Me and my partner have recently decided we are going to have an open relationship. We are very happy with each other and have complete confidence in our relationship but want to explore a different type of relationship.
We have had other partners with us in the bedroom and it has been a lot of fun, this seems to be the next step.
We are smart about it and have some ground rules in place and are planning on being very open with one another about how we feel and what we do.
Wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on this type of relationship – have you had one? are you in one? has it been good/ bad for your relationship.
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@ellesoul, I’m not really sure if you know what ignorant means. Rejecting something that you know nothing about is ignorant. Judging is mean.
This is a forum for expanding horizons and trying new things. There are lots of places where you can discuss traditional beliefs and call everyone else names. Try church or facebook.
Wow a lot more negative reactions than I thought but that’s ok. There are not a lot of rules really it’s more the be open and honest to your partner and the person you are sleeping with so everyone is aware of what the situation is and no sleeping with each others friends.
It is not the case where one of us wants this more than the other – it is something both of us have discussed for over a year and are very excited about.
To the people who suggest we break up because we are just friends who want to have sex – this is not something you can make a call on as you are not in my relationship – we are very much in love and have an amazing relationship – sex doesn’t always mean love – it can mean fun.
I don’t understand how the rules came about in society that says ‘once you take a partner it is wrong to look at someone else or want to experience sexual gratification with anyone else but the person you have attached yourself to’. To me this doesn’t really feel natural.
If he falls in love with someone else or if I do for that matter than it happens – we have both spoken about what this means to us and it is not about forming relationships with others it is about having fun and not denying each other freedom – I don’t understand how that is selfish?
Monogamy is a love-scarcity mentality.
We as a species need to understand that love is infinite before we can stop treating it as something that needs to be chained down to us and only us.
Hey is this what society calls a ‘relationship’?? Hurry, close it up so no love spills out!
@kidvisions, I do not want children so that type of thing doesn’t come in to it at all. If I did have children I would want them growing up knowing that they can live the life that makes them happy and they should know that everyone is different and peoples differences and life choices should be accepted whether we understand them or not as long as it is not hurting anyone.
There are animals that survive and thrive that are not monogamous, in fact Bonobo’s are the most closely related animal to humans and they have amazing relationships and community. I don’t think what makes us a civilized society is monogamy – in fact the practice of monogamy seems to create a lot of problems for almost every human – we have these silly expectations of people and most of the time those people don’t live up to them one way or another. I feel it is a lot more of a realistic relationship to have for myself.
As I said, everyone is different and if it works for you do it as long as it is not hurting others – if it doesn’t work for you don’t.
@deepak87, This is all very intriguing indeed, though you can be free within a relationship too, you just have to realize that control, exclusivity and power is actually an understanding, being there for someone despite them, knowing that they would be there too, faithfulness, trust, dedicating all your time when they need you and always coming back to you because they know what it is to have someone that close. The more “Freedom” you get, the less time you’ll have for everyone, while being in a normal relationship – you’ll have the time to benefit from having a friend too. How would you get close to more than just one person if you don’t have time for everyone? It seems like monogamy isn’t for everyone because it’s too difficult for them and it is rather obvious that people choose the easy ways of handling relationships. People who still believe in it and those people know what it is to build a strong connection, that would apply to your interests and is shared, which is not only sex-related and for having fun. Let’s be real, some people have more needs than they have time and they just like to be spoiled. There’s no need for a new open-minded system built on people’s endless excuses.
@bobbylloydxd, i know about open relationships, i’ve had many friends who’ve been in them. so you know nothing about my life and experiences, and you just judged me…i won’t call you ignorant for that though. i’m simply stating my opinion. @emily since bobby doesn’t like the word ignorant, i won’t say that it is.
the reason i believe it’s selfish is simply because you’re fulfilling some sexual need you have, even though your partner may agree, you’re in a relationship… yeah you’re partner has freedoms, but why would you tell someone “sleep with who you want, but come home to me, make sure i know about it, i want to meet the person, i want to like them too..” to me it just seems like open relationships are about feeding YOUR needs, and still trying to keep the other person with you. isn’t that kind of selfish?
This is basically about two people letting each other to be as selfish as they make it to be. Giving each other the freedom to be selfish. Isn’t that the deal? I’m also curious about these rules. If the couple is in an open relationship they must share that with other people, and have fun only if the others are okay with it. It won’t be only about the couple anymore when others are involved. I guess if those in open relationships find others in open relationships, it would work. You can’t exactly lie to someone that you’re single while you’re in an “open relationship”, unless you find people that love whores!
I have always wondered, what exactly happens when you are into a relationship. One of the first things that comes to mind is preoccupation. Your mind is heavily preoccupied with the concept of sharing everything (everything that you are comfortable sharing). So I guess in the neurology of it, probably the neurons containing the image of this person in your mind (what you think the person is, will be, your general beliefs about where it can go, how far/deep etc.) try to link with all the neurons containing your daily thoughts, beliefs and activities. Its kind of like a dam being opened and the water from the 2 sides mix into each other. Its literally the merging of your individual identity with another person. I guess the reason its so pleasurable is because of a fundamental longing for a oneness experience. This longing seems to be the deepest longing in the human race but it might manifest itself in a multitude of forms we see today such as friendship, sex, family, other relations etc. We define identity by the memory of experiences and concepts formed out of that. So identity seems to be maintained by different kinds of memories alone. By this logic, our whole identity is derived from our past. I would presume our capacity for future projections too is heavily influenced by our past too. Merging identity is making you larger than yourself. You have a brand new set of things to explore, kind of like a child seeing a new toy for the first time which may explain why there is this initial burst of curiosity and attraction which fades slowly as familiarity increases and converts itself to a general attachment. I guess the root of this attachment is because we are attached to our identity in the first place. So when we merge someone else with our definition of self, we get attached to this person as much as we were to ourselves.
But in the field of spirituality, Ive noticed that there is a completely different take on this matter. They debunk the notion that identity is real in the first place. Also, if identity is an illusory thing then there is no need to be attached to it in the first place. This is a completely radical line of thought since if you are not attached to your identity itself, then you would not get attached to anything for that matter including relationships, experiences etc. Once you remove all attachments, what remains? Regarding there is a unanimous agreement that what remains in unconditional love and compassion.
I sometimes feel we are greatly restricting ourselves by loving only a few special people in our lives. I guess the reason for this is attachment to our own identity and only the people who conform with that are loved by us. We may call them different names such as family, friends, romantic partners etc. but they are all just labels pointing towards a single experience.
I have been in an open relationship and personally believe that they do not work very well. Once you start setting rules to a relationship, one party starts to deny their true feelings and emotions to abide by these rules. I don’t know your relationship so I can’t speak on your behalf, but in my experience, open relationships usually begin “mutual” and end with one party feeling really hurt. I feel that in open relationships, one person is not 100% committed and has doubts but isn’t ready to pull the trigger and break up with the other, and the other person agrees because they don’t want to lose what they have left.
All i have to say is be careful and communicate.
What sort of ground rules have you put in place?
@ellesoul, in any relationship, monogamous or with multiple partners, you’re always looking to fulfull YOUR needs. Always. If your needs aren’t met, then there’s no point. If the other person isn’t okay with it, and you’re lying to them, that would be selfish. But loving someone, and wanting them to be happy, no matter what that entails, I think is extremely unselfish.
“sleep with who you want, but come home to me, make sure i know about it, i want to meet the person, i want to like them too..” < ----I wouldn't tell someone this. The dynamics of an open relationship are whatever the people that are involved decide for them to be.
@kidvisions, check out the article…people don’t always get hurt. People can be extremely happy that way.
@lozzjd – Hello LJ. This is my first HighExistence post. It is great to hear that things are working out so well with you and your partners after a month :)
I am a male, and have been in a polyamorous relationship for 9 months now. It is the best thing ever and I wouldn’t change it for the world – but not for the reasons most people would think!
I came into this style of relationship spontaneously and with little consideration. It just sort of appeared out of nowhere and, suddenly, we were open. I am glad everything came together in a smooth flow, because this approach has become foundational in my approach towards poly relationships — Go with the Flow. It is the only way.
I am glad I can post on this site in particular, because many people don’t understand what I am about to say. The best part about polyamory is that it is a constant exercise in mindfulness and non-attachment.
Don’t mind when jealousy appears. And definitely do not deny it when it does. Jealousy will NEVER go away – it is an innate and primal brainstem instinct we cannot control. As conscious individuals, what we can do is learn to accept jealousy in the same way that we learn to accept any other emotion by acknowledging its transient nature and knowing that whatever it is we may be feeling, our inner core remains unchanged. Jealousy happens. These days, I actually look forward to the feeling of jealousy because it gives me great insight as to where my fears and insecurities are. Jealousy (like all “negative” emotions) allows us to discover where blockages lay, and thus what we need to work on as we progress in our spiritual journeys.
So, being successfully poly forces us to constantly examine ourselves, acknowledging that emotions happen but being OK with that, and growing from it. If there is CONSTANT and RELIABLE communication between everyone as to how they are feeling (yes, even the icky feelings) then we learn to TRUST our partners deeply. In my relationship, we give each other notice before any sexual acts with a new partner – this communication must be consistent or the trust fails. *It is SO important to honour your partner(s) with by continually respecting whatever ground rules you have laid out together.*
The feeling resulting from having such a solid foundation of trust in your partner that you are OK giving them free reign in the world is completely unparalleled, and is something monogamous partners will never experience.
The Buddhists often speak about “non-attachment”. There is absolutely nothing permanent in our lives. The only everlasting thing is the divine presence within and around all of us. Thus is it unwise to attach ourselves to anything (as in “my car”, “my money” and even “my girlfriend”) as these attachments can only result in suffering once time erases it all. The paradox is that by learning non-attachment we actually begin to Love everything more intensely. For example, by allow myself to accept the fact that one or both of my partners may very well find someone else and leave tomorrow, I can embrace the pure magic of every moment – what a miracle it is that we are together on this planet at this very moment! Pure love and light can enter the relationship without being dulled by expectations and egoic attachments.
…In theory, this works well. In actuality, I am not enlightened, and so my mind cannot remain in a state of no expectation constantly. Thus I do find myself becoming more attached to my girls, and the thought of being torn apart can hurt. HOWEVER, it is still so, so, so, so very useful to practice mindfulness/awareness of transience/non-attachment constantly. Even a few seconds per week of pure, Present Love with your partner, unburdened from expectation, is enough to remind you why you are poly.
Wow, that was a big ramble. To summarize, I would say: Jealousy is normal. Communicate when you are feeling jealous. Actually, communicate constantly. Do not let anything bottle up, ever, or you’ll get destroyed by how fast emotions can spiral out of control in poly relationships. Go with the flow! Poly is all about embracing change and letting life do what it will. Don’t even resist non-polygamy if it happens to come along. Just embrace, embrace, embrace, and keep growing. Communicate.
You will find by living the poly lifestyle that you will mature and grow faster than others because the love and value of the core relationship(s) will push you to open the mind beyond societal barriers and into a more holistic and spiritual approach to love.
Oh god, I have more to say. Consider this a P.S.
Love is Infinite — and anyone every telling you that you can’t love more than one person has their head up their ass. The only barricade to our potential to love is (a) the capacity of our soul to channel divine energy (hint: we can take a lot, just ask Krishna) and (b) whether there are the right humans in our physical environment that we can connect with on a deeper plane. Sometimes we just aren’t in the right place at the right time. Patience.
Love, although infinite, is also TRANSIENT. It comes and goes. Falling in love with a person does not mean this love will remain forever and ever, amen. (This is why marriage is fucked – but that’s another story.) Accept the fact that you could possibly stop loving your partner tomorrow, and don’t take it for granted today! This allows us to surrender to the beauty of every moment and be completely dazzled by how powerful love really is. If love departs a relationship, both sides will feel it, and it will only be fear and attachment holding them together – can you say destructive? So be courageous enough to accept what is going on in ever moment, and noble enough to respect your soul in doing what is right for you.
I’ve been in an open relationship. It was my first relationship, so I was reluctant and insecure about it (need I mention that it quickly became destructive?), but it was never equal which was why it failed of course. If both parts really are in it knowingly, and the relationship is strong at the root to begin with, and you’re good communicators, then perhaps there is a way for it to work. But then, as some have stated before me, why stay in the relationship? I’m not attempting to judge anyone, I’m just trying to grasp what would make you seek an open relationship. It could work. Good luck :)
@emily, There are relationships that are built on unconditional love, where you just love that person and do not expect anything in return.
I think that Open relationships are a way of legitimizing cheating. Your link doesn’t open, it leads to my page :) But anyway, it is human nature, we can’t NOT get hurt from certain behaviors.
@lozzjd, Human beings re “social beings” and our evolution as civilized and intelligent beings has taught us to create rules that would allow us to survive and thrive in communities. Besides, haven’t you thought of the ethical dimension of “open relationships” and having sex with multiple partners? What if you have children? Would you continue the same behavior? If you were a child and you knew your parents were in a “open” relationship, what would you think?
@emily, There is polyandry as well, the opposite of polygamy… and for me they are the same, and not different from having open relationships. There are feelings of people involved, if you want to go wild don’t have a relationship… it’s kind of paradoxical, relationships are about commitment, open relationships are about not committing to one person, but to only committing to your desires and wants…
@bobbylloydxd, Thanks man, I recently came across this site and its a pleasure to find like-minded people here. I actually have a personal blog, not sure if I can write a book of it :).
Here’s the link:
Feel free to comment on it or discuss any of its ideas with me.
@lesterdeguzman, I can see where you’re coming from. Though the only thing I’d say to it is that love is love. Some people have their own ways of loving and carrying themselves. It should never be considered “wrong” if it’s what they want. :)
Who knows what love would be today if those who decided to love the way they wanted weren’t so violently oppressed. In the past there was a lot of ‘conform or die’ type situations. People of the past were forced to live their lives a certain way. Who is to say what’s “natural?” :3 just my two cents
@kindra2, you make a really good point there thank you for your input.
I am not saying that open relationships are better for everyone because monogamous relationships never work but for myself personally I think open will be better. Like you said it is about what a couple believe is right for them.
I feel like my point was overlooked. What would either of you do if you @lozzjd, @emily, if you were in a relationship and your partner got pregnant with another partner, or you got pregnant with another partner. It seems like the complications would be immense unless of course you got an abortion. Which may or may not be your choice.
@jblisstaz, Setting rules? Relationships already have rules-> don’t fuck someone else.
If one of you is emotionally attached to the partner with the rules of a traditional relationship, then one of you will get hurt. If you don’t give a shit and realize everyone is allowed to sleep with anyone they want, it’s fine.
I personally think anyone can fuck anyone they want. One may want to commit, but if the partner has sex with someone else, who cares? no need to be a cry baby