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  #1  
Old 12-13-2013, 05:42 PM
bagofhearts bagofhearts is offline
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Default What Do You Tell People?

What do you tell people when they ask questions like:

"Do you have a boy/girlfriend?"
"Are you dating?"
"Are you seeing anyone?"
"Do you want to get [re]-married someday?"

Are you vague or do you tell the truth?

What do you put on forms or online profiles that ask for marital or relationship status?

Everyone and everything assumes everyone is monogamous.

How do you refer to people when talking outside of trusted and loved ones? At work, for example, I am sure people would be confused if they were aware that I have more than one boyfriend, or have a boyfriend but also go on dates with other people. But these things come up in conversations that start with, "So, do ya have any fun plans for the weekend?" Do you just gloss over it and say things like "My boyfriend and I are going to [whatever] and I'm going out with a friend Saturday night" (when a friend is really a date)? Do you just call everyone your friends? I hate not being completely honest, but it seems discretion may be necessary or preferred, at work, for example.

I understand the point of view that "it's nobody's business" but I feel like if I hide part of my life I am being dishonoring of who I am, as if I'm ashamed or feel there's something wrong with it. On the other hand, I only disclose my bisexuality to appropriate people in appropriate circumstances (none of my coworkers know I am bisexual, for instance) and I do not feel a conflict about that. So maybe I need to lump the polyamory into that category of "tell appropriate people when it's appropriate".
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:35 PM
london london is offline
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Quote:
"Do you have a boy/girlfriend?"
Yes. But someone who asks this is unlikely to ask:

Quote:
"Are you dating?"
But if they did, I would say yes and say that I have open relationships. If we get to speak about it, I'll mention that I'm open to having more than one "serious, committed, long term" relationship and we will discuss that. Depending on how they respond to all this, I may mention the p word.

Quote:
"Are you seeing anyone?"
This is how I usually describe my relationships. I'd say yes and treat it like the "do you have a boyfriend?" question.

"Do you want to get [re]-married someday?"

Perhaps. If we've discussed the fact that I am in an open relationship, they'll usually ask whether I'll still have open relationships when I'm "that serious" with someone. This provides an opportunity to talk about ethical non monogamy from the polyamorous perspective, so I'll drop the p bomb. I'll also acknowledge that as my life changes, the amount of romantic and/or sexual relationships I can maintain will also change. I find that people often think you're being unrealistic to think you could be married, have a young family, a job and still "be poly". I point out that you can but you have to be honest with yourself and others but how many other relationships you can maintain and there may be some periods where you can't.

Quote:
So, do ya have any fun plans for the weekend?" Do you just gloss over it and say things like "My boyfriend and I are going to [whatever] and I'm going out with a friend Saturday night" (when a friend is really a date)? Do you just call everyone your friends? I hate not being completely honest, but it seems discretion may be necessary or preferred,at work, for example.
I would just say I'm going to a museum with that/a guy I'm seeing.

Quote:
"tell appropriate people when it's appropriate".
Exactly this.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2013, 09:58 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I'm honest and upfront. I have a husband and a boyfriend as well as 5 kids and 2 grandkids.
(even if they only ask about the bf or whatever).

It's in my online profiles as well.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:22 PM
bofish bofish is offline
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I tell people, in general, that I have been married for a long time and have an open marriage. If people ask more questions, I tell them about my husband's long term girlfriend or about my recent lovers.

I think you are right on the money as far as feeling out who you can tell and who might react badly. I don't encourage being in the closet, but I also know that disclosing takes some skill and timing. about 95% of the people in my life know. There is one close friend who is an exception. I don't know about work because I am a writer (at home). Everyone I have told has been at worst, disinterested. Ironically, the only person to give me hell is a guy who is gay and "believes in monogamy" but cheats all the time.

When I was first thinking of being poly, I read a great book by the poet Julianna Spahr called (i think) Tranformations. Julianna has had two husbands for many years (and they now have a child). The book (which is poetic prose) REALLY outlines the feeling of being "three" and housing, job events and so on.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:28 PM
InsaneMystic InsaneMystic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagofhearts View Post
"Do you have a boy/girlfriend?"
"Are you dating?"
"Are you seeing anyone?"
The first one is the only question I tend to hear at all. I guess it's a cultural thing that makes me think "who would ever ask #2 or #3 instead of just asking #1?"

I just answer yes (or "that's not the word we use, but yes"). If they want more details, then I'm fine with talking about them, even though over half of the time that ends up with them not taking my sitch seriously seeing how far "outside the norm" it is. *shrug*

Quote:
Originally Posted by bagofhearts View Post
"Do you want to get [re]-married someday?"
"Gawd, no!" Easily can get me into passionate rant mode how I'm convinced society really doesn't need this outdated convention in the 21st century anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bagofhearts View Post
What do you put on forms or online profiles that ask for marital or relationship status?
Whatever comes closest. It really doesn't happen much except for legal marital status on official forms - and that one is, has always been, and will always be "unmarried" in my case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bagofhearts View Post
How do you refer to people when talking outside of trusted and loved ones? At work, for example, I am sure people would be confused if they were aware that I have more than one boyfriend, or have a boyfriend but also go on dates with other people. But these things come up in conversations that start with, "So, do ya have any fun plans for the weekend?" Do you just gloss over it and say things like "My boyfriend and I are going to [whatever] and I'm going out with a friend Saturday night" (when a friend is really a date)? Do you just call everyone your friends? I hate not being completely honest, but it seems discretion may be necessary or preferred, at work, for example.

I understand the point of view that "it's nobody's business" but I feel like if I hide part of my life I am being dishonoring of who I am, as if I'm ashamed or feel there's something wrong with it. On the other hand, I only disclose my bisexuality to appropriate people in appropriate circumstances (none of my coworkers know I am bisexual, for instance) and I do not feel a conflict about that. So maybe I need to lump the polyamory into that category of "tell appropriate people when it's appropriate".
Pretty sure that if I end up in a 'ship with more than one partner, I'd be very open about it. Seeing as I'm exceedingly rarely partner-compatible with anyone, and thus have been shipping only with R. for the last five and a half years, I guess I pass as "apparently mono" in the eyes of casual onlookers. The question is likely more complicated for R. to answer (who did have both serious and casual folks other than me in her life during our time) - and I don't know how she handles it, aside from being open about her ship with me, so I can't answer for her.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:57 PM
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RainyGrlJenny RainyGrlJenny is offline
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"Well, tonight I'm having dinner and spending the night with my girlfriend, and then Saturday is my boyfriend's family's christmas party."

This is what I said today when a coworker asked me what I was doing this weekend.

I tend to be an open book, and if people ask about my life they may end up knowing more than they wanted to.
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- Moonlight, single, leans monogamous, girlfriend since 6/2012
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2013, 01:04 AM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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If people ask I tell the truth. Most people don't ask to many questions. But I am almost 40 and live in an area where people mind their own business.
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Married in the eyes of the government to Butch since 2001...
Murf my monogamous second husband has been with me since May of 2012.
In a V relationship with an average 60/40 split of time. Only due to Murf's and Butch's crappy work schedules.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2013, 01:24 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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To me, it is a matter of how close a person is to me. Friends know, acquaintances do not. However, the level of what I divulge does not only pertain to my relationship proclivities; I am also unlikely to divulge my political, philosophical, and ideas on religion to acquaintances either.

As I do not require validation of my relationships from external sources, I do not feel the need to shout it from the rooftops. That said, if someone were to ask me point blank, I would say that I am in an open relationship and leave it at that. If pressed further, I would explain my philosophy.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2013, 01:28 AM
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Oldpolyman Oldpolyman is offline
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Default What we tell ppl

Generally we're out to almost everyone, and it gets easier every time you come out, but it was not always so. For a very long time we were aunts and uncle to our children, and only a few of our friends were in the know.
When we decided to out ourselves, most of our blood family had already figured out our status, only a handful rejected us, but we're not worried about them nore do we need their permission since we are retired.
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Old 12-14-2013, 01:38 AM
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RichardInTN RichardInTN is offline
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I'm currently in a monogamous relationship, but if I were in a poly one, I'd answer as appropriate to the relationship as possible while still being polite and using language appropriate for where and by whom the question was asked. My feelings on questions is: If people don't want the truth, they shouldn't ask the question".

So... if the question was (Q), and the reality of the situation was (R) and the location/situation/person asking was (LSP),, then the answer would be (A), as follows:

Q: "Do you have a Girlfriend?" or "Are you dating?" or "Are you seeing anyone?"
R: One or more girlfriends
LSP: pretty much anywhere/anyone
A: "Yes" (if I have more than one, then I have at least one, so "yes" fits that question)

Q: "Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?"
R: One or more girlfriends (but no boyfriends, because I'm straight)
LSP: pretty much anywhere/anyone
A: "Yes, I have {"a", or accurate number} girlfriend(s)"

Q: "So, do ya have any fun plans for the weekend?"
R: No plans, just hang around the house
LSP: pretty much anywhere/anyone
A: "Nope, just going to hang around the house"

R: Plans with one girlfriend, but nothing above being "PG-Rated"
LSP: pretty much anywhere/anyone
A: "I'm {doing whatever} with {girlfriend's name that I'll be with}"

R Plans with one girlfriend at a resort, definitely involving stuff kids shouldn't know about
LSP: Someone close to me that can handle the situation, reasonably private, no kids around
A: "{girlfriend} and I are going to {resort name} and fuck like bunnies!"
LSP: co-worker, at work, others within earshot OR not really close person, public place, kids possibly within earshot
A: "My girlfriend and I have plans, yes."

R: Plans with more than one girlfriend ("PG-Rated")
LSP: any close friend(s) that already know(s) I have more than one girlfriend
A: "My girlfriends and I are {whatever}"
LSP: anyone that doesn't already know I have more than one girlfriend
A: A close group of us is/are {whatever}

R: Plans with more than one girlfriend ("R-Rated" or above ) that could or does include any boyfriends or girlfriends that they might have (like a weekend love fest getaway, where anything could and might happen)
LSP: anyone that I think can handle the whole, unvarnished truth, private enough that no one that shouldn't hear can.
A: "My girlfriends and I, and any of their girlfriends or boyfriends that can attend, will be having a group "sex getaway" among lovers."
LSP: My parent's preacher that stopped by while I happened to be visiting them
A: "A group of us are going on a retreat."

Q: What to put on a form?
A: whatever applies... even if more than one apply (example: if married and have an S/O, and both of those were options, then I'd check them both... if they asked, I'd clarify with "I'm married and I have an S/O"). If they don't like it... tough.

Everything is about context, and appropriate venue for the language... but it's also about truth.
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