Polyamory and Online Dating
Today we received an interesting Facebook message from one of our dear readers, Brian:
Hello. I have read several of your articles about what to write in a profile and I have a question about polyamory. How would you suggest a person state they are poly-amorous without seeming creepy? I understand that most people are monogamous and would be turned off when seeing that statement or that the person messaging them is married.
Brian brings up a great point: What is the best way to represent yourself on a dating site in a way that is both honest about who you are, and yet doesn't set off the creep-o-meters?
And, are dating sites even a viable option for poly people?
First of all, for those in the (unlikely) position of never having heard of Polyamory, the most simple explanation means loving more than one. Polyamorous relationships, generally, can differ from Open Relationships, in that the open relationship doesn't necessarily include a committed and loving primary relationship with another individual or couple. Participants of an open relationship may, for example, give each other permission to bring home another person, or spend time with other people, often sexually focused, without necessarily developing a committed ongoing relationship. (For those wishing to delve deeper, Angi Becker Stevens, in her excellent piece in Huff-Post, and Laurie Ellington, Poly/Open Relatiohnship Coach, eloquently address their own polyamorous committment and lifestyles.)
Trend towards flexible relationship/gender options
Some forward thinking dating sites , such as OkCupid, have begun to offer flexible and varied relationship and gender labels, which enable the member to self-identify, i.e "seeing someone,” “married,” or “in an open relationship", as well as choose from the many gender options:
On the other hand, don't look to the dating site giant, Match.com for inclusive options. Match.com, who always attempts to appeal to the mainstream majority, is more than clear about their position about members searching for open or poly dating/relationships on their site:
Surprisingly, although we have been guilty of maligning Plenty of Fish , its "anything goes" atmosphere lends itself perfectly to members seeking less traditional relationships, and offers a good option for poly folks looking for like-minded partners.
The Poly Profile on the Dating Site?
Back then, to reader Brian's question of how to represent oneself honestly as poly or open on the dating site of your choice.
Choose wisely. Regardless of whether you are looking for a traditional match or a more specific or unique niche, The Dating Gurus recommends using at least 2 dating sites, to maximize your exposure. In this case, choosing a mainstream and popular site such as OkCupid or POF would pair perfectly with a niche site such as OpenMinded.com (soon to be reviewed by us).
Keep it matter-of-fact and low key. Be upfront about who you are and what you are looking for without apologizing and without too many specifics. Like any dating profile, you want to share enough information about yourself to pique their interest enough to make them want to learn more about you. Don't be vague about being poly or seeking an open relationship, which will only backfire later and lead to resentment and accusations about false intentions.
Excerpts Of Poly And Open Profiles That Won't Leave 'Em Screaming
- I am married to a good guy: we have an open relationship and are raising a wonderful kid. As they say - it's complicated! It nearly always is once you've been around for a few decades unless you've either been ridiculously lucky or haven't done a whole lot of crazy with your life.
Polyamorous lover of life working to build my forever tribe. Mom to two teenage boys. Work in health care serving folks experiencing homelessness. Love to laugh, kiss, giggle, and learn. Poly to me means loving more than one. Not swinging but rather practicing ethical non-monogamy. Honest open communication is super important to me. Looking for love, not just a hookup.
Our primary search is to find an open minded "woman" that would like to hang out and do things together.........If that were to lead to more , we would welcome that as well.
So who are we? A mature, loving couple with no jealous feelings about each other or others. Pet lovers, decent looking and fun to hang with. We like day trips and staying in, walking the dogs and having a coffee someplace. We are accepting.
Who are you? You are open minded, fun and loving, comfortable in yoursefl but seeking just a bit more. You like the same things that we do.
Lets learn from each other what works and does not.
We do not smoke, drink socially and are willing to voice verify as soon as you are comfortable doing so. Write us, please.
Have more questions? Drop us a line on our Facebook page.