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  #1  
Old 06-30-2010, 10:01 PM
chouette chouette is offline
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Default Beginner poly guy approaching a new potential lover...

I am a beginner in this world of poly and I would appreciate some advice.

Here is my situation:

I am in a poly relationship with my wife. We have been together for 7 years. The first five years were mono, and the last two have been poly. In the beginning of the poly phase, she had a short relationship with a guy. Now for the past nine months she has had a steady relationship with her secondary partner. In the same time, I have not had another lover. I was initially resistive to us shifting to a poly relationship. But now I feel good about it, and I am searching for my own secondary lover/partner/friend.

Very recently, I met someone I really like, and I suspect that she has mutual attraction. At the moment, though, she doesn’t know about my poly relationship status. I intend to ask her out, but I am a little conflicted on the best way to go about it.

On the one hand, I like to be honest with people and keeping secrets feels weird. So, I don’t want to hide my relationship situation from the new person, and part of me wants to tell her about it at the first natural opportunity. On the other hand, I worry that if tell her too soon then she might be “scared off” by the general prospect.

My current plan is to behave honestly, but not to volunteer information about my poly relationship status immediately. If she asks, I will tell her. If she doesn’t ask, I will wait. Then, after we know each other better, I will broach the subject. Maybe things will go better after she has a chance to get to know me?

So, I present these questions:

1) Does anyone have suggestions for constructive ways to communicate with potential new lovers about being in a poly relationship?

2) When is the right time to tell the new person about being poly? (Immediately? Before the first date? Before the first kiss? Before sex? Wait until they ask?). What’s the etiquette?

3) I live in France, but my French language skill is still pretty weak. Does anyone know of English-language poly groups or resources in Paris? I have found some websites, but its all in a language that I only partly comprehend.

Thanks. Err...merci. I am looking forward to your thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2010, 10:27 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Damn I just wrote a post and lost it.

Check out other threads on here. We have addressed this several times before. It might be helpful.

I think if you don't tell her in your asking for a date you would lose the chance at an honest relationship of integrity and respect. I would think twice about anyone letting me become interested in them, investing in them and then hearing they have a girlfriend. Why would you want to invest in someone and then find she isn't interested. Not a good idea in my opinion.
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2010, 11:03 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chouette View Post
3) I live in France, but my French language skill is still pretty weak. Does anyone know of English-language poly groups or resources in Paris? I have found some websites, but its all in a language that I only partly comprehend.

Thanks. Err...merci. I am looking forward to your thoughts.
Have you tried using google chrome. It will translate the pages for you. While the grammar is a little messed up it works really well. My ex is norwegian and it translates those pages almost flawlessly...
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:38 PM
immaterial immaterial is offline
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Just my .02 of course but I agree with Red Pepper. I'm consciously choosing polyamory and non-monogamy precisely so that I am finally free to be completely honest. If my honest reality is not acceptable to a potential new partner, then so be it. I don't want to do the complicated dance anymore. I don't want to start to get to know someone, get interested and then either have this big secret to tell or just never tell it. This has been my pattern with women and I'm consciously working on subverting it. Honesty first. You want to be admired and appreciated for precisely who you are, then you get 100% permission to be who you are, let the chips fall where they may.

Also, do you have any ground rules addressing this with your wife? If I were in a poly relationship, I'd probably want to stipulate that potential partners have to know about me and about the poly reality. I would not want my wife or primary leading people into relationship with her under false pretenses.

Again, that's just my .02.

Immaterial
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2010, 05:26 AM
Propast Propast is offline
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Hello chouette!

I am in a similar situation, and learned some things recently, so here's my take on your questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by chouette View Post
1) Does anyone have suggestions for constructive ways to communicate with potential new lovers about being in a poly relationship?

2) When is the right time to tell the new person about being poly? (Immediately? Before the first date? Before the first kiss? Before sex? Wait until they ask?). What’s the etiquette?
Considering you are married (not just in a very casual relationship), I recommend the etiquette be you new partner knows right from the beginning. She already knows about your wife, non?

When you decide to "make your move", "pop the question", open the discussion about dating, pick an environment where you can have a comfortable conversation. Either bring up your poly status BEFORE you ask, or have a plan to work it in in the first FEW SENTENCES after you ask. (I didn't think the conversation through and my friend thought I was asking to cheat... Luckily I was able to raise the question again a few days later and clear it up.). This can be a bit awkward, but if it's someone who is interested in you she will probably be forgiving if you are not 100% "smooth"

Use language that she will understand. Many people may not understand "poly", so it can be things like "open", or "my wife has another lover and I'm also allowed..." "have you seen Les chansons d'amour?" Then, be prepared for questions and discussion: How does it work? How does wife feel about it? etc. She may need a bit of time to digest, so let her have it. (This actually worked REALLY well for me the second time I brought it up)

Okay, that's my answer to your questions, but I have one more suggestion based on my experience:

Do you have this fully worked out with your wife? Don't expect that it's just okay for you to pick up someone new. Make sure you have discussed the right protocols with your wife, and that she is ready and comfortable for you to bring someone in. It may be "yes, you can date anyone you are comfortable with" or you may need to clearly state you are planning to ask out the new person BEFORE you make your move, and work out the details with her.

Best wishes!
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2010, 12:26 AM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chouette View Post

1) Does anyone have suggestions for constructive ways to communicate with potential new lovers about being in a poly relationship?

2) When is the right time to tell the new person about being poly? (Immediately? Before the first date? Before the first kiss? Before sex? Wait until they ask?). What’s the etiquette?

3) I live in France, but my French language skill is still pretty weak. Does anyone know of English-language poly groups or resources in Paris? I have found some websites, but its all in a language that I only partly comprehend.
  1. Introduce them to everyone you're dating. In your case, introduce your new interest to your wife and her boyfriend.
  2. This depends on the situation, I'd say. I agree with Propast that, in general, the earlier the better. People who are "scared off" by poly- relationships aren't good people for poly- people to date! But... people who are scared off by awkward, TMI poly- confessions might be okay people to date. Use your good judgement about when your relationship has gotten to the point where you would share the details of your love life, and talk about it as a normal part of the conversation.
  3. Learn French. You're in Paris! Why waste your time practicing a language you already speak?
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