my girlfriend and i have recently discovered that we’d like to add someone to our relationship! any advice on how to do that?

Remember that opening your relationship is like opening a checking account, not opening a door. There isn’t a warehouse full of single people waiting to be invited into an existing couple’s relationship.

Remember that people are people, not toys or things. You don’t go to the sex and relationship store and pick up a third to add. You find a person you care about deeply, and who meets your needs, and whose needs you can meet. 

When you were single, did you wake up one day and say “I have recently decided that I’d like to add a girlfriend to my life”? Getting into relationships is complicated and organic, and it has to also be like that when it comes to finding a third.

Know what you’re able to do, exactly, and be prepared to make your needs and expectations clear. Are you hoping to find yourselves in a polyfidelitous triad, or are you wanting to “date” a third person as a couple-unit? Is A dating B dating C dating A, or are A&B dating C? (This article has a good diagram that explains this.)

Get your house entirely in order before you invite someone over. Unpack your baggage, hone your communication skills, and cultivate a relationship that a new person would be excited to jump into. Finding a third won’t solve problems, add excitement, or fulfill some existing and unmet need.

Prepare for rejection. Lots of people have been burned by “unicorn hunters,” so don’t take it personally or decide you’ve been unfairly profiled by the poly community.

Once you’re entirely sure you and your girlfriend are in a place to meet a third person’s needs, head over to OKCupid and local polyamorous meetups to find folks already familiar with the community. And do what anyone does when they’re looking for someone to date - go out more, hang out around people who share your interests and values, whether that’s book clubs or underground raves, and be kind, genuine, and interesting!