We’ve all been there. You’re out on a first date with someone you really like who isn’t up on the polyamorous lifestyle. Someone you’d like to have an intimate relationship with, but you’re unsure how to broach the subject of your status as a polyamorist.
If you’re currently single or involved in casual relationships, it’s much easier to navigate the disclosure, or even skip it if your prospective partner is treating your interaction as casual. If this is a person you think you’d like to see again, it’s probably best to get your non-monogamous lifestyle on the table early, lest your non-disclosure be deemed unethical. It’s easy enough to drop a casual statement into the conversation like “I went to the movies with my girlfriend and her husband last week,” or “I went to the movies with Heather and her two boyfriends last week.” A line like that will surely have the opportunity to discuss polyamory.
If you’re married or otherwise taken, it’s important to get that out in the open as soon as possible, preferably before going on that first date. While there are plenty of people for whom your status won’t be a big deal, no one will react well to thinking they’ve been lied to or misled. Telling your new friend the next morning that you’re married is perhaps the worst thing you can do for the future of the relationship, even if the disclosure wouldn’t have been a big deal otherwise.
While there are many definitions of polyamory with a wide range of activities, likes and dislikes; one common thread is the consent of all involved, hence its alternate title of ethical non-monogamy. Be prepared to explain your personal code of ethics where interpersonal relationships are concerned. With all of your cards on the table, your prospective partner can make an informed decision about whether to proceed. While you might miss out on some encounters for sharing, the people who run shrieking at the mention of non-monogamy probably aren’t the best match for you anyway.
How do you discuss your poly lifestyle with potential partners?