Things I never had to think about while monogamous

“If I make fun of this guy’s poetry, will it hurt my chances of dating his wife?”

“Is there a word for the wife of a guy who is dating my girlfriend?”

“Why do people see me as more of a threat to their relationships now than they did when I was single?”

“What’s a good answer to the ‘are you single?’ question that says, ‘I’m not single, I’m in fact seeing someone very seriously, but I’m still available to date you’, but sounds less creepy than that?”

“If I flirt with someone in front of my girlfriend, is that actually okay or only technically okay?”

“I don’t know whether to be excited or worried when two of my friends decide to open up their relationship, so I’ll settle for being both and not sleeping very well.”

“Okay don’t look at the waitress. Wait, I’m allowed to look at the waitress. Okay, look but don’t ogle. Am I allowed to ogle, if I do it respectfully, or do I need to keep all my focus on this person while I’m with her? What about flirting? Well, now the waitress is gone, anyway.”

“How soon after someone new and attractive starts talking to me do I need to make them aware that I’m already in a relationship?”

“Why am I worrying about all of this when I’m still not dating anyone else, anyway?”

“Why am I not dating anyone else? I’m attractive enough, right? Maybe I’m not. Maybe I need to go out and meet more people, but then I have to tell them that I’m non-monogamous. But when do I tell them that? Do I tell them at the bar/coffee shop/grocery store, or wait until after one of us gives the other one a number and then we’re on a date-date? That can’t be fair, but it has to sound weird if I mention it immediately. Maybe I’ll just stay home and have a beer and wonder why I’m not dating anyone else.”


13 thoughts on “Things I never had to think about while monogamous

  1. This was a great start to my day.

    Regarding how you introduce this to others – the most relevant thing a potential partner needs to know about you is “available or not”. “Already in a relationship” is a close second. So, lead with available.

    “Are you single?” “I’m available”. It clarifies the main thing, and points the way toward the rest of the relevant content, without being an excessive infodump. Emphasis on available makes clear that “single” does not exactly apply, but allows them to lead further with questioning.

  2. Thanks Steve. I just worry that “I’m available” will sound like hedging.

    Moreover, what do I do with someone who just assumes that I’m single if I’m flirting with them? It’s a fairly reasonable assumption; is it fair to let them continue to think so in the absence of a straight-up query?

  3. To the question “Are you single?” I always answer:
    “I’m still looking for my soulmate”. Then sometimes you get the responce “so how many soulmates do you have right now?” and I usually answer “Ive been looking but I havent found her yet”

    As a general rule always let them know what type of relationship you want (committed, open, serious, casual) after you’ve been kissing but BEFORE you sleep with them. A good opening question for this sort of conversation is :”so, what type of relationship are you into/ looking for?”. Be honest, straightforward and NON-APPOLOGETIC.

    Sometimes like if you tell her you want open casual relationship she might say somthing like “well im going to have to think about seeing you again” then I say “I understand, you seem really awesome and i’d miss you if i didnt see you again”

  4. datehazard: Oh, absolutely. Anyone who lies about something like that that early on. In fact, that’s sort of my issue–I feel like “I’m available” is dancing around the question. Maybe they really mean to ask “Are you available”, or maybe they’re really looking for someone completely single.

    marc: The thing for me is that I’m *not* looking for a soulmate. A) I’m not someone who believes in soulmates, and B) I’m in love with a wonderful woman, but still looking to date other people. I’m not searching for anything but new experiences. And post-kiss seems like *way* too late to explain to someonethat I may not be looking for what they are.

  5. Hi,


    When I was in a relationship I was thinking only about US. No that I am single, at first I was really proud of my “Single” relationship status in Facebook. Later I just changed it to no relationship status at all so that I avoid all questions.

    Now I don’ really think that much, to be honest! I am free to do whatever I feel like doing. If you are in an open relationship I think you still have some limit to your freedom that depends on your partner… or not? Open or not, it is a relationship.

  6. Well, Joe, the person answering is bisexual, so I don’t know how much difference it makes.

    Bunny, I don’t strictly speaking have limits on what’s going on, but I do need to try to be careful a) not to hurt my partner and b) not to hurt anyone else by omitting the fact that I have a partner.

  7. Nick,

    yes of course. I personally take a step back of flirting with people in open relationships. I don’t know, I guess I have some boundaries in my head even if we are talking only about casual sex! And of course sex in 99.9% of the cases is casual the first time.

    PS: Your post was on the WordPress main page. I guess this is why it was viewed so much. 🙂

  8. I’ve definitely noticed that even someone who’s looking for a casual relationship tends to evaporate when they find out that I’m already committed. I think some people just want even casual relationships to be monogamous, and others want to at least have a glimmer of hope that this friend-with-benefits may turn out to be The One.

  9. Well, may be people just want to keep things as simple as possible! That’s why casual sex is for in the first place. And you can never be sure of the simple part if there is a third person…

  10. Pingback: Oh, hello, new readers | Newly Open

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