June 17, 2009
If no poly person dated people with no poly experience, we would be a very inbred group pretty fast. Every group needs fresh blood, which means that some of us will eventually have to date the inexperienced poly virgins. While this can be an exciting prospect, it is also a really risky one.
In addition to the risks that are inherent with any relationship, people who are “trying poly out” have not field tested their own feelings, their jealousy response, or their ability to share. We were all new to poly once, but that doesn’t make it any easier when your new love decides that she can’t see you anymore because you are married, or worse yet, starts pulling you away from your established relationships.
Monogamous people who try to “turn poly people monogamous” are known in poly circles as cowboys or cowgirls because they come riding into your life trying to “rope” you and “seperate you from the herd”. So a woman who started dating Michael and then started trying to get him to break up with me would be known as a cowgirl.
But when poly people talk about all of the risks of dating newly poly people, or people who are open to poly, they rarely also talk about the rewards. Imagine being the first person to lift a blindfold off of a person who wants to see. Imagine offering someone an option in their life that will free them, and that they never saw missing. It can be wonderful and beautiful.
I’m not talking about trying to convert the unwilling, either. Poly is not for everyone, and I know that. If you are interested in me, then you have to be cool with poly, and if you’re not, then you stay mono and we will just be friends. But I’m not such an old hat at this yet that I would turn someone away JUST because of their lack of experience. After all, Becky was “highly experienced” in poly, and she was the one who bungled things up with these two newbies.