Disclosure When On the Prowl

Ok.

So, I am a poly mama, in an open relationship that has its own nuances and complexities, like any other relationship of any flavor.

Dilemma, nutshell:

I have for the first time opened an OK Cupid account. I have not gone on any dates yet, but I have responded to many potential suitors.

Am I obliged to let my partner know that I am on the market and actively looking? Or am I only obliged to let him know once I have a date or develop a relationship with someone I might meet?

Lemme see… Consulting the Universal Polyamory Manual, Chapter 231, paragraph C, I note that one is absolutely obligated to explain all intentional actions on pain of having one’s polyamory status revoked and being called a dirty, dirty swinger.

* Grin * Okay, I know you don’t buy that.

While I don’t know that you’re obligated to,1 I think it’d make sense to discuss your intentions with your partner. What are your partner’s comfort levels here? If you haven’t asked, do. It is my opinion that there are few downsides to talking about this sort of thing. If your partner has insecurities that need working through, better now than later. If your partner doesn’t like to be surprised out of nowhere with stuff, then knowing you’re looking keeps your partner well in the loop.

This is not to say that one has to inform a partner of every flirtation, interest or whatever, if you haven’t agreed to do such a thing. That you’re even asking about this says that you guys are still finding your feet about how to handle looking for new relationships, so it’s not like you really have a deep feel for what your partner wants to know and when. That’s okay, mind. So look at it this way, there’s less of a downside to volunteering lots of information than otherwise. It’s a good way to build trust. It’s a great way to build closeness. I mean, part of intimacy is letting partners know what’s going on in your head, yes? Besides, if what you get is a response along the lines of, “Hon, I really don’t care what you’re up to on a dating site. Lemme know when you intend to meet someone in person,” then you’ve got the information you really need.

Now, I’ve given you all this advice and I’m reviewing my own relationships. I do have an OKC profile meeself. All my partners know it. I haven’t made a specific effort to look for a partner in… Gosh… It’s been many years. I might mention it if I were to do so, but active looking is not my normal M.O. and I think my partners would want to know why the change in behavior – less from feeling insecure, but just because they’re interested in what I’m thinking/feeling/needing.

I hope you’ll forgive me for speculating, but is your real concern that you’re worried about how your partner is going to react and you would rather put off discussing the matter? If it is, screw your courage to the sticking place and go ahead and bring it up now. Get the discussions out in the open, because they obviously need to happen. Yes, this can be hard and vulnerable. Totally. But you’re building a good foundation of communication and trust that will serve you well in the future and make your relationships just that much more satisfying.

And… I just noticed that this post goes out on Valentine’s Day.  Happy Valentine’s Day to those of you who celebrate it.  And for those who don’t?  It’s still okay to tell your partner(s), friends and family that you love them!

 

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1 Not knowing your specific agreements and all.

3 thoughts on “Disclosure When On the Prowl

  1. Silenus

    I think it would be a good idea to let your partner know you are looking on OK cupid. It may be a good idea to tell them why. I was on OK cupid for about a half year because people on my local poly list dared me to try it. In your case, it may be you are really hungry for a new relationship, and if your partner(s) knew that, they might be helpful, or skeptical, or give you other useful feedback. In my case, my partners know I’m always open to new relationships, but not necessarily looking that hard.

    I also think it is a good idea to be as clear as possible about what your preferences are and who you are looking for. You’ll get far fewer inquiries, but the ones you get will be worth following up on. I was very explicit about who I was and what I liked. I got a couple of hits, one was a dud, the other was fun for a few months until she decided poly wasn’t for her.

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  2. Jericka

    Ah, OKCupid. I have a soft spot for it because I met a Love there that otherwise I probably would never have encountered. The timing was excellent. My metamour is lovely. Life is, for the moment, lovely and busy.

    Which leaves me ignoring the OkCupid account, most of the time. Sometimes I feel like looking, and sometimes I talk about the offers that I get with my loves. Some guys see the poly mention on my profile and seem to think it means that I will sleep with anyone, when really it means that I’m not looking for anyone who is less awesome than the loves I already have in my life! Sometimes I think that I leave the profile up mostly so that my loves can point me out to a prospective partner…something like what happened when I started out and wanted reassurance that I wasn’t a secret, that his wife was really poly as well and ok with me.

    If a partner of mine were actively looking, it would be nice to know. I like to know the moods and habits of my friends and lovers. However, I trust them to be safe, and that is the main thing for me. If someone in this group were messing around with someone who avoided condoms or did things that risked the rest of us, I would mind. Otherwise, if they are having fun, great!

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