I am typically a serial monogamist. I haven't been in a serious long-term relationship for many years, and I decided to wait for Mr. Right instead of having a series of affairs that always seem to end badly.
I recently met a guy on the Internet who is in a long-term polyamorous relationship. He said if I was into being with him while seeking "the one," he was into being with me. He lives in N.Y.C. and also works here in L.A. once or twice a month.
I was attracted to him and wrote saying I'd be interested, but his mating status didn't work for me. I did say I was interested in hearing how they were having success in having "serious long-term relationships with others that include sex," since my brief forays there have not resulted in such.
We met and agreed to be friends. The chemistry is, of course, very strong and wonderful—I believe in great part due to the impossibility of the situation. But it is certainly tangible.
I am tired of holding out for Mr. Right and would love to have sex with this guy in the meantime. I'm concerned, as sex with someone like this always leads me to have expectations, and then the bonding gets strong and brings out all those emotions, etc.
I'd like to keep it simple and lovely and have great sex a few times a month, but in the back of my mind, I foresee me getting hurt.
He has agreed to get a complete STD exam by my nurse practitioner, who does a physical close-up and a blood test but also takes a semen sample and does a slide smear. I'm not feeling safe, as he sleeps with at least five women on and off. He seems very smitten and says he wants this to be long-term, but I cannot see a reasonable place for it to go. Is it possible for me to enjoy this guy sexually when he is in town? Am I being close-minded here? I am trying to be open, but this is a bit confusing.
Can I just tell you how in awe I am that you actually have a nurse practitioner on call to screen your dates? How cool are you! However, in this case, she's also fairly useless. Unless she's going to run smears and whatnot on this dude every time you see him, a clean bill of health doesn't mean dick from a guy banging five other broads. And, of course, I hope it's obvious that you should be glovin' that love regardless.
Which brings me to my next point. I'm told there are plenty of perfectly content polyamorous peeps out there. However, you do not sound like you are one of them. Being close-minded has nothing to do with it. Not being attracted to women does not make you anti-lesbian, does it? Making out with ladies is just not for you, anymore than being a sixth (!) wheel is.
Like most people who ask for advice, you already know the answer to your question. You're attracted to him, but you know that it's inevitable you're going to get hurt if you pursue it. Having affairs with single guys that end in tears is one thing—at least there's the possibility (no matter how slight!) that they'll evolve into something great.
If you truly want a full-time luv-uh man (and maybe deep down you don't, but that's a topic for another column), dating someone in an open relationship (btw, are you absolutely certain his S.O. knows she's in an open relationship?) is counterproductive. Being one of six will erode your self-esteem (what do these other women have that I don't?) and distract you from your quest for a real live viable partner.
Instead of pining away for some mythical Mr. Right, you need to regain some perspective. There is no "the one" for anybody; that's fairy-tale bullshit that you're far too old to be buying. What there is, is a bunch of flawed men— without attachments or complicated lifestyles—who are looking for a nice lady who's the same brand of imperfect as they are. You'll have much better luck sifting through these guys than you will trying to talk yourself into a no-win situation.
Need some perspective? Write Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.