First, an update on Brad’s date with Kitty – it’s been rescheduled for tonight! It won’t be at a fancy restaurant, as he’d planned for last weekend, because he has to work. Instead, he’ll be preparing her “the best meal of her life” on his food truck. After that, they’ll probably grab a few beers at the brewery where he parks his truck.
I am ecstatic. This is technically Brad’s second date since we’ve opened up our relationship, but the first that really has a chance of going anywhere. Kitty is intrigued and inspired by the idea of polyamory.
The first girl – whom Brad had had a crush on since before he and I met – was pretty set on monogamy. She seemed to like him, but was not too thrilled about the idea of sharing a man with another woman.
Part of the reason I wanted to make sure Brad had a chance to “get his feet wet” before I opened myself up to dating, is because I’d read it’s a lot easier for polyamorous women than polyamorous men to get a date.
For whatever reason, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of men willing to take a woman out for a good time with no strings attached. Women – especially single, childless women who want children – are more reluctant to become emotionally or physically intimate with a man with no promise of a ring or future financial support. The incentives for this backwards societal structure – which is fair to neither gender – is a topic for another day, and another blog post.
The stereotype proved true in our case. At my first polyamorous “support group” meeting five months ago, three men were vying for my attention – two of them asked me out. One of them asked for my phone number on the spot, one messaged me later through MeetUp.com. I had lunch with one of them – an older man. Even though I wasn’t sexually attracted to him, I could tell it made Brad uncomfortable. It was too soon. I focused on finding him a match.
After Brad’s second date was penciled in on the calendar, my girlfriends secretly made me a Tinder.com account. I was mortified at first, but then started “swiping” just to see what it was all about. About 20 minutes in, a message popped up from an accidental “match.” We’re supposed to go out next week.
I kept my account open long enough to give him my phone number and then cancelled it. I got nervous about having my face and body desperately “for sale” on the internet. I know online dating services have worked out really well for others, but it felt really forced and unnatural for me to try to match myself up with someone based on five photos and a cheesy tagline.
I asked my Tinder match what he was looking for relationship-wise. He said he was not looking for a relationship. I was confused. Like my poly book club leader says, every human interaction is a relationship, whether it’s with your mother, your friend, your lover or the cashier at the gas station.
I took it to mean he is not looking for a long-term life partner – someone to buy a house with, start a business with or have children with. For that I was relieved. I’m not either.
Later Brad asked what exactly I was looking for. I have no idea, I said. Just people to connect with and love in all kinds of different ways – whether it’s just a great dinner conversation, a passionate one-night stand, or a life-long friend : )