Trying to find a partner when you’re single is one thing, but when you’re in a non-monogamous relationship and you’re looking for new connections, it can be difficult to know where to start. Where do you even begin looking for polyamorous partners? How do you start talking to someone about the fact that you’re already seeing someone? If you’re new to non-monogamy or just haven’t quite mastered it so far, keep these five dating tips in mind:
1. Communicate with existing partners about your dating
If you’re new or just getting back into dating and you have an existing polyamorous partner, it’s important to be honest with them about joining a dating platform or seeing new people unless that is something they’ve explicitly asked not to hear about.
If your relationship has been monogamous up until now, there’s obviously a lot more communication necessary to open up the relationship for the first time. However, if you and your partner(s) are already practicing ethical non-monogamy, you should still inform them that you’ve joined a new app or have started actively dating someone else.
You don’t need to go into detail about your dating profile unless your partner has requested more information, but when you start talking to matches, it’s good to keep your existing partner(s) in the loop so they aren’t blindsided when you do go on a date.
2. Be completely transparent in your profile
Be upfront about your relationship status in your social media and dating profiles. If you’re polyamorous, your relationship status on dating apps that allow it should be “polyamorous” or “non-monogamous.” I’ve had multiple interactions with folks who had a status of “single” on apps that have a non-monogamy option, only to find out later that the person was actually in an open marriage. This is deceitful and certainly not the best practice for showing potential partners that they can trust you to be honest with them.
I highly recommend only using sites that include a non-monogamous relationship status if you’re looking for a polyamorous partner. Using sites that specifically cater to non-monogamous people, like Swing Towns, can make finding like-minded partners easier. It facilitates open communication about your relationships so you can find suitable matches and even join social clubs like swinging groups.
Some dating apps even let you link your partner in your profile, which may be a really good idea if you want to be completely transparent. While this can definitely be intimidating to some matches, others might feel more comfortable knowing your partner is obviously on board with you dating others. It also allows potential matches to familiarize themselves with your partner to reduce anxiety about eventually meeting them down the line.
3. Be clear and direct about your intentions
Polyamory is an umbrella term that can mean a lot of different things to different people, so it’s important to be specific in saying what you’re looking for.
Are you looking for some “no strings attached” type fun or a serious relationship? Are you looking to date your partners separately or are you searching for a unicorn for a threesome with your existing partner? Are you looking to meet swingers? You should be clear about these things from the very beginning in order to avoid confusion.
With polyamory and the BDSM community overlapping so much, it’s important to discuss any power exchange relationship dynamics you’re specifically looking for. D/s dynamics can get complicated with multiple partners, so it’s good to discuss what that would look like to potential matches from the beginning.
4. Introduce metamours as soon as possible
Your partner’s partner is called your metamour, and chances are you’ll be meeting them at some point in a relationship. I truly believe the best practice in polyamory is to have metamours meet early on in the relationship to try to build those connections. Having your partners meet each other can help everyone build trust and will make communication within your polycule, your network of partners and metamours, a lot easier down the line.
A good metamour can be a really important connection to have and normalizing friendships between metamours can help combat issues in non-monogamous relationships such as jealousy. Often, we date people with similar hobbies and interests as ourselves, so metamours can end up being really close friends. Although metamours are good people to have a strong relationship with, not everyone will be best friends with their partner’s partner(s). However, the sooner metas are introduced in a relationship, the smoother things tend to go from there.
5. Have a regular check-in with your partners
Communication is key to a solid relationship, but it’s even more important within non-monogamous relationships because things can get more complicated with multiple partners involved. To avoid complications, active communication is a skill that you need to get good at if you’re going to have successful polyamorous relationships.
Sex blogger Taryn wrote an article about the “art of checking in” that I’ve personally adopted into my relationships that can be super helpful for non-monogamous relationships, too. She suggests having a set schedule to sit down and talk about your relationship. This gives you the time and space to discuss concerns, share your feelings, and talk about how you’ve supported each other lately, all of which can be especially helpful for couples who are exploring polyamory for the first time.
I suggest checking in not only with your partners, but your metamours as well. Sometimes it can be good to have a group chat or shared calendar with your metamours to touch base about things like date plans so there’s no confusion within the group.
Polyamory requires a lot of trust to work and it isn’t easy to maintain a healthy relationship without focusing on active communication. From the start of every new relationship, you should be making an effort to communicate your desires, intentions, and feelings about how things are going. That’s why each of these five tips goes back to the idea of being honest with your partner(s). Without an emphasis on honest communication, things get complicated, emotions can spiral out of control, and feelings can get hurt. Do the best thing for yourself and your relationship and always be upfront and honest, every step of the way.
This article was sponsored.
As always, all writing and opinions are my own.