The popular dating site OKCupid has recently unrolled a new feature aimed at polyamorous people:
Online-dating behemoth OkCupid is adding a feature tailor-made for polyamorous people. The new setting, which became available for some beta users in December, allows users who are listed as “seeing someone,” “married,” or “in an open relationship” on the platform to link their profiles and search for other people to join their relationship.
When I originally read this article, I was excited, if a little bemused by the article helpfully informing us that the most common way to begin being nonmonogamous is for couples to look for a single bisexual woman. However, after testing this with my fiance, I discovered that it is impossible to link your profile to more than one person.
That’s right. OKCupid does not seem to understand that poly people date multiple people.
OKCupid’s new system works great for people with partnerships like mine: a single, committed primary relationship, where both partners sleep with and casually date other people. Of course, that is a totally valid relationship structure as long as it’s good for everyone involved. But not all poly people have this structure!
What about the triad or quad who have merged finances, married each other as much as they legally can, and are planning on buying a house together? What about the woman who considers herself to be equally committed to two people: her spouse that she lives with and is raising children with, and her cowriter whom she’s written several books with? What about the relationship anarchist, who doesn’t distinguish between friendship and romance, primary and secondary relationships? What about the solo poly person who has many deep, intimate, committed relationships, but doesn’t plan on going up the relationship escalator with anyone? What about the woman who balances both sides of her personality by having both an egalitarian relationship and a 24/7 relationship with her master? What about the best friends who share a husband? What about the four bros who have taken “bros before hoes” to the next level by having a loving, committed, but non-sexual and non-romantic relationship?
All of those people are part of the poly community too.
It’s not like this is impossible to implement. Fetlife, for years, has allowed someone to be in a relationship with multiple people.
But as long as you’re just accommodating one kind of polyamorous people– the kind that’s as goddamn close to monogamy as humanly possible– you aren’t accommodating poly people.
Our community is more diverse than just couples looking for some strange. We shouldn’t accept solutions aimed at that group as if they helped all of us.