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Old 04-16-2013, 02:11 AM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: East Coast, U.S.
Posts: 369
Default multiple partners & online dating

Lately I have been putting a lot of effort into online dating (OKCupid). Luckily I am in an area with a reasonable number of poly folks. My method is to search for the terms "poly" and "ethical non-monogamy" and to have those terms clearly labeling my profile. So far, this is working much better than when I began non-monogamous online dating 2 years ago but felt that I wasn't quite poly and was more focused on labeling myself as seeking out casual/friend-with-benefits relationships. However, that's not what my question is about...

My question is...well, I guess it's an observation. In the first place, absolutely every guy who describes himself as either poly or ethically non-monogamous already has a primary partner. That's okay with me, as I'm happy with "solo poly" and am not seeking my own primary partner. I have one steady-but-non-serious, non-primary partner already. Although my ideal would be a man who, like me, is also happy without a primary partner, I am comfortable with the idea of dating someone in a committed primary partnership. But I guess I'm a little disappointed that solo poly straight men seem non-existent? (And single men who don't identify as poly just seem to be after purely casual sex).

The other part of my question is a little harder to articulate. Lately I am leaning toward thinking that non-hierarchical poly appeals most strongly to me. (Although I can also see myself being perfectly happy in a healthy secondary-type relationship). And I guess I'm not seeing a lot of evidence for non-hierarchical poly on these OKC profiles.

Don't get me wrong, most of the men seem great and seem to be in healthy relationships with awesome women (whose profiles are often linked to theirs). And they aren't necessarily seeking hierarchical poly. But they do already have a wife / life partner / serious long-term girlfriend--only ONE serious partner.

Where are the folks with MORE THAN ONE serious partner? Or even those with multiple less-serious partners?

Or is this just a logistical issue? If you have two partners, maybe you aren't actively seeking to date others via online dating even if you're not poly-fi. Or maybe you don't mention it on your profile because mentioning just one partner is already off-putting enough. Or other reasons--I personally don't mention my (one) lover on my profile because it's too much private info and I am dating very autonomously (although I describe my situation through messages once contact has been established).

I know there are lots of people on this forum who are already in multiple relationships and are still open to more. How detailed are you about this in your profile?

Perhaps I am over-thinking this. But it's hard for me to relate. I have never really had a primary partner, and before learning about poly I avoided getting serious with anyone because the thought of being monogamous long-term was so odious to me. So I feel like someone whose profile says, "I have two girlfriends and a casual lover" would be much more suited to me than someone whose profile says "I have a wonderful wife of 10 years."

I guess I am thinking, I'd really prefer someone who has never wanted to get married because they couldn't choose just one person to marry, than someone who has already met the poly version of "the one."

But I am also still in the "dating" phase of my life (not ready to settle down in one house and one job forever, difficulty imagining a lifetime committed partnership), so maybe I am just immature for my age range.
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