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Polyamory for the Practical

Finding New Partners

Okay, this is something I have never given a great deal of thought to, really. I've not done a lot of specific looking for partners.

No, it wasn't like the second I wanted a poly family things just dropped into place far from it. You see, I decided I wanted a poly family when I was fourteen years old. I married my first husband at 21. We did have in mind a poly family of some sort, but it was another ten years before we actually wound up meeting and marrying a couple. If you do the math, you'll notice that it was 16 years before I had a poly family.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, when people go poly, one of the things they often do is search rather intensely for partners. There's really nothing wrong with this as far as it goes. However, the nature of some of the searches make me wonder what kind of social skills these people have. I am speaking specifically of Internet interaction here. I am assuming if you are reading this, you're reading it on a computer screen and have at least some limited experience with social interaction on the Internet.

Have you ever been a member of a mailing list or bulletin board and seen a post something like this:

Hello. We are a loving polyamorous couple in our mid thirties. He is a pagan and she is an agnostic. We have three children and are looking for a bi female to join our family. We want to form a loving, supportive family. We believe in communication, love and honesty and are open to more children. Please contact us at [email protected] and let's get to know each other!

Is there anything wrong with this? Geez, no!

But, it's unlikely to bring results. Think about it. Email lists and bulletin boards are not personal ads forums, usually. They're social groups centered around specific interests. Would you walk into a party or a group of people and baldly state what you're looking for without interacting with the group? Sure, if you're looking for a specific person you know or specific information you need. Otherwise, you'd likely either watch a bit or jump into the conversation that is already going on. You'd get to know people. You might even find that special someone.

But you might not.

Am I discouraging you from trying to find partners on the Internet? Not in the least. It happens. In fact, it happened to me. One of my SOs I met because I am a polyamorous, libertarian Heinleiner. We were chatting online and it developed into a wonderful relationship. Through him, I met my wife and through her one of my husbands. Not once did I fill out an ad, nor was I actively looking. Open to relationships? Sure. But it would have been foolish to push it.

But just like the old wisdom that says that looking in a singles bar is unlikely to find you your ideal mate, searching the poly groups with personal ads is not likely to find you your ideal poly partners. Not that it cannot happen, mind. It can. But it would be better to pursue your interests and hobbies and see if you can find like-minded people through them.

This is not so say that discussion groups are useless to meet people, either. Far from it! Many groups wind up staging get togethers, cons and other ways of meeting face to face. Relationships can and do start that way. But, I've never known of any that started directly from posting a personal ad to a discussion group, so I doubt that's very useful.

So, you might want to approach finding new partners in a little more relaxed fashion. I know you really don't want to wait sixteen years for that perfect family match to fall into place. But then again, if you're anything like me it might be quite worth it.

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