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Old 01-31-2014, 06:06 PM
london london is offline
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Default Flipping it round: When should one ask?

There has been a thread or two about when the contentious and ethical polyamorous person should disclose their relationship style and significant others to potential partners. Instead, particularly focusing on offline encounters, at what point should the conscientious and ethical person ask the relationship status of someone they've approached?
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:20 PM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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I honestly think that if someone is approaching me and don't have a ring then they are single. It would never occur to me that I would need to verify that they are indeed single. I've never had anyone IRL approach me with romantic interest so its never come up.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:14 PM
AlwaysGrowing AlwaysGrowing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyourendo View Post
I honestly think that if someone is approaching me and don't have a ring then they are single. It would never occur to me that I would need to verify that they are indeed single. I've never had anyone IRL approach me with romantic interest so its never come up.
Neither my husband nor I wear our wedding bands - or rings of any sort at this point in time.

I always mention my status as poly and married up front. While some people are perfectly comfortable and interested in poly, within that pool there are those that are searching for a primary partner or someone to marry or something that they feel I can't offer them since I am already wed in the legal sense, share finances, etc. with someone.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:50 PM
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I don't wear a ring either,but i figured as the non single person picking up others it's on me to disclose my marital status. But thats all thw whole status quo thing huh? I suppose if someone ever tries to pick me I p IRL I shot ask because someone's living situation and child status is important to me.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:38 PM
london london is offline
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What about the person approaching? Isn't part of being ethical ascertaining that the person you've approached is either single or in a relationship that permits socialising and dating in that sort of capacity?

I ask because I reckon the majority of people would avoid someone who is cheating because they don't want to be complicit in that unethical activity, so shouldn't they be checking that the person they've approached isn't meant to be on the market? I mean sure, they could lie but just as a first line of defence, you'd think one would at least ask if their target isn't cheating. Not just that, but also to see if this is a person they can just have a drink and a chat with or is this someone they could potentially invite home this evening.

Lastly, if someone approaches you and doesn't ask your relationship status, what does that say about them? That they're not aware of the prevalence of non monogamous relationships? That they don't care if you're cheating? Or they assume people don't cheat?

Last edited by london; 01-31-2014 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:43 PM
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I think it depends on what my intuition tells me, and how the conversation is going.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:47 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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If I am approaching them to ask them on a date? I want to know if they are willing to date me and if they are able to date me.
"Hi. I like you and would like to ask you on a date. Are you open to dating at this time? Are you already partnered? Kids? I am_____."
Mono-single, poly-single, mono-partnered, poly-partnered, something else -- IME it's best to sort that stuff up front for myself.
  • If they are not willing to date me? They just are not.
  • If they are not able to date me because they are mono, they do not live here, they are in mourning, they just had a baby -- whatever it is? I rather know it up front.

Saves time/effort/energy/cost of date -- don't have to look deeper here because some basics just do not line up to make a date worthwhile at this time.

If I get asked out? I state it up front. My "willing & able." They ask. I figure they can handle knowing.
Quote:
Lastly, if someone approaches you and doesn't ask your relationship status, what does that say about them? That they're not aware of the prevalence of non monogamous relationships? That they don't care if you're cheating? Or they assume people don't cheat?
It means they did not ask about it when they first asked me out. We are still having a conversation, right?

So I now have opportunity to respond. I could offer my data up front when I respond, and I could ask questions of my own in return about their stuff.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-31-2014 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:51 PM
london london is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyourendo View Post
I honestly think that if someone is approaching me and don't have a ring then they are single. It would never occur to me that I would need to verify that they are indeed single. I've never had anyone IRL approach me with romantic interest so its never come up.
Is this because you assume people are monogamous and/or aren't being unethical?
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:55 PM
london london is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I think it depends on what my intuition tells me, and how the conversation is going.
Personally, I don't think cheating is the worse thing in the world and my hard limit against cheaters has little to do with ethics and more to do with protecting my family. For that reason, I ask people their relationship status to assess compatibility and assume their telling me the truth. If I doubt them, I cease contact.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:14 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Here is something I always try to remember when interacting with anyone I don't know well about anything: the only information anyone has to go on is what they've been taught, their experiences, and in some cases, their imagination.

So how it relates to your question about the meaning when people don't inquire about your relationship status (aren't aware of ethical non-monogamy, don't care if you're cheating, etc.), it could be any one of those things and some we may not have thought of. Some people may think your status isn't any of their business - that it's your responsibility to take care of you. Some people may assume (naively) that if you return his or her interest, you are single.

In other words no way to generalize.
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