Opening Up The Relationship
When done right, monogamy can be a beautiful and satisfying way to love, but it can get ugly when you’re in it for the wrong reasons. If it does get ugly, you’ve got some options: you can either kick the relationship to the curb and try again with someone new, or, you can consider a different approach altogether. If monogamy has consistently failed you, I suggest the latter; opening up your current relationship can be a good way to maintain the love and keep things fresh and fun.
Two years into our monogamous relationship, my boyfriend and I ran into some issues and found ourselves having romantic feelings towards other people. As you can imagine, initial reactions to this revelation were full of anger and pain. We knew we didn’t want the relationship to end, but we also knew we couldn’t continue lying to ourselves or one another.
We decided to focus on the positive: we still had love for each other and it was reassuring to know the issue could be discussed honestly. Ultimately, we agreed that transitioning to an open relationship would be the best for us. And, in all honesty, things have been great. Not only has our communication improved, but our own individualities have been restored.
However, every situation is unique. I am not suggesting an open relationship will automatically fix any issues you may be having with your partner, but it is important to ask yourself a few questions. For starters, why are you monogamous? Is it because you want to be, or, because it’s all you’ve ever known? Do you genuinely enjoy being with only one person, or do you just like the idea of it? Are you only against an open relationship, because you don’t want your partner to be with anyone else? Are those feelings rooted in jealousy, possessiveness and insecurity? If so, is that how you would want to be loved?
For me, the answer was, no; and I didn’t want my love to stem from any feelings of control or envy. I wanted to experience a love that was genuine, understanding, and free. To me, that was a much prettier idea than monogamy. My partner has always identified as polyamorous, so our initial, monogamous arrangement had been a sacrifice for him. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it his way.
If, like me, you’re willing to try anything once and you’re eager to maintain the relationship you’ve worked so hard to build, you might want to try an open relationship. Just remember, communication is key. Be honest with yourself and your partner about what you want, what your boundaries are, and what you hope to get out of the relationship. Before you begin exploring, be sure to lay down the rules and create a space you feel comfortable in. For example, my boyfriend and I have discovered that keeping outside relationships separate works best. When we’re together, switching our phones to “Do Not Disturb” and focusing on each other is a must.
As I said before, everyone is different; your rules and your boundaries may not look like mine, and that’s okay. If monogamy has not been the best fit for you and you are capable of trusting your partner, I encourage you to try opening things up. It may be one of the best decision you ever make