This morning I received a message from a guy on a dating app. The kind I received is common but today it made me think.
He said (and I paraphrase)
“I don’t want a traditional relationship because I feel trapped in them, but I don’t just want one-night stands, I want some intimacy.”
This is a regular theme in the contact I get. As a polyamorous woman, men see me as a halfway point between stifling relationship with all the emotional labour it entails, and meaningless sex which leaves you feeling empty.
The reality is the problems they encounter aren’t magically deleted by dating me. They don’t adapt or change any part of the way they interact and the problems of them feeling trapped and their partners feeling jealousy don’t disappear because they date someone polyamorous. They could date anyone and still fall into the same patterns. …
Polyamory seems to be having a boom time with lots of people realising there are other relationship structures than ‘fall in love and stay monogamous forever’. I took the brave step to ethical non monogamy just over a year ago, here are a few things I wish someone had told me.
I’m gendering this post because I believe much of this advice is woman-centric.
You’ll be drowning in dick, but most suitors are not worth your while
The first thing I noticed was how many matches and messages I had compared to those of my husband. He’s a great catch — intelligent, caring, good looking, funny — but he maybe had one match to every fifty of mine. That didn’t mean I was hot and he wasn’t, just there are a lot of men out there who are desperate for female attention. …
The friend zone is not a thing. We know this. No one owes you their sexual attention for any reason whatsoever.
And yet having a crush can be such an all-encompassing feeling fuelled with expectation it creates a sense of longing which can become selfish and entitled.
No one means to feel this way, and certainly no one means to cause anyone else to feel it either.
Transitioning a friendship into more than friends isn’t something you should take lightly, but sometimes leaving things unsaid can be as damaging as making a move.
I’ve experienced this from both sides, as a friend who didn’t say anything, and as a friend who’s been partner zoned. The more open I am about being polyamorous the more of an issue it’s becoming. It was incredibly easy to be in the privileged position of being able to say, “Of course not, duh, I’m married.” Taking that support blanket away forced me to deal with things in a far more empathic and constructive way. …