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Animated poly

October 2008

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doni_dyke01 in askpoly

dating a couple

I'm not in a relationship right now, but I'm curious. What advice can you give me about dating a poly couple? Just so I know.


You can have a relationship with just one member of a couple, or with both depending on circumstances.

You have the right to negotiate with just the member of the couple you are in a relationship with, but have to always keep in mind the needs of the other partner, and respect that they were here first.

What specifically did you want to know? This is a fairly broad question.

Do you have a couple already in mind? A little circumstance would help.
Um, I suppose I want to know how to deal with dating a couple. I don't have anything specific in mind, just what you can tell me.

As for a couple, no. I don't have anybody in mind at the moment.
Um, dating both members of a couple?

Same as anything else...talk to them and decide among you what everyone wants/expects/needs from everyone else.
I have to agree with everything amethest said. Really, it depends on the couple. The main thing is to be open and honest with all parties involved. And I like to have everyone meet each other. It's less scary that way, especially if the new person is only dating half of the couple.

Also, remember that you have the right to say you only want to be romantic with one, but some couples only date as a team, and you may have to make the decision to walk away if you aren't interested in both.
First a bit about my own situation so that may help you understand my advice and perspective. My partner and I currently share a girlfriend. At the time I started dating our girlfriend, I didn't expect her to also date my partner. But after a few months of dating me and hanging out with my partner, the two of them really hit it off. My relationship with both goes very well, and the relationship between my two partners goes well.

Also, in the past, I have dated separately from my partner. A few times before, I have dated one member of an established couple - with mixed results. Some went well while they last, others did not go well, and returning to friendship was the best option instead of continuing to date.

Be sure you can communicate well with both.

If they were not in a relationship with each other, would you still consider each person worth dating separately.

Consider what may happen if you break up with one partner, but still really like the other. Not just the we-are-better-off-as-friends kind of breakup, but the I-really-don't-like-this-person kind of breakup.

If either of them requests returning to just friendship, can you still date the other? Will they both be okay with that? Will you be okay with that?

Have they always dated the same person together? (What some people call "package deal" polyamory - if you date me, you must also date my partner. I personally don't like "package deal" polyamory, but some people really want that.) Or have they dated separately?

Best wishes to you.
Thank you.
Prescripting a relationship is always dangerous. This hypothetical couple is made up of people, with all the unique and individual quirks that all people have. There isn't really a One True Way to do it because how to be in a relationship with them will depend ENTIRELY upon who they are.

I recommend that you not waste time trying to plan for how to deal with someone when you haven't met them yet. How to handle being in a relationship with anyone will work itself out as you get to know them.