Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Open Dating?

A high-school friend of mine saw my post about open relationships, and asked some questions. He's single, but thinks that dating with the intention of monogamy may not suit him. At least, it hasn't worked well so far. Let's take a look at the alternatives to traditional dating...

Traditional dating tends to be a period of time during which people have fun together, get to know each other, and determine if there is enough interest, chemistry, and/or compatibility to pursue a monogamous future together. But what if monogamy is not your goal?

I recommend that you be clear about that within the first two or three dates, if not during the very first one. If you don't ever see yourself committing to one single partner, your date deserves to know that, bearing in mind that your opinion
could change. It could, and she should know that it may not.

If you intend to "date" more than one person at a time, it's up to you whether or not you out that fact to your dates. Dating doesn't have to be exclusive. It's totally valid to spend time with and enjoy multiple partners without an "it's only you" commitment. This gets trickier once you involve sex in the mix, as many people falsely associate sexual intimacy with an increased level of commitment.

Thus, if you intend to be sexually intimate with more than one partner at a time, clue them in to this little factoid BEFORE you engage in any bodily-fluid-swapping contact. I also highly recommend that you get yourself tested for STIs, know your partners' health statuses, and use barriers, like condoms and/or dental dams. Your dates deserve the right to NOT share you with other partners, so give them the chance to say No. Only when they have the opportunity to give you a full-informed No can they also give you a fully-informed Yes.

"Is there a relationship of sorts or is it strictly sexual?" he asks.

That entirely depends on what you and your partners want! You may choose to date several people for the purpose of having fun and sharing companionship, and date several other for the purpose of fulfilling sexual needs and desires. Or there may be cross-over... some dates are sexual, others are not. There is no right answer, or one right way, and you get to create your dating life in the way that inspires you!

"What is the other person usually seeking?"

That depends on the person. There are a lot of polyamorous people on OKCupid, for example. Some of them (like my husband) are looking for additional sexual friendships, and others (like me) are interested in adding new significantly romantic, emotional, and sexual relationships. The key is to know what YOU want, and then look for people who
also want that.

"Is the other party typically single or are they married? If married what if the partner is cheating on their spouse? (Personal note: I don't condone that.)"

It could be either! I'm about to date a single man, who's also dating a female friend of mine, and I went on a lovely date last week with her husband. LOL! Thank goodness we're all mature adults! My husband is also enjoying a sexual friendship with a married woman, whose husband fell in love with someone else. Single or married - you could go either way.

I choose not to date (or fuck) people who are cheating on their spouses. I'm a very public person, and I'm not willing to expend the energy to Hide anything. AND, some married people feel that cheating is the only way to meet their physical needs while maintaining a happy marriage with their spouses. That's their call, not mine.

The key here? Know your own limits, and honor them.

That said, sometimes people lie. I received a call once from the wife of a man I thought was single... and wasn't that awkward?! Just do your best!

"Are there limitations or restrictions?"

Of course - I am limited to and restricted by my agreements with my husband. EX: If we have an agreement that oral sex on the first date is okay but penetrative intercourse is not - that's a limitation. Having intercourse on the first date would thus be considered Cheating.

My partners are also limited by my agreements with my husband, as they also have to walk that same line. NOTE: If I don't tell the truth about my agreements, and say Stop or No when I've agreed to stop, that's on ME - not them. They are not at fault if I break an agreement, or if we cross a line that I didn't know was a trigger for my spouse.

That said, if she tells you she can not have sex with you tonight, and then, after making out and getting all hot and bothered, says that it'll really be okay, really... Tough as it may be, I'd suggest that you honor her original response and politely decline. Leave her wanting more rather than potentially stepping across that boundary. Do not give her, or her spouse, the opening to blame YOU for her unwillingness to honor her agreements.

Ya get me? It's not worth the potential mess. If she wants you that much, she'll come back.

"Are they friends of the marriage/relationship or is it best kept separate?"

Again, that entirely depends! I know people who prefer a very private kind of poly... "You know that I'm going out with someone else, and that's all you need to know." My husband and I both prefer a very community-style type of poly... his new fuck-buddy is a developing girlfriend of mine, and he has met (and approved) both of the men I've gone out with. I could totally see us going out on a double-date sometime and having a blast!
But would our dates be comfortable with that? Their preferences also matter.

It's important that your style matches with your partners. I would feel very left out if my hubby refused to tell me about his dates, or refused to let me meet and enjoy his new partners. And someone who prefers privacy could feel very confronted by being forced to meet their loved one's other partners.

So talk about it! Ask questions. Pose some What If's, and How would you feel If's. Do your best to know yourself, accept yourself, and start opening yourself to others, and remember - life is an adventure, right? There's no one way to ride that bull, so get out there and have some fun!

M. Makael Newby, 2011 - All Rights Reserved -

1 comment:

  1. I wonder why this kind of relationship exist.
    I'm not contradicting your ideas though I'm just a little bit confused why and how it happen.

    Well, if I will find out that I'm not into monogamy I will never decide to get married because I want to enjoy my life and I want to live it to the fullest.