I’m madly in love with my partners, but sometimes I think I would like to see someone else as well, just casually. I don’t have a ton of experience with poly outside of my little ‘cule, so I was hoping for some guidance from someone with more experience: Do I really want a new partner? Or do I just want more from my current partners? I haven’t been thinking about anyone in particular, I just feel like I want someone to flirt with and go on dates with. I do feel like I don’t get a lot of that with my partners anymore. But I can’t tell whether my interest in dating someone new springs solely from that or from just wanting someone new.
I’m not psychic, so I can’t tell you for sure what you “really want,” but I can tell you that NRE is a hell of a drug, and it’s very common to crave a new hit after a while without it. The early stages of a relationship, with all the flirting and the excitement, are fun!
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your established relationships while also realizing that you are also in the mood for the experiences that come with pursuing something new or more casual. When I get that itch, I usually spend some time bonking around on various dating platforms and have a few flings. Sometimes those flings turn into long-term relationships, sometimes they don’t.
(Always ethically pursue flings - if you know you want something that’s low-commitment and mostly for fun, be up front about that! It’s not usually too hard to find someone interested in the same. There is nothing wrong with enjoying some flirting that isn’t expected to turn into a partnership.)
Of course, it’s also okay to decide that you don’t want to actually pursue a new fling, but that these feelings are alerting you to some unaddressed issues in your existing relationships. Talk to your partners about wanting to pump up the romance, and see if you can’t get creative with some date nights, spiced-up sexual play, or new ways to flirt.
These days, a lot of people are finding outlets in online chats. I actually set my OKCupid range to “anywhere” and messaged people I had a 99% match with, and have made some fun new friends. Consider asking one of your existing partners if they want to swap some steamy stories, and/or poking around the corners of the internet where people who share your interests are hanging out!