Over the past year of blogging, we've fairly well established that I enjoy a goodly amount of attention, being a bit of an exhibitionist. Recently, I ran up on something that feels very core to my adjustment to new partners, either for myself or potential metamours: Being seen.
Some people have the element of veto or approval with their current partners as they bring in new people. That isn't something that we have, although it's darned nice when I find myself liking the latest additions to the fold! In lieu of that, I've found that it's important for me to find a way to be "seen" by the newbie. This generally looks something like either an in-person meeting of some sort, or at the very least a real-time conversation, like a phone call. Chat and email don't seem to get the job done, nor does telling, or being told about someone.
There many things that are important to me to get a feel for that perhaps would seem insignificant to my partner, things that I can't just ask questions about, read a profile, or look at a picture and see. Likewise, I think I'm one of those people that comes across more accurately/better in person, than in electronic media. Just having the opportunity to hear the timbre of the voice, read the body language, find little connections or similarities that make someone seem less foreign, is a gift. It's something I can satisfy over a meal, and be pretty relaxed moving forward from there.
Without that, I tend to fill in blanks with lots of junk that may or may not be accurate, and feel that most people do that when thinking about someone they haven't yet met. They are a role, an idea, and until there is some fleshing out, it's not a comfortable space to occupy.
Perhaps this is just a manifestation of my attention-whoring nature, but it still feels like an important piece for me, both as a date-er and a date-ee. I want to see, and want to be seen. I want to show myself to others, and be shown who they are. It's not about approval, it's about removing mystery, revealing something of importance.