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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Date night and holding hands.

The other night I got to hang out with a group of polyfolk that I know fairly well. Of about 25-30 folks I would say I know about 15-20. Being a social setting but also a known poly gathering, there is quite a bit of poly talk along with just casual socializing.

This particular evening I noticed something interesting. A woman I know that we'll call Lucy was there with her boyfriend we'll call Rickie. Lucy's girlfriend Ethel was also there with her boyfriend Fred. Now, I've been around Lucy and Ethel a few times so I know how they usually act in public. But I've never seen them with Rickie and Fred around. What I noticed was that Lucy and Ethel really didn't interact with each other much which I can only attribute to the guys being there. I found that interesting because everyone there was openly poly.

Why would the girls feel the need to step back from each other with the guys around?

Unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to ask and really it is none of my business.

What it did do was make me think once again about how I want to act in a social setting where more than one of my partners is in attendance. I really don't want anyone to feel left out or neglected and I don't see any reason they should. Of course, if I'm attending with a particular person and expecting to go home with that same person I will show them respect. I won't be snogging in the corner with someone else all evening. At the same time, if one of my other partners is there I'm not going to ignore them. I'll most definitely talk to them, give them a hug and a kiss, and may spend some time with them. And I would expect if any of my partners SO's are there, they would do the same.

I think for me a part of Poly is being able to openly display affection for my loves when they are around. To deny my feelings just because more than one of my loves is around, or because we are in a social setting just doesn't seem right.

What I'm curious about is how you react in a social situation where more than one of your partners is present. Do you change your behavior at all? And when multiple members of your poly family are attending an event do you designate one person as your official date for the event?

Maybe even a better question would be; How do you (or would you) react in a situation like I've described if one of your loves wasn't paying you much attention or obviously withholding affection?


  1. I may not be a good person to be responding since I have only two partners; one my husband and one my boyfriend. I go in individual dates with each and they of course get my undivided attention during that time.

    When we are together, either all four of the quad together or the few times I have the chance to just be with both the guys, I show affection to them both. However, during the times I'm with more than one of them (particularly together as a quad) I'm generally assumed to "be with" Chane and Dirk with Arwen since we don't get the chance to see each other any more than we do.

    Even if I had relationships with more than the two, I would definitely acknowledge the presence of another love. I do not have a personality that would permit otherwise even if I wished that. I would never be secretive with one lover about another lover I had. One of the biggest reasons I find poly so right is the honestly involved.

  2. Lovingmorethanone,
    Thanks for the comment.

    You're poly so you are exactly the person to comment :)

    I'm with you, I would have a hard time ignoring a love just because our other loves were present. It would seem dishonest and unfair to everyone.


  3. I would say that I don't ignore my other partner at social events, but it also depends on the company I'm keeping. If I'm at a non-poly-friendly event (or an event that I'm not sure is poly-friendly), I'd be more discreet about my attentions with my loves. This would be worked out ahead of time with both partners, though - so nobody felt left out. At a poly event like you mention, though, I would not feel the need to be less open for the sake of other people's comfort. And that would be refreshing. :)

    The other point I would mention is that although I'm poly and thrilled to be with both of my partners, that sometimes it's nice not to have my attention divided. I do request to spend time with only Gabe, or only Stuart, at certain times. Sometimes the other partner is still present, but I am spared the task of trying to make sure I'm paying equal attention to both of them all the time. That can be nice, too. My partners are both secure enough to know that I love them both, regardless of who I'm spending a particular night with.

  4. Polly,
    Thanks for the comment!

    You make a couple of good points.

    I do tend to adjust my actions depending on the social situation, though I really dislike having to do so. That's why I like poly events so much, because I don't have to adjust or be discreet.

    I like what you said about not having to divide your attention. Rather than being a restriction from a social setting it is a choice you made to devote your attention to one person at a time. That sounds like a very good idea sometimes!