Approaching a new couple for the first time can be intimidating. Are there taboo topics to stay away from during the initial discussion? Should you over-share or keep certain aspects of your relationship private? What do I do with my hands? If you need help breaking the ice with couples, you can start off with the below to help ease into the conversation.
How did you discover polyamory?
Let’s start with the basics. A great way to warm up to a new couple is to learn about how they entered the polyamorous or swinging lifestyle. Some couples discover alternative relationships together, while others experiment and discover on their own. It’s great to start out with this general question because it’s non-invasive, extremely informative, and chances are, you’ll be able to relate!
What Are Your Expectations?
Similar to how you and your primary originally discussed exploring polyamory, everyone needs to be on the same page before including more partners in the equation. Are you looking for exclusivity? Are you interested in a clopen relationship where only one of you would potentially be dating? What does this couple (or individual) seek to gain from joining your relationship? It would also be prudent to discuss the ideal length of your arrangement. Some couples are interested in testing the waters of an open marriage, while others are looking for a more serious commitment.
What Are Your Rules?
After determining your expectations for the relationship, now it’s time to establish your boundaries. Poly relationship configurations and dynamics are complex and should never be assumed. Are there limitations to the physical aspect of this new relationship? Do you want to be discrete about the relationship? Are sleepovers allowed? Just try to be as prepared as possible in order to avoid or lessen potentially awkward situations.
What Experiences Have You Had In Open Relationships, Polyamory, Swinging, etc.?
Sharing your previous experiences with the lifestyle will help a couple gauge whether they need to intro someone in an open relationship. Or if they themselves are new, this can find out if the other couple/ people are the right fit. If one party is more experienced, they will likely take the lead in furthering the relationship.