This is part 2 of my posts about relationship styles. I’ll share my experiences, as well as talk about how to handle the topic with your man.
I’ve been in monogamous relationships, wildly open ones, and others in between. They taught me three important things. Be open, experiment if it feels right, and be honest about how it feels. Monogamy is easier for me. I’m comfortable with it. I like its emotional simplicity.
I’ve been in two long-term open relationships. One ended because I was bored of playing around, and he wasn’t. The second because we both connected with new people. I don’t regret either experience. By the end of the second relationship I knew that open wasn’t going to work for me.
In my first open experience we weren’t clear enough with each other. He ended up sleeping with someone else before I thought we had agreed to that. We were never able to figure out an arrangement that worked for both of us.
The second time around things were better. Respecting each other was our only rule. We played together sometimes, and separately at others. I was free to explore the more emotional connections I wanted and he to be a sexual butterfly. One night, on a dance floor, I met a guy who changed everything. My partner saw the writing on the wall and allowed things to shift. We were respectful, for the most part, and remain good friends. The other guy? That’s another story.
My current relationship is monogamous. Inspired by Dan Savage’s Monogamish we decided to do some experimenting a couple of years ago. We needed to explore the relationship’s direction. I wanted a fuck buddy, but it was too complicated so I left it alone. My husband did his thing. A few months later I let him know where I was at. No open relationship for me. When he felt he’d experienced enough, he agreed, and here we are.
Discussions about relationship style are best saved for after the honeymoon period when you’re ready to talk about what’s next. It is crucial that you’re both on the same page before making a more serious commitment.
If you are certain of your relationship style, and why you want it, then put it out there and stick to your guns. If you’re not sure what you want, or you haven’t explored your reasons, then it would serve you best to experiment to find what’s right for you.
If there’s a big difference between what you want, explore ways to make it work. Open, honest, discussion, is the only way forward. Never agree to something you can’t live with. You’re both better off recognizing that it can’t work than trying to force yourselves into something that is doomed to painful failure.
As your relationship grows, and you change, you may need to revisit this topic. Things may well need to shift once you’ve been together for a while. I’d love to hear about what’s worked for you