My Boyfriend Asked For An Open Relationship & I Laughed In His Face

I know that open relationships seem to be all the rage right now, but you can count me out. My boyfriend asked me if I’d consider opening our relationship and I had a million and one reasons why I would NEVER do it—here are some of them.

  1. Everyone I know who opened their relationship ended up breaking up months later. I’ve experienced first hand the statistics of open relationships and they’re not good. About three of my friends have tried it in the past few years and all of them have broken up with their partners. That doesn’t include the friends who have found monogamous relationships by being a secondary partner in another couple’s open relationship and then moving up to primary when they break up. I have living proof that it doesn’t work.
  2. He only wants it because it’s trendy. You can’t go on a dating app anymore without seeing “polyamorous” in countless guys’ profiles. My friend said that around 35-40% of the guys on her app of choice (OkCupid) list themselves as polyamorous or open to that kinda thing. That’s a huge jump from what I remember when using that app five years ago. Apparently it’s the “cool” thing to do, but I am not one to follow the crowd.
  3. The fact he’s bringing this up a year into our relationship is confusing. If he truly was a polyamorous person, he would have brought this up right away. I just can’t take it seriously when it’s come up basically out of nowhere. He’s just testing his luck and I’m not having it.
  4. I’m not gonna pretend to be the “cool” girlfriend. I don’t understand how all these people my age can be so chill with dating other while being in a relationship. To me, that defeats the purpose of being “in love.” It makes that person you were originally with not as special. It’s a romance killer, in my opinion.
  5. In my opinion, humans aren’t meant to be polyamorous. Whenever I rant about this to my friends, there’s always someone who brings up the monkey argument saying that apes and bonobos (who are closely related to us) mate in groups. OK, but consider this: we aren’t apes! We’re the only species on the planet who is aware of our existence and as individuals, we’re so unique. Some of us are left wing, some of us right, some of us like apples, some of us like watermelon, yada yada. I think it’s safe to say that all apes like bananas. They don’t choose a special partner because they don’t need to. Humans have the ability to filter people out and find their perfect partner, so why not do it?
  6. I wondered if he was already cheating on me. When he asked for an open relationship, I instantly asked, “Why, have you found someone else?” It felt like he was asking, “Is it OK if I cheat on you?“. Uh, definitely not.
  7. I don’t even think that he could handle it. If I said yes to this setup, I can’t picture him being OK with me dating other guys. He’s acting like he’s all cool with it now, but I just KNOW he’d get weird about it. Of course, he’d be fine seeing other women but he wouldn’t cope with the situation in reverse.
  8. I don’t think it’s strange to be thrown off by this. My friends are saying that I’m being too uptight and maybe I am, but it’s only because I don’t trust my boyfriend to date other women. Who would? To me, the fact that he would want to is somewhat of a red flag itself.
  9. I’ve been “the other woman” before and it blew. He doesn’t know this, but I’ve been on the other side of an open relationship and it sucked. You really do feel like you’re on the back burner and like you’re being used for sex. I don’t want to put someone through that emotional rollercoaster. It’s just not right.
  10. There are just SO many things that could go wrong. If I were to say “yes” and hypothetically set out boundaries, how do I know he’ll follow them? It’s not like I can go with him on the date. I’m just scared that it’s going to turn into this free-for-all and I’ll lose control over it and get hurt. I’d rather not put myself in that position.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.