Thursday, November 29, 2012

Can An Open Relationship Work?

Facebook Question: Lazy Girl, can an open relationships work?

Define work?

Right off the top of my head I say yes, followed by a no.  Sure they can work…for a short period of time.  This is just my humble opinion and what I have found from my experiences. There were a few instances I was able to have an open relationship.  Some lasted for a few short months and I had one relationship that lasted for a year or so.  Being in an open relationship has its benefits; freedom, exploration and one never lacks in attention.  It’s helpful to have rules in place.  Here are some rules to inspire and implement. 

1.     Don’t talk about the other people you’re dating
2.     Do not date anyone in the same town or anyone that this person may know
3.     Do not flaunt the other date
4.     Always save time for each other
5.     When you’re with the person, you’re with them.  Do not take phone calls, text messages or emails from anyone else.
6.     Be honest with each other.  What works for you?  What doesn’t work for you?  Being in an open relationship is about being honest with yourself and with the person you’re with.
7.     Be prepared.  Entering into this type of arrangement should not be entered into lightly.  Many people could get hurt, including you.  Weigh the risks and the rewards.  If you can live with what you think could be the worst of the outcomes, then go for it.
8.     Be respectful of each other.
9.     Be in an open relationship because you want it, not because your partner wants it.  This needs to be mutual, not just appeasing your partner.
10. Be safe.

Every single time I have entered into a mutual non-exclusivity, I typically leave the person whom agreed to said open arrangement for someone that doesn’t want to share my time with anyone else.  When I was dating Captain of the Industry, it was a whirlwind of a romance.  He popped the question so fast my head spun.  I hesitated.  I was very young and he was considerably older than myself, which was never an issue for me but at this time I knew enough of myself to know I didn’t know myself.  He on the other hand had really lived, he was successful, he knew what he wanted in life and he was ready to settle down…with me.  I just wasn’t sure if I was there yet.  I was 23 years of age.  I was very young and I asked him for some time to think about it.  “Take all the time you need.”  I followed his non-pressurized comment with, “Maybe I should date other people before I say yes.”  He was hesitate but agreed, he wanted me to be sure and be ready.   Within a month of his proposal and my counter proposal, I met Capitan America.  He knew of my situation and he still pursued me.  After three dates he told me he was going to marry me.  I will admit, I had fallen in love with America just as fast as he did with me.  Confused and not sure if I could have a life with a man that decorated his bedroom with beer bottles and slept on a mattress on the floor, I told him he was moving too fast for me and I reminded him that I was going to marry another man.   “I know, I know.  But have you stopped to really think about it.  I would never have agreed to let you date other people.  You’re the woman for me.  I would stop at nothing to prove that to you.” 

I looked away from Captain America and told him to drop the subject, “I’m going to marry Industry." But, as the fates would have it, America didn’t stop proving to me that we were meant for each other. He loved me for me and I for him.  We were perfection, soul mates, as if we were destined for each other.  When we were together it was paradise, a slice of heaven. 

After a weekend away with Captain of the Industry, I knew I couldn’t continue with the arrangement any longer. By the time Industry’s car pulled up to the private airport, I knew I wasn’t going to marry him.  I grabbed my weekender bag out of the trunk, said thank you and gave him a hug good bye.  He knew without having me say a word that I had made my mind up and it wouldn’t be with him.  He’s now married to a wonderful woman and I bump into him almost every year strangely enough on our anniversary.

The moral of the story is, open relationships can be fun but most of us want to be with someone whom want us completely and no one else.  In our core, our human nature we are not good at sharing.  We have a need to hold something and know that it's ours.  It's also important to have  trust in a relationship.  It’s hard to trust someone when you’re wondering where he or she is or whom he or she is with.  It’s hard to love someone when the notion creeps in that they may love someone else.  My advice is to have fun but know and be prepared that the open relationship will only stay open for so long.  You’re lovin’ on borrowed time and at the end you may be left empty handed.

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