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Ask Self Serve – Coming Out as Polyamorous

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Question: I asked a girl on a date in-person for the first time. I normally do online or word-of-mouth dating, which provides this information beforehand in a straightforward way. I didn’t tell her I’m in a polyamorous relationship with a man, not on purpose, it was just a fluke that I asked her out. So when should I tell her that I’m poly?

Answer: When you go out with a new person and you’re not sure if they’re poly/poly friendly, we think it’s a good idea to bring it up late on the first date, but everyone’s method is different. Never purposefully mislead someone and if it comes up naturally, share info about partners the same way you would about other getting-to-know you stuff. Others might disclose on the second date, or before the first date. Most people agree you should come out before any sex occurs. Sex is such a trust issue that if you come out later, she might feel betrayed.
Near the end of the date, express your feelings about her. Say positive things about the two of you and give her time to experience her own feelings. Try something like, “I had a great time and I’m excited about you” and then a transition like, “I’d like to see you again and also I want to tell you more about my life.” It’s a good idea to use the word “and” instead of “but”. Anytime you say “but” someone is waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Tell her that you’re poly and what it means to you. Then, ask what she thinks about it.  Listen. Explain how meaningful your relationships are and how it would be meaningful to build a relationship with her. She might need time to process or she might say “I’m poly, too”. She might get upset or she might be thrilled, but if you approach it like this, you know you’ve represented yourself honestly. If she wants more info, we carry excellent books on non-monogamy. Our favorites are, The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy and Opening Up by Tristan Taormino.
Email your questions to [email protected].
Questions are answered by Self Serve Staff and edited by Hunter Riley.
Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider for any medical condition.


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