In the world of internet dating, there are not many dating websites that cater to ethical non-monogamy or polyamory. There are plenty of dating websites that cater to relationship cheaters- such as the infamous AshleyMadison.com, but polyamory is not cheating. Polyamory is the ethical involvement or desire of multiple romantic relationships and is on a rapid rise according to OKCupid statistics.
OKCupid and Polyamory
OKCupid is one of the best online dating websites for polyamorous daters. It is not
close to perfect, but OKCupid is one of the few dating websites that even references polyamory as a relationship option. OKCupid is starting to pay more attention and make their site poly-friendly because more and more people are departing from the traditional monogamous relationship set-up. As many as 42% of their users would consider (or are in) a polyamorous/ ethically open relationship.
Early January 2016 OKCupid added the option to add a single current relationship while still seeking out potential mates. OKCupid has also added an option to date as a couple looking for new dates. These new options are great for couples in open relationships, but open relationships are not the only way of doing polyamory. OKCupid is still leaving many polyamorous people out by restricting the number of partners you can add. Many polyamorous people are in relationships of three, four, or more with varying types of relationships and arrangements.
Polyamorous people often have multiple relationships they value closely. These “polyamory friendly” additions are a step in the correct direction but are also another step toward reinforcing couple privilege and societies obsession with monogamy.
Couple privilege is probably not something you have thought about unless you have looked into non-monogamy or been single on Valentine’s day. Couples in our society have a lot of advantages compared to those who are single, in relationships of three or more people, relationship anarchists, or who are solo poly. Once we are talking about online dating couple privilege becomes a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Dating websites focus on finding “the one” to complete your partnership.
OKCupid has provided the option to be in a relationship while seeking an additional relationship, but they fall short in the fight against couple privilege in only allowing one additional partner. It is true that some polyamorous people enjoy a primary partnership and everyone they seek to date is considered to be of less importance. However, many other styles of relationship such as solo polyamory, relationship anarchy, and polyfidelity (3-4+ exclusive relationship) exist as well.
Consideration of additional relationship structures will serve to strengthen OKCupid and the dating world in general. OKCupid is headed down the right path, they just need to follow through.