dear unicorn hunters, it’s not unicorn hunting that’s the problem, it’s you

Dear unicorn hunters,

I am sure you’ve been ridiculed, besmirched, despised, and worse for wanting your perfect triad. You’ve felt alienated from a community you finally worked up the courage to approach. You believed folk would be excited by this new, shiny idea you’ve had (“What if we became polyamorous, but hold on, hear me out, the twist is we BOTH date the same woman and there’s no jealousy or bad feelings because I don’t have to deal with another penis in the relationship!”)

Okay, you probably didn’t phrase it entirely this way. Nonetheless, that’s how many heard it– and they didn’t react at all the way you thought they would.  You stood by, baffled, as the criticism flooded your head. Why would they do that to you?  But, you see, your critics are coming from a valid perspective, too.

Couples with your ad and/or approach (and trust me, you don’t have to show me yours, I’ve seen it a million times already) are everywhere. At least in the polyamorous and kinky communities. When I go to a munch, I hesitate when the new couple approaches.  You can tell from the way they interact that the woman is less confident, the man overly eager.  She and he usually have the “swinger look.”  Unicorn hunters.

While they are probably good people, I just don’t have the energy to educate another couple on why their seemingly brilliant idea is often toxic and hurtful to the prospective girlfriend.  Unfortunately, the community isn’t much help, either. After you put up your third or fourth post on the subject- and somehow manage to brush off the usual cliche response, insults, etc– I’m sure you’ll get to this point:

Hi, couple! “Date SEPARATELY.”

Oh, brilliant solution! Dear couple, obviously inexperienced and new to polyamory. Let’s have you toy around with two people, not just one. Sure, how could that possibly go wrong?

I am going to say, as simply as I can, Don’t date separately. Don’t date at ALL. Just…be friends with people for a bit? Or even…don’t date other people at all.  Try dating each other.  Only this time, do it better.  If you want to attract a “unicorn,” you’re gonna have to up your game.

Step One, Date Your Partner.

Get to know them, what they want, what they like. Don’t be That Guy who finds out after he gets New Girlfriend, that his Old Girlfriend actually does need hugs, cuddles, and physical affection (all which he thought she just “didn’t care much for.”)

And also, make that relationship with her, or him, or whomever, what you want it to be. Never had time for date night with your wife? Then find time now, because if you don’t have time for date night with her, how exactly do you think you’re gonna find time to date anyone else? ….but also, don’t just stop there. Make friends with other people, no expectations, no physical hanky panky. Start to explore….with friendship.

Step Two, Make New Friends.

Straight women, bi women, men, etc. Befriend them all.

Look, you made a huge mess with your first attempt dating whatever unfortunate woman you managed to drag into your– probably– formerly monogamous relationship. She ran away screaming, or at least she left in a huff.

Dating together, or separately, won’t matter if you don’t treat your partners well. Or maybe you don’t know how to treat them well. Perhaps you have no experience with positive relationships, perhaps you grew up in an emotionally distant, toxic household. And you don’t even know where to start.

Step Three, Date Together. Or Separately. Or whatever.

Whatever. It doesn’t really matter, so long as everyone is having a good time.This isn’t about prejudice against a type of dating. Nobody- well, nobody that matters- cares if you want a triad.

This is about you, unicorn hunters, failing to treat other women like human beings and calling them “females” and “thirds.” That is actually a problem. So learn to be nice, I guess? And treat these women like people?

There is a truth that few folk will bother to tell you.

Dating together, or separately, won’t make you less insecure, jealous, etc. It won’t make your new partners feel any less used or hurt when you inevitably hurt them through the same, old habits. It won’t make it easier to find people willing to date you. It certainly won’t make whatever current problems you’re facing magically go away.

Being an awesome partner will actually make you less jealous.  Because you won’t have anything to be jealous about in the first place.  You’ll know exactly how awesome you are; how awesome your partner is; and how awesome you are together (theoretically, anyway, maybe you split up before involving another woman in your drama.  Also good.).

Figure your shit out, learn how to date, learn how to build lasting, meaningful relationships (or super fun, crazy one night stands) Do whatever it takes to until– rather than post another unicorn ad- you blink your eyes in disbelief at yet ANOTHER unicorn ad, exchange glances with your partner and remark, “ohmygodthisiswhatiusedtobelike???”

Or else resign yourself to becoming yet another jaded unicorn hunting couple who convinces themselves that “Polyamory is just too difficult.”  Tell yourself that, after all, unicorns don’t exist.  Try ignore the successful triads popping up around you.  

Or you can admit that being a great partner worthy of a triad takes effort.

Let’s try a bit harder, shall we?


One of the many living (former, potentially reconsidering) unicorns freely wandering this lovely community

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