||[Oct. 26th, 2011|11:02 am]
A few thoughts on open relationships, as I said them to someone who asked for advice.|
First off, open relationships are challenging, and definitely not for everyone. You are hopefully aware of how much communication a good relationship requires - especially a LDR as you currently have. Well, each additional person multiplies the complexity if you are truly being open about what you're doing. And that's what it comes down to: being open, honest, and compassionate with your choices, including compassionate to yourself. A little selfishness is okay, so long as that doesn't rule your choices or override how you treat others.
So what do you do about it? (Please note that I'm better at this in person where I can interact and ask questions, so please pardon me if I include stuff that you feel isn't directly relevant to your situation.) Well, there are two people involved in this decision: you and him. If you want an open relationship that still has him at its core, that's fine so long as you tell him that. Before you start such a conversation, though, you both need to consider all of the following (plus anything else that comes up; this is just a start): what happens when you develop an emotional attachment to someone else? What about sex with other people? Are you both permitted to behave in the same ways? (The answer to that one should ideally be "yes", though "I won't but you can" is acceptable if you can establish that it's truly heartfelt.) Are you interested in continuing to date others even after you're together full time? Are you actually seeking other lovers / life-mates / etc. or just getting some human contact while waiting to be with him?
Give each other time to come up with answers, then get together and compare them. Be open, honest, and direct; dancing around the subject will make it harder and will (not can, will) make it too easy to continue dancing until you can't tell what the truth of the matter really is. Find which answers you can compromise on and which are "it must be this way". If you can find sufficient common ground, make an agreement... but be prepared at any time, even immediately after making it, to re-negotiate if the situation changes. We're tricky critters, us humans, and even after careful consideration we don't always know our own minds and hearts. Be patient with yourselves and each other, be sure to listen as well as be willing to speak up, and keep on communicating. The discussions you'll have as a result of this have a good chance of enacting change in you, in him, and in your relationship - and generally, open communication only improves relationships, even if that "improvement" isn't what you expected or desired.
And above all, through the whole process, remember that he's likely as nervous and unsure about all this as you are. Be as kind as you can without compromising your core values, whatever they may end up being.
That's a start, and enough for now, I think. If you'd like to discuss it more or have more questions, please e-mail me at SongCoyote at yahoo. I am glad to help where I can.
Recorded here so I don't lose the threads of this thought :) Will be cross-posted to DreamWidth.
Light and laughter,