Good morning Jackie!!
Thank you so much for your time.
I have a question. Do you become familiar with people that John dates or does John go on dates with people that you may never meet or with people that do not want to know any details about you or your relationship with John?
And vice versa, do you go on dates with men that never meet John or that don’t want to know about or be involved with any aspect of your relationship with John?
My partner and I are coming across play dates that either get upset when they find out we have a significant other or they set the boundary that they don’t want to know anything about our significant other and just want to keep their bubble to themselves.
Is this common? I would assume that as you make more friends in your community who are in the lifestyle that that reaction would be less common and that this is maybe the reaction of vanilla playmates…
Again, I must express my gratitude for you and John’s willingness to share your experiences and to help be a guiding light for us newbies and seasoned veterans!
To know or Not to know
Dear To Know or Not To Know,
When John and I go on dates, we always make sure our play partner is completely aware of our relationship status. Our potential play partner will know John and I are happily married, that we are in a CNM relationship, and even meeting our spouse is highly encouraged.
I’ve had John drop me off at dates and we’ve had women go on dates with John who wanted to meet me. John and I have also been on dates where our play partner and our spouse did not meet, and we’ve had times where we’ve all gone to dinner together, it all depended on the play partner, our partner, and the situation.
Currently, John’s consistent play partner and I text recipes back and forth, have gone to lunch together and even gone shopping together, so the range of contact is widely varied as you can see.
We believe that being clear, concise, and upfront with potential play partners about our marriage is vital and reduces the amount of misunderstandings. We are also big fans of each other and our marriage, so any play partner has to be prepared to hear all about our spouse. We have found this to be a natural deterrent to those people who may enter into play time with alternative motives.
This can be especially true with those outside the lifestyle, as they may not fully understand the intricacies of a CNM relationship. They may not understand that play partners are not being introduced into the relationship circle as a replacement but as an enhancement to an already strong and committed union.
In our experience, anyone who doesn’t understand the mechanics of an open relationship doesn’t end up being a play partner for long anyway so…
John and I also are of the belief that potential play partners are the responsibility of the person doing the playing. If John finds someone intriguing and is interested in playing with them then that’s for him to decide…not me. He will let me know of his interest and plans to pursue a play partner and then it will be up to me whether or not I want to meet them or not.
One thing I did want to point out from your email was the comment that read: “play dates that either get upset when they find out we have a significant other or they set the boundary that they don’t want to know anything about our significant other and just want to keep their bubble to themselves.”
Remember, you too have a set of boundaries. Just because a potential play partner has a boundary about not wanting to know, doesn’t mean theirs supersedes your own boundary.
If you have a hard boundary about being open and honest with potential play partners about being in a committed relationship and the potential play partner doesn’t want to know about it, then if it were me, I would refuse to play with them period. To me if boundaries don’t match up then maybe they aren’t the play partner for you.
Be patient with yourself and the CNM process. Sometimes (most times) it’s a trial and error as you become more comfortable with opening up a relationship to include others. Don’t be afraid of the process.
Hope this helps…reach out anytime!
John and Jackie Melfi are in a consensually non monogamous marriage. They have been featured in ABC News Nightline Special Report “Getting Naughty In N’awlins”, Inside a New Orleans Swingers Convention, and CNN “This Is Life” with Lisa Ling. The Melfis are the force behind the industry famous colette swingers clubs in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, and Austin. With over 20 years of combined experience, this powerhouse couple coaches thousands of singles and couples through their award winning blog Openlove101.com.