I've been a part of the polyamorous dating scene for a little over four years now.. While I do not date exclusively as a pagan, it does have an effect on my dating life.
For the record, I have been happily married for over 15 years. Approximately four years ago, we decided to open our marriage and explore ethical non monogamy. It's definitely been an interesting ride......
Overall, the dating scene has it's ups and downs and dating while pagan seems to add a few loops and zig zags to that roller coaster.
I have one partner that is pagan, part of the ADF (he's a druid). The rest of my partners find magick interesting, but aren't practitioners. The initial conversations about spirituality with my non practicing partners were pretty transparent. I'm comfortable talking about it. It goes in my profile right next to the ENM and polyamory. ( I figure if they can get past those hurdles, they've pretty much paid the price of entry) Normally the ENM and polyam get spoken about first. Once that convo is done, I slide into second with the witchcraft lol.. I usually start with "so.... how do you feel about witches?". That's a good icebreaker. I do have a comfort level speaking about it because I pay attention when I'm reading someone's profile. I try not to click on people who have certain buzzwords like 'Catholic', 'Christian', 'looking for the one', 'looking for my soul mate', etc. I realize it's a bit exclusionary, but in my experience, those people aren't usually open to my lifestyle. Once I've asked about their feelings regarding witches, I sidestep the usually joking comments and have an open conversation about my spirituality. Most people are ok about in, a few have not been, and only rarely do I get people who are nasty about it. The nasty people are dealt with by a very effective block. The people who are not ok with it, I thank for their time and wish them well. Being a witch isn't something I am willing to hide for anyone. If you're out there dating, I do recommend getting these conversations out of the way early, at least the initial one. May save some heart break at the end.
The first conversation is rarely the ONLY conversation I have with new partners about witchcraft, but it IS usually the most awkward. There are the dumb jokes, "Hey, are you going to put a love spell on me, haha?" or something equally asinine. Look, if I had the energy or inclination to do a love spell, don't you think I'd conjure up someone I didn't have to have this convo with?? I mean, seriously.. There are a few ways the conversation can go after that. Either they ask about everything they've ever seen about witches from Hollywood (including can I wiggle my nose and make things happen), or they ask if they can see proof, and occasionally I get serious questions about it. Sometimes you get all of those things. Occasionally, you get someone who doesn't really care either way and is just "not my thing,
but you do you". The first partner I ever had as polyam is like that. He believes that I believe it, and that's good enough for him (he's an atheist). But he does enjoy the fact that I believe he is an angel vessel. He always asks if he gets a sword. I tell him yes, and its a flaming one. And he's always up for sex magick (pun intended). Though all of my lovers enjoy the sexual energy we share and not one complains about the sex magick, haha.
I feel like I've been pretty lucky with my partners. Not only have they passed the non monogamy portion of our program, but they are all ok with the witchy as well. There have definitely been questions, but mostly they've been well though out. Considering only one of my current partners is a practitioner, I'm more than happy to answer any questions they may have. I connected with most of them through regular dating sites.
Though the majority of my dating experience has been through the more popular dating apps (Tinder, OKC, Bumble, Feeld), I did look at some pagan dating sites as well. I have very mixed feelings about the pagan sites. As I was doing the research for this blog, and Left Unsupervised (Our witchy talk show) , I filled out profiles for PaganHarmony, Pagan Singles Dating and Pagan dating Service. One of those also gave me a sign up for Date A Wiccan, which I will NOT be filling out. Sorry Wiccans, I may be just a bit too DARK for y'all...
Let's look at these sites one by one........
PaganHarmony is a visually appealing site, but there are some challenges. I filled out the profile, and added one picture. With the exception of the introduction, personal appearance, hobbies, and pets, there is really no space to talk about yourself. The information you give out is via drop down menu with set answers, none of which are really applicable to non monogamous people. The other thing I noticed is that the search engine isn't the easiest to navigate. Which makes it difficult to meet any of the 710 men the website claims to have profiles. It is however, totally easy to send a birthday message to a complete stranger via the site's "Who's having a birthday today?" which conveniently show up on your home screen. But you can't click on the person to see their profile if you wanted to. The profiles weren't really ringing my bell either, but I'm kind of weird about what I like.. For example, I like when the profiles are filled out. It's a crazy quirk of mine.. And, I like when there are pictures. Call me shallow, but I'd like to at least pretend there's a real person there. Then there was the winner that posted this "I need a woman who will stand by my side even if I don't stand by her. I want someone who lets me do whatever I want n not tell me no." Be still my heart.
Lastly, even if I wanted to message someone, or reply to a message, I'd have to have a PAID subscription.
Sorry PaganHarmony, you've been voted off the island ☹
PAGAN SINGLES DATING www.pagansinglesdating.com
After the PH experience, I'll admit I was a little leery. But I valiantly trudged on... On to Pagan Singles Dating. Not as visually pleasing, but ok. I filled out the profile and added one pic, same as before. Again, lots of drop down menus with cookie cutter answers, again none with anything non monogamous. But there were also options to check off in other areas and areas where you could expound on your answer if you'd like. As for the profiles, definitely more content to be seen on this site. You also have the options to mark someone as a favorite, there's a 'flirt' option, and an option to ask someone if they are interested. Unfortunately, most of the options require premium access, though the price is reasonable. It is a very user friendly site, all things considered. From what I've seen, the members run heavily to the Norse and Celtic pantheons, though I did see other paths represented. Paid subscription aside, I'd definitely go on this site to meet new people.
PAGAN DATING SERVICE www.pagandatingservice.com
The last site I looked at was Pagan Dating Service. Minimalist compared to the other sites, but seems a bit more user friendly. Same drop down menus and check off options, and again, no designations for those of us that are non monogamous. There are a few areas where you can give your own descriptions though, so you can take advantage of those.
There is a chat area, complete with webcams, if you chose, a different feature from the other sites. There are premium benefits, though messaging, 'flirting' and adding friends are all free features. Overall, this site is the most like the more popular sites I've been on. For the members, level of profile completion is hit or miss. I did get lots of messages in my inbox, and though they were very nice... They tend to run to extremes.... From " A tall, dark very attractive person. Like pagan women, love Elvira, Morticia, vampire type, I will understand you".......to..... "marriage minded warlock seeks his queen of darkness" .....to.... 'Muffdiver': "mountain man seeks woman to play with". Charming, really.
All in all, I think I had better luck with the regular sites. I've met some pretty great people that way. And most of my partners. Aside from my husband, I have five partners. It may seem like a lot, but two of those partners are out of state, and with the pandemic, I've not seen much of my (in the area) partners that do not reside with me. I've been with all current partners at least a year, and we have all the communication tools in place that help make socially distanced dating successful. When it comes to the witchcraft, every one of them had a good reaction to it.
My husband takes everything in stride, so even when things get extremely strange, he just rolls with it. He is currently learning more about the Norse pantheon, and Thor is one of the patron gods in our house.
I've mentioned my practitioner partner, James (as he's ok with being named here). We met through OKC while we were both at a pagan convention, and were friends before we became romantic partners. Obviously the weird doesn't phase him, though sometimes it may give him pause lol. I've been lucky enough to have his help with metaphysical workings in the past, and our energies complement each other well.
I wrote earlier about my first Polyam partner, MH. Even though he is an atheist, he is still very supportive of me being me, which I appreciate. I'm not the first witch he's dated, which is probably why he is so easy going about this. He still has a charm she made for him years ago. He has definitely been my teacher when it came to being ethically non monogamous. All of my partners navigate these waters well, but he kind of makes it an art form, if it could be called such.
I have another partner who begins with an M, who labels himself as goth, and might be the first goth I've ever dated! His spirituality lies within the realm of Judaism, and I'm not sure if I'm the first witch he's ever dated, but our theological differences have never been an issue. All of his questions have been very thoughtful and I like his genuine interest. We don't get to spend as much time as we'd like, but it's always time well spent when we do.
O is a partner I've been with for over a year. I did not meet him through a dating site. We actually met through FetLife. It started out with an interesting conversation, that transferred to a messaging site, then to texting, and eventually led to a late night coffee date..... He's got interests in so many different areas; luckily, I am one of those interests haha. Our conversations started on a different note than most. Based on where we met, we had a kink conversation before we started seeing each other. I like that we didn't have a traditional beginning to our story... Schedule-wise we are opposites, so unfortunately we don't see each other as often as we'd like (boy, sounds like a pattern for me, yeesh!). Does absence makes the heart grow fonder? In our case, thankfully yes.
My last partner is another untraditional story. We had a beginning and an end, and SEVERAL years later, we have another beginning. Our first relationship ended before it ever really had a chance to begin, but we never forgot each other. Second chances are a real thing! He is not a practitioner, in fact was baptized Catholic. He is very interested in metaphysical and paranormal realms though. He even wants to do some paranormal field work, if I ever got the opportunity for that.
I look at all these relationships, and realize how lucky I am to be able follow my path with these very special people in my life. Diana says my partners are unicorns, and though she doesn't mean it in the triad sense of the word, she's right. They are pretty rare finds. Perhaps opening myself up to who I am supposed be has helped me be in the right place at the right time? That's not to say there aren't challenges. Some of the above partners and I have taken time apart. Just because you care about each other doesn't mean the timing is always perfect. But being able to part as people that still care for each other leaves that door ajar. It's nice to know that you can come back if it becomes right again. The same holds true for the magicks. I'm not sure if magick taught me that for the polyamorous, or vice versa.
Dating while pagan can be a challenging experience, but I've found it to be worthwhile. If you are dating during this time, pagan or not, more power to you. Not every person out there is perfect but if you give people a chance, you may find the perfect partner(s) for you! Good luck, stay smart, stay safe, stay socially distant whenever possible! xoxox, Nikki