Is it normal for me to be dating two people who aren't dating each other?

Is it a "normal poly thing" for me as a female to have a gf and a bf but the two of them don't have a relationship? What are some tips to making this work and comfortable for everyone?

Yes, that is called “V-shaped” polyamory and is one of the more common polyamorous arrangements. It’s actually pretty rare for there to be three or more people where all parties are dating. Even though media depictions, news stories, fanfiction, etc. tend to focus on triads or polycules where everyone is in a relationship with everyone, that’s not as common.

Tips for making it work are going to be the same as in all other healthy polyamorous relationships. Open, honest communication. Everyone taking responsibility for identifying and articulating their own needs and feelings. Since this is a very common polyamorous relationship configuration, most of the advice you’ll find in my FAQ resources will be helpful.

Also, the idea of a “normal poly thing” is useless. Even if you three were the only people in the world doing this, that wouldn’t really matter. And plenty of things that are “normal” or common in polyamorous relationships are not healthy and happy. Normalcy is not a measure of anything meaningful. You don’t need to find out if something is “normal” before trying it out. If it’s healthy and happy for you, it’s fine.

Your girlfriend and boyfriend are what’s called “metamours,” linked not by their own relationship but because they’re dating the same person. It’s wise not to complain to one of your partners about the other one, or involve them in relationship issues. If you want to introduce them, keep things low-key and low-pressure. Let their relationship be what it’s going to be, don’t try to push for more intimacy than is naturally present. I wrote about introducing metamours to each other here.

Is it possible, or common for straight women to be in V-shaped arrangements with multiple straight men? (

So it seems really uncommon to have a polyamorous relationship with two or more males with one woman. Am I just looking in the wrong places (just in terms of seeing how others handle this dynamic, not looking as in seeking). I am not really interested in other women. But i feel like it’s not realistic to want a relationship with two straight men who would want to both be with me, more than sexually. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Up until very recently, that was exactly the situation I was in - I identified as a straight woman and dated mostly straight men. For most of my dating life I have been in “V-shaped” relationships that looked like: me, a straight woman, dating Scorpio, a straight man, and Leo, a straight man, and maybe also Orion, a straight man. (Sometimes the men I dated were not straight; I don’t want to erase anyone’s identities, but mostly, they have been.) Often the men I dated got along well, but they were not romantically or sexually involved with each other. And typically they were dating other women as well.

This is, in my experience, actually a very common polyamorous configuration! Straight men are socialized in such a way that they are a population very well represented in polyam circles. If what you’re hoping for is a triad, where both straight men are involved romantically or sexually with each other, well, that’s not usually how straight men work - but it sounds like you’re looking for the opportunity to have multiple straight male partners who are okay with you having other male partners. That is very, very possible!

Try checking out my page on finding polyamorous people to date - be clear about what you’re looking for, set up a dating profile with that goal, get out there and meet some polyam dudes, and you’ll find your V! And to answer your first question, yes, it’s pretty common, and you may just be looking in the wrong places. Keep poking around Tumblr, YouTube, and the rest of the internet and you’ll find plenty of stuff being written by, and about, people in that exact situation!

I want to date someone else. My boyfriend seems okay with it, but won't say much.

Me and my boyfriend have been together for about 6 years, we've talked about having another person in our relationship (always with a she pronoun). Today I brought up a guy that wanted to take me on a date, and asked him if he was okay with it, all I got was a "well if you want to". I do want to see this new guy but don't want to upset my partner either. What do you think I should do?

It sounds like it’s just you who would be dating this new guy. That means that the third person is not “in your relationship.” There is a new relationship that would form. This is generally called V-shaped or “Vee” polyamory. It’s important to have the right language for what you’re feeling and doing, because that can help you frame it in an accurate way, approach it without assumptions or misunderstandings, and point you to helpful resources.

Polyamory requires open and honest communication. “Well, if you want to” does not qualify. You need to talk to your boyfriend about his best-case and worst-case scenario, as well as yours. What do you want out of this? How do you feel? How does he feel? What might change between you two? What are dealbreakers for each of you? What questions do both of you have?

If he’s not willing or able to have this kind of conversation, then he’s probably not someone able to be in a healthy polyamorous or open relationship.

I have two partners (I’m the point of a V) and with partner A, I can see us settling down and getting married and all that, but with partner B, I can see us dating for a long time, but not necessarily settling down. Is this a common feeling?

It’s your feeling, you’re having it, and it’s real. It doesn’t matter if it’s a common feeling; there is no bell curve of frequency that determines whether a feeling is appropriate or valid.

As long as this arrangement is working for you and your partners, it’s all good. Does partner B know you feel this way? Or are they expecting/hoping/looking ahead to settling down with you in the future? Do you and your partners use a tiered (primary/secondary/etc) system for polyamory, or are you just letting the relationships define themselves?

As long as everyone is on the same page and expectations are shared, it’s all good. Don’t set someone up to be hurt or let down; don’t pretend like your feelings for B are something other than they are to keep B on the line. How common this feeling is is less important than whether everyone involved is okay. Do what’s right, healthy, and fulfilling for all parties involved - even if you three are the only people on the planet facing this issue. 

(And to answer your question, sure, that’s a common feeling. Relationships are different; people are different; it’s normal within poly to experience affection, commitment, etc. slightly differently across different partners.)

Hello. I was wondering how one can find other poly folks in their area. Im poly V and my partners would like to date other people, but recently they’ve been rejected or pushed away by closed minded people. How can we be open about our lifestyle? We just moved to MA and its been difficult to meet new people who we can open up to or trust. The few people we have assume we are cheating etc.

It can be really hard to find people who are open to polyamory. Even in a very liberal, sexually open urban area, I am often rejected because people are uncomfortable. 

But it’s not just a poly problem - everyone struggles to find dates, especially when they’re new to an area. Try online dating, especially sites that let you be open and clear about your arrangement (like OKCupid), and just keep on being yourselves and making new friends. If you’re kinky or have any other interests that often overlap with polyamory, try local Meetups and other groups or events.

You’ll find people, but it - like all good things - takes some time.