OkCupid is great. I have used OkCupid to find both of the secondary partners I’ve had since I’ve been married. One didn’t work out so well in the end, but we did go out for about six months. The other is working out incredibly well, as I’ve mentioned before.
However, I’ve found that identifying as polyamorous opens one up to questions and assumptions about one’s lifestyle choices. To deal with this, I added to my OkC profile a couple of journal entries that pretty much sum up my lifestyle and what polyamory is (and isn’t) for me.
// How We Make Polyamory Work
I get asked a lot about polyamory by people considering the lifestyle who want to know how it works, being in a committed non-monogamous relationship. In reply, I usually send them some version of this answer:
The way we’ve made it work can be summed up in a word: honesty.
In more words, and a deeper explanation: We try to be completely honest, not only with each other, but with ourselves. Part of that is owning our emotions. It’s never, “You made me feel this way, how could you?” It’s “I feel this way about what you did. How can we work out a way to fix this?” Neither of us is naturally jealous, and we entered into our relationship as an open couple. When we met, we were both seeing other people and we fell in love while pursuing other relationships. We knew that monogamy wouldn’t work for us even though we were crazy about each other, and if we were going to be together it was best to acknowledge that. As a result, it’s the strongest relationship either of us has ever been in.
We have some ground rules or guidelines we try to follow. For instance: use protection until both parties have been tested, meet each other’s lovers if possible before pursuing anything, no sneaking around, no drunken hookups (unless previously arranged, as in “I’m going out tonight, and I’ll be drinking so I might hook up”), I don’t want to hear details unless I ask, don’t use a second lover as a way to escape from our problems at home, and our relationship comes first (no secondary partner can take priority over our primary). But every couple should have their own boundaries and those boundaries need to be respected. If those rules/boundaries are broken or pushed, there needs to be full disclosure and like with any jealous feelings, it’s about taking ownership.
One of the best things about being polyamorous, is taking joy in seeing your partner happy with someone else. This is sometimes known as compersion and it’s the antithesis of jealousy.
New Relationship Energy (or NRE) is that heady cocktail of hormones and emotion that you get when there’s someone new in your life. The best part about it is that it spills over into your existing relationships. Instead of lessening them, it can actually infuse them with new life and strengthen them.
There are plenty of problems that can arise in a poly relationship, so don’t ever think it’s an “easy way” to go. Poly life makes things much more complicated. Relationships between two people are hard enough, and when more people enter the equation, the difficulty rises exponentially! It takes hard work and commitment like any relationship. Complete honesty is not easy! We’ve had our problems (some of which happened when I got in the middle of fights between my husband and his ‘secondary’) and hard times, too.
I highly recommend reading The Ethical Slut as a good guide to polyamory. It’s full of very helpful advice and lots of stories of couples that have made it work.