Guest column by Vrimj today!

Suggestion for Married Couples moving from monogamy to polyamory:


A lot of the newbie mistakes that hurt everyone in the poly world come from married couples who consider themselves a package deal, in part because they consider themselves a package.

When businesses try to sell me bundled services, say the TV, phone, internet deals out there, the chances are that only one of those things is actually driving my business (in this case it is internet for me) something else might be neutral or maybe nice to have (TV for me) and something else might actually be something I don’t want and dislike having but will put up with to get a better deal on what I want (for me, the landline phone, I hate them)

Yea, when couples sell themselves as a bundle the effect is likely to be the same. Someone might be thrilled to get TV and Internet, but it is unlikely that they are going to feel exactly the same way about them.

It is more likely that the reaction will be, ok this is something that comes with the thing I really want and makes it easier to get.
And that SUCKS from both sides. I know I did it. Oh my did it suck.

I suggest instead you date as individuals. Yea you aren’t sharing a “customer base” but you know what? You are much more likely to have enthusiastic “customers” who really are in to you as a result. If someone happens to be a shared partner you can have the assurance it is because they wanted what each of you had to offer.

How to do it-

Don’t start looking right away. Yea really. Put down the OK Cupid profile.

Instead start thinking about how you work as a relationship. I suggest you do this by looking at your calendars. If you don’t have calendars write down the reasons you don’t and/or keep one for a few weeks.

Go through and look at each event and roughly classify it as fun or nonfun. Then add if it was shared or solo. If it was solo add who was doing it.

Go though and sum up each category and look at the numbers.

Now (and only now) ask yourself, are you used to having fun separately?

If you are not start here. There is a lot to get used to in polyamory but goodness knows you don’t need to add to it. Getting used to having fun separately so you don’t pile that on top of all the other stuff.

If you are not regularly doing fun apart (say at least 15% of your fun) work on that first, it will make the rest of the adjustments easier because you will have something to compare them to.

Also having fun apart doing things that are not really mutual interests can make the next step, finding interesting people to date, a lot easier!


© 2012, Vrimj

Used by permission

Vrimj disdains twee bios…

12 thoughts on “Unbundling

  1. Silenus

    Very well put good advice. Perhaps the next step is to consider how to deal with another couple where there is some attraction among all involved, but, of course, attractions of various intensity between the different possible dyads.

    And unbundling made me think about the old rural American custom of bundling, which led to it’s own amusing consequences. When families would visit they often had to spend the night since farms were far apart by horse and wagon. Since beds were limited, it was sometimes necessary to put a teenage boy in the same bed with a teenage girl. To maintain propriety, a one foot wide plank, a bundling board, was placed between the two bed mates.

    I’m sure there were plenty of bundling stories, but I only remember one from my Ohio childhood. After a boy and girl spent the night bundling, the girl showed the boy around the family farm. When they got to the far end of the farm, the girl allowed as to how the quickest way back to the house would be to climb the fence and go across the pasture on the other side. But, she said, “I guess we’ll just have to go around the long way.” “Why is that?”, asked the boy. “I just have to assume,” the girl said, “That nobody is going to be able to climb a three foot fence if he can’t get over a one foot plank.”

  2. Mim chapman

    This is a good suggestion for couples contemplating opening up their relationship to responsible non-monogamy. However, those hoping to welcome new members into a poly family will be doing rather different types of preparations, as they are opening to more synergistic togetherness rather than more alone time. Discussions of what mutual needs and/or desires a potential new love might meet, fantasies of 3-way sex, and power dynamics in a family of more than two are possible discussions for couples moving toward polyamorous family.

    1. Peska

      “Couples moving towards a polyamorous family.”

      How can you plan a polyamorous family if you have not yet met and dated the other people involved? So much of what couples who want to add more members say sounds like they expect someone – usually a younger, bisexual, female someone – to just up and marry them, mold themselves to their expectations and needs, and be happy with that, with no consideration for who they are as a person, their life dreams and needs, or time to form relationships with the members of the couple individually. It seems to not treat the hypothetical future family members with much respect at all.

      Bah. You can’t form a family without being friends first, or without dating.

  3. Jericka

    I am so SO very happy that I didn’t run into a package deal couple right away when I was new to poly. My love has a really lovely wife. I like her, and I am happy that she seems to like and appreciate me. However, I am very glad it wasn’t a package deal, and that she sets up her dates separately! We have a nice low drama set up so far. I know things can change, but, bundling won’t be a cause of any drama here!

  4. Teumessian_Fox

    I wish I’d had someone yank me by the ear and tell me this two years ago! When I met my boyfriend, the hubby and I did not have a ton of fun time, but we almost never had a moment apart! We were also firm believers in package deals. Not that my boyfriend had to be my husband’s boyfriend, too, but the idea was similar. Very, very stupid of us.
    Now we’ve been trying to backpedal and get more fun time, and get it in every combination, each of us having alone time, one on one time, and time as a group. We’re even getting out to see friends on a more regular basis.

  5. Amanda

    I’m trying so hard to go along with this, but right now it’s hard as it seems like my husband’s the one having all the fun and I’m left alone most of the time. I’m glad that he’s having fun, but it would be nice if I could share in it.

    We are new to the poly thing, and at first we planned only going to engage in relationships that included us both. We realized quickly that we were being too rigid. Unfortunately for me, I’m also fairly shy, and he’s pretty gregarious. I tend to depend on him (maybe too much) for introducing me to people. Now I spend a lot of time trying not to feel hurt that I have no one to spend time with. (or that no one wants to spend time with me!). At the moment, I’m not sure what to do about it. Just hoping something interesting will come along.

    1. Goddess of Java Post author

      A) You can ask to spend time with your husband. The point of poly is not to ignore old relationships in the excitement of new ones!

      B) I know that being shy can be painful and make it difficult to meet people. But I’d strongly suggest doing your best to get out and do so some anyway. I’m not saying turn yourself into a social butterfly if that is not to your tastes, but meeting people and seeing if you form your own connections is important not only in terms of poly, but just in terms of emotional health.

  6. plymouths

    I think that for me agreeing to “bundling” was a way to pretend I was open to being poly while not really wanting to do it. Because unlike the people who are in denial of how rare unicorns are and expect to find one, I think I was COUNTING on their rareness to mean we would never actually find one. I don’t think I realized this until he finally found someone he wanted to date separately from me and I turned out to be so totally not even remotely OK with it. Self-knowledge – it’s actually kinda hard. But so important :(


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