To me, being in a relationship with someone means committing fully to one other person—sexually, emotionally, mentally, etc. There are plenty of couples out there who do the whole open relationship thing but I’d never be able to do it myself. I understand that people feel that if you have a deep connection with someone then sex with someone else is no big deal but I really don’t get it and I have a few questions for those who are in that situation.
How can you trust each other?
How can you trust your partner knowing they go out and sleep with other people? Does it make you feel like you’re not good enough? Are they getting to know their partners on a deeper level, having conversations and sharing intimate details on top of having sex? My mind would be racing if I knew and approved of my partner sleeping with someone else.
Why can’t you commit to one person?
Why is it so difficult for some people to fully commit to one person? In an open relationship, you really get the best of both worlds—you get to go out and sleep around and meet new people as if you were single and return home to someone else and feel the comfort of having a companion. That’s not how relationships work. You’re keeping your options open and a lot of people call that cheating.
Are there set boundaries?
Is there a limit on how many people you can each sleep with per month? Are you allowed to continuously sleep with the same person over and over again? Are there rules about having conversations with your multiple sex partners or is it expected to just be a hit it and quit it situation? Do you sleep only with other people in open relationships? I need to know how this works.
Do you still have sex with each other?
Is sex with your partner still a regular thing and if so, do you enjoy it? If you come in with a new spicy move, does your partner wonder where you picked that up? Why do you want to go off and have sex with other people if you’re still happily sleeping with your partner?
Do you tell each other about your hookups?
My partner is my best friend. I tell them literally everything—I go into great detail about the smallest things, and about really personal stuff too. If you’re in an open relationship, is talking about your hookups off limits? Do you want to know who they’re sleeping with and what went down? I would, and I would not be okay with it.
Do you ever get jealous?
I can imagine seeing one of the women my partner had sex with and her being basically a supermodel with a banging body and a gorgeous face, probably funny and cool on top of that, and me being so insanely jealous of what I allowed to happen. Like, how could I compare with that woman? That sounds awful.
Is it a competition?
If one of you sleeps with another person does that automatically mean the other person has to as well? What if one person is constantly sleeping with other people while the other only steps out on a rare occasion? Do you compete on who can sleep with the most people? Do you compete on who can get with a hotter, better person? Are you just like, “Oh, okay, my partner is out having sex with someone else, let me pull out my little black book and see who’s on the roster for tonight”?
Is it really just sex?
People are wired differently—I know that. Some people have no problem having a one-night stand with a stranger while others can’t have sex without an emotional connection or commitment. In an open relationship, is having sex with strangers or other people besides your partner really just sex, or is it something more that is trying to be filled? Can you have sex with other people without getting invested or feeling real emotions other than lust? And if you do feel things other than lust, is that considered cheating?
Why can’t you find one person to fill all your needs?
If you need to have sex with multiple other people other than your partner because you’re not satisfied sexually, why not just find just one person who can fill those needs for you? No relationship is perfect—some may lack in sexual fulfillment while others may lack in emotional fulfillment, or something else.
Do you see your relationship lasting long-term?
Do you plan on being with your partner long-term, getting married and having a family together? If so, will you continue your open relationship forever, or will you cut if off when you’re ready to “settle down”? If not, and this is just a fling, is it worth it? Why not just be single, which is basically the same thing as sleeping with multiple people? If you need someone to talk to and connect with, see a therapist.
Are you happy?
Putting all the judgment and misunderstanding aside, I want to know if you’re truly happy being in an open relationship? If you answer yes, that’s great, kudos to you—you can have your cake and eat it too. I’m glad you’ve found something that’s working for your relationship. However, if your answer is that you’re unsure or that it’s hard, it’s painful, or just no you’re not happy, then what the hell are you still doing staying in the relationship?
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