Litmus Test: Is It Cheating?

I was attending a polyamory discussion group the other night and this little nugget came up.

We were discussing what to ask potential partners who may be new to polyamory.

A great first question to ask to whether or not they consider their date as cheating.

Another great question would be whether or not their other partner would consider what they're doing as cheating.

I thought this was a great observation.

  • Polyamory is about open, loving relationships that are conducted in plain sight of other partners; cheating is an attempt to conceal relationships, feelings, and affections from other partners.
  • Polyamory admits not one person can fill all needs whereas cheating is about displacing another partner to meet one's needs.
  • Polyamory espouses trust and cheating is all about dishonesty.
  • Polyamory is about transparency; cheating is about secrets.
  • Polyamory encourages open and frank communication between all partners so that they can get what they want; cheating isn't about communication between partners. 

It's probably a great first question to ask a potential partner but also a fantastic question to begin with yourself. If you can honestly look at this criteria as a litmus test for yourself, that's a good thing. Your intentions are probably in the right place. However, if your potential partner can't look you in the eye when you're asking some of these questions, it's probably a good time to clarify theirs.

Consequently, I think a great follow-up question to this one might be: "So. When do I get to meet your partner?" That will kind of seal the deal.