It was exactly the mix of stability and flexibility I craved in my mid-20s, and with Matt and the handful of paired-but-open men I dated in the years following, I got it.
Somewhere around 30, though, I found myself at an unexpected tipping point: Dating apps had begun to feel so full of already-attached men that their presence became annoying, so much so that I added a disclaimer to my profiles asking poly men to direct their efforts elsewhere.
Jenn, 41, who came to non-monogamy as a single woman after she ended a miserable monogamous relationship and then met a man in an open marriage, found something similar.
“To be successful as a poly person, you have to be really open and honest with all of your partners, so it kind of forces you to discuss your feelings and thoughts more openly than monogamous relationships do.
” It’s not that she’s particularly invested in monogamy as a concept, but the potential power dynamic — of being a single woman with a boyfriend who already has a partner — seems untenable.
These frustrations aren’t new, of course; they’re just presenting themselves to a group of people who were largely able to avoid them in the past: women looking to date men.
Not that you be perfectly open in monogamous relationships, but I think you have to try harder.” For her, polyamory with non-primary partners has been a huge boon to her personal happiness.
Even though it’s no longer what I’m looking for, my past experiences with dating partnered men have been uniformly positive, especially when it comes to setting boundaries and being communicative about the thorny feelings that come along with any kind of romantic entanglement.
But if part of you still wants to be the first person on someone else’s mind, things can go left quickly.
For single women, the trepidation isn’t just about sorting through men on dating apps: there’s the question of what happens in the long term, and whether navigating someone else’s existing relationship is even worth it if you don’t have one yourself to fall back on? “Like I’m gonna meet someone and they’re gonna be like, ‘Oh I don’t eat pussy because my wife won’t let me.’ What?
“You end up beholden to this weird cosmology in which everyone but you has a partner already.” It’s the sexual version of , and you’re the cheese that stands alone.
And if that’s what you’re looking for, then it’s perfect.