I start this blog post by putting my hands up and admitting that I, personally, have never had an ‘open relationship’.
I once tried to have a casual relationship, in a situation which could only have been casual, and failed appallingly! When it comes to dating, I’m a serial monogamist, through and through. Yes, I’m more than happy on my own, but if I’m not completely single, then a committed relationship with one person is for me.
That said, I understand that it’s never just a case of one mould fitting all. I think that’s one of the best things about life. We all live our lives very differently!
And so if you and your partner are happy in an open relationship, then by all means go for it. I understand that some people find the idea of their partner being so attractive to the opposite sex, that they want to see that desire first hand. That others look to different partners for different types of fulfilment. That some people don’t have the time to devote to a full relationship, but want to appreciate more than just a fling, or a fuck buddy arrangement.
The point where Open Relationships get messy though, is when one of you suggests it out of the blue!
As most of you know, I’m currently travelling around Australia. I’m used to being emailed dating and relationship questions, and even being asked them face to face by people who know about the blog, but it’s very rare that a complete stranger will come up and ask me a relationship question, with no knowledge of who I am, or what I do.
I was sitting waiting for a Greyhound bus in a travel agency in Airlie Beach. I’ll write up some of my travel ideas this week, so I’ll tell you more about Airlie and the Whitsundays at a later stage, but for all intents and purposes, Airlie Beach is a seaside resort which backpackers and tourists use as a springboard to the Whitsunday Islands. I was sitting, killing time, chatting to a lovely lady who worked in ABC Travel, when another backpacker walked in to collect some of his gear from storage. He overheard us chatting, and interrupted. “Can I get a girl’s opinion?” he asked.
“I have a girlfriend back in Germany. I’ve been travelling around Australia for 5 months, and a few months ago, I asked if she’d be up for an open relationship ….”
The travel agent and I exchanged a knowing look. We already knew where this was going!
The thing about ‘Open Relationships’, is that you should never suggest them to your partner
1) When you are on the other side of the world
2) When you are having any form of relationship issue!
and finally, and arguably most importantly
3) When you are the one in the position to make far ‘better use’ of the Open Relationship status than your partner!!
Delivered in any of these situations, and you are essentially asking for permission to cheat on your partner!
As the travel agent rather succinctly explained to the German backpacker, the minute he suggested an Open Relationship to his girlfriend, she would suddenly have imagined his life in Australia as resembling a rap music video! Hundreds of tanned, toned women in bikinis, grinding up and down him!
The key to an Open Relationship, is realistically it needs to start as Open from the off. And if it doesn’t start as an Open Relationship, then you and your partner need to communicate really clearly with one another about why you actually want an Open Relationship. What’s caused the need for change? Is there a deeper issue you’re trying to compensate for?
Open Relationships can work. I used to work with a woman who lived in a different house to her husband, and had a multitude of regular partners! Not a set-up that would have worked for me, but as I said – each to his or her own.
If you’re considering an Open Relationship, communication is key.
And whatever you do, don’t spring the idea on your other half, when you’re on the other side of the world! Chances are, it won’t go down too well!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx