Open relationship sounds like a recipe for disaster to many – it seems like a guarantee that the relationship is bound to end due to the infidelity. However, others have embraced this alternative to monogamy – with varying results. Here are a few stories from people who have been in an open relationship.
“Phoebe and I didn’t throw off all constraints… Soon I was tasting the candy-flavoured lip-gloss of another girl. Ellie was a pretty, bookish girl who was a crush of mine (and Phoebe’s). My heart was rushing but feelings of shame curled around my ribcage like poisonous vapour.
“Did you make out with Ellie?” Phoebe asked later. She was interested in forming a triad with Ellie – where the three of us became enmeshed in a romantic relationship.
“Yes, but we both felt guilty,” I said. “Like we were cheating on you.” Phoebe threw an arm around my neck. “We have to go beyond guilt and transcend jealousy,” she said.”
Easier said than done.”
“For most of my life I was a serial monogamist and constantly cheating. In fact, I only had one successful monogamous relationship. It wasn’t until Adam and I created our arrangement that I realized I could actually have it all: commitment and freedom. And he gets to, too. Everybody wins. (And everybody gets laid.)
A lot of non-monogamous couples joke that they spend more time talking about it than they do getting any. That is the case with us.”
“Ultimately, we look upon each new conquest as a shared triumph. There’s no competition between us. Some couples in open relationships give each other free rein but insist on not knowing of each other’s affairs. We work as a team. Our interest in this isn’t purely sexual — we like having the kinds of conversations and connections that are usually off-limits for people in relationships.”
“A romantic relationship is made up of commitment, passion and intimacy. Building these things is key. But there is something to gain from “challenging” them too. You could challenge intimacy by spending time apart, challenge passion by removing sex, or challenge commitment by sleeping with other people. For us, challenging one made all three intensify…
I still don’t know where we are headed or what our future will look like. But I trust the flow of it. I get it now, it is just me and him. You make the rules in your own relationship.”