How do you explain the logistics of an open relationship?

aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
To someone who has grown up with monogamy all around them, taught as the only way, and believes thoroughly in it - how would you explain the logistics of an open relationship?

My ex-beau and I split up due to differences in belief as far as sex and mono/polygamy. We're talking about possibly trying to repair our relationship, but the thing is I really want to have an open relationship.

I'm wondering how you explain an open relationship to folks who really don't understand or know anything about them at all? Folks only ever exposed to monogamous relationships often have a hard time grasping the benefits of an open relationship.

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!


PS. If you're worried about me, don't be. I know this will never work if we're not both on the same page, and that an open relationship is something both partners have to be completely open to in order for it to work. A compromise of sorts may end up being the solution, or I may have gotten this out of my 'system.' Who knows. We're taking it slow.
03/20/2012
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PeaceToTheMiddleEast PeaceToTheMiddleEast
Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
03/20/2012
corsetsaurus rex corsetsaurus rex
Well, when one expects just one person, normally their mate, to provide all of the necessary variety of social interaction and emotional support to meet all of their needs (so that this individual never has to say, find a friend to confide in or hang out with), we call this relationship unhealthy and the person's expectations unrealistic. Now, physical needs can be a lot less pressing and varied, but for some people they are very vast, and expecting one person to provide for all of the necessarily variety with these individuals can be similarly unhealthy.

To take the analogy further, it does not hurt a relationship to have friends other than your beau, it strengthens it. You are still primarily emotionally attached to your mate, and having other outlets helps keep healthy perspective and you from becoming needy and demanding. This same thing can be true of the physical realm - if an open relationship is done right, the extra physical playmates do no harm (the reverse, in fact) to you and your primary's physical and emotional relationship. After all, sex is, in the end, just another level on which to connect with someone.

This is, of course, just my take on it. Others may be more helpful. Good luck and well wishes with the relationship complicated-ness!
03/20/2012
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by PeaceToTheMiddleEast
Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
aw, thanks lady!

i'm sure i'll have it. i have faith. if it works out or not, i'm sure it will be right in the end.

'if it ain't okay, it ain't the end.'
03/20/2012
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by corsetsaurus rex
Well, when one expects just one person, normally their mate, to provide all of the necessary variety of social interaction and emotional support to meet all of their needs (so that this individual never has to say, find a friend to confide in or hang ... More
see, that's the issue. he doesn't view sex as i do. i have a vastly larger number of past partners than he, and view sex as a way to connect as well. in frustration at him one day i told him, 'by the way, i've slept with nearly all of my guy friends!' and it's true. it's a way to connect for me, really.

for him, he loses a piece of me each time i sleep with someone else.


i tried the analogy about love not being quantitative, there's an infinite amount of it to go around. it's not as if i have 100 units of love and give 50 to someone else i'll only have 50 left for him. he didn't really get that.


but you're right, and that's a great way to explain it. we try having other friends, why not other lovers? i've also noted to him that the idea of having one person to fulfill ALL one's needs is pretty far-fetched, but he still wants monogamy. me, only me. we shall see...


thanks so much for responding! and i kiss your little doggie.
03/20/2012
corsetsaurus rex corsetsaurus rex
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
see, that's the issue. he doesn't view sex as i do. i have a vastly larger number of past partners than he, and view sex as a way to connect as well. in frustration at him one day i told him, 'by the way, i've slept with nearly all of ... More
Awww yay! My doggie feels much safer now that we have downgraded from munching on him.
03/20/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
see, that's the issue. he doesn't view sex as i do. i have a vastly larger number of past partners than he, and view sex as a way to connect as well. in frustration at him one day i told him, 'by the way, i've slept with nearly all of ... More
If you aren't happy being monogamous with him, and it seems you are not, and he isn't willing to even entertain the notion of trying an open relationship then I don't think you will have much success patching things up. That isn't to say it CAN'T work but it's going to take tremendous patience and perseverance on both of your parts. Do you love him enough to continue to try to work out a compromise or is it time to just move on? I don't envy your decision but I do applaud you for having the courage to stand up and recognize that you aren't happy being monogamous and looking for another way of living. Being open is damned difficult.
There really isn't a way to explain how the heart works. He feels that if you love him then you should want only him, this is a hard expectation to overcome rooted as it is in our psyche. It CAN be overcome but only when the person in question arrives at their own understanding. He can learn to love seeing you happy and perhaps even celebrate being finally free of unrealistic expectations and the fear of infidelity. It isn't an easy road and I urge you not to give up.
I have been in his shoes and I'm happy to help if I can. Just drop me a line.
03/20/2012
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by corsetsaurus rex
Awww yay! My doggie feels much safer now that we have downgraded from munching on him.
i still WANT to munch him. it will be a sweet, sugary, soft munching instead. like... nomming.

like... someone without teeth eats a marshmallow.
03/20/2012
corsetsaurus rex corsetsaurus rex
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
i still WANT to munch him. it will be a sweet, sugary, soft munching instead. like... nomming.

like... someone without teeth eats a marshmallow.
Oh. My ferret used to do that to me...acceptable. Not-nom away then!
03/20/2012
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by corsetsaurus rex
Oh. My ferret used to do that to me...acceptable. Not-nom away then!
03/20/2012
corsetsaurus rex corsetsaurus rex
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
SQUEEE! *has died of cute*
03/20/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by corsetsaurus rex
SQUEEE! *has died of cute*
I have to second AliceintheHole....your dog is Nom nom nomlicious! I love the little guys. I had a shitzu-poo mix that was tiny like you lil guy...but she had MASSIVE attitude so she was cute but not I want to 'eat you cute'!
03/21/2012
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by corsetsaurus rex
SQUEEE! *has died of cute*
uh ooooh... someone call an ambulance! i mean, a coroner!
03/21/2012
corsetsaurus rex corsetsaurus rex
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
uh ooooh... someone call an ambulance! i mean, a coroner!
Too late. Now you have an un-dead chicky on your hands; still with the cute puppy avatar though... love me anyway? *puppy eyes*

and Airen, I would love to see a tiny little 'tudnal shitzu-poo puppy: that just sounds awesome!
03/21/2012
badk1tty badk1tty
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
To someone who has grown up with monogamy all around them, taught as the only way, and believes thoroughly in it - how would you explain the logistics of an open relationship?

My ex-beau and I split up due to differences in belief as far as ... More
My husband and I are in this position, but I'm happy to be mono for him, since he's worth it to me.
04/22/2012
thisisadeletedaccount thisisadeletedaccount
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
see, that's the issue. he doesn't view sex as i do. i have a vastly larger number of past partners than he, and view sex as a way to connect as well. in frustration at him one day i told him, 'by the way, i've slept with nearly all of ... More
I very much agree with this - no one expects people to latch on to a single friend and depend on them to fulfill all of their social and emotional needs. I feel that in comparison to this, the thought of seeking romantic/sexual intimacy from more than one source without diminishing the important of any individual partner is easier to understand.
05/07/2012
thisisadeletedaccount thisisadeletedaccount
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
I came here for chats about poly-ness, and was gifted with cute puppies... I'm okay with this.
05/07/2012
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by thisisadeletedaccount
I came here for chats about poly-ness, and was gifted with cute puppies... I'm okay with this.
lmao. love it.
05/07/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by thisisadeletedaccount
I came here for chats about poly-ness, and was gifted with cute puppies... I'm okay with this.
Here at EF you never know where a conversation will end up..and ending up with cute puppies is amazing!
05/07/2012
KrissyNovacaine KrissyNovacaine
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
To someone who has grown up with monogamy all around them, taught as the only way, and believes thoroughly in it - how would you explain the logistics of an open relationship?

My ex-beau and I split up due to differences in belief as far as ... More
Listen to the podcast polyamory weekly together. It can explain it so well, and help both of you learn to communicate what you really want.

Best of luck. Poly was the best thing I ever did. I have 2 amazing men in my life and I would be lost without them.
05/08/2012
Total posts: 20
Unique posters: 7