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Old 09-22-2010, 07:14 PM
LittleTiger LittleTiger is offline
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Default how to avoid the un-ethical sluts

This is probably a really basic question, but when I meet a new person, how do I know that they are really single and/or poly, and not just cheating!?

I'm new to poly, only dating one girl now (I'm bi-female) and she recently had an experience that got me thinking about this question. she met this guy that she really connected with at a party. The next day she finds out he lives in England.. and is married! (not open marriage either) She's still emailing him, just as friends, but I can tell the way she talks, she's really into him. and I feel like telling her to forget about this married dude who lives on another continent! But I think that's something she needs to figure out for herself (right?)

Also it made me wonder, how this situation could be prevented, or how I would have acted. It's easy for me to say, well I would have told him, "I'm only into dating people whose partners are totally on board with the poly thing, goodbye," although that does seems harsh, I don't like people who barely know me to make judgements about my life and my intensions. Also I understand once you have strong feelings for someone it can be hard to think clearly or let go (NRE)! Seems better to figure out someone's relationship status up front, but how do you really know, unless you meet their partners, which you only know exist if they tell you, which they might not, see what I mean?

Asking direct questions seems good first step, that way they have to lie to your face, which many people will not do (but if you don't ask, they don't tell!) but still I'm not even sure what to ask. Do you have a wife or girlfriend? covers lots of situations, but maybe he has a boyfriend! or a "friend with benefits" who thinks she is exclusive with him. I don't want to fall for someone who is unavailable (as my friend seems to have done) or for someone who turns out to be lying to me, or to another girl. How do you experienced poly people avoid this? Or is it not really a problem very much?

p.s. just realize this should be in "New to Poly" and not "Introductions" category, if someone can move that would be great. sorry!

Last edited by LittleTiger; 09-22-2010 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:19 PM
Ragabash Ragabash is offline
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My wife (Tonberry) and I had a good approach to how to make sure any potential partners know that it's okay, that being that we make sure they get to meet us. So just reverse that rule and ask when you're going to get to meet their partner if they're in an open relationship. If they say they don't want you to... chances are that there's a reason and that reason might be the relationship isn't as open as they claim.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:38 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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I moved the discussion.

I expect anybody whom I'm going to date to meet my wife, just to make certain it's understood my wife does know and that I'm not looking to cheat on her or replace her or any other silliness.

I don't assume any woman who's involved elsewhere will want me to meet her other involvements early on. I look for warning signs--only wants me to call the cell and not the home phone, only calls me from someplace away from home or when alone at home, doesn't want me to call her at home, doesn't want me to know about plans they've made (for fear I might attend the same event?) and so forth. A set of warning signs and lack of meeting the other involvements is a sign for me to walk on.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:41 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post


I don't assume any woman who's involved elsewhere will want me to meet her other involvements early on. I look for warning signs--only wants me to call the cell and not the home phone, only calls me from someplace away from home or when alone at home, doesn't want me to call her at home, doesn't want me to know about plans they've made (for fear I might attend the same event?) and so forth. A set of warning signs and lack of meeting the other involvements is a sign for me to walk on.
Great advice.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:45 AM
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openmarriagelove openmarriagelove is offline
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I have found over time I pick up on the signs. After dating so long now in the open marriage I can pretty much pick up when they are being dishonest. And if I have the least bit of doubt I always say "I'll need to meet your wife before we can see each other regularly" or if they claim to be single, then I just watch their habits and observe for a while before I get serious. It does get easy to pick up on, which I wish the men would learn.
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:33 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I like the advice given so far... I have been stung with this one.

My husband and I dated a man that claimed his wife knew for about 6 months. It turns out she thought he was just having casual sex, but he had fallen in love with me. he tried to get me to continue behind her back and with many concessions and disagreed with it and said he had to tell her. He did and broke contact from me immediately. Or she did, on his behalf, I don't know.

It sucked and I still have a bit of a sting in my heart over it. I will never do that again. I will always ask to speak with a partner first now as a result and before anything goes beyond flirting.
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:01 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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My relationships tend to evolve slowly, starting with friendship, then lots of talking, and so on. Usually talking every day or close to, for up to hours at a time. I think if they lived with a partner they'd have a hard time hiding it or hiding me from them.

And as Rag said, we ourselves are very upfront so that there is no risk of them thinking we're cheating (I don't think anyone who knows me thinks I'm single so no risk of that either).
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:10 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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This is making me think of something one of my bi female friends complained about. She identifies as bi, but I've known her to mostly have female partners.

She says she is up front about everything when she has a steady female partner in her life, but that most guys she sees doesn't think her relationship with a female can possibly be a serious one. They tend to think she is just playing at the bi part and once her emotions get involved, she will just naturally gravitate to a mono relationship with the guy. Or that he will get to be with them both with he and her taking a front role and her female partner as an aside.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:41 PM
LittleTiger LittleTiger is offline
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Vinccenzo that is so true, I mean I haven't experienced that myself but can see how many straight, mono guys not educated in LGBT or poly culture could have that attitude.

RedPepper I am sad to hear that you got burned with this. Likewise it's good for me to hear that other people don't always get this right, so maybe I don't have to be so freaked out about making a mistake. I really appreciate the honesty on this forum!

Tonberry, I'm having a mental image of your friend trying to hide you in the closet or under the rug, lol. You're totally right that a live-in partner is hard to hide, or hide from! And if someone is living alone or with roommates they're probably not married. Doesn't mean they're not cheating on someone, but it's less likely, just thinking in terms of probabilities.

The ending of the movie "Up In The Air" just popped into my head, and how the main character didn't know his lover was married until he showed up at her house, and saw her husband and kids. Of course stalking is not cool, but the idea that if you only see someone in airports and in hotels, maybe you should think they are hiding something. I can be pretty dense about this stuff but that was rather obvious. Although it's harder when it's your own life.... maybe I can think of my own life like a movie... and try to guess where the plot twists might be coming from... wow I am filled with new ideas, so glad I posted here, if anyone else has comments, please chime in!

Last edited by LittleTiger; 09-23-2010 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:41 AM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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I've been very careful about this, the poly guys want you to meet their wife, the cheaters either lie about being married or will freak out if you ask to meet the wife.

Still...It's easier to stand up for your principles in theory, harder in an actual situation with someone you're interested in. In my case, he was single, but was in a casual thing with another woman, they'd agreed that it was not exclusive/NSA, and he didn't tell her about me. The rational side of me said that I should tell him that I couldn't have any kind of sexual relationship with him until he'd told her about me and we'd sat down and talked and made sure everyone was comfy with it- but the emotional side was scared I'd lose him. I ended up deciding that he's capable of making his own ethical choices, and that I trusted him to do the right thing, and that I was only responsible for being honest with people I knew. Then he found out that she'd been having sex with another guy and directly lying about it, so now I don't have to worry about her at all.

I'm still disappointed in myself, but I think it turned out to have been the right choice for our relationship long-term. I trusted him to do the right thing, I was honest, I told him what would make me more comfortable, I didn't judge him.
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