ENM, polyamory, married, older


New member
I've been married, polyamorous and ENM for several years now. I have had partners for a lot of that time.

The pandemic, or rather, responses to it, separated me from partners that have since lost interest in polyamory, me, or have passed away.

I have one partner now that lives a few hours away, in another country. She is a cancer survivor and most of the time we've spent together had been focused on her health and dealing with the emotional and physical fallout from radiation and chemotherapy. As might be expected, she is reclaiming her life and adding to her polycule in her hometown. I am very happy that I was able to help with that. We see each other every few weeks, and that's great.

I'd like to find a partner closer to me. This was not difficult to do before the pandemic, and before I was in my 60s. I'm wondering if my age and marital status might make me less appealing to potential partners. Perhaps the world is just that different post-pandemic. I'd be happy to find someone just to go social dancing with and have dinner with, maybe once a week.

Any thoughts? I'm just trying to understand why this has been more difficult.
Hi Mark,

I noticed in your dating ad, you mentioned that you are in Seattle. That's great news! Seattle (along with Portland) is considered the world's most poly-friendly city. If you google "Seattle polyamory," or even "Washington state polyamory," I expect that multiple local poly groups will pop up. Attending those groups' get-togethers, and thus making platonic friends, is like the first step in the journey to finding new dating partners.

Having said that, finding love is almost always hard to do, even for young single monogamists. You have a number of things working against you, such as your age, your marital status, and your poly inclination. Your gender is also a handicap. Women tend to get bombarded by offers from men and for that reason, women reject about 99% of the offers they receive. My experience has been that women don't trust men, at least not when they've just met them. I don't know what the solution is to this problem. The patience of Job, I guess. And the pandemic probably puts a damper on things, although perhaps not so much now that it's been a few years. [shrug] Who knows, and again the solution seems elusive.

Dating apps are okay, go ahead and use them, but as a supplement for meeting people in real life (meatspace). Attending live events -- clubs, classes, anything that interests you -- and fringe events may be even better -- Ren Faires, BDSM munches, sci-fi cons, indie concerts -- again whatever interests you -- is always a good idea. But regardless, finding a good dating match for you is probably going to take a long time, so have as much patience as you can.

Empathetic regards,
Kevin T.
I'm wondering if my age and marital status might make me less appealing to potential partners
It says you were married. Are you still married? There are women out there who don't want to get married, who just want a quality partner. At your age they look more for a quality companion. Be patient, honest and confident about who you are and what you want. Women find that refreshing. My partner started getting regular dates once he owned who he was and what he wanted on his dating profile.

Mono women who normally wouldn't date him actually matched and they said his profile was so honest they had to meet him. It was refreshing to date someone who was up front. A couple of them he is still dating. They decided they would rather be with someone open and honest than try dating mini again.

You might not have frequent matches but they will be better quality. Just don't get frustrated over all the rejection-- they weren't right for you anyway.
Has your marital status change since the pandemic? Bluntly, obviously your age has, and yes, as someone in my 40s I tend to draw the line at 60 unless there is something we really connect about. Age gaps start to matter again because YOU are staring down the barrel of retirement while someone my age has 20 years or more left in the workforce.

My parents only have a 7 year age gap, but my Mum (older) retired early for health reasons, and my Dad kept working a couple of years into retirement age. Honestly, they both missed out on the so-called perks of retiring together such as the international travel while they are fit enough for it, etc. And then there's the potential health issues. I briefly broke my rule and somewhat accidentally ended up with someone who was quite a bit older. He has talked about 55 seeming so young (I'm not even close to that yet) and the rather delicate digestion health problems he's had since 60 something. It's not exactly attractive. So yeah, it could be your age, or how it's impacting you physically, or that there's going to be a mismatch of availability for romance and it's hard to watch someone enjoy retirement while you're slogging away in the workforce, or even the anticipation of that.

So, what do you offer that overcomes those concerns?
I am still married. I never conceal this and it is stated in dating profiles. My wife is younger by 9 years and she has a couple of partners. I know from personal experience that while I receive crickets on dating sites she receives waterfalls. They're a double-edged sword, anyway.

I have dated women in their 40s through 60s. The one partner I have now is in her 50s. I have had to become quite picky at times because sometimes potential partners aren't fully honest and don't respect boundaries.

My wife and partner both believe I am a 'catch.' What I bring is availability, both physical and emotional. I helped my partner through her cancer diagnosis and treatment and now I get to participate in her cancer-free life. I have another friend whom I support emotionally while she deals with a vicious ex.

I'm a good dancer and a great kisser. I still work. I am in good health, and I look good, not just 'for my age.'

I've started to take more dance lessons. Even though I've danced for years, the pandemic interrupted a lot of what I had built. I'm working on at least having a community to participate in.

What do I offer beyond what's implied in the above? Plenty.
You do have a lot to offer! You just need to give time a chance to bring someone/s into your life who is willing to take the time to get to know you. Don't be discouraged. Just keep on looking and trying, and be aware that sometimes you find someone just at the moment when you're not looking. Love is a strange thing. It seldom adheres to our expectations.
If you've taken up dancing again, and want someone to dance with, it sounds like you're looking in the right place. Can you expand your dance circles, somehow? I know nothing about this world, but maybe there are bigger conferences or competitions or social events you could try.

I understand wanting to have a second partner who is not a whole country away. Dating is hard and things take time. I don't think the pandemic has much to do with it. I'm older (now 68) and while I am female/non-binary, and got hit on a lot online, I had had so many bad dates and disappointing relationships (besides my long-term nesting partner), I'd given up on dating about 6 months before the pandemic. Oddly, a local guy came along on Fetlife and said hi to me, and we started chatting as friends in 2019 or 2020. He was in a mono relationship, but outgoing and friendly. His gf was quite ill (not Covid, a chronic illness). Sadly, she didn't make it. Soon after she passed, and vaccines became available, we got together. Bang. We clicked. Two-and-a-half years later, we are doing great.

My female partner also met her local long-term bf on a kink site. It took her seven years after she and I hooked up to meet him and establish a good working relationship and dating schedule.

You just never know. I learned to be patient, to let go of expectations, to screen people ever more carefully, to rely on my own resources, to be extremely grateful for my long-term partner, to immerse myself in my job and hobbies, to work out more to relieve stress and stay fit, etc.

It's good you are confident in what you have to offer. I am too. :) However, I am well aware that as a poly person, I am not for everyone. Like you, I am in a very progressive area (eastern Massachusetts) but still, it takes time to find someone you click with on many levels.
Perhaps the world is just that different post-pandemic.

Any thoughts? I'm just trying to understand why this has been more difficult.

I actually do think the world--and especially the dating landscape--is different post-pandemic. Something has shifted. I can't quite articulate it. It might have to do with how mentally exhausted liberal Americans are with the bleak state of American politics, the loss of abortion rights, the surge in anti-trans/anti-queer policies, plus the ever-growing reality of climate change. Some of us are too depressed and exhausted to put any effort into dating.