A close friend, who could tell I was wading in deeper than I was openly admitting, urged me to have the talk. Eventually, I broached the idea of some limitation of sexual partners — although I feared this went against the whole poly idea. He wasn’t interested in sleeping around (“That’s not why we’re doing this”). Best, Cassy Maybe it was just an effort to dispel awkwardness, since I was about to sleep in her bed.“He should expect you to ask where this is all going, since he’s dating a monogamous girl.” A monogamous girl. And suddenly that concept, and in essence, part of my identity, was in question. Allowing a break from sexual monogamy could ease pressure on a relationship. Maybe it was about establishing her territory: This is my house, this is my man, and I’m allowing you to enjoy them. I confirmed to Greg that she had just welcomed me to their home and that it wasn’t a death threat.We were not meeting each other’s friends or families. I had thrown down the cash to attend his class, but it was like this wasn’t a date for him — just work.We were not going to be “Facebook official.” There was no next step. I could feel myself overreacting, throwing a fit over nothing.His enthusiasm for marriage was lacking (he did little to hide that), but it was clearly important for his fiancé, who wanted an event to commemorate their union.He charmed me on that first date, despite my reservations, and I grew more and more curious about how he could make this lifestyle work.I find dates almost exclusively on Ok Cupid, occasionally on Tinder, and in my thirties I’ve concluded that it’s best to keep my options open and my standards loose.“I’m just looking to make a real connection with someone and see what happens,” my profile vaguely asserts to potential mates.
We exchanged emoji-laden messages and goofy selfies. His sky blue eyes lit up when I pulled his bar stool closer to mine.The letter effectively doused any thrill I might have felt that evening.And in general, it eventually became clear that adventurous sex wasn’t on the menu.After slogging through interactions with lackluster guys for so long, I felt like I had emerged to find a freshwater lake glistening in the sun at the end of a long, sweaty hike. Greg’s fiancé, Cassy, was out of town for a week, so he invited me to stay at their place. But impishly, I also thought it might be a little thrilling to sleep with another woman’s fiancé in her house.Suddenly, I was really not curious about his other relationships. When I arrived and he began making dinner, he handed me an envelope, looking a little embarrassed. I think she wanted to say hi and welcome you.”I was curious, even if I was unnerved by this woman hand-writing a nicey-nice note to her fiancé’s lover.And that’s how I realized I was starting to like him. “Look, I know how you feel a little weird about this whole thing. You be the judge of the subtext of this missive: Dear Jess – I just wanted to say hello and welcome you to our home (though I’m positive Greg will do an excellent job in carrying that out ).What I facetiously called my “social experiment” with Greg was starting to matter. Please make yourself at home — and enjoy I look forward to potentially meeting you in the future!”It’s really difficult for me to talk about feelings in a relationship.I did say that dating him was easier than I had expected it to be (but also, not easy).How does the girl you see casually feel about all this? He hesitated to admit it, perhaps feeling the need to defend this lifestyle and its quirks.She walked out on him at dinner last time they met. At first that wasn’t OK, but it was logistically complicated, so they have allowed it. After the date we talked daily, tugging back and forth on definitions and labels and identities, finding they were pliable.