Dating in a open marriage

There was one week where we met up twice; the second date was at a paint class he instructed. He called me and smoothed things over; it was a miscommunication.Afterward, I asked if he was coming over, and he looked surprised. I said, “When I believed you didn’t want to hang out with me, I thought, Who am I to this guy?

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He was forthcoming about his “poly” (short for polyamorous) lifestyle, and encouraged questions. He answered them thoughtfully and sent me a Venn diagram of different types of nonmonogamous relationships. He commented encouragingly on the stories I told, as if to convince me that he valued every detail I offered. He explained that his serious girlfriend (his fiancé, in fact) was the one who had suggested they transition to an open relationship, and that he was also seeing another woman casually.

He struck me as “good boyfriend material.”We discussed what it meant to be poly and to openly love many partners at a time. It sounded complicated.“If you and your fiancé have an open relationship, why get married? To me, marriage is an agreement, a commitment to exclusivity, a promise.

A close friend, who could tell I was wading in deeper than I was openly admitting, urged me to have the talk. Eventually, I broached the idea of some limitation of sexual partners — although I feared this went against the whole poly idea. He wasn’t interested in sleeping around (“That’s not why we’re doing this”). Best, Cassy Maybe it was just an effort to dispel awkwardness, since I was about to sleep in her bed.

“He should expect you to ask where this is all going, since he’s dating a monogamous girl.” A monogamous girl. And suddenly that concept, and in essence, part of my identity, was in question. Allowing a break from sexual monogamy could ease pressure on a relationship. Maybe it was about establishing her territory: This is my house, this is my man, and I’m allowing you to enjoy them. I confirmed to Greg that she had just welcomed me to their home and that it wasn’t a death threat.

We were not meeting each other’s friends or families. I had thrown down the cash to attend his class, but it was like this wasn’t a date for him — just work.

We were not going to be “Facebook official.” There was no next step. I could feel myself overreacting, throwing a fit over nothing.

I had always avoided men in open relationships, but this kind-looking artist with paint-splattered jeans really appealed to me. He was more handsome than his photos, stout with a long, flowing beard.

We exchanged emoji-laden messages and goofy selfies. His sky blue eyes lit up when I pulled his bar stool closer to mine.

A man who knows I’m his Number One (and Only) Girl.

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