Open relationships are a tricky discussion. In a society where one plus one makes a whole, and three is often seen as a crowd, a lot of people wouldn't dare to tread in the territory of three or more in a relationship. And even though monogamy is seen as more of a social expectation than a "biological reality" for over half of Gen X and Y, according to a new study, it's not just the assumption of complicating things even further, but the inability to share someone they love.
We asked the ladies their thoughts on open relationships. Is it totally the way to go? Something that's fine for others, but not for you? Or something in which only the wicked heathens of the world indulge? Here's what they had to say.
Personally, it's a preferable way to be in a relationship.
"I've actually ONLY been in open/polyamorous relationships (which I realize places me in a very small minority). First couple 'relationships; were very casual (and thus not exclusive), and when I first got involved with my now husband 10 years ago, it was MY stipulation that if we were gonna date at all, it needed to be open. (Yes, I was terrified of commitment, so sue me.) We moved in together pretty quickly and it became more serious, but we decided we liked and were super comfortable being poly (even when I got involved more seriously with other guys and gals), so we just kept it that way. I am completely aware that this would NEVER work for lots of other folks, but it works great for us, and I can't believe how lucky I am to have found a life partner that fits so well with me, in so many ways. To each their own, and all that jazz. (For the record, I am in no way anti-monogamy, I just think there should be more relationship style options — one size does NOT fit all)," says Becky, 29.
"For those who like them, they're wonderful! For those who don't, not wonderful. I've been in one for five years, and I give it five stars. Everyone's different, but if it works, it works. I haven't been monogamous since I was 20," says Mel, 29.
Sharing just isn't a possibility.
"Fine for others but not for me. I've been a casual, floating third in a couple open relationships, which was fun because I wasn't the primary partner and so it was easier for me to detach and go do my own thing, but I don't think I have the capacity to share my relationship with my husband," says Colleen, 30.
"I don't share, thanks," says Erin, 23.
Live and let live.
"Love comes in all forms, and if having an open relationship works for a given couple, and it helps them appreciate each other more and strengthen and grow in their love for one another, then more power to 'em," says Sarah, 29.
"I think it's fine for others in theory. It always seems to me to be more difficult in practice than having a monogamous relationship, but (a) I could totally be wrong about that, and (b) if people want to complicate their lives, they should totally be allowed to," says Lydia, 35.
Maybe someday. Maybe.
"I like it the way I like philosophy ... Couldn't it work?? But I've never been tested in real life. I'd like to pretend I'd get unique and secure enough for it. I'm open to a discussion — perhaps because right now I feel like an exotic bird trying to fly desperately for other skies," says Anna, 28.
How do you feel about open relationships? Tell us in the comments below.
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