Cheers Sexy People!
So, you think you might be polyamorous, and this alternative lifestyle may suit you, but where do you find these elusive potential “poly” mates, considering that not everyone is “out of the closet” or wearing their “freak” flag on a daily basis? In addition, consider that the polyamorous / ethically non-monogamous community is a very small percentage of society, estimated somewhere at less then 5% or up to 10% of the population. So where do we find our like-minded, sexy friends and lovers who subscribe to our preferred relationship structure?
In this day and age, one place to naturally turn to is online dating.
I happen to have a fair amount of experience at online dating, so much so that I used to joke that I should have written a book (Dang it!) I was the first kid on my block with my own personal email in 1995. I started online dating in 1996. The very first guy I met in person was the stuff of legend: the kind of story you tell your girlfriends and whoot and holler laughing over some vino. I was incredibly lucky in that the SECOND guy I met… get this… looked like Patrick Swayze. I kid you not. I almost fell off my barstool when he walked in. This was even before there were pictures in the “Love @ AOL” personal ad that I had answered to meet him. All I knew is that we had some similar interests, such as playing guitar and bar hopping with friends. Then he showed up (late, but whatever) looking like the lead in Dirty Dancing. We ended up making out in my car until 4am that nite. Being the “good girl” I was back then, there was no way I was going to invite him in, thus I sent him home. We ended up having an overall good – though at times tumultuous – four year relationship. My relationship to him was at least one of the factors that brought me to the Washington, DC area. I view all relationships as a boat sailing on a lake of my life. Each person teaches me something, and helps me get to the next place that I am supposed to be on the journey of my life. I do my best to regret nothing. I ended up breaking up with “Patrick-Swayze-Wannabe” because we stopped having sex for six months and I seriously considered cheating on him (after realizing that being “comfy” in my relationship just wasn’t enough… I still needed passion and great sex! WTF?). Since at this point in my life I had vowed to never cheat again, I made the difficult choice of breaking up with him — someone who was about 85% of what I was ultimately looking for in that elusive role of “Ultimate Man In My Life.” (ahhhh, my former monogamous self had so much to learn).
I met my husband-to-be on match.com over ten years ago. And I met my live-in boyfriend on AdultFriendFinder.com over three years ago. I am living proof that online dating works. It can lead to successful, happy, healthy and enduring relationships. After my success, several of my friends got over their own perceived “stigmas” of meeting people online, and eventually met their mates and husbands-to-be via online dating as well.
So fast forward to today and the current poly community. I’ve been contemplating lately the virtue of HONESTY as it relates to ONLINE DATING PROFILES. Honesty and relationships go together like rama-lama-lama-ka-dinga-da-dinga-dong (that was for you “Grease” fans out there). If you’re not being honest in your relationship, to me that means there is something inherently wrong with either YOU or your relationship in regards to your ability to tell the truth. Honesty isn’t just a value that you share with each other, it’s something each of us must have with his or herself. It’s imperative to learn about yourself, know yourself, your own values, who you are, and then share that knowledge honestly and truthfully to the best of your ability with the other person, AS WELL AS not lie to or cheat behind your partner’s back. Also, lies of omission are still… lies. Then take into account that a relationship with one person at a time is hard enough, it takes even more effort and strength to juggle multiple relationships. Honesty with yourself and others is key if ANY of this is going to work or be healthy.
So, it’s interesting to note here that I have learned that more than half of people lie in some fashion or another in online dating profiles. To me, this is bad news in the monogamous community for sure, but in the poly community, to me it makes even LESS sense. The whole point of ethical, honest, non-monogamous relationships is the ETHICAL and HONEST parts. If a person can’t even be honest on their online profile, how could you ever trust them to be honest in your polyamorous relationship (or any relationship, but you get the idea here)? In my monogamous online dating life, I found some of the biggest lies were in how old the photos people displayed were. One date I met in person admitted that his photos were over eight years old when he was um… over thirty pounds lighter with a more youthful face. I thought: who did you think you were fooling, buddy? Once we agreed to meet in person, I’m gonna find out that was your college picture when you were much thinner, thus you misrepresented yourself and lied to me. DER! (I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I dated that fibber-via-pictures for a year after meeting him… but he was a rocket scientist, and that was pretty cool… Now I realize how much I simply value variety! Ha!)
Apparently, some of the biggest tales that men tell are about adding inches to their HEIGHT (to me this is particularly ill-advised, as you can’t change your height at all, and will be found out about the lie upon the first meeting, thus making you look foolish as well as dishonest), and INCOME. Women are most likely to lie about their AGE and their WEIGHT. Why start out a potential relationship when looking for someone to love you for WHO YOU ACTUALLY ARE by lying??? People will know on the first date. You’re not going to win over someone by lying. And in the end, you are only hurting YOURSELF by doing this. Lying to try to impress a potential mate chips away at your self-esteem, attracts the wrong kind of person (someone who might be more interested in the fantasy that you are creating instead of who you are today), and is setting yourself up to fail (when the other person meets you and is disappointed that you aren’t what you made yourself out to be — what a potentially bad situation). Remember good, healthy relationships are built on trust.
To better prepare yourself to sniff out the liars, and sharpen your online detective pencil, here’s a good article that outlines the most common lies told in online profiles. Be warned:
(…also, please don’t do this yourself, mah people. Again, you are only hurting yourself in the end).
In terms of WHERE to find suitable, polyamorous / ethical non-monogamous, potential partners, there are many places to look (see link below), but be prepared to do some work, put forth some effort, and above all, Be Patient. The right person(s) for you is ultimately worth waiting for. I see no reason to rush it, or try to force it, or try to mold people into what you want them to be. A quote I recently read that I love:
You cannot force anyone to love you. So just be you. Those who leave you because they are selective about what they want you to be like, never loved you. Never change for anyone because it never lasts. Be true. Be real. Be you.
My other piece of advice is to keep in mind that… you can’t fake physical chemistry. It is either there, or it’s not. And you are NEVER going to know until you meet face to face, and get a whiff of each other, quite literally. Just the way someone smells can be a turn on or a turn off for me, sometimes something that I cannot get past, just as an example. You are never going to find information like that out via an email, a text, or phone call or a Skype (but sure, the last two can help in terms of the timber of someone’s voice with the sense of sound… and with Skype, you can verify if someone is lying through their photos or announcement of their age, and see how they move, their gestures, how they speak out loud, etc.). But in person is still the best, in my humble opinion… all of that physical, sensory information is all right there, all at once.
Here is an article that speaks directly about polyamory dating sites to try:
Please feel free to comment below on which sites or techniques have worked for you, in terms of finding suitable, polyamorous partners, as well as feel free to share any hilarious, online dating stories with your friendly, neighborhood poly community here.
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)