FORUMS > Dating & Relationships Forum Rules

How does one deal with open relationship?

  • wpc56 Posts: 45
    QUOTE Sep 15, 2008 2:24 AM GMT
    I suppose I just want some feedback on how to proceed with an open relationship with my bf.

    A little background, my bf and I have been together for 4-5 years now and I'm his first in pretty much everything. At the time, we decided to keep it "open" in theory in that he should be able to experiment with different guys. It would not be entirely fair for him to stay in a monogamous relationship with me at the age of 20 and only have sex with me.

    Our sex life are okay I would say. He has more sex drive then I do, we are both top-ish even though we are versatile in practice. He tend to bottom more for me because he's thicker and it usually takes a long time until I'm comfortable with him inside of me. (so I suppose there's some problem here)

    However just yesterday he brought up the issue and he's seeing how I feel about it (we agreed to be totally honest with each other)

    ... but at this point, I'm very much emotionally invested in him and find it very hard to imagine him with another person. (and the insecurity and all that fun stuff)

    I am a few years older than him but I was never the kind to do one night stand so I don't even have a point of reference really.

    Now that we talked/argued a little, he said that he'll respect my wishes and that he still loves me and won't do anything to hurt me. However the issue will just keep coming back up and before long the resentment will be there and it won't be pretty later on.

    Besides, he's 24 now, if he doesn't go and fool around now when he's still young and good looking when would he actually do it?

    Is there anyone with a bit of experience in this matter or some suggestions? I don't know what to feel right now really. icon_confused.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 15, 2008 4:20 PM GMT
    Your forum topic reminds of why I never wanted to be in an open relationship. Way too many complications. If you are in such a relationship then you need to set some ground rules. Does the open relationship mean threesomes only? Is each partner allowed to do their own thing? What about bringing home a one night stand? (something I wouldn't think would be very pleasant for you). When you go out to a bar or to a party is one person allowed to cruise in front of the other, or should the meeting up for sex be done in private? How do you ensure that your partner is practicing safer sex? Are you going to insist he gets tested every 3-6 months?

    Finally I was puzzled about your comment that it was not fair to your partner who is younger to be faithful to you. I have talked to lots of horny younger gay guys who expect monogamy in a relationship. If you really were not crazy about the idea then you probably should have stated it right up front. If you are still uncomfortable with the idea of an open relationship, then say so and expect monogamy. Right now you are betwixt and between and it is putting a lot of strain on what should be a happy relationship. Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 15, 2008 5:09 PM GMT
    I agree with Surreal about setting ground rules if you decide to go forward with it.

    On another note... he has brought it up, which means he's thinking about it. He is not likely to stop thinking about it now, although he may not act on those thoughts without your OK.

    If you decide to go forward, you must find a way to make it good for both of you. Don't do it "just for him" or you could end up resenting the situation. If you are truly going to make the experience a positive thing for your relationship, then you (yourself) need to spend some time dwelling on the things about it that would be positive for you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 15, 2008 5:19 PM GMT
    After eleven years and a few months with my ex, we decided to open our relationship. We mostly played together, but a couple of times played without the other. He ended our LTR a few months after we opened it. It did not work for us, but it may for you. Good luck and have fun!
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 15, 2008 5:28 PM GMT
    Honestly,

    With everything you've said in your post, your relationship looks like it's on the way to being over. Not to paint him as the "bad guy" but he doesn't sound like the kind of person who wants to be monogamous right now. After 4-5 years of being together, why open the relationship now?

    I'd just end the relationship now, while you're still close and at least communicating. Much better to go thru the hurt of a relationship ending than being hurt because he "found someone else" while the relationship was "open" and allowing to have "your cake and eat it too".
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 15, 2008 7:20 PM GMT
    The tone I get from your post is that if you opened your relationship up, you don't really have any intention on exploring that freedom yourself. If that's the case, then I can relate. I'd feel the same way. If I'm right, and you do decide to open the relationship up for his benefit, then it's just going to be nothing but pain for you. You'll be wondering where he is, what he's doing, and who he's doing constantly.

    That being said, there is probably going to have to be some compromise on your part in terms of spicing things up for him (AND YOU) in the bedroom. If he's not bored, he's not going to want to stray.
  • wpc56 Posts: 45
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 5:33 AM GMT
    After a few days of thinking and talking with my bf, I think I feel a lot more comfortable with myself.

    I think we still have a lot to talk about, ground rules to set up... etc...

    I don't know how the threesome options would work for us... we're an interracial couple (I'm Chinese and him white Russian) so there's might be some issues there with potential partners...

    I personally am not so keen on the idea of me actually having sex with complete stranger.... I know I'm the type of person that really connects with others emotionally and then sexually, so if I do have sex with other men then there's probably more going on there than just sex...

    ... or maybe its time for me to change or learn a new trick so to speak...

    icon_confused.gif

    I suppose this is growing pain in a way... learning about myself and my limits...

    Is there anyone else who've had experience in open relationship?

  • MikemikeMike Posts: 6351
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 6:41 AM GMT
    From what I have heard from alot of guys, and I could be wrong. The one who wants to open it isn't getting enough sex from the relationship, or it's the next step to breaking up. icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 9:32 AM GMT
    Dan Savage has excellent articles/advice and a great podcast (where this question comes up over and over and over again) on how to deal with this--the first question being, of course, "Do you actually want to open the relationship, or is this an indication of something else?"
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 10:09 AM GMT
    One may have 2 long term husbands. But i would not say One is in an open relationship.icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 11:54 AM GMT

    Pattison,

    You intrigue us with your relationships. Quite frankly, the idea is new to me and interests me in the dynamics of it.

    Is it correct to say you have plural monogamy?

    Hey wpc56,

    We both wish you two all the best. Sadly, we both experienced open relationships that usually ended with the one wanting it open leaving because he found someone that gave him all the 'first date' thrills, excitement and feelings of infatuation he'd been missing.

    When you said,
    "I know I'm the type of person that really connects with others emotionally and then sexually, so if I do have sex with other men then there's probably more going on there than just sex..."

    ... it made sense to us as we're the same way. In one open relationship I (Doug) was in, my partner fooled around on a regular basis; I didn't. Finally I began to (which was less than thrilling) and he got mad, because he knew me, and knew that like you, I needed to feel something emotionally for the sex to thrill. To him this meant I was 'cheating' and he soundly beat me to a pulp. Nice.
    What did he gain? Nothing, because that night after the beating I left him.

    Having shared that little horror, I'd like to counter it by saying there are many here in successful open relationships that I'm surprised haven't posted on this topic. Hopefully they will, as they've found a way to make it work. There's a topic in the dating and relationships forums about threeways. Take a look at it and you'll probably find guys that can give you a few 'assists'!

    Best 'o luck!


    -us
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 12:21 PM GMT
    wpc56 saidIs there anyone else who've had experience in open relationship?


    There are quite a few people on here with open relationships. It will only work if the experience is positive for both of you -- otherwise, it will become a wedge between you.

  • D972 Posts: 125
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 7:59 PM GMT
    Was in one ... maybe my expectations were unrealistic because it was a long distance relationship, and kind of one sided at that, but I didn't like it. It didn't do anything for my self esteem even though I saw this person for one week every 5 weeks or so (again maybe my expectations are at fault).

    Played together also. That seemed to go better, at least it was in my face. Will say it isn't for everyone. I'm pretty much monogomous, but then again seeing how I was the chaser in the relationship and invested more ... let me stop. This thread isn't about me.

    It can work, it does work for _some_ people. But I think the key is both of you being able to enjoy the liberty. Some people limit it to just playing together (3somes). I like the second option better than the first. Where are all the people in an open relationships to comment on this????
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 8:13 PM GMT
    I tell you how I would deal with it, I wouldnt. It is not my thing and if it is not your thing then you should not even discuss it at all. The ground rules should be "Im not cool with it so either decide between monogamous with me or open with someone else". Chances are if it is something he desires he will simply cheat because most guys do not have the balls to say "hey, you know what....this is something I really want so I am ending this in order to find someone with the same mindset as I have". Instead he will either cheat his ass off or find another lover while he is still with you so that he covers his ass so to speak. Just can't be alone but wants more than one. Hope this helps!
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 8:16 PM GMT
    Just what is it about the sex that makes it "okay" but not otherworldly? Is there anything else going on in your relationship which could be complicated by opening the relationship? Be clear about what you expect and how that corresponds to reality. I'd say you'd want to really be honest with your intentions before going down that road because it could end your relationship if not ready...

    That said, monogomy is difficult for all, gay and straight, and in my opinion you're asking a lot that two 20-somethings could satisfy each other indefinately. Furthermore, would you rather be cheated on or resented in your relationship? Really, be real about it. I know I'll get slack for it but I say, why not give it a go if you're curious? One life, you know.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 8:29 PM GMT
    If you love someone the way a couple "in love" should then monogamy should for sure satisfy both partners needs. What I have found it is usually only one of the two that suddenly want to explore this road and that is a sign of someone not being happy. If both are on the same page then rock on, but I don't feel that this is the case here. One Life yes, so make sure you are happy!
  • D972 Posts: 125
    QUOTE Sep 16, 2008 8:55 PM GMT
    Peter, can you speak from actual experience? how did this work for you? (dont mean to hijack the thread), I'm just interested.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 17, 2008 1:45 AM GMT
    I think Chizzad's posts are worth re-reading. You seem ill at ease with the whole thing. You can't change anyone, and forcing yourself to sleep with strangers to make someone else happy can't be healthy for either one of you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 17, 2008 2:35 AM GMT
    This subject comes up repeatedly and usually provokes the usual black-or-white moralizing.

    I find your initial post a little confusing. You say that when you started your relationship, you decided to keep it "open in theory." Then you say that after 4-5 years, he has raised the issue. I don't understand. You agreed at the outset to open it but didn't and now he's brought the subject back up....or what?

    My confusion aside, it sounds like you've handled the issue well. Don't listen to people who tell you that this coming up automatically discredits the value of your relationship or signifies some deeper problem.

    It's very typical, especially around the 4 or 5 year mark, for people to feel less sexually stimulated by one another. It's also true that by this time, a lot of trust has been developed. Everyone knows that a monogamy vow does not guarantee a relationship's endurance. What does help to keep a relationship going is trust and honesty.

    So, apparently feeling trusting and honest, your partner has raised a subject that (as I understand it) was up when you first got together. You've started discussing it and your partner has told you that it's not important enough for him to leave you over, so that he will honor your feelings about it. People who automatically assume this means he'll cheat obviously think a monogamy vow protects them.

    So, you're free to tell your partner you're not interested in experimenting and he will abide by your decision. It's pretty obvious since he brought this up that he's not going to violate your vow without raising the subject.

    Your second email displays more thoughtfulness. You're not immediately deciding. You're discussing it and thinking about what kinds of ground rules to establish that you're both comfortable with.

    Then you can experiment. If it doesn't work, the two of you can resume a monogamous relationship. People experiment with opening relationships all the time, and often go back to monogamy, particularly if some outside stress makes one partner feel needier for a time.

    My partner and I went through this same process at 5 years. I'd ended an earlier relationship at the five-year mark when the sexual passion waned and we started looking to others. With my partner of the last 16 years, I did not want to end my relationship over sex and I didn't want to give up an adventurous sex life either. Neither of us has any desire to be "attached" to anyone else at this point, so outside sex simply isn't threatening.

    I was also involved in a relationship with two other men for two years and I was married to a woman. I know what works best for myself. Don't let others make diagnoses of you based on their own insecurities or morals.



  • dcarm Posts: 291
    QUOTE Sep 17, 2008 2:52 AM GMT
    I'd just like to say that I echo obscenewish's statements. He's already made his points quite well, so I'm not going to go over them again. Just remember, "Do as ye will, but harm ye none" also includes you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 17, 2008 2:59 AM GMT
    Yes a vow of monogamy does not protect anyone however when I hear, "we talked/argued about it" makes me think that he obviously feels strong enough about wanting to try something that he is willing to argue it out and make his point known. I would never "diagnose" and say what for sure will happen but if it was so stressful that you felt you needed to ask opinions of others that you do not even know then I would say there is more to this situation than anyone here will ever know. My point being do not settle for less than what you want and for sure do not be in an open relationship if it is not something you desire. Personally I would not be comfortable knowing my lover is out banging someone else for the sake of sex because I associate sex with love, but then again I never put that option out there as you did. Just see how it goes and be safe.
  • Aquanerd Posts: 845
    QUOTE Sep 17, 2008 2:30 PM GMT
    Is an "open committed relationship" an Oxymoron?

    I have my own answer, but thought I'd throw it out to the group.
  • CuriousJockAZ Posts: 18363
    QUOTE Sep 17, 2008 3:38 PM GMT
    I can only speak for myself, but I don't think I could ever be happy in an OPEN relationship. I would constantly feel something in the pit of my stomach that I simply wouldn't want to feel, and thus the relationship would not be fulfilling in one of the basic ways I would need it to be. Call me selfish, but if I'm in a committed relationship with someone, I don't want to share him with anyone, and I wouldn't expect him to have to share me. What's the point? May as well be single.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 17, 2008 4:12 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidI can only speak for myself, but I don't think I could ever be happy in an OPEN relationship. I would constantly feel something in the pit of my stomach that I simply wouldn't want to feel, and thus the relationship would not be fulfilling in one of the basic ways I would need it to be. Call me selfish, but if I'm in a committed relationship with someone, I don't want to share him with anyone, and I wouldn't expect him to have to share me. What's the point? May as well be single.


    I completely agree. I want to be there's and them mine. If sex wanes, try harder.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Sep 19, 2008 8:42 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidI can only speak for myself, but I don't think I could ever be happy in an OPEN relationship. I would constantly feel something in the pit of my stomach that I simply wouldn't want to feel, and thus the relationship would not be fulfilling in one of the basic ways I would need it to be. Call me selfish, but if I'm in a committed relationship with someone, I don't want to share him with anyone, and I wouldn't expect him to have to share me. What's the point? May as well be single.


    I spoke with a young man on here last week and this discussion came up. He said his bf and himself had considered allowing a third in from time to time but only if both of them were emotionally connected with the guy. To me that would be worse than random sex with another guy because true feelings would be involved. I am a stingy bitch like you are CuriousJock but remember everyone has their own idea of what a realtionship would be and I guess it can have several different meanings. To me an open relationship is just being single with one guy that you are more consistant with in emotional and sexual needs. I don't understand it but they do and as long as they never try to pressure myself or my bf into doing the same then I am cool with how they choose to live their relationship.