My sweetie figmentj has just posted what I think is an awesome essay on the nature of dating and the implications of a conventional model of dating in an unconventional relationship world. Here’s a teaser:
In our generally monogamous culture, standard dating is viewed as a series of auditions. If you pass the first, then you get a second date. If you pass that one, you get a third date (and possibly sex, if we really want to go with the cliched model). Eventually you pass enough auditions to have a relationship, and if that goes well, you get married and win the game. Most of the poly people I know, myself included, started out being inundated with the standard model, and eventually became poly later. We learned to let go of the idea that there is One Magical Person for everyone, and the purpose of dating is to find them. But the feelings of being evaluated and passing or failing and internalizing what that means seemed to hang around.
Go read the rest. It’s good stuff.