Wednesday June 19, 2013
A married reader named Walter contacted me recently, asking me if I could help him and his wife find a dating site that might help them find a single gal for a long-term, committed relationship. They'd tried several options already, yet had little to show for their efforts. When I clarified what they were after (essentially, a triad), Walter replied, "... you are the first person we've talked to who understands what we are looking for."
Well Walter, having numerous polyamorous friends, clients and readers does help, and I hope you find more people in the future who understand and appreciate what you're looking for. It is a common frustration I hear from poly folk - meaning, where do I meet people with a similar perspective and/or lifestyle? Then again, I hear that same frustration from many singles, couples and groups, regardless of whether they're monogamous or polyamorous. I've lost count how many men looking for an adult dating site beg me to help them find what they're after, and the same goes for 30 and 40 -something women looking to get married. It's a matter of focus really, and knowing what you want.
To start, I strongly recommend you and your wife sit down - before going near another dating site - to discuss what you want in a third. Focus on the positives; not only is it more attractive to potential partners, it also helps you both to clarify your needs and desires. Create a list -a big one, if that's necessary - and make sure to highlight any deal breakers positively as well.
Then, and only then do I suggest joining some of the poly dating sites (see: Polyamory Dating Sites for my recommendations) and create a profile that highlights what you and your partner want. As well, I strongly suggest that you attend in-person events where possible, if only to get support and ideas from others in similar situations who have found what they're after. (For those fearful they may run into someone they know, think about it this way: you're all there for the same reason!) I've listed some in-person, or 'real-life' (RL) options for meeting as well in that article.
What about you, dear readers? Have you met anyone from a dating site for a poly relationship? Were there tactics you used that helped or hindered?
Related: Polyamorous Triad: We are a stable and happy family, What is Polyamory?, What is an Open Relationship?, What Do Polyamorous Relationships Look Like?, Share Your Favorite Polyamory Dating Sites.
Tuesday June 18, 2013
Out There asks: "I'm 41 and have been dating a guy for about six weeks now. We've been out 7 times and each time has been great. We have good chemistry, great conversation, lots of laughs and get along very well. In between dates we email/text/talk daily. It seems to be a good match but so far he has barely kissed me. A goodnight kiss is all. I even asked for him to kiss me once and he made it quick and said it wasn't the right moment. We've talked about wanting to take it slow which I am fine with, but I am an affectionate person and I feel like I can't be myself in this way. I'm not ready to sleep with him, just want to be able to hold hands and kiss! Starting to wonder if there is an issue? He is admittedly guarded but says he has let me into his world and I am special to him. Could he just want to be friends? Do guys really invest this kind of time and energy into someone they are not really into?"
I'd love to hear some 40-something men chime in on this one, because, well, I don't fit the demographic. But my take is that he really does want to take things slow, and perhaps is even a romantic. I can think of several men I know who go out of their way to take things a lot slower than they normally would with a woman they see potential in for a lifelong relationship.
But the issue isn't that he wants to take things slow, but rather that you feel clipped in your ability to express your affection for the man. For you, holding hands and kissing is important in a relationship, even in the early stages, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So why not take his hand the next time the two of you are out walking together and see what happens? Worst case scenario is that he tells you he doesn't want to and then you can broach the subject, just make sure to be kind and listen well. I do however believe he's into you, its just a matter of how and if he shows his interest in a physical way.
But fair readers, what do you think? Is this man trying to take things too slow, or is there something else going on?
Monday June 10, 2013
If you're a member of POF and have signed in since May 20th, 2013, you'll already know that owner Markus Frind has decided to implement a few significant changes to the website. In an email blasted to all members through their account page, the changes announced include:
- Anyone contacting another member using sexual references in their first contact will immediately be removed from the site;
- Members can now only contact other members with less than a 14 year age difference; and
- The Intimate Encounter section will disappear shortly, if it hasn't already.
I for one, am thrilled with these changes. I've lost count how many folks 20+ years my senior have contacted me using Plenty of Fish; the same goes for folks looking for something clearly more casual than what I'm after. My readers and clients have shared similar stories over the years, and Markus' stats only confirm these experiences -- in one part of the email, he shares that there are 3.3 million people using POF, with only 6,041 single women looking for an 'intimate encounter'. Of those 6,041, Markus believes most (if not all of those with 'hot' pictures) are men pretending to be women.
So readers, what do you think of these changes at Plenty of Fish? Does it make the site more user-friendly? Will you return, or sign up, based on these changes?
Related: Adult Dating Sites, Are There Any Legitimate Adult Dating Sites Out There?, Infidelity Dating Sites, What is Casual Dating?, Research Shows Women Seeking More Casual Relationships.
Tuesday May 28, 2013
Naomi asks, "I just read your article about talking to someone before meeting them online and I totally agree. I have saved myself plenty of dates by having a phone conversation beforehand. I'll hop on the phone, only to realize that the person on the other end is negative or just really dull. The one question I have, though, is "What if someone just isn't a phone person"? I know that some people are uncomfortable on the phone and great in person. What do you think?"
Great question, Naomi! Let's jump right in.
If you had asked me this same question ten years ago, I would have given a different answer. Most folks who would go out of their way to share, "I'm just not a phone person," really, truly meant it, however (in my experience with clients and readers) they'd still choke through that first phone conversation. Why? It shows interest, proves you're actually a real person, and shares information you'll never get through the internet alone. Plus, it says that, even though your potential date dislikes the phone, they're willing to invest the time and energy into you, while displacing their distaste temporarily. Not only did it say a lot about their character, including, "I want you to feel safe, so I'll do this one small thing for you to help with that."
That isn't to say talking on the phone precludes any sort of dating scam; take a peek at the extensive list of stories from readers just like you over at the Avoiding Internet Dating Scams blog post to understand what I mean. You still have to do the work, look for red flags, and so forth. To me however, giving the excuse, "I'm not a phone person," puts up a few fairly significant red flags, or at least orange ones.
Statistically, very few people suffer from social anxiety, and even fewer from social anxiety related to phone conversations. Sure, some folks would rather meet in person than spend the day texting or chatting on their cell; definitely put me into that category. Having said that, if someone I'd met on a dating site said to me, "Hey, let's talk on the phone prior to meeting," I'd suck it up and make the call. If I was concerned about my own personal information being shared with a relative stranger, I'd use Skype or one of the various dating sites that offer this kind of cloaked phone service, like Lavalife. It's easy and painless, and if I'm really interested in someone, I'll make the time.
So, why would someone say, "I'm not a phone person?" to you as you're getting to know them, and refuse to chat beforehand? Well, there's a lot of guessing on my part, so I'll just share what my readers, clients and my own experiences have shown over the years. Usually, when says they don't 'come across well' over the phone and thus just want to talk, it's because they:
- Have something they want to hide; such as a partner or family member they're living with;
- Are a player or Pick Up Artist (PUA), and it's easier to juggle multiple people without investing one-on-one time over the phone;
- Don't have a phone because they've hit a rough spot;
- Have decided they'd like to focus elsewhere, or that you're low on their priority list.
Really, it comes down to this: if they're a potential life partner or mate, and it's important to you to talk on the phone prior to meeting, they'll get over or put aside their dislike of phone conversations to get to know you. Or, and this does happen occasionally, they'll tell you outright they have a phone phobia or other, legitimate issue with using the phone. Either way, they'll have shared with you they are at their best in person. You can then decide if their being vulnerable and sharing their fear deserves a bit of leeway and compassion when speaking with them on the phone.
What do you think, dear readers? Are you a phone person? Do you talk to your date on the phone prior to meeting, if you've met online? Does 'not being a phone person' lift any flags for you?
Signs of an Internet Dating Scam, Why Am I Not Getting Responses To My Internet Dating Profile?, Am I Dating a Liar?, Find Social Freedom.