I met a person recently who is in an open relationship. He has been with his boyfriend for over three years and when I was first introduced, we hit it off very well. Now I’m not an advocate of open relationships but, I also try not to judge. Anyway, I’ve had the opportunity to sit down and speak with one of these partners about their views on life and love and why they chose to change their once monogamous relationship on end. Many people I’m sure right now will read this opening think the couple is crazy because they believe it’s cheating and they aren’t happy. If that’s true, no one will know but the couple themselves, but the following is my best way to paraphrase what he spoke about, during our conversations.
I know I’m going to get some parts wrong or not exact so in no way is this a reflection of their feelings or beliefs. Just thoughts that I’ve put together during our brief interactions.
Love is a unique thing. Prior to meeting my boyfriend, I never really experienced love on as many levels as others might have. I have friends that I would say I love, family, and of course my partner. Each is a unique level of love that I feel many people miss. One aspect of love, at least with my friends, is a love that allows me to share personal information in an effort to better myself and each other as a group. The love I feel for my family is one of deep understanding that holds our relationships strong through thick and thin, one that will hold up through the years. Finally there is my love for my partner. This is a passion love, one that makes me yearn to be with him, one that make a connection so strong that I could not see myself without him. Each of these loves are unique and different and each one bares different meaning.
Recently the love I feel for my partner is going through a test. I’ve talked to him, and others I’ve sought council in, and came to the conclusions that looking 20 or 30 years down the road, I might regret not being able to experience the chance to explore myself. I want to be able to see what else is out there and what the world has to offer. I’ve gone to the clubs, done the whole bar scene, even laid out on the beaches as a piece of “eye candy” so to speak. But I wanted to experience more. I wanted to feel the passion that could come from another that, frankly, many relationships loose after being together for so long. So we made a mutual agreement that we would undoubtedly be together in the end and rather than break off the experience and the connection we have, it would be better to open up the relationship for us each to explore what is out there in order to enjoy life to the fullest.
With the above story, I found it interesting that he felt confident that his relationship was strong and that in doing this, there would be no undoubting wavers from the love that he shared with his partner. Do I believe open relationships work? No. I have always felt that when people need to find their simulations from another source, it means that the addiction is stale and therefore the part of the brain that stimulates the feeling of love is no longer being treated. As a result, there is a want and a need for more. I am excited to follow my new found friend and see where he is down the road and see if being with others does in fact satisfy his need or craving and therefore makes his relationship with his partner that much stronger OR if he finds someone else and therefore the relationship crumbles as a new passion fills that void.
What are your thoughts about open relationships? Have you ever been in one, and if so how is it going or what happened?
- The myths of monogamy (oup.com)
- Eric Anderson, Ph.D.: Is Cheating a Rational Choice? (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Case Against Monogamy (by someone who actually believes in it) (eatcaketoo.wordpress.com)