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Open Relationships

posted 5/26/2008 3:59:39 PM |
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tagged: swinging, cheating, relationships

Some old friends of mine, we’ll call them Jane and John, recently celebrated their seventh anniversary of being together. What’s different about these friends is that they have had an open relationship for the last five years. I found out about their ‘openess’ when Jane asked me if I wanted to be one of her lovers. Unfortunately, I was in a relationship at the time she asked me three years ago, and another invitation was never offered. For all of you innocent people out there, an open relationship is basically two people who are a normal couple with the only exception being that they are both free to have sex with other people. On the surface, an open relationship seems like the best thing in the world. You can have your cake and eat it too so to speak. However, the more I think about it, the more I think how an open relationship may not be for me. Why is this? It's because I wouldn't want a girlfriend of mine to have sex with other men. Wait a minute....actually, the reason why I couldn’t handle my girlfriend seeing other people has nothing to do with sex. I’ve never been a strict monogamous. I believe that it’s human nature to be sexually attracted and interested in multiple people. I’ve never been threatened by any of my girlfriends admitting to me that they have fantasies about other people. In fact, if my girlfriend came home one night and told me that she had given a blow job to every guy in the office on her lunch break, I would be a little turned on quite frankly. So why is it that I’m not comfortable with the idea of an open relationship? It’s because of the fear that sooner or later she will find someone she likes better. I don’t mean sexually…. I mean she will find someone who makes her laugh more than I do, has cooler hobbies, likes all the same music as she does… in short, someone who she simply likes being with more than me. This is why I’m afraid of letting someone I care about go off and fuck other people. It’s not the sex; it’s the emotion… the fear that she will find someone else she loves more. I have no need to own my girlfriend in a sexual way, but I do need to own her love. To my friends’ credit, despite letting each other meet and have sex with many other people over the last five years, they still haven’t found another person they like being with more than each other. So maybe open relationships can work. Furthermore, maybe having an open relationship is the best sign of true love and whether a relationship can last. I don’t know, perhaps I will change my mind about open relationships at some point. For now however, the furthest I’m willing to go is bringing another girl into the bed for the occasion threesome;)

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May 26 @ 4:10PM  
It doesn't work for everybody. Most people do feel like yourself. The only married ones I know that have a so-called open relationship, do argue about it from time to time. Somehow, every now and then someone comes along that he likes to spend excess time with. She says he's "cheating" but, he's open about his "cheating." It's just, well... strange

May 27 @ 1:04AM  
i like this blog...i feel the same way...too insecure i guess...

May 28 @ 4:04PM  
When married, I had an open relationship. Divorce proceeded from issues that predated marriage and openness by a mile...our relative power imbalance and self-confidence.

For me, I understand people's reluctance. We are so deeply socialized to monogamy, and all of the things we swirl around it in terms of meanings and what not. We feel threatened by all sorts of things anyways.

But I always felt that I wasn't looking to build a future with someone who did not think it was in her best interest to stay. I didn't want that 'best interest' to be the result of a controlled environment of her interactions and exploration of life...I wanted it to be despite her deep encounter of her world. Did I want to be the best...??? Not at all. I wanted to be the person with whom she felt she was most empowered to build her dreams. And if I wasn't, I wanted the strength to encompass her changes, her exploration, and her new direction, and knew my loving her was unconditional to her sexual restraint. And we both recognized that the modern world was increasing the likelihood of meeting people intensely interesting and in line with the things we valued, thought of, and were driven by, so we knew...we needed to boldly and powerfully embrace the risk that regardless of social control, the odds of staying together were decreasing and working against 'us' no matter what the fences and boundaries to relationship.

It helps immensely if two people deeply care for one another and believe in one another. We did. I haven't found the same kind of commitment to the space since divorce 20+ yrs ago as the women who have moved through my world, in their intensity, weren't so committed to the relationship as my high school sweetheart.

I still feel like that, probably more so as an older adult than I did as a younger 'kid.' If we don't marry for sex, don't divorce because of it. Further, I want a partner in my dreaming. Dreams are not sex. Sex is simply dreamy.

Course...could explain why I don't have a lot of serious relationships in my world.

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Open Relationships