I stumbled upon a little blog entry on Unicorn Hunters posted to Reddit. (It's in 4 separate parts, link is to the first installment.) For those not in the know, Unicorn Hunters are a special breed of poly couples. Typically: male(hetero)/female(bi) couples looking for another poly, bi, female that they can both date. I've run into them a few times before, most notably when I was on SLS and advertising myself as a "single" female - this was in a period when Now-hubby wasn't necessarily interested in other partners, I still was, we had talked about this and he was okay with me putting myself out there as such.
In addition to the magical instance of stupid that is Unicorn Hunters,
there are the couples I'll meet and talk to who have fascinating ideas about how they're going to open up their relationships.
Most of my reactions here can be pinpointed to a particular personality trait.
I'm not saying that the following things won't ever work for anybody. I just find they are the type of idealized crap that invariably the couple will call me back later on all, "bwah this didn't work"
and then I have to put on my, "the fuck did I tell you?" face.
There's probably more than this, but these are the top 3 that are coming to mind right now.
Wanting to know the other person/"let's all be friends with each other"
This is a fantastic idea in theory. It's a great one for people to say they want, because it sounds nice. Which, it does, doesn't it? It sounds really nice.
Who doesn't like friends? It implies this image of everybody fucking holding hands around the globe while a white dove of peace soars in the clear blue sky. The ideal is the people your significant other wants to rub genitals with will also turn out to be really awesome people that both of you can get along with. You can avoid the whole awkward primary/secondary discussion, because you'll be too busy hanging out with each other and being cool with everything. Also, you get a chance to sort of "proof" the person your significant other will be spending time with
When Now-hubby and I were in college, we had a group of friends and sexytime partners that was fairly inclusive, so by the time either of us were having sexytimes with somebody, the friendship was already established. If you're not in that type of environment, trying to force it can be unnatural and weird. Especially if your significant other doesn't particularly like the other person you want to be with. Even if they do, you open up an entirely new series of complicated definitions regarding "friendship." What exactly does it all mean? When it comes to this, I'm more a fan of that sitcom-esque parental trope. Who are you going to be with, where are you going to be, and when can I expect you home?
Total and complete honesty at all times
If being open is about being honest with each other, nothing can be better than being honest all the time about everything, right? This is an easy pitfall to get into, because it's the classic misconception that if a certain amount of something is good, than even more of that something must be great! Which is sometimes true, but also sometimes not true.
I'm not advocating lying. That's a completely different shitty thing that people think about open relationships - that they're just a justification for lying. Lying in relationships, regardless of the format, is a shitty thing to do.
However, complete and utter emotional verbal diarrhea is also not the greatest way to go about things, either. This is a good one to find the balance between what you want to know about and what you don't when it comes to your partner's extra curriculars.
"It's just going to be about sex."
Yes, because we all exist in Brian Kinney world where you can have completely anonymous sex with anybody you choose completely at your whim.
(I mean, yes, that does sound excellent, but it's unrealistic at best out here IRL)