confused

Pixie25

New member
Hey everyone, I really hope someone sees this and is able to give me some advice. I have been in a serious and exclusive relationship for over three years now, but I think I want to try having an open relationship. I have never really dated around and I'm in college right now and want to try it. I want to meet a bunch of people and go on dates and have casual sex. I feel like I need a time in my life where I can explore and do that. The problem is, my boyfriend really really doesn't want an open relationship. I love him so much and we really are a great couple, our relationship has always been very healthy. Neither of us want to split up but I can't ignore how badly I want to talk to other people, even if just for a little while. He says it would hurt him too badly though to know that I was seeing other people. I really don't know what to do. I don't want to have to choose between him and other people, I want both. I really don't know what to do....
 

BrokenArrow

Member
Sometimes you just can't have it both ways. If it's what you really want to do, break up with him and do it. If he's more important, respect his feelings. Maybe do some research. Either way, going out and slutting it up is fun but risky. Spent most of my late teens and early twenties racking up numbers and most of what I have is disappointment. There were a few gems out there, though. Found the best one and married her.
 

BrokenArrow

Member
...on the flip side, you may regret what you've never known. Bit of a gamble. Maybe he'll come around to your way of thinking. Drop so sound arguments for your position. Have a deep pros and cons talk. Get to the root of his feelings and why he has them. Couldn't hurt.
 

Pixie25

New member
I feel like... idk if I'm poly or just a slut. Why do I want more when I already have someone so amazing???? Why do I want to mess around with sketchy people when I have someone that treats me right?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Pixie25,

I'm with BrokenArrow, I think you should talk with your boyfriend, and try to convince him to go for open/poly. And if he's not convinced, try again in a week or two. Keep doing that for as long as it takes, or for as long as you are willing to wait. Could take a year or two. Could take forever. At some point you just have to bite the bullet and say, "This is what he wants. I have to respect that."

Read Poly FAQ, it might help you. Also there are a couple of books that might help:
  • "Opening Up: a guide to creating and sustaining open relationships," by Tristan Taormino.
  • "Sex at Dawn: how we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern relationships," by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá.
If I can think of any other ideas, I'll let you know.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

BrokenArrow

Member
I feel like... idk if I'm poly or just a slut. Why do I want more when I already have someone so amazing???? Why do I want to mess around with sketchy people when I have someone that treats me right?
Sketchy people seem like fun, until that sketchiness catches up to you. If you're going to put yourself out there, try nice people and please wear protection. Or make sure they do. Not really picking up on your gender from the post but female condoms seem like a whole fucking production so probably easier to put a raincoat on whoever has the dick. There's no shame in being a slut, unless your hurting people. Then you're a slut and an asshole. I'd say if you're doing your best to not leave a bunch of STDs and broken hearts in your wake then have a blast. Just be considerate of others. Honestly though, I'm probably not the best person to give life advice. My own life is a flaming shit show at times.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Hey everyone, I really hope someone sees this and is able to give me some advice. I have been in a serious and exclusive relationship for over three years now, but I think I want to try having an open relationship. I have never really dated around and I'm in college right now and want to try it. I want to meet a bunch of people and go on dates and have casual sex. I feel like I need a time in my life where I can explore and do that.

It's ok to be young and want to have more life experiences. College age / young adulthood is good for that. So go date who you want. Be up front with people and use safer sex practices, birth control, and keep up with your health check ups and labs.

It's not like there's only "angel" or "whore" you know. You can be discerning about who you want to date. Skip the sketchy or unhealthy people. You don't have to sex up EVERYONE on the campus. There's plenty of decent, healthy young people out there wanting to date lots of people and share healthy sex without complications or entanglements.

The problem is, my boyfriend really really doesn't want an open relationship. I love him so much and we really are a great couple, our relationship has always been very healthy. Neither of us want to split up but I can't ignore how badly I want to talk to other people, even if just for a little while.

Then the season for this relationship has come to an end. It's sad to break up, but it is also part of dating. Some people don't even get a first date. Some first dates don't go much past that. Those that do and seem initially compatible? Are not deeply compatible. Or maybe they grow in different directions or apart. That's the POINT of dating. To find the compatible ones.

There is nothing wrong with you wanting to explore open relationships while young and relatively unencumbered. Just can't do that with this partner. And there's nothing wrong with him wanting monogamy or a closed relationship. Just can't do that with you. You both sound like you want opposite things.

And it's good you discovered that so early and while young. It's been a successful relationship and you have enjoyed the time together, right? It's just that this one is not a life long romance.

He says it would hurt him too badly though to know that I was seeing other people. I really don't know what to do. I don't want to have to choose between him and other people, I want both. I really don't know what to do....

I think you know somewhere inside that the right thing to do is to part ways. Kindly, peacefully. But to let go. It's ok to be sad, to be grieving. Maybe you aren't at "final acceptance" stage of grief. And still in the "bargaining" stage of grief trying to figure out how to have both.

But he's basically saying "No. I don't want open relationship." And if you do want that? That's it then.

Sometimes breaking up gently is the last loving act one can do. Because if he loves you, he wouldn't want you bottling yourself up and not living authentically. And if you love him, you wouldn't want to drag him through stuff he doesn't really want to be doing.

Love alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. There has to be other things for DEEP compatibility.

If you both are young adults, this might be the first break up ever for a serious relationship, or one of the firsts. And it makes it a bit harder because you don't know how to do it well or how to look after yourself after a break up. I sympathize. Yet there's no point in banging heads on wall, dragging it out longer than it needs to be. Better to linger in the healing space than in the breaking up space. YKWIM?

Hopefully in time you both feel better and can move on to date more compatible people for what you each are seeking in life.

Galagirl
 
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dingedheart

Well-known member
I think you should talk with your boyfriend, and try to convince him to go for open/poly. And if he's not convinced, try again in a week or two. Keep doing that for as long as it takes, or for as long as you are willing to wait. Could take a year or two. Could take forever.
WHY can’t NO mean NO? What’s ethical or healthy trying to wear someone down. “ no matter how long it takes “
I think it’s a tactic without concern of the end costs. AND “ winning” by those means sets a very ugly precedent for this type of dynamic.


At some point you just have to bite the bullet and say, "This is what he wants. I have to respect that."
you mean like after forever ?
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I can relate. I became sexually active at 15 and by the time I met my husband-to-be (HTB), I was 19 and tired of dating flaky people. My HTB was nice, steady, fun, funny, loyal, cute, a talented musician, a leftist, and good in bed. However, he really really wanted me to "go steady" with him after just about 3 dates. I really didn't want to commit to that, since I still got crushes on people, and I was outgoing, energetic and flirty. But I chose to do it because of being tired out from dating at that time. It was super hard to make that choice!

I wish that my HTB (who is now my ex h) had been able to offer me his companionship without needing or wanting a fully immersive, living-together situation right away. But he was a typical guy who didn't want to "share his woman."

This became a huge elephant in the room during our 30+ year relationship/marriage. I always got crushes on people; he was always suspicious and jealous. I never cheated, but he always seemed to think I was cheating just by recognizing other attractive people were out there. Oddly enough, as our marriage neared the end, in therapy, he finally admitted he had also been attracted to thousands of women throughout our relationship (like every nice-looking woman he'd ever seen). He'd just always lied about it to "set a good example" for slutty me. This just led to me feeling like I was evil, and he was good. And this wasn't healthy.

For various reasons, we grew apart and divorced in our early 50s. I don't regret the time with him, per se. I maybe should've left him sooner, but once you have kids and all that, it gets harder to do. Anyway! Once we separated, I started living my poly dream, and I soon met a nesting partner who was FINE with my poly nature, as she is poly too. Our love is deep and full of trust and much more authentic than what I'd ever had with my suspicious husband (who was a nice guy, but not really right for me in the end.) I dated a lot of men at first. It was like I was living my 20s all over again.

I hope my experience gives you some perspective! :)
 

Marcus

Well-known member
try to convince him to go for open/poly. And if he's not convinced, try again in a week or two. Keep doing that for as long as it takes, or for as long as you are willing to wait.

This seems like cosmically bad advice to me.

Instead, try this approach:

  • Openly express your feelings as best you understand them, let them know what you want in a relationship.
  • Encourage them to openly express the same.
  • Discover what mutual overlap is available between the two desires.
  • Gracefully embrace the reality that we don't always get what we want, and treat their differing views with dignity.

Do not try to "convince" anyone to adopt your way of thinking when it comes to interpersonal relationships, this is an excellent way to foster frustration and resentment.
 
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