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Old 04-14-2011, 01:22 PM
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stargazer23 stargazer23 is offline
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Default Whole new set of dating "rules?" Or do the old ones still apply?

So I've definitely identified myself as poly insomuch as I need to be free to share love with more than one person at a time and have multiple loves who meet my needs and I theirs.

My problem is: I'm not at all sure how to go about dating anymore. I mean, in a monogamous world, things are a bit simpler: you meet someone, hit it off and focus on one another exclusively for awhile. In the beginning, there are usually some awkward inner questions: "How does he/she feel about me? Where is this heading? Are we a couple?" But those are easy to resolve as the relationship progresses because there's a basic level of righteous presumption that monos take for granted. There's that whole "He's just not that into you" game that while trite and specious, can also sometimes be basic indicators of a person's true intent.

In this new world, I'm not sure where I stand with another. I feel it rude and intrusive to presume anything but a little silly asking someone I like in the new stages "How does this work? What's on your mind? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?" Such questions always left a bad taste in my mouth in the mono world and I don't see how they should any different here.

I consider it a matter of transcendence into selfless maturity to not need to be showered with someone's affection, but rather, to let them be free to meet their needs as they will, but I can't help wanting the experience of being thoroughly enamored and to feel that vibe coming back as well. I love the feeling of mutual twitterpation.

I'm maybe thinking this too much. I'm so new that I'm not even 100% certain what I'm going to want or need. I'm sure I also have some remnants of mono-limitation thought processes that I'm battling, but I can't help wonder: How do you know if a poly or swinger is into you, or just having a good time?

I don't know how to be anything but unabashedly honest in my questions here. If this is a little naive or unpolished, please do set me straight.

Thanks.

Last edited by stargazer23; 04-14-2011 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Punctuation error
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:24 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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This could very well be the most thought-provoking post I've ever read on this forum.

I don't have anything to write about it at the moment, but I look forward to the ensuing discourse.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:29 PM
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This could very well be the most thought-provoking post I've ever read on this forum.

I don't have anything to write about it at the moment, but I look forward to the ensuing discourse.
Now I'm intimidated because what I have to say isn't mind-blowingly awesome.

T-Rex and I could tell we were way into each other in the same way monos do... body language, gaze, blushes, happy terror...

Oh those first fluttery almost-kisses... you know, the sort that get aborted with a gasp at first brush of lips...

Damn, that's good stuff. I don't think mono/poly made any difference.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by stargazer23 View Post
... but I can't help wonder: How do you know if a poly or swinger is into you, or just having a good time?
It feels to me this question needs to be restated in various ways, so that it is so
clear what's being asked that contemplating the question can gain some real traction.

What is meant by "just having a good time?" (JHGT) Is JHGT about mere sexual attration / fun without genuine "romantic" feeling / loving intent?

What--very clearly--is meant by "into you"?

I've been with men and women who are obviously "into me," yet who were not so "into me" that they really wanted a "serious" relationship (whatever THAT means).
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer23 View Post
My problem is: I'm not at all sure how to go about dating anymore. I mean, in a monogamous world, things are a bit simpler: you meet someone, hit it off and focus on one another exclusively for awhile. In the beginning, there are usually some awkward inner questions: "How does he/she feel about me? Where is this heading? Are we a couple?"
Hmm, from the viewpoint of someone who was/is heavily dating as a single poly, I don't see really any difference. Those questions will haunt you whenever you try to establish a mutually satisfying relationship with anyone. I think in the world of poly, that period of hitting it off and focusing on each other is usually taken care in the form of New Relationship Energy.

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In this new world, I'm not sure where I stand with another. I feel it rude and intrusive to presume anything but a little silly asking someone I like in the new stages "How does this work? What's on your mind? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?" Such questions always left a bad taste in my mouth in the mono world and I don't see how they should any different here.
I actually had a discussion on this with somebody today. I've encountered two types of poly folks (am not saying there aren't others): those who like to let things evolve into whatever naturally and those who like to know exactly where they stand. And of course one person might swing either way depending on a myriad of other factors. I am of the 'let it be'-school but do sympathize with the 'where we stand'-school. Members of this latter school of thought in the world of (poly) dating often say it is so important to know what the other person thinks of the relationship to avoid misunderstandings, disappointment, and drama. I respect and see this and personally think letting this just be whatever without labels attached is the best way to avoid misunderstandings, disappointment, and drama. Things get complicated when members of these opposing schools want to get it on.

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... but I can't help wanting the experience of being thoroughly enamored and to feel that vibe coming back as well. I love the feeling of mutual twitterpation.
Nothing is really standing in the way of that. Being poly does not in any affect your ability to fall in love - you can have a happy giddy NRE trip, and unlike for some mono folks, wanting to experience that again doesn't have to be a reason to leave the established relationship.

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I'm maybe thinking this too much. I'm so new that I'm not even 100% certain what I'm going to want or need.
For me, letting go of expectations and preconceived ideas of what 'my' poly should be like helped tremendously.

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I don't know how to be anything but unabashedly honest in my questions here. If this is a little naive or unpolished, please do set me straight.
I think you are absolutely refreshing in your honesty. Honesty is a virtue many polys hold close to heart.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:34 PM
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Oh my goodness gracious hi! We are wresting with very similar questions right now. I recently met someone who is in a relationship. He's great, and he let me know the situation from the outset. The three of us get along great. We make a lovely little triad, I think. In fighting some of these So are we in a relationship now, too? demons, I find it helpful to (and get ready, cause it's so cliche) just talk.

Let me emphasize that. TALK TALK TALK. Whenever possible. Feelings of uncertainty and insecurity come along at the outset of any new relationship. But for some reason it seems like when stepping onto non-traditional grounds, communication is key.

That said, every person loves in their own unique way. My metamore tried to warn me that my gentleman (see, I'm not even comfortable saying boyfriend) isn't very outwardly affectionate. But we just had our first date (as in the three of us) and he kissed her, kissed me. Held her, held me. It was very loving and comfortable. She also mentioned this, which I've found the most comfort in so far: he wouldn't be risking his love and relationship with her for just anyone. I'm special.

I hope that was some help, and that we both weather these brilliant and exciting storms!
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:39 PM
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I guess what I mean is that there's a point in every mono crushie thing where it's too new to start bugging them about whether or not they have feeeeeeelings without sounding like a kook but it's becoming clear that you're simply not on their list of priorities. They enjoy your company when it's there but aren't really compelled to go seek it. At such a point, a rational person realizes that it would be a mistake to hang any hopes on the person and refrains from getting too wrapped up without feeling compelled to have conversations about it. You just read the tea leaves and move on.

How does this apply in a situation where the object of crush is used to dating many people and dividing their attention? How does one avoid making the mistake of being infatuated when the intentions are not so clear without scaring them off by asking a lot of retarded questions?
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:15 PM
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I've had to change a lot of my expectations as to what is the relationship between amount and frequency of communication and level of interest. Like, there was a time when I used to have weird rules like 'If they answer your questions but never ask you anything back, they're probably not interested' or 'If they don't respond in one day, their interest is waning' etc. Then out of the blue a message comes, and I am left as to 'I thought they weren't into me'.

I don't have a lot of experience in mono dating, but isn't the expectation usually that while seeking out a primary partner (I guess for monos it's just 'partner'), you tend to play the field, go on dates with several people at a time and see where it goes? That also requires dividing up your time and attention. But I think at least nycindie's blog details some of the joys and tribulations of single poly woman dating, and doing a general tag search on 'dating' might give some cool ideas, too.

I have been toying with the idea of where is my limit as to how many partners I can even theoretically fit into my life, time and energy wise. Some people use the primary/secondary/tertiary distinction, and I've been wondering whether it would a useful temporary paradigm for my relationships as well. Thus some relationships would have less expectations in what comes to meeting regularly or having continuously increasing intimacy or planning a future together. But then again, I'm really allergic to any kind of expectations in early stages of a relationship.

I would discuss the other person's other relationships, and their hopes and expectations in what comes to them. That could potentially help to gauge what kind of 'place' in their life they would have for me. Some people are really upfront about what they are looking for. And asking questions is really in the heart of poly in so many ways, because like you pointed out, there are so little models on what works. Which is something that attracts a lot of people to poly, come to think of it. You get to make your own rules.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:11 PM
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The only difference I have experienced in poly dating is that I am not able, and usually neither are they, in indulging in NRE for long luxurious hours like I would if I were single and had no child. The same stuff comes up really. Differing approaches to life and all.

You might want to look at the tags in the search engine and see if you can find something under "dating" or "NRE" might be a random shot, but it could lead you to something else that helps.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:20 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer23 View Post
How do you know if a poly or swinger is into you, or just having a good time?
[Note: I can't speak to any experience with swingers, for I don't swing.]

This is an interesting question. I've had to deal with a situation similar recently. It's been an odd experience.

I've long been settled enough that I've just let things work out as they may. A woman may or may not be seriously interested and I just really haven't worried about it. I've enjoyed the company when available and if a woman stayed around for good while, then I'd be convinced she was serious. That's worked well for me.

Recently, I've become very close to a woman who has outright stated that she finds me very attractive--yet I really have no clue what, exactly, that means. I've known her for long enough that were she not serious about wanting to be close, I figure she would have wandered off by now. She's still hanging around and yet there's no dating connection.

I've found myself unsettled by that sort of ambiguity when the attraction seems obvious (other people have asked about it) and yet there's been no sense of what our relationship actually entails. I've had to step back a bit just to clear my head and regain my equilibrium. My sense of my own attractiveness has been rattled--seriously, is she really attracted to me?

Not so long ago I would have simply advised you to wait a while and it'd become obvious what's going on. Sometimes, however, things won't become obvious in a reasonable amount of time and a discussion would be in order.
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