I’ve been interested in polyamory for a long time, and I have a question: How do you find partners? How do you meet polyamorous people?
A lot of people who are looking to date polyamorously will seek out new partners via a traditional dating platform like OkCupid or Tinder. This can work out sometimes, but there are a couple of other methods that are underused and often lead to better success rates.
The first of these methods is finding polyamory meetups in your area. To do this, you can visit Meetup.com and search for polyamory groups near you.
These discussion groups and social meetups are even better than online dating because they have additional benefits. Sure, you can meet new partners through them, but you also get to meet people who may be more experienced with polyamory. This means you’ll likely learn a lot through talking with them. And you’ll also be able to make friends who can be supportive as you navigate any difficulty you might encounter while adjusting to polyamory, which can be crucial as some people find that their monogamous friends often struggle to understand the kinds of problems that poly people face.
Additionally, as you make more poly friends, even if none of them become romantic partners, you grow your network of poly people that you know. And simply having a wider social circle of poly friends can increase your chances of finding partners. I myself have routinely dated people who were friends of a poly friend.
The Kink Scene
Another great option for meeting poly people is to consider exploring your local kink scene, especially if you’re kinky yourself. Not all poly people are kinky of course (and not all kinky people are poly), but there are a higher number of polyamorous people on the kink scene.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can go to FetLife.com. It’s basically Facebook for kinksters, except really NSFW (don’t log in to FetLife in a place where you can’t look at sexually explicit material). You need an account to view anything on FetLife, but it’s free.
There’s a section specifically for groups. To get started, you can either search for your area, polyamory/poly, or a combo of both. Some of these groups meet in real life; some are just virtual.
Be sure to read the group rules. Most of them don’t allow personal ads of any kind (though there are a few ones specifically for that goal — for example, “Poly, Kinky, & Looking“), but even the ones that don’t often have either online discussion topics that can build your knowledge base and/or offer in-person meetups about specific topics at coffeehouses or restaurants.
A Word of Caution About Coming on Too Strong
Most people who have been polyamorous for a significant length of time (especially women) are used to being hit on or sexualized by people who assume that poly means that you’ll automatically sleep with anyone (which is soooo not the case).
So it’s probably a good idea not to come on too strong. Focus primarily on getting to know people and building friendships, and if true compatibility is there, then relationships sometimes follow.
You may also find that if you’re new to poly that people might be reluctant to date you. Sometimes it can take a bit of time to build up a reputation of trustworthiness in a poly circle, and there are simply some people who won’t date poly people who are inexperienced (although some will and do).
This can be very discouraging, but I’ve found that once people come to know you and especially once you’ve dated at least one person (and have been seen to have treated them well/ethically), you may very well find that it becomes a great deal easier. Where once you had a world of hurt getting one date, you may find yourself becoming a hot commodity.
It’s good to understand upfront that it may be a while building up a reputation, but it’s ultimately worth it.
Whatever you do, make sure not to ruin your reputation by being too pushy and eager before people have a chance to get to know you.