As an outside observer of polyamory or what I call a poly-curious dater, I’ve always felt that polys are more confident with dating and their sexuality. Broad strokes, I know. However there is something that I’ve heard many self-identified polys struggle with. When to tell a prospective partner that they’re poly.
Being poly, already limits the possibilities of interested parties, and some polys are fine with that, signing up to poly specific dating sites or putting poly at the top of their profile. They don’t want to beat around the bush with their lifestyle choice. But you can still be a proud poly and worry that you might be excluding that special someone who might be poly-curious or poly-ignorant, but who would love to date you and possibly join the poly community. So when is it best to bring up the subject of your polyamorous ways.
When you meet someone online or not, who you are attracted to, is it best to tell them you’re poly right away? It might seem presumptuous if you’ve just met and aren’t sure whether this person is feeling the same vibe… then again, you don’t want to feel that you’re deceiving someone by keeping this part of yourself hidden.
If you’re a poly single, it’s not as difficult as when you’ve already got a primary or even a primary and a secondary. This is when I think you have to be upfront, it’s not like you can hide partners forever, and you’ve got nothing to lose as you’re likely already in a loving relationship(s). Stringing a person along, who obviously has taken an interest in you, hoping their deepening feelings may sway them from their maybe-monogamous preference is selfish and will only cause them pain.
If you’re a true poly, honesty and communication are part of your package and must be represented upfront. Stating this in an online profile may detract some people, but other polys will be able to find you through search options and those who are poly-curious will still consider dating you. When you do meet a prospective partner on a first date, discuss exactly what polyamory means to you, not all people (polys or otherwise) define the lifestyle in the same way.
If you do have a partner(s) already, be willing to introduce a new love interest as soon as they are ready. It will put them at ease and show that you have nothing to hide. They needn’t become best buddies or be expected to break bread together, but a cordial invitation will be appreciated on both sides. Keep any online profiles up-to-date with current relationships, living arrangements – this works as a pre-meeting trust builder.
Polyamory isn’t something to hide. Be prepared to answer any questions a date may have about your relationships and don’t be shy to ask about their own past and present experiences with the poly lifestyle.
Readers: When do you reveal your polyamory to potential partners? And how?