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Old 08-09-2012, 05:16 PM
Wolfwood Wolfwood is offline
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Posts: 17
Default A question for female secondaries

Okay, my main question is, "at what point did your SO tell you about his primary poly relationship?" My primary-girlfriend (Kemie) and I have differing opinions on when it is proper to discuss this. I don't always feel the need to share intimate details of my private life on a first date with a girl. In fact, I tend to refrain from giving too many details unless I get the feeling it could turn into something more serious. My girlfriend, on the other hand, takes the opposite approach and lets guys know before any dating ever happens. I am looking for some real world examples of how other poly guys approach dating, specifically from a female perspective. So, without further ado, here are my questions:

Did you know your SO before you started dating?
At what point did he tell you about his primary relationship and was it before you both slept together?
Did you meet his primary relationship and, if so, at what point in the relationship did you meet them?

I'd like as many real examples I can get. I specifically want to hear from people who met their SO while online dating (I met most of my non-primary relationships via online dating). I've also been known to pick-up girls in bars and other social events.

If guys would like to chime in on how they approach meeting and dating secondaries, then that would also be helpful. What are your success stories?

Thank you for your time!

-Wolf (primary of Kemie)
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:45 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Location: East Coast, U.S.
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In online dating, it seems pretty common for the man to be fully upfront about the fact that he has a primary partner. I've seen many profiles where the man states clearly that he is married or has a primary girlfriend.

I was specifically searching for non-monogamous men when I encountered these profiles. Or, if the profiles belonged to men who messaged me first, they were drawn to my profile because I state that I am ethically non-monogamous.

I would want anyone I go on a date with to be immediately clear that they have a primary partner. I can't imagine why that would NOT come up on a first date? It seems slightly deceitful not to mention it.

I suppose that in terms of casual dating and dating around, non-exclusivity is the default state and it is assumed that everyone is seeing others. My approach to poly does kind of come from that style of dating--I would assume that anyone I meet is probably involved with someone else, at least casually.

But NOT everyone is coming from that perspective--so why not just be clear about it from the get-go?

Particularly with online dating. I mean, your ultimate goal is to find someone who accepts and understands your primary relationship, right? So why not openly seek someone on those terms?

I do understand that if you pick someone up at a party or something, the expectations are casual so maybe you don't have to say that you have a primary partner. But what would be the advantages of omitting that information?

Fyi, I'm happily single and NOT looking for someone to be my primary partner. I would be very comfortable with someone telling me they had a primary partner right away. I would NOT be comfortable with finding out later (i.e., the next morning or on a later date) that they have a primary partner and omitting telling me right away.
Single, straight, female, solo, non-monogamous.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:38 PM
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RainyGrlJenny RainyGrlJenny is offline
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Posts: 266

I met Punk on OKCupid. We are each other's secondaries, and we both stated in our profiles that we have other loves (my BF, his wife). His profile is linked to his wife's profile; I have photos of my with Fly on mine.

I met his wife on our second date, before we had sex. He met my BF a couple months in (Fly would rather not meet my loves and lovers at all if he can help it ).

I would be royally pissed if someone went on a date(s) with me and didn't tell me they have a primary partner. Actually, there probably wouldn't be anymore dates, because this wouldn't be someone I could trust to be honest and up-front with me in the future. To me, there's a big difference between dating around and having a SO.

Just my $0.02

- Moonlight, single, leans monogamous, girlfriend since 6/2012
- Punk, married guy, poly, FWB since 9/2011 with an emphasis on the "F"
- No longer lives with ex-boyfriend Fly (1/2006 - 12/2013, my introduction to nonmonogamy, ultimately amicable breakup), and his 11-year-old son Kiddo
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:43 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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I dunno if you want my experience. I met my BF1 locally. I met my BF2 online. (I ended up as the hinge later.) And since I'd started dating BF1 first and he was local, he was first and "primary" then. (Don't really use those terms, but I'll play.)

Did you know your SO before you started dating?

I was the SO. BF2 did not know me. We met online. Total strangers. Not like we were friends first in another context. BF1 and I were friends first.

At what point did he tell you about his primary relationship and was it before you both slept together?

I told him right off the bat. I had a squeeze but I was not exclusive. He was fine with it. Anyone else I dated needed to be on board. Otherwise better not to date me and just keep it at friends.

And to know this about me if he was thinking of wanting to date me. I wanted him to know how I roll and all the goods from the get go so he wouldn't feel like he was wasting his time on a poor return for his investment. He has to right to seek what he wants in rship, and the clearer the goods in my front window, the better for all concerned.

This was well before we slept together. It was before the date!

Did you meet his primary relationship and, if so, at what point in the relationship did you meet them?

Nope. They knew each other existed, I swapped the names, phone numbers, emails. Then I left it to them to arrange whatever they wanted on their meta tier. They left it at polite metas who might exchange brief emails once in a great while. They kept themselves pretty separate though.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-09-2012 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:44 PM
Wolfwood Wolfwood is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 17

@Meera - To be clear, I never lie and I strongly imply I am seeing other people on first dates. However, I don't volunteer more information then that unless a girl asks. Mostly they ask for details by the second date, so it's rarely even an issue. The main reason I don't make a point to tell is that some girls just don't want to know. Not everyone I date is looking for something serious. I'm perfectly happy to accommodate a non-serious, occasional FWB's situation. Until I know what a girl is looking for, I don't typically volunteer specific details about my love life.

@Rainy - Thanks, that's exactly the kind of experience I'm interested in hearing about. In your case you were already interested in poly. I doubt that will be the case for most of the women I meet. I'm very curious what the best, and ethically sound, way to introduce new dates to poly. I'm fairly sure that most women consider discretion to be a virtue in a man, so I'm not really at the point where I want to add the poly-label to my profile. I also freely admit that my attitude on this may change once my girlfriend and I move in together.

Anyway, keep the stories coming. =)

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Old 08-09-2012, 09:58 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Have you tried doing a search? There are many, many threads on this topic already, so you will probably find lots of good info. You can try a tag search for "dating" as a start, get a little creative with the advanced search, and also visit the Golden Nuggets forum for the sticky called "Other Threads Worth Reading."
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:15 PM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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Wendigo and I are each other's secondaries. I met him though my husband and our mutual friends and have always know he was married. Infact the firs time I met him was at the apartment his brother in law was sharing with a mutual friend. We were friends for a couple years before we got together and I saw his wife in passing when we gave him rides to our boffer LARP, but we didn't actually meet and start conversing until Wendigo and I had been dating for a couple of months as she is very much an introvert and going out to dinner once or twice a year is about as social as she gets.

Runic Wolf's last girlfriend he met on OK cupid and she is a member of our local poly community so telling her he was married was easy. She and I still talk occasionally.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:22 PM
Wolfwood Wolfwood is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 17

Nyc, it's actually not a particularly easy subject to search for. I have read most of the posts in the "Other Threads Worth Reading", cannot recall seeing a topic like this. I'm sure I could read through the many, many first person accounts of relationships on this site looking for the details I want, but I thought like this would be quicker. If you can come up with some better search terms than I can, I'd be happy to check out any threads you can dig up. =)

I am a long-timer lurker on this site. I just don't post here that often because this is mainly my girlfriend's forum (although she has not posted here in awhile). Also, I have my own guy-specific forums that I typically post on. I just wanted a broader range of opinion for this particular question.

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Old 08-10-2012, 12:03 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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I'll preface this by saying that I've never really "dated" - so I am not sure how that whole dynamic goes (I'm sure I would hate it).

Anyone that I would be potentially involved with/interested in would know that I had another partner/other partners just by talking to me for 5 minutes. At this point in my life even a casual fling couldn't miss it ("Hold on a sec...let me txt my husband and let him know what hotel to pick me up at in the morning." - Actually, a baby version of this happened when we were last in Vegas - Some guy is totally trying to pick me up, I say, "Let me check and see when my husband wants to meet up for dinner..." we set a time and pick-up guy goes back to nibbling on my ear. At the appointed time MrS shows up and introduces himself, I thank ear-nibbler for a lovely afternoon, and we head off to dinner.)

If they boys ever start dating I would expect them to be upfront from before the beginning about being involved with someone else but not exclusive. How do you even have a conversation on a date where you don't talk about what is going on in your life? (i.e. "The other day my girlfriend and I were at the park and this funny thing happened." "Oh, you like sci-fi? So does my wife - she thinks I should read >insert title here< - what do you think? Did you like that one?")

JaneQ(Me): poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-always-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (27+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (9+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
SLeW: platonic hetero girlfriend and BFF
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.

My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:06 AM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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My strong preference, and the things that has worked out best for me, is to actually be friends with a person before dating them. Since my partners are such significant parts of my life, it's pretty much inconceivable that they topic of them wouldn't come up.

In my online profiles on dating sites, I mention polyamory and my relationships quite clearly in my profile. That way anyone who does contact me will have no surprises. If the idea of me having existing relationships that I am not looking to replace isn't something they can deal with, then I'd rather know about that up-front than waste time and money meeting the person.

Turning the tables - if a woman that I had agreed to meet up with (I wouldn't call that a "date" - just a meet-up for coffee and a "getting to know you") told me only on subsequent meet-ups that they were in a committed relationship, then I wouldn't be too pleased. To me this sort of thing is part of the basic "getting to know you" process. All this, and a meeting with the corresponding significant others, I would want before we went out on what I would call a true "date".

I know others have different opinions on this, and this probably makes me quite old school, but this is my strong preference.

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
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coming out poly, dating, primary, secondary

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