It was about a year before Greg slept with another woman. I was okay with it, of course; I had to be because I’d slept with multiple men before him. Eventually we had to adjust our rules because we realized it’s really hard for a guy to hook up with a woman if he can’t bring her back to his place. So I told Greg he could use our apartment as long as he changed the sheets immediately after sex.
The critical thing in open relationships like the one we had is that you cannot develop emotions for the other people that you meet. It’s a huge no-no. Both Greg and I have been guilty of that one. We each took a step back at those times, re-evaluated, and took some space from those other people to avoid confusion. You have to be able to trust your partner and feel like you can truly communicate with him or her. Greg and I have that, and I think that’s why this has worked for us. If our relationship were rocky in any way, this setup would be disastrous.
It’s been three years now and Greg and I are still together — and we’re still in an open relationship. Not only has opening things up made us happier, but it’s completely saved us as a couple. For the most part, our friends – once dubious – have accepted our situation and agreed that breaking up and moving on wouldn’t have been the right decision. Sure, they’re curious about how it works and ask a ton of questions, but we’re happy to answer. In fact, the first question I always get is, "Does your boyfriend know you’re doing this?" Yeah! Of course he knows!
I admit that in some ways, this is a selfish thing — Greg and I want to sleep with other people. But in a lot of ways, I think it’s pretty selfless, too. We see each other as individuals, and we want to experience things as individuals in order to make our bond as a couple stronger. What we’ve done is take the “rules” out of sexuality and relationship and made those things conform to us. I have so many friends who have experienced infidelity. They always say, "It’s not the sex that bothered me; it’s the lying." Greg and I have totally eliminated the possibility of lying, and we couldn't be happier.
Would you and your partner ever "open up?"
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