I started this blog when I was brand new to swinging and the idea of open relationships. You may have noticed a drop off in articles considering I haven’t written anything in months. I haven’t disappeared. It’s just that I seem to have found some balance (knock on wood) and don’t necessarily need the writing therapy that comes with writing blog articles. Most of the time, I think we’ve got the hang of this. Unfortunately, when there isn’t any drama, there is a lot less interesting stuff to talk about.
I still read various poly and swinger online sites. One of, though not my only, pet peeves is people who think their way is the only way when it comes to non-monogamy. This is common in both the poly and swinger world.
Swinger sites with forums will have endless arguments on who counts as a swinger. Some people don’t count singles, don’t count single males, don’t count couples who just do girl-girl play, etc. I could go on with other examples. Poly sites likewise will have endless debates as to who counts as poly. Typical things that are ruled out by many are religious polygamy, unicorn hunters, those with don’t ask don’t tell open relationships, and those into swinging or friends with benefits situations.
Occasionally I see people online who are interested in dating as a couple and almost immediately the advice for these people is to date separately. That isn’t particularly helpful. I mean if I want advice on how to cook a hamburger don’t give me advice on how great veganism is and tell me how to cook quinoa.
Anyway, after some reflection I’m here to give some advice on how to achieve what we’ve got.
- Be open to having a poly quad. This is probably a no brainer. Obviously you can’t develop a quad relationship without being open to it. There is more than one way to date as a couple and I personally think it is easier for couples to date couples than to try to find a single. There is more balance since all of you have couple’s privilege in some cases and don’t in others.
- Ignore online advice to date separately and who tell you this style is impossible or wrong. We’ve been together about 3 years. I know about half a dozen other quads. It doesn’t appear to be particularly common. On the other hand, I don’t think there’s a society of poly quads either so who knows how common it is.
- If you want to socialize with just poly people, be aware that many are openly hostile to couple dating. You just need to keep looking. There are others out there like you even if it is hard to find.
- If you want to consider the swinger approach you may have better luck in finding a four way personality match if you are ok with sex first in dating. It is easier to find people to play with but the harder thing is getting four people to fall in love.
- Be aware that there are some swingers in the friends first camp. After the first few kid in the candy store months of just complete debauchery, now I don’t usually play with people at all until I’ve known them as friends for 6-24 months. Some poly people I know wouldn’t even consider that swinging.
- Find out right away if they are in the no way emotion camp. Don't bother with people with no kissing rules or other restrictive type rules that some acts are just for them as a couple.
- Find people who are open to friendship. There are plenty of them who are in the friendship first camp. You need to find people who want dinner and a date type socialization together in the first place.
- Find people open to giving hall passes and consider their partner sexually and emotionally able to do what they want.
- Be open and honest about what you’re looking for … eventually. I wouldn’t advise this on the first date. On the other hand, if you’re seeing someone for a year and you think it’s poly and they don’t, you are going to be heartbroken.
- If you know someone is poly and a swinger, find out if they are open to additional poly relationships. They may be open to it. Or they may be like other swingers and consider everyone no strings attached fun.
- Make sure you get along well with everyone personality-wise in the group. If the men or the women don’t get along this is a recipe for ending up with two divorced couples.
- If you are bi, it’s probably not going to work out if you aren’t attracted to both members of the other party. It’s probably not going to work out if you are bi and they are not.
- I don’t recommend playing separate until you have established trust with them. But at some point, play with people in separate rooms because romantic relationships form in one on one situations.
- Both couples need to be open to going on separate dates at some point. Again, romantic relationships are built in one on one situations. Unless you are ok with just really good friends with benefits in which case ignore these last two points.
- If you want a real relationship with anyone you need to always work on communication. I can’t stress that enough. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you think one partner is hard for communication, a 4-some is exponentially harder.
- On the topic of communication, don’t triangulate. Don’t try to deal with an issue you have with a third person by going through another person in the group. That is super dysfunctional and it doesn’t work in the long run.
Finally, learn your own lessons and what works for you. The half dozen data points that I have for what works may be a trend but they are still limited in the grand scheme of human relationships.