Are you open to an open relationship?

by Dating Goddess on November 15, 2012

Unfamiliar with the term? Think of being in a primary relationship, but with the ability to have sex with others. Openly. With your sweetheart’s knowledge and permission.

One of my acquaintances has this kind of relationship. She and her husband have permission from the other to “see” others. They refer to their relationship as polyamorous. In fact, one of her husband’s girlfriends moved into their home for a while!

In my dating adventure, one man asked if I’d be open to an open relationship. I was not. I don’t know if he already had a primary relationship or was just wanting not to be tied down. Since we had different needs, I didn’t really need to know more.

Nearly every day we hear about some celebrity or high-ranking official being caught having had sex with someone other than his/her main squeeze — without said squeeze’s permission. So one could argue, it’s happening all around us, why make it verboten? Why not acknowledge the likelihood that one or both of you would be attracted to someone else and say a brief fling is okay?

Of course, it boils down to one’s values and needs. If one highly values monogamy, then an open relationship is out of the question. Others see it as still being monogamous, as they say the on-the-side tryst isn’t really a relationship, just a physical fling. They are still devoted to their primary sweetie.

My last boyfriend was in a polyamorous relationship with me and his “previous” girlfriend. “Previous” is in quotes because, unbeknownst to me, he hadn’t broken it off with her and was still having sex with her. That’s not polyamorous to me, as I had no knowledge nor had I given permission. That’s just cheating.

I distinguish multi-dating from polyamory. Multi-dating is pre-sexual dating several people simultaneously while sorting out which — if any — of the current wooers to continue seeing. Once exclusivity is determined by both parties, monogamy sets in.

I know polyamory isn’t for me, but I don’t judge others if it’s fine for them — as long as they aren’t concurrently in a relationship with me and another woman without my knowledge!

What do you think about an open relationship? Would you consider it? What if someone you were dating wanted to have one?

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