A topic that is constantly being reviewed and debated in our house is Disclosure.  For example.  I meet a girl at a non-poly, non-kink, non-whatever event.  We hit it off.  She asks for my number.  At this very moment she kicks off a time bomb, and a rather sensitive one.  This is where it crosses my mind that it may be pertinent information for her to have that I am poly, married, and with other partners.  Here are a few possible scenarios.

1.  I find a gentle or casual way to tell her then, before we’ve even gone out on a date.  This way she can decide before we get attached whether or not she’s game.  I might lose out on an awesome date and be slightly disappointed, but she isn’t getting her hopes up and being let down.  She possibly misses out on a mind-opening experience.

2.  I tell her on our first date once I see if there’s any chemistry.  This way I haven’t unnecessarily gone through the trouble of explaining myself, and maybe we’ve still had a very good time.  There’s probably little chance either of us is too attached at this point, and maybe she’s had a good enough time and likes me enough to give it a shot.  If not, maybe I’ll at least get something casual out of it, right?  If she’s treating I may feel guilty, and she may feel she’s wasted her time and money.  If I’ve treated, well I guess it depends on how well the date went before she decided against me.

3.  Wait a few dates until I’m sure we like each other.  This is a risky move.  On one hand, she may like me enough that she’ll stick with it and see where it goes.  On the other, there’s the potential for us both being hurt, no matter how much fun we’ve had getting to this point.  If she takes it well this is where she meets my family.  If she takes that well I know we’ll do just fine.

I’ve always been a fan of an up-front approach.  I like people to know what they’re getting into with me right off the bat.  Hubby is the opposite.  He will wait until several dates in before talking to his new interest about his family.  The pros and cons here are pretty simple, and I can appreciate his opinion; if it’s not going to blossom into something serious why bother?  On the other hand, if she’s going to sleep with me regardless of my situation, she is.  If she’s going to date me, I feel she will appreciate the honesty.

Hubby’s approach has gotten him in trouble in the past.  Men feel lied to if they aren’t told in advance that he’s with women.  Women have needed “time to process and think about it”.  In one case she came back with a list of questions and a whole volume of Google research.  In others they have simply never called back.

I’m not saying there’s a right answer or a wrong answer.  As we all know, very few poly questions are answered that simply.  The important factor is that we communicate and do our best to take into account the emotional process that will take place as a new partner, especially one brand new to poly, learns of our family and makes her decision.  Sometimes that takes time, and this is something I’ve had to coach Hubby through several times, as he is not a man of much patience.  It is our duty to be patient, understanding, resourceful, and supportive no matter what that final decision might be.  Of course, we always hope for the best, that we’ve given someone a new experience and a chance to open her mind and heart to new possibilities.

I guess what I’m saying is no matter when you choose to disclose your lifestyle to a new interest, choose wisely and do it well.

Aloha.

Go now.  Do something new.

 

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