If you’re going on a few dates, skip the third degree and enjoy each other’s company.
But once things look serious, asking serious questions can save headaches and misunderstandings.
4 Questions to Ask Potential Partners
1. What motivates your pursuit of polyamory?
It’s a good place to start, and you’ve probably talked about your poly lives during earlier dates.
But there are so many reasons why someone might pursue the lifestyle that it’s best not to assume anything. Getting to the heart of a person’s hopes and expectations will help you determine if you are a good fit.
Think everyone wants the same thing out of polyamory? Think again.
“Community gardening and living off the grid with like-minded lovers” is a long way from “waterfront condo-living with martinis and sexy, jealousy-free escapades.”
I read about one woman who couldn’t have children, so sharing a husband and child with her female partner was perfect.
And I know a woman who is more or less asexual, but doesn’t want to be alone. Letting her husband love another woman has kept them together.
One friend said the idea is simply familiar to her—she grew up in a country where all the men had more than one wife. She wants to be surrounded by women and children.
2. If you become pregnant, how do you want to proceed?
The nitty-gritty stuff might seem like a buzz kill, but when things get serious, it’s important to know where everyone stands.
One of my best friends spent years in court trying to enforce a paternity test that his ex didn’t want, because “whose sperm sired this life doesn’t matter to me.” But it mattered to my friend—he wanted to support the child if it was his, and possibly consider getting back together.
What if she wants an abortion—or doesn’t want one?
What if she hates kids and forgets to mention she already has three, all in foster care?
These extreme scenarios are unlikely, but they do exist. A few simple questions can help you steer clear of trouble or conflicting expectations.
3. What are your sexual expectations?
Once I got involved with a great man and his beautiful wife. I was naive and thought this was my all-you-can-eat ticket! I was so hurt to find out I would still sleep alone at home—I was only part of it all when they wanted a threesome. This situation would be perfect for some. It depends what the person is looking for.
In poly families, not everyone sleeps with everyone else. Some exchange partners but don’t have threesomes and group encounters. In others, women have liaisons but not men. Find out what you’re getting into.
4. What are your financial expectations, habits, and priorities?
A long-term savvy investor who is building a secure future might take issue with my impulsive and indulgent spending habits, but someone who is learning to be more careful might appreciate how far I’ve come from my college days.
I wouldn’t want to waste serious cash on private school when I think travelling would teach kids far more; many partners might find my interest in art collecting a foolish pursuit and risky investment.
Straight talk about the testy stuff is the best way to open the doors of communication and allow solutions to surface.
Don’t assume that conflicting preferences always means a relationship is a no-go: the whole point of polyamory is learning to get along and thrive with different people and to create a richer life.