, but I didn't see anything specifically. I wonder if you folks have any words of wisdom in this scenario. Sorry if this is long, I'm bad at being concise.

My primary and I have been pursuing an open relationship for about a year now. In general, I think we've learned a lot about how it works for us, and we've come to some pretty positive agreements / found a nice flow. There is one thing that has been a problem for me personally, though, and that's discretion and how that effects my ability to meet/interact with people.

She (my primary) considers discretion to be of the utmost importance, while I am not nearly as worried about it. I DO understand the risks, and clearly there are groups of people that probably don't need to know about our personal life. This is particularly true for us; we're touring musicians, event organizers, heavily involved in the local arts, etc. We also work very public, social jobs. We do a ton of networking, and we are often in the public eye - and it's not a very forward-thinking city. She also has some very valid concerns about how she might be viewed by her more traditional friends (married couples who have had problems with infidelity/insecurity that she doesn't want to worry or add stress to), and the rest of the general public. I'm not too concerned with that - feeling proud of myself and open is my best method for feeling secure. I also recognize that as an essentially straight, white male I don't really face the same kind of social stigma as a more fluid, open female might. She's up against the odds, there.

So I keep to a high level of discretion. She's specifically said that her motivations and methods are not mine and don't have to be - she has (sweetly, if occasionally begrudgingly) told me I can tell who I want and pursue it as I see fit. I don't want to put her in an awkward situation or make her feel unsafe, though, and most people don't NEED to know. Unfortunately, that really affects my ability to get out there and meet people as prospective partners. She gets by fine with that, because she rarely does the pursuing in a possible relationship (unfortunate traditional m/f gender roles cropping up), and because she has the means/time to pursue relationships with a bit more distance. I, on the other hand, am a fairly submissive, shy guy, and I feel most comfortable pursuing things with people I can befriend locally and feel more secure with. That makes discretion difficult; I want people to know what's happening pretty much off the bat so that I A) don't look like a creep when my friends see me hitting on someone with no knowledge of my situation and B) so that potential interests are aware of what they may be getting into. I don't want to set a image for people to get comfy with and then scramble that last minute. Unfortunately, that info spreads fast (even with the advent of more anonymous sites like OkCupid). Final note: there isn't much of a local poly community to turn to here, and this whole poly idea is coming as a new thing to most of our friends or partners.

Any suggestions? How do you all deal with discretion? It should be noted that all of this is in good faith, and we're both super supportive and caring - not fighting about it or feeling resentment. Thanks in advance!
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