Logging on to different dating websites can open your eyes to many new things which usually leaves me feeling old or inexperienced. And sometimes it can make you lose all faith in men and women- like when you see that profile of just a guy’s body and a caption that says “married and looking to do bad things”. It can be incredibly discouraging or it can open your eyes to something you may not have tried in the past.
I am not talking about the headless guy wanting to do bad things. Although I basically checked that one off the list with Colombian guy. Something that keeps coming up is the idea of an open relationship. I have yet to swipe right on a guy that states he is in an open relationship in his profile. Mainly because it seems messy and like more work than I am willing to deal with. But I recently started talking to a guy who brought it up once the introduction was made. He was very upfront early on about being in an open relationship and it was sort of the moment I had to decide if that was something I was comfortable enough with to continue the conversation. I continued on because I realized that in a way dating someone in an open relationship can be a good solution for a busy person.
- I can keep my alone time – When you are dating someone, especially in the beginning, all of your alone time transforms into getting-to-know-each-other time. When the other person is preoccupied with someone else, I don’t have to worry about losing that precious time I just got back.
- Work life and Kid life are maintained – My focus is on my career where it needs to be after some serious slacking during the separation period. My job can be a lot of pressure and requires late hours which can be difficult when raising two little girls. My time with them is even more important than my time at work. I rarely ever get a babysitter on my days with the kids and they won’t be meeting any man any time soon. So that leaves the days with X, minus alone time, minus any predetermined events with friends and family. Not much left for a dating life.
- Honesty – He is clearly being honest by telling me his situation. We have already talked about things you wouldn’t normally when starting to date someone. He regularly encourages brutal honesty and as of yet, there haven’t been any red flags that he isn’t being honest. Honestly. It is incredibly refreshing to just say whatever I want to say and ask whatever question pops in my head. And let’s face it, I usually do anyway, but now I don’t have to feel bad about it.
- No pressure – There is no pressure to make it work, to be more available, or less available. I can just go about my day and respond if I want, not respond if I am busy and not worry about it. There is no strategy to figure out and wonder if his comments meant something deeper or trying to decode anything. I don’t wonder if he is seeing someone else and not responding because of it. I know he is, and have already agreed to respect it. I would be naive to think that a single guy on Tinder is not seeking out others as well. At least in this situation, I know the truth. It takes away all of the guessing and insecurities. It takes away all the crazy.
- Only the fun remains – Without any of the conversations about futures and what will be, and wondering if he feels the same way you do (or afraid to break his heart), you are left with nothing but the fun. Nice and easy.
I realize a lot of this is based on my personality and isn’t for everyone. I am an emotional person and fall hard if I allow myself, but I am also a logical person when needed and can sort of block out that emotional side when necessary. Standing up to three older brothers and working in a high pressure corporate environment will do that to you. Not to mention my most recent attempts at love have failed miserably and I am not exactly enthusiastic about allowing myself to feel that way again for a long time.
So we continued to get to know each other and went on our first date this past week. He is exactly what I expected of course because there is nothing to hide. Good conversation. I really enjoy his company. I am free to talk about other guys and he is free to talk about his relationships, among other topics of course. I could tell he was trying to be a little sensitive about it and not mentioning her unless he had to. I am not sure if that was for his sake or mine but I feel it is unnecessary. If anything it actually helps to talk about it because it reminds me of what this is and can’t get confusing. Plus minimizing it makes it seem like it’s wrong, which if he truly has consent, that’s not the case. And I would REALLY like to not repeat the episode with Colombian guy.
The one thing I can’t get out of my head is how it works for them. I can’t decide if it is just a recipe for disaster or a perfect solution. I know that there were plenty of times when I was with the X that I was tempted by others. At the time I would just think that everyone has these temptations now and again, after we split I realized it was mostly because I was unhappy. The X clearly had some of the same thoughts. So now I think if we had allowed ourselves to act on those urges with consent would it have made a difference in our marriage? Likely not. But that’s mainly because we had so many other issues it would have eventually ended this way anyway. And really I think I could never be on board with a situation like that. I know the X wouldn’t either. It is one thing to be okay with someone who isn’t yours to be sleeping with other people, but when they are yours? I just can’t wrap my head around it. I would not be cut out for that. To me, it seems like they are just kidding themselves. But also I understand that not all people are like me. So maybe it’s actually genius. Maybe it solves the issue some people have with being afraid to commit to one person the rest of their lives. Maybe it means that people are naturally attracted to many other people and that should be embraced more than discouraged. There is so much infidelity happening already, maybe if we all just accepted it the desire would actually subside. If the forbidden fruit were now available maybe it wouldn’t be that appealing. Or maybe it would just be a free for all and ultimately end in more divorces. I don’t know the answer but I do find it fascinating.
So which is it? Open relationships: yay or nay?
If anyone has had experiences either in one or as the ‘other’ one I would love to hear your thoughts.