Advice - my serious boyfriend now wants an open relationship

  • ninethreer

    Posts: 4

    Mar 04, 2012 5:15 PM GMT
    My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 10 months. We've had a really serious relationship and it developed really quickly. We're definitely in love with each other. He is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I recently came out to my friends and family thanks to the confidence I felt as a result of our relationship, and my life has improved in ways I never thought possible. We've vacationed together, I've met his family, and I'm completely confident I want to be with him. However....

    He is a few years younger than me and is still in college. The other night, he was very upset because something was bothering him, and he told me that before he can commit to being with me indefinitely and exclusively, he needs some time to "experience" college and to sleep with other guys. He doesn't want to date anyone else and knows that I'm the one for him. He still wants to be in a relationship, but just wants extra space and the freedom to hook up with other people. He's agreed to be as open and honest about it as I'm comfortable with.

    This is really tough for me. I love him too much to break up with him. I want him to be happy. But I'm also a jealous person by nature.

    I know a lot of guys have open relationships, but to me, it's a very foreign concept. I'm hoping someone could enlighten me as to whether this type of arrangement could really work, whether my boyfriend is being fair given his age/situation, and whether I'm right in agreeing to let him do that despite it not being entirely OK with me.

    Thanks guys
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    Mar 04, 2012 5:20 PM GMT


    Hmmm....

    "I recently came out to my friends and family thanks to the confidence I felt as a result of our relationship, and my life has improved in ways I never thought possible."

    In many instances, I hear about the desire to experiment from people who described the above about themselves. Is this his situation as well? Are you his first?

    intrigued,

    -Doug

  • ninethreer

    Posts: 4

    Mar 04, 2012 5:24 PM GMT
    I'm his first serious boyfriend, the first guy he's brought home, etc. But not the first guy he's slept with by any means. He's not my first either, but my first true love / relationship with a guy.

    I don't really feel the need to sleep with other guys. I could, sure, but not having that freedom isn't something that upsets or pressures me like it pressures him.
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    Mar 04, 2012 6:22 PM GMT



    ...then I think you should let him go, if you aren't comfortable with an open arrangement. icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 04, 2012 6:30 PM GMT
    I think you should let him go. based on your post I don't think you will ever be comfortable with it. If you tell him no. I doubt he will say oh okay and go on about life. No he will sneak around and do it anyway if his minds set on it..
    If someone asked me to be in a open relationship my response would be. BYE
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    Mar 05, 2012 1:10 AM GMT
    To me, a serious relationship requires commitment of two people, both physically and mentally. If he wants an open relationship, I think he is not ready yet to commit to you. Do not agree with him just because of your deep love for him since a feeling of insecurity will consistently irritate you. Hope you will soon find solution.
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    Mar 05, 2012 3:19 AM GMT
    The good thing is he is being honest with you. Agree with the comments above. The only think I'd add is to suggest to him what while you think it best to break off the relationship, because everything has been honest, you can remain friends. That way, the door is open if he gets to the point when he can make a commitment and you are still available. But in the meantime, you need to move on. He is not available on the terms you require, which are quite reasonable.
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    Mar 05, 2012 3:51 AM GMT
    You need to let him go.
    Sorry man but that's just him being immature. Why on earth would he volunteer himself to have sex with other men when YOU are his boyfriend? The minds of today's youth is getting more absurd.. Where did the monogamy go?

    This is my opinion but wouldn't that be called cheating?
    You need to tell him that if he truly cared about you then he shouldn't have the need to be intimate with other men because ultimately, it is disgusting the way he is thinking and is just acting like a child.
  • Teqkilla42

    Posts: 338

    Mar 05, 2012 3:56 AM GMT
    Bond22 saidYou need to let him go.
    Sorry man but that's just him being immature. Why on earth would he volunteer himself to have sex with other men when YOU are his boyfriend? The minds of today's youth is getting more absurd.. Where did the monogamy go?

    This is my opinion but wouldn't that be called cheating?
    You need to tell him that if he truly cared about you then he shouldn't have the need to be intimate with other men because ultimately, it is disgusting the way he is thinking and is just acting like a child.


    It's not "cheating" if you're being open and honest about it. The problem with "cheating" isn't that you're having sex with someone else, it's that you're doing it AND lying about it. If your partner knows about it, and is okay with it, no one is hurt.

    I don't know why you're saying the concept of an open relationship is some fault of today's youth when I learned about the concept from gay men in their 40s! Open relationships have been around in gay (and straight) culture for decades.

    Also, monogamy is more than likely becoming less "popular" because people are able to have sex much more liberally without as much fear of STDs, and completely without fear of pregnancy if you're gay.

    Back to the subject:

    An open relationship, just like an exclusive relationship, will only really work if you both are totally comfortable with it. It's pretty clear from your initial post, OP, that you're not. If you really love the guy, by all means, stay with him, but if it's bothering you this much you might have to let him go. Tell him to call you again when he's done "experiencing" other guys.
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    Mar 05, 2012 4:28 AM GMT
    ^ You have a point. I guess my conservative side is coming out a little. Apologies.

    But to the OP, you definitely need to talk to him about it. It would personally make me feel awful and im guessing it's doing the same to you. Have a long talk with him about your feelings towards his decision.
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    Mar 05, 2012 4:36 AM GMT
    he doesn't sound very serious dude
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    Mar 05, 2012 4:45 AM GMT
    Wow I really feel for you man, I'm waiting to have my first boyfriend to come out too, and I would hate for him to pull this shit on me! How horrible.
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Mar 05, 2012 4:46 AM GMT
    guess he wasn't as serious as you thought
  • LaxJock16

    Posts: 784

    Mar 05, 2012 4:47 AM GMT
    Um, if you open the relationship you open yourself to finding a replacement very soon after if not other things he may bring into it... Just say no and if he says anything contrary back dump the dude fast.
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    Mar 05, 2012 4:54 AM GMT
    Let him go and experience other guys...but break up with him first. If it's meant to be he will come back to you. But an open relationship this early in your relationship does not bode well for the longevity of your relationhip. Also, you already know that you can't be in an open relationship...don't lie to yourself and don't sell yourself out by agreeing to one.
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    Mar 05, 2012 4:58 AM GMT
    After 10 months he wants something open? I hate to say it but hes not ready for the intensity you are, and he is sorta young. If you want to stay with him, you will have to play it his way, but I dont think based on what you are saying you will be happy in the long run. Better to let him go and find someone who just wants you, as i see it.

    Open relationships work for some people but you both have to want it, if just one person does, it wont work,

    There are plenty of guys on here in monogamous relationships, so its definitely possible to be happy in one.
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    Mar 05, 2012 5:01 AM GMT
    i'm sorry you are going through this. the short story is that you're not compatible. time to move on and find someone who meets more of your needs. your emotional security is a fundamental need which you shouldn't ignore or sell short.

    i want you to keep things in perspectiv: its only been 10 months, and in the broad sweep of a lifetime, 10 months is not a long time. you are still getting to know each other, and you've just found out another part of him.

    he is telling you something: he is not ready to settle down yet. he wants to sow his wild oats, and who can blame him at the age of 20 (i'm guessing, because you are listed as 23 and said he's "a few years younger" than you). he's suggesting an open relationship he likes you enough to not want to hurt you in breaking up. but he's not ready to be monogamous. you, however, are looking and ready for monogamy. this is a fundamental difference - a deal breaker in my opinion.

    i'm absolutely sure, however that your feelings for him are intense and powerful, and this is a wonderful thing - some people never get to experience that in their lifetime. but you know that you will find someone out there who shares more of your values and interests, and you'd be doing both of you a favour to accept your realities, and move on while you can still remain close friends.

    good luck.
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    Mar 05, 2012 5:03 AM GMT
    I really doubt "serious relationships" where the couple does not live together. It's a whole different situation when you are sharing the same space, food etc.
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    Mar 05, 2012 5:03 AM GMT
    In my mind he has shown a good level of maturity by talking with you about this, but relationships are a two way street and you have your needs and limits too. I would not let him go entirely, and I certainly would not be harsh on him....too many guys are looking for perfection. They throw away a good thing once they realize they've gotten involved with all the mess that comes with knowing a real person.

    I would put the breaks on the relationship, even formally break up if you need that level of certainty. But keep talking to him and work together, if you think your heart is strong enough to see him leave for a while. Give it a year or two, and see where you stand then. Leaving the door open is hard, but many guys take the easy way out and walk (ahem, run) away entirely. I would choose the former approach.
  • stefanapolis

    Posts: 65

    Mar 05, 2012 5:04 AM GMT
    Wow, I'm surprised how many people are so mean to the boyfriend in this situation saying he's immature and should be tossed to the curb. I actually think he's being pretty responsible by tell you OP about his desires and feelings, instead of just randomly hooking up.
    Also you said he's a few years younger then you and still in school. So I'm guessing you're both pretty young. and you've been together 10 months. To me that doesn't scream loves of your lives, especially if this is the first guy you've dated. I could be wrong, but I think you're both pretty young to be so settled down.
    I would suggest either taking a break to see other people. and keep everything friendly. My theory, if it is meant to be, then it'll work itself out down the line. I have a friend who had taken 2 breaks from her now fiancee over the span of their 8 year relationship. those breaks, they saw others and really learned that they truly loved each other. A break doesn't mean the end, it just means a small break that could lead to something better down the line.

    Also if you're both young, enjoy life a bit. Its a long journey ;-)
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    Mar 05, 2012 5:04 AM GMT
    Let him sleep with other guys. If it's meant to be, he will come back to you. I'm pretty sure he just wants to know what it's like to see other guys, and will realize that you're the one for him.
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    Mar 05, 2012 5:09 AM GMT
    I have to agree with the other posters. You don't sound at all comfortable with the idea of an open relationship so I would say let him go. Don't accept something you normally wouldn't out of fear of losing him. Once you start down that road you start to lose yourself. But please, do not sit around waiting for him. I'm not saying go out and screw different guys as well, but don't become the guy who sits around waiting and hoping for someone to return that may never come back. Just live your life and if he wants to come back and have a traditional monogamous relationship and you still want the same, great. If not, then you really weren't meant to be.
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    Mar 05, 2012 5:12 AM GMT
    It's really simple. Ask yourself if you really want that, for yourself as well. If not, then you are only setting yourself up for heartbreak and a cycle of negativity.

    Give yourself a little time to think it through. You're going to have to live with the consequences of your decision, and so will he.
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    Mar 05, 2012 5:20 AM GMT
    Just be friends w/ benefits or just friends. Sounds like you both like and trust each other. Friends are hard to come by so if you have that going for you, just break up and hang out together or take a break from each other until you can be around him without it killing you inside. If he's in college, I'm guessing he's in his 20's. If you're also in your 20's, that's a little young to settle down.

    Your bf can't fucking have it both ways though... well unless you both decide on a friends w/ bf. Just realize that how you feel matters just as much as how he feels, and likewise. Either he's committed to you or you two need to break up. And please use protection 100% of the time no matter what you both decide.
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    Mar 05, 2012 5:20 AM GMT
    Funny, I've had the exact same scenario play across my own relationship but with some different conditions. However I was the younger one. He sensed and offered that perhaps I would be yearning to release my spunkiness outside my relationship since I'm young and still getting an undergrad. We have a long distance relationship centered around honesty, communication, commitment. We are completely honest with each other (including if a guy hits on one another). If we have a feeling residing deep down inside ourselves that we want to say to the other, but is afraid to say it, we tell the other anyway.

    My relationship is shorter than yours, and of course mine and yours may be completely different. But I chose to not be in an open relationship (for the benefit that I would receive from having one). He had offered me a break, pause if I needed it, but I chose to continue a closed relationship. To me, for me in my opinion, using that sex drive outside of the relationship would only have very short exciting moments that we all have when hooking up. Overall, not worth it.

    But since your special one is the one asking, I think it would be appropriate to continue your relationship with him. Keep the relationship if it has to be open for a while. Of course, I'm young and not as experienced as some here. I really like how honest he is being, though. Every man is different.