Science of Poly

Dating With Purpose

Online dating has created a whole new world of problems and potential adventures for those who want to start a new relationship. There are countless articles out there providing tips on how to navigate these strange waters. Limit the amount of information you give out about yourself up front. Meet in a public location. Don’t chat online too long before having a date in real life. Use a realistic picture of yourself. Everyone knows men have to send out countless messages to get a response while women are flooded with everything from poorly misspelled messages clearly sent to multiple people or crass pickup lines.

Despite the frustrations, every few months I update my profile and see if there is anyone who sparks my fancy. Inevitably, there is a rush of messages. What frustrates me the most is when I receive messages from people who do not mention non-monogamy anywhere in their profile. I’m sure most of them have not even read my profile and are using the strategy of minimal effort to maximum audience. However, there is a handful who send me a message who have clearly read all I have written and still message me.

Some start off by asking me to tell them about non-monogamy. While I do want to spread the wondrous news about non-monogamy to the masses, an online dating site is not really the place. Online dating is so time consuming. You have to invest time into writing a profile, reading through other people’s profiles, and having conversations. I want to be with someone who knows what they want. Also,  from experience I suspect they are less interested in non-monogamy and more interested in me.

There are non-monogamous folks who date monogamous individuals. From the outside, it doesn’t look easy. I spend entirely too much time reading poly forums. There are a lot of posts about people who are monogamous struggling with dating someone who is poly. This comes as no surprise. Monogamy comes with an entirely different world of expectations. I see it in the faces of my own friends and acquaintances when my partner and I mention the other people we date.

I want it to be perfectly clear from all my writing that I find monogamy a perfectly acceptable relationship choice. However, monogamy is antithetical to polyamory and other forms of ethical non-monogamy. A monogamous person has to go against the very spirit of monogamy to be with someone who has multiple partners. Who am I to judge how other people do their relationships, but from what I’ve seen, it looks painful and difficult.

Some would retort by stating relationships are supposed to be hard. That’s how you know have something worth fighting for. I call bullshit. Perhaps there will be times in a relationship when you have to make difficult choices or compromises. However, I prefer a natural easiness to my relationships. This is why I am very clear about my relationship style in my profile and tend to engage with people online who want what I do. Online dating can be a shit show but you can avoid some of the time and energy by being upfront about what you want from the beginning. Happy hunting!


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