Maybe you knew all the while that you wanted a girlfriend AND a boyfriend.
Or maybe you ended up in a polyamorous relationship because you didn’t want the love of your life to have to choose between the two loves of hers.
Or maybe you were a one-woman man for decades and loved it, but after your divorce you became curious about the offerings of the modern dating world.
However it happened, here you are, sharing multiple lovers with a primary partner, or in a non-hierarchical assortment of partners.
Who should you tell?
Disclosure is a tricky subject. You don’t want to invalidate the importance of your lovers or be ashamed of your lifestyle choice. But you don’t want to make your folks uncomfortable, or lose a promotion at work.
I’m of two minds. I am not ashamed, and I stand by my choices. But I also don’t think everyone needs to know my business, or that my private life is always relevant. I value discretion and privacy. It’s one thing to speak freely to like-minded friends, but another to announce my penchant for threesomes at a family funeral or when volunteering at the senior’s centre down the street.
When deciding when to divulge, keep these things in mind.
DO remember that less is more.
You may want to stand on the mountaintops and proclaim the best thing that has ever happened to you. But would YOU want to hear all the details of your coworkers’ sex lives and practices? If it’s not necessary, keep it to yourself.
DON’T be ashamed of your love.
Discretion isn’t the same as being ashamed and keeping important things hidden. Your best friend and your partners should have the chance to be friends, and you don’t want to hide your relationships from your closest friends.
“Bill, I’ve been dating Darlene and you may wonder sometimes why I also go out with other girls. You should know that we’re together, but both of us date other people.”
DO be honest when you owe the person an explanation.
“Dad, I understand that you have traditional ideas for how my life might end up. But I’ve made some decisions you need to know about even if we disagree. Kayla and I are in a relationship with another couple. I know it may take some time for you to adjust to that but when you’re ready I really want you to meet them.”
If your boss or neighbor or sister-in-law happen to see you canoodling at a restaurant with a hot babe who is not your wife, they have been placed in an uncomfortable situation through no fault of their own. You owe it to them to explain, but keep it simple.
After discussing it with your wife, you can approach them and say, “I saw you at the baseball game and you saw me. I was with Angela. I guess you should know that your sister and I are in an open relationship.”
No need for long drawn out explanations.
DO keep it positive.
Whenever you tell someone your status or introduce them to your partners, keep it simple and upbeat. Emphasize your love and happiness, and don’t get drawn into negative philosophical moral quarrels.
Don’t get upset or fly off the handle, or be backed into a defensive position. Just say, “Those are things you need to sort out on your own. I’m sorry you feel differently, but we are happy and hope you will eventually be happy for us.”