For those of you who read the title and went ‘ooh good, Ruby will tell me what I’m entitled to in relationships’ – this blog is totally about you. Let me be clear: in terms of having relationships, you’re entitled to nothing.

If you’ve been on the non-monogamous scene for longer than five seconds, you will have seen people making posts that are nauseatingly entitled. From the person who bumps their extremely specific hot-bi-babe post once daily, to the whining posts from people who have been on OKC for two whole weeks, and god-dammit, their perfect (also very specific) partner hasn’t materialised already. To the person who is so depressed that there are only three queer, non binary, kinky, femme leaning types within 20 miles of them, and the person who is continually vexed that their perfect primary hasn’t just been dropped into their lap by the primary-partner stork. The tiniest violin in the world is playing a haunting tune for y’all.

Folks, just stop it. I’ll repeat again: you’re entitled to nothing.

Think about it for just a second. There are over 7 billion human beings on the planet, and 64 million people in the UK. Unless you live in one of the biggest cities, chances are there are less than 500,000 people living in the immediate vicinity. Depending on your (and their) orientation, some or half of these folks won’t be of interest to you. Most of those won’t want to date, play or fuck you. Meeting one person that you have a mutual attraction with as well as both meeting each other’s specifics on non-monogamy, politics, location, age etc. is quite a low probability, given the numbers.

Monogamous people can find meeting a partner tough enough. Finding someone you a) find attractive and b) are compatible with who c) feels the same about you isn’t something you find every Tuesday. By adding in that we’re non-monogamous, maybe we already have a primary, maybe we want a primary, maybe we’re kinky, queer or swingers all narrows the field.  It’s simple numbers folks. Our pool is usually smaller than your average monogamous cis-het vanilla.

There are things you can do to improve your chances of meeting someone, and it is simple exposure. Put yourself out there on dating sites, go to meetings for your scene, be active on the internet for special interest groups or sites. All you’re doing is putting yourself out there as available and interested in meeting people, but there is no guarantee that anyone will take the bait. No one owes you a partner, and the length of time you’ve been looking is absolutely fucking irrelevant.

In some respects, the actions of the entitled can often act as a deterrent to those of us who’ve been on the scene a while – we see your name pop up time and time again, we see your whining posts about not meeting specific person of your dreams, we see your repeated high emotional investment in every message and date you get and we watch you crash and burn when it doesn’t pan out.  To those people who repeatedly bump their ads giving a very detailed list of things they want in a person, but nothing about themselves, perhaps you should take your entitled head off and read it from another’s point of view. How does your list of requirements come across to someone? Are your statements about informing someone who you are and what you’re vaguely interested in, or does it look like a shopping list for the perfect custom made sex doll? Does your repeated bumping look like you’re desperate? People who act like this can be sending very clear red flags to prospective partners.

People who are on dating sites, online communities or at specific events are often there to socialise, and to meet prospective partners. Putting yourself out there is absolutely fine, provided all you’re doing is giving basic information and signposts about yourself, so that if anyone is interested, major red flags might be already out of the way before they approach you. Putting yourself out there is not a guarantee of a result, whatever time you invest, whatever money you pay, whatever effort you make. Don’t act like it should be – people owe you nothing.

If you treat those spaces as safe places to network and be with your own, the pressure is off. You’ve put it out there that you’re available, and other people who do the same you’re free to approach respectfully. If you treat people as people and not accessories to your ego and lifestyle, you’ll get further. If you value every message, every approach, every date as an experience in your life (good or bad!), then this won’t feel like a job search to anyone involved. If, when you do hit it off with someone, you value the time you have with them and accept that it could all end at a moment’s notice, you’ll live in the here and now, and not worry, try to plan or control the tomorrow.

If you go through life feeling and acting like you’re not entitled to people as possessions or relationships as markers of your self-worth, your life will be much happier, I promise.