I’ve been wanting to talk about relationships and dating while Pagan for a while. Now’s a good time as any, especially since it’s been a while since I’ve visited the topic. A while. That means there’s going to be several posts on the topic.

Alright, folks, let’s begin with the basics and work our way up.

As longtime readers know, I like to suggest Dr. Nerdlove at every twist and turn because he write very factual posts about dating and getting better at it. It’s always great to have a decent blog on something that is quite complex.

What I also like about his writing is that it is not the usual dating advice blog as he mentions gender issues and is open minded about various orientations. Let’s start with some basics:

It seems a lot of people worry about faithfulness in relationships and some are not sure that monogamy is for them. I would like to remind people that there is a difference between being polyamourous/open and cheating. The difference is with polyamorus (“Poly” for short) or open, everyone is very in the know and consents to such a relationship without pressure and of their own free will. (If they did consent under pressure, that’s just a sign of a relationship that’s definitely not going to last and potentially abusive.) Cheating is when only one person is dating freely and openly and doesn’t tell their significant other(s), leaving the significant other to falsely think they’re in a monogamous relationship when they are actually not. The difference is being up front.

Not everyone is cut out for monogamous relationships. Having attractions to other people besides the one you’re consciously and actively betrothed to is natural, right down to brain chemistry. Monogamy is human-made, attraction is not.* However, the difference between being a cheating piece of crap versus a poly person is being open about the fact to whomever they’re dating at the start, or – if the realization finally dawns on them – when it becomes a strong enough realization so that the significant other has time to decide how to feel about it and make a proper decision for themselves about the current relationship. Particularly including whether or not they want to stay in the relationship now that it may potentially be switching up and out of their comfort zone, which is perfectly in their right to feel and decide without pressure (pressure would signify a potentially abusive partner).

Also, poly relationships are not easy because dating just one person is already hard enough, throwing more people to the mix is intensely more difficult. I have a couple friends in poly relationships, it’s like jugging eggshells and bricks together, not collecting a harem.

So, if you want to date several people at once, make sure to let the people you’re dating know that, too. That’s the important part. And Bedsider is your best friend in knowledge of safe sex because, regardless of how many people you date, from one to whatever, you want to be smart about it.

Okay, got that out the way, I’ve been reading and hearing quite a bit on poly relationships and then you have folks who seem to be so keen on cheating (or strongly perpetuate “side piece/main piece” culture, which is cheating, not being poly) when life would probably be a lot easier if they just were upfront with everyone (Not pulling a Newt Gingrich, actually honest) about how they date. That and I wouldn’t have to see a person busting up their unfaithful significant other’s very nice car with a baseball bat. That poor car. Didn’t do anything but be a pretty car.

Moving on, next post – Tech and Dating

*Money and language are also human-made, and they’re no less realistic or effecting. Don’t bring up “Monogamy is human-made, therefore I should date other people, regardless of whether or not you’re ok with it, because science” as a defense because you wouldn’t say “Money is man-made but electricity is not, therefore I shouldn’t have to pay my electric bill. Ever. Because science.” Annnnnnd it is a sign of an abusive/controlling nature.