Polyamory: Dating in a group
Many times, in relationships that are poly, a person might find themselves dating or thinking about dating another person or persons who are are currently in a relationship with other individuals. Sometimes, a person might be dating both or all members of an existing group or couple. It commonly happens for polyamorous people that they begin another relationship while already in a relationship with other folks. This is sometimes the dynamic of how relationships work with polyamory.
Whenever you are starting any new relationship, you should have ground rules that you follow in getting to know that person. You should apply those same rules to each and every member that your new partner or partners have around them.
Below are some basic things you can do to improve your outcome and avoid problems in advance when dating an individual or a group of individuals.
Get to know each member of the group if you can
Spend time with each and every member that you can and talk to them. As stated in other parts of our site, spend as much time together as a group doing things like talking about everything, and see how people react. If there are things you are passionate about, like charity family, and children these are great subjects to discuss with people to break the ice.
Look for red flags and problems in advance
When you are first meeting someone, you don't always want to think about the negative but sometimes it helps to look for problems in advance. In a group this is even more crucial because a problem with one will be a problem for all and especially for you. Define your deal breakers in advance and stick to them! Do not think things are going to get better. If communication is important to you and you cannot communicate with one person in the group, consider the effect that is going to have on you. If one individual is a drinker or uses drugs outside of tolerable limits for you, think about that. If a person is overly controlling, quick to anger, think about that. Absolute deal breakers should be violence, drug or alcohol use that can cause problems for you or children you may have, and criminal behavior. Any problem now will get worse and you cannot change people.
Be an observer
Watch how the individuals in the group interact and communicate with each other. Look at how they solve problems, work together, and spend time together.
Consider each of the personalities involved and ask yourself if you can deal with the personalities of each person, and how they deal with things. Be on the lookout for anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or dislike.
A Guide to Dating a group or couple