“It gets lonely on the road.” You ever hear that or any other iteration followed by a statement about why so-and-so cheated? If that’s why you think open relationships are a good idea let me stop you there. It’s not an open relationship, it’s still cheating.
An open relationship is a relationship in which the participating parties are not exclusive to each other whether it be physically or emotionally but within the bounds of criteria decided by the participating parties. The reason cheating is not an open relationship is because a proper open relationship relies on trust. You and your partner(s) trust and respect each other and have created criteria for constitutes as being respectful.
An open relationship can be one where the other partner’s parties are anonymous. The difference between that and cheating is you’ve both decided this is okay not because you feel defeated or helpless but because you’ve both decided this is something you’re okay with. Cheating is a betrayal of trust — when one party believes the other is faithful to the relationship but the cheater is not.
It’s not for everyone
You aren’t a bad person or not woke for not being open to an open relationship. Think of it this way, an open relationship is something that fundamentally changes how you relate to someone else. It doesn’t matter if you love or completely respect your s/o, if it makes you uncomfortable then don’t force yourself to try and enjoy it. Everyone has something they can’t do in a relationship, good or bad. You have to remember that it takes two and if it’s a deal breaker then it’s a dealbreaker.
Can you discuss it? Yes. You should discuss it if you’re curious. You both might decide it doesn’t work for you and that’s okay. Making sure everyone is on the same page is the goal here.
So why isn’t it for me?
It’s not a jealousy thing. I personally have a hard time trusting other people enough to want to sleep with them. The idea of sleeping with multiple people without an emotional bond doesn’t appeal to me. I know I don’t have the mental space to care for more than one person explicitly right now. Relationships are emotionally taxing — even the perfect ones. There’s a lot of vulnerability in being emotional available to someone and the idea of doing that more than once is a scary thought.
Would I be open to my partner doing it? Maybe. We’d have to discuss why we wanted an open relationship and what it does or doesn’t add to the relationship. It takes a lot of trust and understanding to get to the point where you can discuss what a relationship does and needs. It’s more than just knowing what your partner needs — it’s understanding how the relationship affects you both. No relationship is ever perfect, that doesn’t mean it’s fundamentally flawed, just that it’s not perfect.
Don’t get me wrong, an open relationship doesn’t have to be a band-aid and there doesn’t have to be a problem with a relationship to require one. But for me personally I’ve committed to a monogamous relationship and that’s an understanding with me and my partner. If we’re changing that then there’s a why. If we can decide on the why then who knows.
The future is always changing and maybe I just didn’t think an open relationship was for me when we started. I know I can’t be emotionally available twice but future me might just be.