Starting relationships as a newly Poly/ENM straight married man

Arc

Member
Hi everyone,

I am sure this has been discussed, so my first question is: can anyone point me to some helpful older threads about "Starting relationships as a newly Poly/ENM straight married man" - or it doesn't have to be that specific, just starting relationships in general (I'm deliberately trying to avoid the word "dating," based on someone's earlier suggestion, although that's basically what I'm talking about).

In addition wanting to find older threads covering the same ground, I am going to write a short description of where I'm at, and see if anyone has thoughts or suggestions.

Note: I am not interested in "Pick up artist"-style tips so no need for that kind of advice, please. Not my style.

I see three main avenues for meeting people:
  1. Online apps - OK Cupid probably since they let you specify ENM; I looked at Tinder, and one poly person highly recommended it, but due to confidentiality reasons don't want to be out on the "market" as relatives, customers, colleagues might encounter my profile as there's no apparent way to filter for only ENM folks)
  2. Local Poly communities - I am in a small poly group but so far it's not my ideal community and I haven't met anyone I like [edit: like in that way! I've met several people i like as friends]. Basically, it is a group of random people who happen to be interested in polyamory, so the odds of finding someone who 'clicks' is low.
  3. Meeting people out in the wild world - that is, meeting women who I like and hoping some of them might be open to poly relationships
I figure if I utilize all three of these different avenues, I will be diversifying my investment, as it were. I am currently getting up the nerve to launch my OKC profile - I am stalled because I want good photos, feel self conscious / anxious about that, and need someone to take the photos and tell me they are good enough to post. Hopefully I'll do that this week! 😳

My main interest is "Out in the wild world". Why? Because I basically want to meet people who share similar interests/passions, and, like I said above, haven't really found that in the poly community. I've already had some success connect with women and developing some really good friendships over the last 6 months. This has been part of my "decoupling" process, and it has been great. It turns out I really like having female friends! The challenge is that, well, as you all know, most people are not open to poly relationships. They are monogamously married or looking for monogamous partners.

So my challenge is how to approach this - how to broach it; how to not seem like a creep. In what context does it seem appropriate to tell a woman that I am in an open relationship? In what context is it appropriate to indicate a romantic/sexual interest? I am keenly aware (maybe too aware?) of the risk of being seen as a) someone who is cheating; b) turning someone off or messing up what is a good or potentially good friendship. If I had a developing friendship with someone, and express an interest... how do I do this???

Another note: I am not very experienced in 'traditional' dating, to say nothing of dating while married in my 40s. I am optimistic though! :)
 
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Evie

Mod
As the post pandemic world allows, you can probably narrow that wild world by joining special interest groups. A co-ed sport like many of the martial arts (casual training), an amateur theatre (don't worry if you can't act, just go along and offer to paint something), pub sings? Something that you'll enjoy and will bring out your best self.

As you join new groups and meet new people, you could let people know early and casually that you're in a cnm relationship. That way, if someone is interested in you, they will know they have the freedom to let you know! That way it's not all on you to make the first move.
 

Arc

Member
As the post pandemic world allows, you can probably narrow that wild world by joining special interest groups. A co-ed sport like many of the martial arts (casual training), an amateur theatre (don't worry if you can't act, just go along and offer to paint something), pub sings? Something that you'll enjoy and will bring out your best self.

As you join new groups and meet new people, you could let people know early and casually that you're in a cnm relationship. That way, if someone is interested in you, they will know they have the freedom to let you know! That way it's not all on you to make the first move.
Ah, thank you! This is really good advice and something I hadn't thought of. I am actually involved in a fair number of activities that are slowly returning to in person life - although pub sings makes me lol because I am so not a pub singer (although maybe I should try now that I am revolutionizing my life...!)

But you know, your response made me realize something - I am not comfortable being "out" with people in the "general population". This points to mono-normative stigma. The assumption is always monogamy, so outing oneself means going against the assumed norm. Probably what it was like to be openly gay back in the day.

So now I'm thinking of nonchalant ways of mentioning that I'm CNM in everyday conversation... Hmm, that's a challenge for me but I think it has to happen!
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
"As for where to meet poly people, if by some chance you are interested in anything alternative like Renaissance fairs, goth culture, sci-fi conventions, indie music, bdsm, or any small fringe group, you will be more likely to meet people who have at least heard of poly and are accepting of it."
-- SpaceHippieGeek, Polyamorous Percolations

Even if it's not an "alternative" type group, if there's a club or something in your area that does something you're interested in, you can always join that group and it just gives you a way to get out there and meet people. If you meet someone on a platonic level and get to talking about poly, then they can decide how they feel about it without any "pressure to agree." Then if they do decide poly doesn't bother them too much, and some kind of romantic connection subsequently develops, you'll already have "had the poly conversation" with them.
 
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icesong

Moderator
Staff member
Can confirm on geek communities being a good place to find people who, if not polyamorous themselves, shrug and move on with their life rather than judging. So I don’t know what your preferred hobbies / communities are, but if you have any inclination that way, that may help. (That said, I was never able to find partners in those communities but it *is* really nice that I can introduce my partners as such and no one bats an eye.)

Oh, and board games. If there are board game meetups where you live, chances are some number of people are poly - it’s practically a cliché in some circles.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Oh, and board games. If there are board game meetups where you live, chances are some number of people are poly - it’s practically a cliché in some circles.


I can testify to the board game thing. And if you're into it, D&D is where it is at. :)
 

Arc

Member
I can testify to the board game thing. And if you're into it, D&D is where it is at. :)
Oh boy... I might have to take a deep dive. Was actually thinking of trying to get my kids into it, so I might as well educate myself and, well, embed myself in the community...
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Oh boy... I might have to take a deep dive. Was actually thinking of trying to get my kids into it, so I might as well educate myself and, well, embed myself in the community...


Well, if you need help, feel free to gimme a shout. DH and I have been slowly getting back into it again. We're more than a little rusty, so it's pretty much like starting over really. :)
 

Arc

Member
Well, if you need help, feel free to gimme a shout. DH and I have been slowly getting back into it again. We're more than a little rusty, so it's pretty much like starting over really. :)
Thanks! A (poly) friend recommended this College Humor video series of a campaign:


I've watched part of episode 1 and am finally, several decades since it was first suggested to me to play, getting an understanding of how it could be fun...
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Thanks! A (poly) friend recommended this College Humor video series of a campaign:


I've watched part of episode 1 and am finally, several decades since it was first suggested to me to play, getting an understanding of how it could be fun...


Oh, it really is a LOT of fun! It can be a little awkward at first but once you get into it, you will find yourself up at 4 AM in the middle of a campaign and there is no end in sight. 😂
 
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