Hi, I’m a mono fallen for a poly. He has a long-term primary partner and is interested in adding another primary relationship with me. I like him a lot, so I’m trying whether this can work for me (I’m still a little unsure whether it’s possible for me to be poly). I haven’t met his primary partner yet, but it feels that it’s time to do so. So here’s my question: Do you have any advice how to best get to know your lover’s primary?
What a lovely question! I think you’re going into this with the perfect attitude. Too often, I see people who identify as mono approach poly relationships with a sort of self-blinding enthusiasm, trying to stamp out all apprehensiveness and run shrieking into it. Or, I see them go into it entirely reluctantly, expecting it to fail miserably, but trying it out for the sake of their partner. You seem to have a healthy balance of open-mindedness and self-awareness. So major kudos for that.
To answer your actual question: like you’d meet anyone else, basically! Do something low-key that lets you talk comfortably, like meeting for a meal. Restaurants are neutral ground, as well, which is good - but if you think you’d enjoy having them over or going to their place, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’d suggest having your partner go along too, mostly for conversational lubricant, but if you are worried that you might feel uncomfortable or territorial seeing them together, meeting the PoP (partner of partner) one on one for the first time is also fine.
It really comes down to knowing what you’re most comfortable with, which can sometimes be hard to figure out - but getting to know and articulate your own needs is a wonderful thing to practice anyway, whether or not you choose to enter this polyamorous relationship.
Once you meet, just be yourself and get to know them like you’d do with anyone else. You already have something major in common - you like the same person! - so it’s likely you share some interests as well. Since this person has been in a poly relationship for a long time, they will likely be more relaxed about getting to know you, and hopefully patient and understanding about any awkwardness.
It’s okay to feel weird about it, since our culture sends us a lot of toxic messages regarding how we should feel about this kind of situation, but if you keep an open mind and let the conversation unfold naturally, you may discover that this person is just another person, one your partner cares for, and someone you can grow to like as well. Or, you may feel uncomfortable and dislike the whole situation, which is okay as well. You know best what you’re okay with, and you don’t owe it to anyone to get involved in something that isn’t what you want. But at least you’ll know that you figured that out for yourself after checking things out, which is a great feeling.