I Dated A Guy In An Open Relationship & I’d Never Do It Again

Being in an open relationship has never seemed appealing to me. The idea of having to maintain connections with several different people at once — not to mention sharing my boyfriend with other women — is just not what I’m looking for from love. Still, I consider myself pretty open-minded, so I decided to date a guy who was in an open relationship to see if I could get on board. (Spoiler: Nope!)

  1. I started to resent him for using me. I couldn’t help but feel like he was just using me for sex. I mean, that’s the reason why people do the whole “open” thing in the first place, right? It’s all for sexual variety. I wanted to be cool with it, but after a while, I started to resent him. Why should I settle for being one of God knows how many? It was the worst.
  2. I had to work around his schedule. When his girlfriend was busy, that’s when he called me. I didn’t want to say no because I actually kind of liked this guy and wanted to spend time with him, but I also didn’t like the feeling of being his second choice — and I definitely was exactly that. Everything was always on his terms, so I was left feeling pretty powerless.
  3. The romance felt fake. Even though we cuddled and kissed each other a lot, it didn’t feel real to me. I couldn’t help but think he was just being all lovey-dovey so he could keep me as an option. Real romance should be shared with just one person, and he was probably reserving that for his real girlfriend.
  4. He talked about his girlfriend all the damn time. This one was probably the worst parts of our arrangement. I wouldn’t have cared if he talked about his girlfriend every now and then. In fact, I actually enjoyed hearing about her and her endeavors. However, he talked about her all the live-long day and didn’t see a problem with it. If you’re spending time with me, the focus shouldn’t be on your girlfriend. End of story.
  5. I got kinda jealous and hated the feeling. Ugh, I hated this. I consider myself to be a very laid-back person, which is why I agreed to this whole crazy setup in the first place. When those jealous feelings crept in, however, I knew I had to end it. This relationship is supposed to make me feel like a strong, empowered woman — not a second rate side-piece.
  6. It just didn’t seem fair to either of us. My occasional feelings of resentment mixed with his manipulation tactics created a recipe for emotional turmoil. When it comes down to it, what we had was fun, but it wasn’t real, and we both felt it. I deserved more than what I was getting and I wasn’t happy with not getting it anymore.
  7. I felt pressured to have sex every time we hung out. When we weren’t having sex, I felt like I was wasting his time. He already gets all the love and intimacy he could ever want from his actual girlfriend, but when it came to me, all he wanted to do was have sex. Don’t get me wrong — casual sex is great, but if I’m being honest with myself. It’s way more exciting when there’s a possibility that it might go somewhere.
  8. He talked about other girls he was interested in constantly. This was annoying AF. If a guy’s spending time with me, I expect him to actually be focused on me. Discussing his girlfriend to no end was bad enough, but talking about his crushes was honestly just rude. Just because he felt awkward asking his actual girlfriend for dating advice doesn’t mean he should have been subjecting me to it.
  9. I felt like he was just using me for an ego boost. As the months went on, I got the impression that he only wanted to be with me because it made him feel more “complete” or more “like a man”. I mean, that’s probably why he got into an open relationship in the first place — to patch up his self-esteem. Whatever works, bro… just not with me.
  10. It didn’t feel like we were even dating. I felt weird when we engaged in PDA. I didn’t want to hold his hand in public or bring him around my friends.  The whole thing just felt like an act. It felt like a half-commitment and I shouldn’t have been surprised. I mean, he did have a girlfriend… Ugh, lesson learned. Never again.
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.