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Old 01-18-2011, 12:58 AM
beautifulthings beautifulthings is offline
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Default some questions about jumping into things

Hi all,

So I have toyed with poly for several months but haven't had a poly relationship. I'm bi, had a couple of FMF threesomes but they weren't very poly flavored... at least not the sort of openness and trust and enjoyment that I would imagine could come into a poly triad connection.

I've recently been trying traditional dating for the first time in my life (in my late 20s), and I've hit it off with someone but things are also still very new.

I'm wondering whether this might be a good time to try poly, as I think he is still dating others and I am as well.

I am wondering what is a good way to broach this topic with someone in the bible belt? () If this person is more monogamously inclined but also wants to continue dating other people, could that be a good "in" for a poly relationship? I have talked with other men about the positive side of poly and usually been given mad props.

I am okay with the idea of him seeing other girls... and maybe even seeing one of them myself...

Oh another thing. I have a job that will be in the public eye a bit and it's a fairly conservative culture. Is there a chance I may blow my career exploring this lifestyle? Or could I prevent that to a large extent by just screening potentials very very well?

One more question if you don't mind! Is there a good way to tell whether someone's interest in this lifestyle is from living consciously and desiring to be generous with love - or whether it's just very cleverly hidden commitment issues?

Thank you and sorry so long. Very glad to find this place
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:18 AM
booklady78 booklady78 is offline
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So many great questions! I'm not sure I can speak to all of them, but I'm sure you'll get some other responses

I am wondering what is a good way to broach this topic with someone in the bible belt? () If this person is more monogamously inclined but also wants to continue dating other people, could that be a good "in" for a poly relationship? I have talked with other men about the positive side of poly and usually been given mad props.

I would be cautious about assuming that someone casually dating more than one person may be open to poly. If only for the reason that assuming leads to big communication gaps. If someone identifies as monogamous, they may not be willing to take the leap from casual dating to maintaining actual relationships with multiple people, or be willing to accept you pursuing them.

Oh another thing. I have a job that will be in the public eye a bit and it's a fairly conservative culture. Is there a chance I may blow my career exploring this lifestyle? Or could I prevent that to a large extent by just screening potentials very very well?

Yup, there's definitely the potential for people to discriminate against you if you are openly poly. It's not a protected "orientation" like being gay so if you're fired, evicted, or lose custody over it, you may have an uphill battle overcoming any discrimination. That being said, this is not the experience everywhere in the world, depends on where you're from and what the laws are. I don't intend to be all "heavy" about it, many people live openly poly with no issue. There are stories out there about employers and the courts using the poly lifestyle as a reason to deem someone unfit, but you would have to perhaps do some research to see what poly issues, if any, came up in your area.

One more question if you don't mind! Is there a good way to tell whether someone's interest in this lifestyle is from living consciously and desiring to be generous with love - or whether it's just very cleverly hidden commitment issues?

I'm not sure someone with major commitment issues could deal with being poly, I can't really speak to this one though - perhaps someone else can jump in? I only know that poly in very simple terms is having multiple relationships, meaning potentially multiple commitments.

That's just my two cents, hope I was able to help! Welcome to the forums, hope you find the support and answers you seek!
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:18 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

You have some great questions which I'm sure some bible belt dwelling members could shed some light on....or you could search for bible belt as you're not alone in that part of the world in seeking poly and being unsure of the risks and attitudes involved.


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One more question if you don't mind! Is there a good way to tell whether someone's interest in this lifestyle is from living consciously and desiring to be generous with love - or whether it's just very cleverly hidden commitment issues?
Send $2.95 to paypal and send us your address and we'll send you the secret decoder ring in the mail.

If only it was that easy!
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:43 AM
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Is there a good way to tell whether someone's interest in this lifestyle is from living consciously and desiring to be generous with love - or whether it's just very cleverly hidden commitment issues?
Use your "polydar!" Heh, just kidding. Although I have heard some people talk of the similarities that we all seem to have when it comes to poly. When you look at the Myers Briggs results you will see that many are the same type. Of course you can't really ask for Myers Brigg results before asking someone out.

I suggest being yourself as much as you feel comfortable and let people come to you. They will make themselves known if they are interested. Some educating along the way might be an idea as Poly in some circles is not seen as it is here. It is sometimes seen as an open relationship, open cheating or just cheating.

Someone who is dating is not necessarily poly. It depends on their attitude and description of themselves. They could be just looking for the right mono situation or they just like dating... dating doesn't require the same ethics. In fact it often means opposite ethics in that there is no requirement for being honest about who you are dating. Quite the opposite, its almost frowned upon to tell a potential partner that you are seeing someone as well as them... not poly, everyone knows and is on the same page together even if they don't spend time together.
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:00 AM
beautifulthings beautifulthings is offline
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What a warm welcome, thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by booklady
If someone identifies as monogamous, they may not be willing to take the leap from casual dating to maintaining actual relationships with multiple people, or be willing to accept you pursuing them.
Aha yes I can see that. They may be selecting for a single partner. At this point I'm single anyway, and more just looking at the possibility of identifying as poly with my next partner, whether or not it is the person I referred to above.

Quote:
Yup, there's definitely the potential for people to discriminate against you if you are openly poly. It's not a protected "orientation" like being gay so if you're fired, evicted, or lose custody over it, you may have an uphill battle overcoming any discrimination. That being said, this is not the experience everywhere in the world, depends on where you're from and what the laws are. I don't intend to be all "heavy" about it, many people live openly poly with no issue. There are stories out there about employers and the courts using the poly lifestyle as a reason to deem someone unfit, but you would have to perhaps do some research to see what poly issues, if any, came up in your area.
Wow, yeeps. Not surprised though.

That's something to consider then. I wonder how easy it is to create multiple connections in a private way.

===
More on my question about commitment. I guess I've wondered whether I have an underlying fear of getting hurt through monogamy and have looked at poly as an answer to that. Even though honestly, I feel secure in myself to be comfortable (enough, most of the time ) with a partner connecting with someone else.

I guess I am just not quite sure I have no motivation to pursue this lifestyle around avoiding pain. I know, though, that poly isn't actually a viable solution as far as that goes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion
you could search for bible belt as you're not alone in that part of the world in seeking poly and being unsure of the risks and attitudes involved.
Fantastic! Already feel less alone knowing this, thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper
When you look at the Myers Briggs results you will see that many are the same type.
Hmm. I/ENFP???

Quote:
Of course you can't really ask for Myers Brigg results before asking someone out.
Testament to my geeky roots - I've actually done that!

Quote:
Quite the opposite, its almost frowned upon to tell a potential partner that you are seeing someone as well as them... not poly, everyone knows and is on the same page together even if they don't spend time together.
Right, and that's been one of the things that's pulled me toward poly. Why not be up front about what we're doing. Sounds like it could backfire though.

===Love the vibe here ===
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:16 AM
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Hmm. I/ENFP???
bingo! you and me the same my friend check out this thread...http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=689
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:36 AM
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bingo! you and me the same my friend check out this thread...http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=689
Ha! I've already found myself nodding to a lot of your posts around here
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:45 AM
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Ha! I've already found myself nodding to a lot of your posts around here
"polydar" is really not far off then!
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:03 AM
beautifulthings beautifulthings is offline
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"polydar" is really not far off then!
LOL!!

So the privacy thing. (I don't want to clog the board with lots of threads so I'll ask here.) I imagine there's others who for various reasons need to keep your intimate lives private.

Is there any advice you would offer to navigate something like that? Both in terms of meeting people and in terms of later stages in relationship. Space apart public meetings with separate people or plan for different times of day? Discuss in private publicly workable labels that everyone is comfortable with? Accept the possibility of stretching truth sometimes (as in calling a secondary lover a friend provided secondary is fully accepting of that)?

Though I would love to just educate everyone on the core of the lifestyle, to solve all the misunderstanding, that's not realistic. So instead I guess it's taking the tack of just trying to minimize potential judgmental consequences. Unless I move but that's not workable right now.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beautifulthings View Post
So the privacy thing. (I don't want to clog the board with lots of threads so I'll ask here.) I imagine there's others who for various reasons need to keep your intimate lives private.

Is there any advice you would offer to navigate something like that? Both in terms of meeting people and in terms of later stages in relationship. Space apart public meetings with separate people or plan for different times of day? Discuss in private publicly workable labels that everyone is comfortable with? Accept the possibility of stretching truth sometimes (as in calling a secondary lover a friend provided secondary is fully accepting of that)?
That is tough, everyone who isn't out would struggle with this. I do to a certain extent because its a small city and I have lived here a while and do lots of stuff around town. I have run into all kinds of people that are in different areas of my life that I would prefer didn't know about my private life. Mono and I usually pretend that we are friends if it is really awkward.
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