For about a year now, I've been using an ethical non-monogamous sex/dating app. I've always been interested in ENM, but have only been in monogamous relationships. When my last relationship ended and I had gotten over the hurt, I realised that I was now finally free to explore this side of my personality.
I've been on about 20 dates, met many interesting people and had eye-opening conversations and experiences.
Now, I'm happily dating four people, 2 men and a couple (m/f). They are all aware of each other, encourage me to see as many people as I want and support and adore me in different ways. I'm not currently in love so don't consider myself polyamorous, rather I'm poly-dating. Relationship anarchy is another thing I've been exploring, where traditional expectations around relationship are explored and needs are communicated by all parties involved.
This is the first dating app I've ever used, and I had certain expectations around the behaviours of people who use apps like this. These have mainly proved to be wrong, and 99% of people I've interacted with are highly emotionally intelligent, open minded, kind and interesting.
Through this journey, I've realised that it's actually much harder to successfully date multiple people than it is to focus on just one person. Often in traditional relationships, needs aren't communicated properly. Dating multiple people forces you to be more open and honest with your own needs, desires, energy levels and emotions.
I believe most people could benefit from opening their relationships - how can we expect one person to meet all of your desires and needs?
I don't think I could ever go back to monogamy, although once love is involved it could be harder to maintain an open relationship. Jealousy is a normal part of any relationship we have - I've been jealous of friends and siblings, not just of a sexual/emotional partner. It all comes back to being open and honest with your needs and what you can offer.
I now prioritise myself much more, and am able to more critically evaluate what someone can bring to my life and what I can offer in return.