An open letter to all the men and women dating our men and women.
Hi, I’m your partner’s partner… pardner ,
Listen, I know you have been talking to my partner, X. And they really think you are interesting and want to get to know you a lot better!
And I know you are “trying” this nonmonogamy thing out. So let’s have a little chat, shall we?
I understand you are a potential “cowboy”. That’s someone who might appear to be nonmonogamous, but really has the goal of “roping in” one from the crowd and trying to pull them away into a monogamous relationship.
It’s not a positive term, and I don’t mean to be derogatory towards you. I certainly hope you have good intentions, but I’ve also been down this road dozens of times to similar effect.
So, out of respect, I wanted to share a few things you may want to consider before proceeding.
I’m Here To Stay
First, I really want you to spend some time understanding that I’m not going anywhere. No, seriously. I’m not leaving. We’re together, and that’s not changing anytime soon.
My partner and I have the usual relationship problems, the average ups and downs. But that’s not why they’re talking to you.
They didn’t go to that dating site because of unresolved problems in our relationship. In fact, they are showed me your profile picture right away and talked to me about how interesting you seemed.
But some of your questions are a bit out of line. No, they aren’t waiting on Mr/Mrs Right. No, they are not sexually dissatisfied. No, they won’t consider going back to monogamy.
When they pass along these types of questions, and they do because they are honest and worried, we both cringe and they ask me if it is even worth dating you. I shrug.
I don’t want to shrug. It’s not something my shoulders like doing. So if you could put to rest the thought that X is transitioning away from me, that’d be great. X and I would both appreciate that.
Decisions Before Booty
Second, I know you are unsure about nonmonogamy. It’s different from what you are used to. People being OK with not being exclusive to one another can be scary at first.
Will you feel jealous? Will you make me jealous? Can someone actually like or love multiple people at once? It’s a lot to think about.
But could you do me a big favor?
Could you make that decision before sleeping with X?
Don’t get me wrong, they told me you wanted to try polyamory, are open to open relationships, and maybe to show you were serious… told X that you did some kinky stuff with a past ex. Um…
I think you may be possibly confusing kinky with polyamory. But let’s move on. You’ve decided to dive in, and at full speed ahead.
So you slept with my partner.
And then changed your mind about being open.
Now, you don’t know if you can “handle” it.
Well, I just did. I just handled you sleeping with my partner. What exactly can’t you handle now, that you could handle while sleeping with my partner?
You see, I expect adults to act like adults. To do more than fly ahead at full speed until they get laid and their real brain kicks in. I understand how hard that is, but it’s going to be worth it if you stop and think.
It was probably worth it before you even messaged my partner on that dating site where their profile CLEARLY said they were in a relationship. But I digress…
Why? Because if you rush in… then run away. Well, I can’t sugar coat it…
It kinda makes you look douchey. And by kinda, I mean a hell of a lot.
We’re nonmonogamous, but I still get a little pissed off at anyone who feigns interested with a person just to sleep with them. My partner gets sad and feels used. All because you decided not to use your adult brain before making adult decisions.
And it’s ok if you are unsure. Just say so! We’re all about honesty and eat that up as a compliment to how much you respect us!
If you aren’t interested, just say so.
Here’s some honesty I bet you didn’t expect: My partner would probably enjoy sleeping with you knowing that you weren’t serious yet. Yep, my partner is a sexual creature just like you.
They just don’t want the bullshit.
No offense, but they aren’t looking to marry you either. You just met, after all. You’re just kinda hot. Neither of us like you playing the “I’m interested” card just to get laid, though. It’s juvenile.
Not a Soap Opera
Third, realize that I’ll know. That should be obvious by now that I know a lot more about you than you think my partner would ever share with me.
Please stop assuming you are in a secret affair.
I know when you had your first date. We don’t secretly date others.
I know when you become sexually active. We keep each other informed of sexual partners.
Other than that, it’s small talk about the kind of person you are. I get to know about you in all the superficial ways and some personal ways, much like the kind of things you put on your public dating profile.
Much like what you hear about me.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know the very personal details. I don’t ask and I don’t expect my partner to tell me. But I will know your name, job, personality, and strange things that come up which they’ll inevitably ask me about.
So, if you could stop the weird comments like you are sneaking around behind my back, that’d be awesome!
This is not a “He doesn’t understand you the way I do,” type of situation. It just sounds really creepy, and we show a lot more respect for our metamours than that.
Oh, and that’s what we are now, metamours. That means you and I share a partner in common. And metamours that show each other respect makes for a happy shared partner.
X talks freely about you to me, just as they are talking about me to you. I know just hearing one side may make you feel like you are being pulled into their confidence. And in a way, you are. But only as they are entrusting you with the confidence of a normal relationship, not a secret affair.
To hold this idea of an affair in your mind, you’d have to believe that I will be jealous, angry, and very upset if I find out “what you two are up to.” Will we square off? I think not.
These aren’t words of conspiracy when they tell you about me. They are words of trust. And I’m well aware of what’s going on, and I’m completely fine with it.
The information isn’t going one way to you about me. The same comes back to me about you.
You do realize that I see other people, too, right? I’m not sitting home alone wondering where my one true love has gone off to. I have my own dates and other partners and things to talk about with them.
You are not really the focus of my attention. Likely, you are thinking about me A LOT more than I’m thinking about you.
Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown
Finally, I will be honest with you. As a cowboy, you do make me nervous. I’ve seen dozens of these situations come and go.
And the more that happens to my partners, the more they feel let down in their efforts to try to date decent people.
But I wish you better luck than the rest. Because I hope you are decent, unlike the rest.
- Realize that we’re stable.
- Come to a decision about what you want before you rush in.
- Treat my partner like a normal person, not like they’re a cheater.
It’s very simple. If you choose honest and thoughtful communication, you won’t go wrong, I promise you. Maybe this is for you, and maybe this isn’t. Maybe my partner is for you, and maybe they aren’t. But in the end, everyone will be happier if everyone is honest.
All the best,