cheating in a poly family

s1.mOn posted in

We were discussing what to ask potential partners who may be new to polyamory.

A great first question to ask to whether or not they consider their date as cheating.

Another great question would be whether or not their other partner would consider what they’re doing as cheating.

I had a question about the post. Is the situation that of a partner in a poly family “dating” a potential candidate member of the group? Occasionally a partner in a poly family meets someone who might be a future member. Sometimes the meeting becomes  a “date”; the two exchange intimate secrets and start an emotional attachment.
I have been occasionally screened by someone from a poly group to see if there was a “fit”. The screener made their intentions clear. We talked at length, learned intimate secrets about each other, tried a few things.  I sometimes got to second base; they introduced me to the other members of their family. The topic of “cheating” didn’t come up as neither of us considered our date a cheat.

Maybe we should ask someone involved in or considering poly what their views on cheating are. Ideally, cheating shouldn’t exist in a poly relationship. In the real world, there are subtle shades of “naughty”.  I know people in open-relationships who have friends with benefits.

Poly relationships seem to be an attempt to stabilize or make permanent casual friendships that we would like to have greater depth.


About dave94015

interested in alternative relationships, visual artist, erotic romance writer and reviewer of erotica, drug rehab clinic intern - mid 20's
This entry was posted in polyamory, relationships and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to cheating in a poly family

  1. Wordwytch says:

    I’ll give my 2 cents worth. I am poly. BTDT, dealt with a lot of issues. “cheating” in a poly relationship is more about a breakdown of communications than anything else. Yes, you can cheat. However, the usual ‘rules’ state that you’ll inform your partners that you are going on a date with someone new. The expectation is that the new partner, after various discussions, knows that you are poly, and has told their partner/spouse, if there is one to talk to. If you don’t, then in essence, you are cheating. Now granted, there have been ‘whirlwind’ spontaneous dates. However, I always TOLD afterwards and explained. Amazing what happens when you actually talk or communicate with your partner/s.

    It’s all about communications.

    • dave94015 says:

      I took some time to mull over your comment, WW. It points out that cheating happens in both mono and poly worlds at least in regard to the lack of communication.

      I sometimes (maybe unnecessarily) delay revealing my poly inclinations to people who I’m not sure of because of the social stigma. The pro’s & con’s as well as the right time to reveal probably should be the subject of another post.

      Thanks for clarifying the issue about cheating and lack of communication. -D

  2. Wordwytch says:

    D, I’ve always been very circumspect when it comes to discussing my poly nature. I agree that people far more often see it as what I call ‘polyfuckery’ and do not understand the deeper aspects. We all take our own time with things, and sometimes we need to be more aware of other people’s needs or thoughts. And yes, it is all about communicating.

    • dave94015 says:

      ww – thanks for “coming out” with respect to polyamory. I suspect there are many of us who have been hiding from the insults (“polyfuckery“). Dan Savage ignited a firestorm with his dismissal of poly recently. I gleaned a comment from his blog

      When I was with someone before I knew about polyamory, I’d cheat

      Realizing my poly nature has made me rethink cheating and come up with a better way to deal with it by communicating to my partners. Thanks, in part, to your positive comments.

  3. Wordwytch says:

    Yes, I’d say that Savage tried to stir up a hornet’s nest. One of them made a very poignant observation. Poly isn’t an sexual orientation. It is a relationship orientation. And there are a lot of negative attitudes especially when stirred up by some of the various factions. As for the issue of cheating, where this all began, it doesn’t matter if you are poly, monogamous or celibate. If you don’t communicate, things get messed up. Hope that your relationship with your partners goes well.

  4. For me, cheating in poly relationships is all about someone “breaking a rule / agreement” knowingly, and trying to hide it from their partner. The “rules” are different and made up by each couple in each relationship. But if you do something behind your partner’s back, or break an agreement that was previously set in place on purpose (and neglect to tell your partner asap), than you are cheating. It’s just in a somewhat different way than a monogamous relationship. And yes, it ALL comes down to lots and lots of communication. But great communication also leads to greater emotional intimacy, understanding and connection. And that’s what it’s all about!

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