Online dating: how to make sure they're okay with poly

Rendren

New member
I'm a married man about to set up a profile on OK Cupid and wanted to make sure I did it right. I know polyamory would be a hard pass for most people, but wanted to make sure that I balanced the needs of communicating my maturity to poly-aware people (who know how much hard work is involved in ENM), weeding out people who don't read my bio, and trying not to spook people who could be okay with polyamory but whose ignorance/assumptions could prevent them from giving me a chance. I'm sure there are also other considerations that I'm unaware of, and would love to hear about those as well, but here are my questions thusfar:
  • What poly-aware/experienced people look for (signs of maturity / red flags) in the profiles of people new to poly?
  • Beyond describing myself as a man in a nonmonogomous marriage in my profile, what are the best ways to present my status?
    • I read a suggestion to watermark my pictures to indicate poly/marriage so I don't have to worry about people who don't read my bio. Has anyone done that before?
    • what language/approach is best to get my foot in the door with people who would be okay with my status but are ignorant/prone to misunderstanding it?
    • Should I even bother with people who react to polyamory with confusion?
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
My only deal breaker is if they mention monogamy specifically as their preferred relationship style. Otherwise, I play it by ear. It helps that I'm not only seeking partners and I'm open to lots of different types of relationship and interaction.

I tend to stay away from people who have lots of rigid ideas or expectations about anything including polyamory or if I get the idea that their preexisting relationship might be fragile because there seems to be a lot of rules and regulations to how they are allowed to interact.

Honestly, I would use whatever language occurs to you because I personally use word choice to assess mindset to some degree. The words you choose to use say a lot about your perception and that helps me assess compatibility. Yes it might mean that I think we are incompatible for a relationship because we at different stages or something doesn't line up but that is rarely a judgement of character.

You see, hierarchy and avoiding hierarchy consumes a lot of poly people's time. We've now got to a point where people are so interested on concealing this dreaded hierarchy that they learn the correct way to phrase statements and answers to make it appear as if they are in a more egalitarian style of relationship than they really are. They've learned ways of philosophizing away what is contradictory by making up terms which basically describe the difference between when something works for you and when it doesn't. So someone speaking from their heart is really refreshing. Over time, your words will likely change and that might affect the amount of mutually interested people you connect with. But how many of those do you actually need? 2?
 

Rendren

New member
'Stop overthinking it' is advice that I need often, thanks. Could you (or anyone else) react to my current draft? I'm not sure there are enough details and recognize that I can't make that assessment myself very well.

I’m an affectionate man in nonmonogomous marriage looking for additional meaningful connections, whatever form they take.

My vision is to start a long-term romantic relationship grounded in the ease and effortless affection that comes from shared love languages (touch and quality time for me), but there are also so many other ways that we could connect.

I enjoy playing cello, hiking (perfect for covid times), deep conversations, and writing but I haven’t been the best at keeping up with these passions; reconnecting with them as part of a wonderful relationship would enhance both, regardless of whether the relationship is romantic/sexual.

Above all I’m deeply curious about people, and if you openly talk about yourself I will listen and that’s all I need to start a great connection. Let’s talk and figure out how we can be awesome together!
 

Evie

Moderator
Re draft: I'd pm you. Except the hiking lol.
Well, and being half a world away.
 

Alluvion

Member
These are all such good questions.

I think it's great that you're putting so much thought into your profile.


Red flags that make me swipe left:

- Treating other people like objects
- Bragging, especially about one's, er, bedroom skills
- Negative assumptions or insults about the people reading your profile
- The phrase "just ask me" when it's written in lieu of actually describing yourself
- Homophobia, racism, sexism, etc., even if it's written as a "joke"
- A narrow set of expectations about who potential parters should be and what our relationship will look like. (e.g. if someone said "you must be a redhead who is available for dates on the first Thursday night of every month from 7 to 9 pm.")


Green flags that will make me swipe right:

- Being crystal clear about what you are and aren't open to. Are you looking for a friend with benefits? A short-term fling? A girlfriend/boyfriend? Another life partner? Someone to see X number of times a week/month/year? Someone who wants to move in together? Someone to have kids/pets/houseplants with? Someone who never wants to combine households? New polyamorous friends? Something else? It's totally fine to be open to any or all possibilities, but I tend to be just as wary of profiles that don't give any indication at all of what they are (or aren't) looking for as the ones that have no flexibility at all).

- Going into detail about your values, hobbies, interests, etc. I love messaging people that I know already share a lot in common with me. It makes sending that first message a bit easier.

- Having a good sense of humour.

- Also open to making new platonic connections. I find that takes the pressure off and encourages me to message people I'm interested in but maybe not 100% sure I'd be romantically compatible with.

- Mentioning how much experience you have with polyamory. I have no problem dating people who are new to it, but that is something I like to know in advance so I don't make assumptions about someone's familiarity with the lingo, jealousy management, etc.

As far as people who react to polyamory with confusion go, I don't seek them out. If they message me first, I'll gladly answer their questions but don't really expect those conversations to lead to a romantic relationship. There's a steep learning curve with polyamory, and it's not something most people are going to be comfortable with.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
"I’m an affectionate man in a non-monogamous marriage, looking for additional meaningful connections, whatever form they may take.

My vision is to start a long-term romantic relationship, grounded in an easy and effortless affection that comes from shared love languages. (Mine are touch and quality time.) But there are also so many other ways that we could connect.

I enjoy playing cello, hiking (perfect for these Covid times), deep conversations, and writing, but I haven’t been the best at keeping up with these passions. Reconnecting with them as part of a wonderful relationship would enhance both, regardless of whether the relationship is romantic/sexual, or not.

Above all, I’m deeply curious about people, and if you openly talk about yourself, I will listen. That’s all I need to start a great connection. Let’s talk, and see if we could be awesome together!"

I corrected your grammar, spelling and punctuation. #editorgeek The content looks good.
 

Inaniel

Active member
Weeding out people on Tinder is the modern struggle…

I see a lot of different approaches between the extremes of polarizing transparency and utter ambiguity. The later waiting for some sort of exchange prior to letting the cat out of the bag, be it first messages, first dates, body fluids, vows, ect…

Obviously, you do not want to be in the latter group if you are looking for a healthy relationship. On the other hand, laying out your wish-list to the most minute specific detail is nauseating and will only serve to make your profile come off as too picky, in a demanding sort of way…

I think it is a good idea think of all the important attributes a proposed date should have. Write them down in descending order beginning with the most important. If the list is long, trim it and make a mental note to address the less important attributes in conversation.

If filtering is important to you. As in, you do not want to talk to anyone without said attribute; it is best to address it in your photos AND at the top of your written profile. That will serve to filter-out people who are mindlessly photo swiping, anyone intrigued enough to read your profile will see further explanation right away. In your case, choosing a photo that suggests “I am not mono or single” and displaying it as the first or second photo in the stream should help with filtering…

As for your draft. I think it sounds good. If I had one critique it would be that in the beginning, you say that you are seeking a romantic relationship but near the end you reference a possible friendship. I walked away not fully understanding what you are looking for... I think it is okay to be a little polarizing in your profile, in fact maybe even beneficial. If you only want a romantic relationship you can say so, if you only want to meet experienced poly folk you can say so. Being bold and unapologetic about your desires and beliefs is a strong character trait that can be attractive (if not taken too far).

I personally feel like dating profiles are a fun place to be creative. Keep in mind that nothing is written in stone, you can change it and try new things...

The way I try to be creative in my profile is by using a show instead of tell format. For example, instead of saying “I enjoy writing” you could communicate the same thing with a creatively written profile that serves to trigger an emotion in the reader (humor, inspiration, ect..).

I also use photographs to make statements about myself. For example, I like to travel, but I do not stay in resorts, I do not do “all-inclusive”, and im not interested in getting pampered on vacation in general... So if I were to say “I like to travel” I might match with someone who has a completely different traveling style than myself. Instead, I provided a photo of me on a Colombian mountainside knee deep in mud picking coffee berries. Photographs that place you in an atmosphere where you are enjoying yourself can be good choices. Photos are also a good conversation starter, if you posted a great hiking pic, it might lead into a conversation about how, when, where, you hike, your fitness level ect.. The word “hiking” in of itself will mean something different to everyone.

Best of luck.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Rendren,

My OKCupid days are long gone, I vaporized my username there, and have no interest in creating a new one. I just didn't have the patience for it, I couldn't find any close match that was interested in me. Possibly if I had been prepared to invest years into the site, I would have eventually had some luck. I just got to the point where I was satisfied with the one partner I already have. OKC no longer interested me.

Having said that, I do suggest you disclose your nonmonogamous/polyamorous status in the top two or three lines of your profile. You can't control who will read that far, and you can't control whether the mention of poly will make someone (the uninitiated) freak. Honestly, I question whether someone who gets spooked easily could be someone you'd want in a relationship. Save yourself for the politely curious. "What's polyamory?" "How does that work?" The ball of asking questions is in their court.

Just some thoughts,
Kevin T.
 

telivan

New member
Hey,

To echo some of the above statements, be direct that you are polyamorous. The opening of your profile should outline your relationship with your partners. You don't have to go into detail about them but make sure people browsing profiles are made aware. Plenty of people aren't going to even read that far unfortunately.

Beyond that, relax and have fun. Your profile post is solid. I'd read it and message you.
 

starlight1

Member
My only deal breaker is if they mention monogamy specifically as their preferred relationship style. Otherwise, I play it by ear. It helps that I'm not only seeking partners and I'm open to lots of different types of relationship and interaction.

I tend to stay away from people who have lots of rigid ideas or expectations about anything including polyamory or if I get the idea that their preexisting relationship might be fragile because there seems to be a lot of rules and regulations to how they are allowed to interact.

Honestly, I would use whatever language occurs to you because I personally use word choice to assess mindset to some degree. The words
You see, hierarchy and avoiding hierarchy consumes a lot of poly people's time. We've now got to a point where people are so interested on concealing this dreaded hierarchy that they learn the correct way to phrase statements and answers to make it appear as if they are in a more egalitarian style of relationship than they really are. They've learned ways of philosophizing away what is contradictory by making up terms which basically describe the difference between when something works for you and when it doesn't. So someone speaking from their heart is really refreshing. Over time, your words will likely change and that might affect the amount of mutually interested people you connect with. But how many of those do you actually need? 2?
So much this.

Some obvious tips maybe you already have this on there.

Willingness to meet up with wife in first go so they know you aren't cheating.

Being ok if said persin is more interested in wife than you (if bi).

Not plastering happy couple photos everywhere.

Being aware of how googlable your online presence is and how open you can be. Any whiff of "oh this man is cheating" or "his fb/twitter account is all about wife and kids and no mention of poly."
Can all be red flags. All pictures can be reversed searched as such.

Let's see, no pictures of just half your body or obscured face. Send wrong impression, like swingers not poly.

Been awhile since I've been online looking but those are the thing I look for.

Seasond poly mentioned the wording and pickup artisty type stuff with going around tryig to say they are equal but aren't.
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
"his fb/twitter account is all about wife and kids and no mention of poly."
Most poly people aren't out (and certainly even fewer post about it on Facebook) so I would not call this a red flag. It's an extraordinarily rare poly person who posts photos and claims poly relationships on Facebook. Not an indication of their sincerity at all, it's just an indication of the sorry state of the world in this arena.
 

tdh

Member
"My vision is to start a long-term romantic relationship grounded in the ease and effortless affection that comes from shared love languages (touch and quality time for me), but there are also so many other ways that we could connect."

Good profile from the feedback above but would make a suggestion here. "...grounded in the ease and effortless affection..." sounds like if the person adds any stress, you might be done. What you are really trying to say is you want someone to cuddle/kiss/physically love and spend time with. Might want to reword just a little like "...long-term romantic (?non-nesting?) partner that likes lots of physical attention and quality time and can do the same for me!" One of the keys is reciprocation is the ask and in the pop culture of love language book series, what one receives is not always what they give love.

Also as stated above, as being married, have seen this handled a few ways to show everyone is on board by:
  1. mention each others profiles on there too
  2. mention the need to meet/be around your partner(s) at sometime
  3. mention the current poly relationship status (V, triad, kitchen table poly, etc)
One of the main sceptical things I have heard in dating falls into:
  • Person being sceptical all partners are on board
  • Person being sceptical all partners are in the know
  • Person being sceptical any poly mention (even single) is code for cheater
  • Person being sceptical the writer is representing the truth
I have personally always wanted to know/get to know a new partner's other partners over a dinner or through a phone call(s) before really pursuing an attempt of a relationship but maybe that is just me.
 

Evie

Moderator
🙄
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Catspi,

To meet a man/couple that are poly, you need to search for local poly groups in your area. Also if you attend fringe things like indie music concerts and Ren faires, you have a better chance of meeting people who are open to poly. Also FetLife can be helpful. Finally, there is OKCupid. Do all (four) of these things, and you are certain to have success.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
So I am new here ... I am curious of how to meet a man/couple that are polygamous... any help is appreciated 🥰🥰🥰
Please don't try to date a couple right off the bat. Don't be a unicorn. Date individuals who are poly or poly-friendly.
 
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