From my Sea-goth
Probably should be single. I'll consider someone who is involved in some sort of open relationship, but it's a hard sell. Even if you are just making with a regular fuck buddy with no commitment, I'll probably not pursue anything until you clear things up. I don't do well with competition, so if I feel like that's the case, I'll back off, whether you intend there to be competition for you or not.
I got quizzed about this on Saturday, and a few other conversations lately have inspired me to comment on this.
I don't mind if another man hits on, flirts with, or asks out a girl in which I am interested or that I am seeing. Not at all. I expect it, if I have picked someone who is worthwhile at all. She's going to be attractive to more than me.
There's only one male in the world who isn't allowed this luxury, Jason. There's a lot of women in the world, so I expect my best friend to go after someone other than the one or two women I may be interested in at any one time. At one time or another, we've been interested in the same girl a few times, but never at the same time. Even then, we don't cross paths too often. There's only 2 women that both he and I have kissed.
Others though, I don't get angry with them if they flirt with someone. If it happens to often and I lose out, I may get frustrated, but at my ability to be interested in people who ultimately aren't interested in me.
However, I don't date openly, nor am I polyamorous. If there's competition, I hate it. I do not like the feeling that I am not good enough for someone. I do not like feeling that I have to be better for someone. I don't like being played off against someone else, intentional or not. Sometimes it can be explicit. Sometimes it just takes the form of a girl who genuinely likes two (or more) men and can't make up her mind.
Some times it's just competing against a woman's standards. If I don't measure up in some major way, just tell me and leave me. I'd rather a girl not constantly push me to be different than I am. I change, but I change slowly, and I change best without pressure. If it's even something that I agree needs improvement.
But most of the time it's against someone else. I don't like to feel that there's part of someone's life that is worthy of a romantic or sexual interest, but that cannot be shared with me. Sure, not everything needs to be shared with a lover, but if a girl can share it with another guy, I'm going to think I don't measure up. It's a form of jealousy.
So if a woman is dating anyone else more than casually, I'll back off. It's a no go zone for me. If it's serious enough that they can't or won't back away from the relationship to see how we work out, then it's serious enough to inspire this jealousy in me. I won't ask a woman to give up something serious like that for me. That wouldn't be fair to the woman. And it would be forcing competition to the detriment of someone else. If I don't like it for me, I cannot force it on someone else.
There's one thing that muddies the waters a bit though. I will get involved at some level with a polyamorous or woman dating openly, but only under limited circumstances. I can't be too emotionally involved or I'll get jealous. If the expectation is only to go out and have a good time, and that's all there is (I'm not being measured for something down the road), then I can be okay with that. If the woman is only looking for a one night stand, a short period of not feeling alone, someone to be the occasional companion without deep emotional involvement, or the like, I can actually deal with that. But when I start feeling competition, or not good enough, it's a sign I need to back away, or we need to become monogamous. Otherwise my emotional needs will end up being a wedge that ends up making us both the worse for the experience.
Clear as mud?