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.
@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?
@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.
maybe check this out guys – interesting http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/is-monogamy-unnatural3f/3818274
@kidvisions, A relationship built on unconditional love means you love them no matter what. In a monogamous relationship—everything comes crashing down if someone sleeps with someone else–so that’s very conditional isn’t it? There are conditions…and the biggest one being–you are confined to only one person’s genitalia, among the 7 billion others on the Earth….for something that we’re all hard wired to love doing.
Open relationships don’t legitimize cheating. “Cheating” is when you break the rules of the game in your favor for your own benefit. In a monogamous relationship, if someone sleeps with someone else (cheats), they’ve broken the agreed upon rules that the relationship was founded on. In an open relationship, it’s not a rule, so it’s not cheating. If someone would get hurt by someone they love sleeping with someone else, then obviously they just shouldn’t have an open relationship.
As for children? What difference would that make? Just because you have an open relationship doesn’t mean you’re going to be having orgies on the kitchen table in front of the kids. If you were a child whose parents were in an open relationship, you’d think that was normal. Just like children that are raised by gay couples think nothing of “being gay.” The only thing a child needs is a stable & loving environment. Kids aren’t socially conditioned like other adults, it’d actually be much easier for a child to be okay with than say breaking the news to someone’s parents. The article addresses having children also–I’ll try to paste the link again :) http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/07/28/only-you-and-you-and-you.html
@lozzjd, I agree… I believe that monogamy causes WAY more problems than it solves. I also agree that being open is much more realistic.
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.
@bobbylloydxd, well we both use protection and are very careful so I think there is little to no chance that that would happen – as I mentioned before the people that we sleep with are to know exactly what the situation is so they should be using contraception too and be well aware that sleeping with us does not mean we are in a relationship with them.
IF it were to happen which I highly doubt it will then we will deal with it however we can but the main point here is the WE – we choose each other as partners and we will work through anything together.
@lozzjd, I wasn’t trying to pry at you, sorry. I had just never thought of that in previous conversations with advocates of open relationships. I wanted to see what you would say.
Good for you on the whole thing. Maybe i’m not the type, or maybe I get tied in with girls that aren’t the type, but I’ve never tried it. I’ll be hoping for the best for you guys. You should let us all know how it is working for you around christmas time. It would be great to hear some insights.
@bobbylloydxd, Not a problem at all I am more than happy to answer any questions about it – It’s interesting to see the different points of view that need to be considered.
I was just thinking I should maybe start jotting down what happens from the beginning for a few months to see what obstacles/feelings/positive experiences come up and then come back and update everyone who is interested. Sure thing I will jump on this thread again in a few months and update everyone on how we are going :)
‘A relationship built on unconditional love means you love them no matter what. In a monogamous relationship—everything comes crashing down if someone sleeps with someone else–so that’s very conditional isn’t it?’
Feeling hurt and betrayed isn’t the same thing as not loving someone. And even if you were to split up with that person, taking yourself out of a situation where you constantly feel hurt and betrayed isn’t loving someone less either.
Myself, I don’t really see the point of a relationship where you sleep with other people. I don’t really see that as a relationship.
@lozzjd, i think the thing to do is whatever makes YOU and YOUR PARTNER happy! i am personally not on board with open relationships, but it really doesn’t matter since the relationship doesn’t involve me. it all boils down to how people perceive sex, and if the fundamental beliefs that people have about sex match up. the thing that i most of all don’t agree with is that, most of the time, when people have a stance on something, they have to have something in their argument AGAINST something else e.g. gay marriage is bad because marriage between a man/woman is good. so the only thing that i would point out in your argument as being faulty is insinuating that open relationships are good because you’ve seen so many monogamous relationships end bad. so what? open relationships end bad too. sure, open and closed relationships may end because one partner wants more and the other doesn’t, but there are so many more factors involved in terms of why relationships fail.
by the way,
you should totally keep a diary of how things unfold or maybe even blog about it. i’m sure there are many people out there wondering…
@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’m not sure if I could do the whole open relationship thing, just thinking about a dude getting intimate with my girl would kinda trip me up but that could be because of what I am conditioned to believe. I haven’t tried it and haven’t really heard of to many people trying it but like everyone else says good luck and let us know how it goes. On the flip side would you sleep with someone who was in a open relationship? I don’t think I would have a problem with that just wouldn’t want to be in one.
@antoker, “just thinking about a dude getting intimate with my girl would kinda trip me up but that could be because of what I am conditioned to believe” –thank you for saying that. The issue here within this entire discussion isn’t a matter of it being right or wrong, it’s all a matter of opinion (personal/subjective morals), which I think totally stems from what people have been conditioned to think. Had the majority of people been raised & conditioned in a polyamorous environment, the concept of monogamy would seem silly to them.
@bobbylloydxd, I’m not like most people… truthfully, if someone I was in love with, got someone else pregnant, this wouldn’t bother me. Not even getting onto the topic of abortion, but say the child was born… If I loved someone, I would absolutely also love their child. Of course the dynamics in these types of situations would be unique to the particular situation & people involved. Just because a child isn’t mine, doesn’t mean they’re “tainted” or are a “symbol of something awful.” As a single mom of an 11-year-old, I can tell you it can be exhausting raising a child on your own….the more people in a child’s life that love and care for them, the better.
My sister started dating her boyfriend right around the same time he knocked someone else up. They’re now living happily, taking care of his 1-year-old daughter together when it is his turn to have her. It’s completely possible to live outside of the normal family structure. I’m not saying it’s any better or worse…but the possiblity of having children in polyamorous relationships is as real as it would be in a monogamous relationship.
@kidvisions, It’s not like legitimatizing cheating. More like making lust a good thing. And the selfish part is when people want to have fun, and having fun is having fun, it could get bad if it’s too much. Really simple! No matter what people believe, a lot of them try to make others like them – that’s the selfish part. No need to say that some people are just not looking or thinking so much about relationships and sex because they have other interests. If someone really likes someone else and wants to fuck their brains out, it would be really bad if the horny one can’t dedicate themselves to one person because their natural nymphomania doesn’t let them, so society is something they’d like to blame. If something doesn’t seem natural for some, it would seem natural for others. No one really gives a fuck as long as people are sexually educated and in good relations. We all know that there is much abuse with sex and people are just using others, even emotionally blackmailing them, no one should put their needs first – that leads to being selfish and ignorant.
There are couples that aren’t miserable and aren’t in open relationships so there’s no need to say something that simply isn’t. :D
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.
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!
@deepak87, you are incredible. Please write a book about your ponderings.
@emily, I myself was a step in dad for r a year. I completely understand that it is possible to love another person’s child as your own and be happy. Baby mama drama can definitely become an issue and can be entirely out of your control in some cases. The kids dad was committed to breaking us up because he thought that would mean she would go back to him. We did end up deciding not to be together. Extremely painful process. I understand that it can work out for some people, but it is a situation I would be very tentative to put myself in.