Open Relationship "limits"

ac0313 ac0313
My SO and I are in an open relationship and have been for a couple of months. She is pansexual and I am hetero. She has wanted this type of relationship for years and was never able to find someone who could accept it and I am a recent convert from monogamy to this lifestyle. We are deeply in love with each other and plan to remain together forever.

We are able to see anyone else we want at almost anytime, as long as it does not interfer with our previosly made plans. Recently, she brought up the desire to stay overnight with a guy she has known for a while (prior to us meeting), which I was somewhat hesitantly agreeable to. Just a couple days ago, she brought up the possibility of staying with a M/F couple for a week to play with them - she has also known the guy longer than me. I found this idea too difficult to accept. I told her about being uncomfortable with an overnight or longer stay (except for one other guy) and she honestly said that she would simply not do it then and that she loves me and will not do anything that I am not ok with. Now, I feel badly that my feelings will keep her from doing what she wants and desires.

For those of you in open relationships, what do you think? Are my feelings about setting a limit to our time with others normal? Will her willingness to not participate in longer encounters cause a problem in the future for us? Your comments are greatly anticipated!
06/05/2011
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Cedarlooman Cedarlooman
FWIW, I do not think that your limits are outside the norm. Every relationship has limits and compromises. Your relationship is rather new and still developing, so it takes a little time to discover the boundaries. Did you say no, never to her staying for an extended period, or just not now? It may be that in the future you are okay with it, or maybe you just need to meet or chat with the other couple to become comfortable with it. Your relationship has developed rather rapidly and grown to include quite a lot that many people would have trouble absorbing just that much change in their lives.

I don't think her willingness to not participate will cause problems unless you start restricting the access more. You know her personality and how she enjoys the open lifestyle. Unless you start restricting that or going to the point of having to approve of every decision she makes (unless you decide to evolve into a 24/7 master/slave relationship) I think you will be fine. You appear to have no problem with her meeting and playing with others, just not being away for long periods of time where you don't really know the people. I would say that is a reasonable compromise.

I think as your relationship goes on and you have more time together and the already strong bonds you two have continue to strengthen and grow, it will not be an issue. As you move forward you may find other ways to compromise...instead of a week, maybe a weekend to play with you in the same town or hotel. I know you two will work it out and asking this at this time doesn't seem at all unreasonable to me.
06/06/2011
Rockin' Rockin'
Cedarlooman gave a great response to your question.

It's great that you can talk with your partner about what your limits are and what makes you comfortable/uncomforta ble. Establishing the rules within which your relationship will operate is a big step for people in open relationships. Sometimes you can make up the rules on the fly (it's hard to establish rules for some scenarios, and you can't plan for *everything* right at the start) but it's good to have a solid base of rules to follow so everyone is on the same page.

It's also good, as Cedarlooman noted, to talk with your partner about how strongly you feel about the rules. Maybe there are some things you just can't see yourself changing your mind on. Other things may be more flexible. Both my partner and I have become more open to certain ideas and relationship aspects after we got over the initial surprise of them. But that doesn't mean everything has to be flexible. It's fine to have limits, and it's best for both of you to respect those limits.

You say "Now, I feel badly that my feelings will keep her from doing what she wants and desires." but I think that is not the best response to her actions. She values you and holds you as a priority in her life, and she is doing what she wants. She is making a choice that she knows will make things better for the two of you. It wouldn't be fair for you to say "Yes, go spend a week with the couple" and then try to make her feel guilty about it. And it's not fair for you to beat yourself up after your partner makes a decision that you both feel is best for you at the time.

It really all goes back to whether you both can communicate, come to decisions together, and respect each other's wishes. And it sounds like you guys are doing that just fine.
06/06/2011
Sex'и'Violence Sex'и'Violence
Especially with you being a "knew convert" I think your boundaries are well within limits. Give it time and see how things develop. The more comfortable you both get the more those limits will shift.
06/06/2011
ac0313 ac0313
Thanks for the comments. We will probably talk about this topic more tomorrow as we are driving 3 hours each way to a "local" theme park... It is good hear that I need to not feel bad for my limitations. Also, my "no" was not indefinite and I fully intend to expand the areas of comfort over time!
06/08/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Rockin'
Cedarlooman gave a great response to your question.

It's great that you can talk with your partner about what your limits are and what makes you comfortable/uncomforta ble. Establishing the rules within which your relationship will operate ... More
I have to agree with Kris on this one...she made the decision that best fit the situation and you've said that you are flexible about the future. Let your relationship be what it is right now and let HER manage her own feelings. You aren't stopping her from doing something she wants to do because she did what she wanted to do, she chose to honor your feelings. Live in the wonder of her amazing ability to temper exciting new experiences with the joy of reexperiencing times with you. Do something amazing with her for the week she would have spent with the couple, get to know the couple, be sure that your not giving in to the jealousy monster and really, really love your partner.

It is a HUGE sacrifice for a partner to say they can be ok with you spending time completely immersed with other partners, take the time you need to get comfortable with the concept. For goodness sake the opportunity isn't a 'once in a lifetime' type thing!
06/08/2011
ac0313 ac0313
Thanks again for the great responses. We had a good discussion - yes, we are open and honest with each other about everything so we have great communication - and although she found the offer to be exciting, it is not really what she thinks she would actually want to do. She agrees easing into this lifestyle with me is most important and is completely open to not having overnight fun if I am not yet ready for her to do so. We also discussed other limits that we feel are needed and will continue to evolve these boundaries as time, experience and comfort progresses!

In the interim, we are meeting new friends in the local kink community and finding lots of enjoyment sharing this together and look forward to time spent with others as well.
06/11/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by ac0313
Thanks again for the great responses. We had a good discussion - yes, we are open and honest with each other about everything so we have great communication - and although she found the offer to be exciting, it is not really what she thinks she would ... More
Sounds like you guys have a great start! Good luck and better love
06/12/2011
TransGuy14 TransGuy14
Boundaries are different for everyone and shift over time. Just keep communicating, and you'll be okay!
11/21/2012
CutiePatootie CutiePatootie
I know just how you feel about setting limits then feeling bad about it. From my own personal experience I have let the leash longer than I'm comfortable with and have gotten hurt and it's made things worse. trust your heart of the limits, don't feel bad for being honest with yourself and your partner. As time goes by, you may become comfortable with different things that you weren't in the begining too. Baby steps!
01/23/2013
Total posts: 10
Unique posters: 7