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-   -   Will trying an open relationship enhance our relationship or endanger it? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30651)

purelyparadox23 10-22-2012 03:45 AM

Will trying an open relationship enhance our relationship or endanger it?
 
Hi there (sorry if I posted this twice, still getting the hang of this forum :p)

I am new and just beginning to look into open relationships. I am a senior in college and I have been in a long-distace relationship with an amazing guy from England for 3 years (since the summer before my freshman year). We are each other's first boyfriend/girlfriend, we lost our virginity to each other, and he is actually the only guy I've ever kissed. I have no doubt that my boyfriend is the one for me. We have great communication skills because dating long distance has challenged us many times and made us stronger, and we make a great team together. We talk happily about marriage and children some day, and we love and trust each other more than any couple I know. We always joke about having threesomes and becoming swingers some day, but we've never really talked about it seriously until now.

The past three years I have had some minor crushes, but I never had the desire to sleep with someone other than my boyfriend before. This year though I got a job as a bartender, and as I am being exposed to new people and gaining confidence, I have found myself immensely attracted to a guy in one of my classes. I don't know him very well but I have not been this sexually attracted to someone in ages, and I surprised myself with how badly I want to sleep with him (possibly because he's from Bulgaria and has a sexy accent ) I felt weird about my feelings for this guy and told my boyfriend, but he (the easy-going guy that he is) told me that he has always felt kinda bad that I haven't been able to experiment with people in college because I've been with him the whole time, and that if I want to experiment with this guy I should go for it. He says he would be ok with it as long as I tell him, and I believe him because he doesn't have a jealous bone in his body.

I'm actually really excited that he's up for it, and loving the idea of us both experimenting with other people and reporting back to each other, but right now I'm still a little hesitant. Maybe it's just that I've been raised to think this kind of thing is wrong, and feel worried that it will somehow count as cheating if I do something with this other guy. Because I have such an amazing relationship with my boyfriend I don't want to do anything that will mess it up, but I feel (I hope) that experimenting with an open relationship could actually make things even better for us. I would really like the opinions of people who started an open relationship after being monogamous with their partner, or anyone with some insight into this situation. Should I go for it and pursue the guy I'm lusting after with my boyfriend's blessing?

* Edit: I should also add that the guy I'm attracted to is rumored to be a bit of a lady's man, so I have a feeling he won't be looking for anything serious either.

Helo 10-22-2012 06:55 AM

If your looking to poly as a way to "fix" a crippled relationship, you're lighting a delayed fuse linked to the supports of the relationship.

If you're looking at it as something to explore as a way of broadening the relationship, it has the same chance of working as any relationship.

I'd be sure to discuss this at length with your current boyfriend and give him EVERY opportunity to object if he feels the need to. Be aware though, the truly non-jealous person is a very rare person. Jealousy isnt bad in and of itself, its how you deal with it that matters.

SchrodingersCat 10-22-2012 09:01 AM

Neither.

Your relationship sounds pretty good, so no red flags there. Helo is correct that opening a damaged relationship only worsens the problems, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Nor will it enhance your relationship, necessarily. Sometimes they correlate, but I don't think it's causal.

If your boyfriend is supportive of the idea and you want to try it, I say go ahead.

One thing to look out for is that right now you're just talking about sex, but it's always possible for that to develop into stronger feelings of attachment. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, it's just good for both you and your boyfriend to be prepared for that possibility.

CielDuMatin 10-22-2012 05:43 PM

"Cheating" is breaking the established rules of something.

Your boyfriend and you make the rules of what your relationship is - nobody has any right to tell you what you should, or shouldn't have in your rules.

You have discussed it, and he has consented wholeheartedly. Therefore you would not be cheating if you went ahead and did it, following his requests about disclosure.

I would also suggest exploring in your own mind whether you would be ok with him doing the same thing - sleeping with other women - whether he is voicing that desire now or not. If you are *not* ok with it, then you might want to run that by your boyfriend first, to make sure that he isn't assuming some sort of of "if she can do it, then I can".

Does that make sense?

MoonElf 10-22-2012 06:03 PM

I've been through similar feelings very recently.

I also always had an amazing relationship with my boyfriend, also has little to no experience with sex besides from him, we also talked a lot about experiencing stuff outside our ralationship but when the time came when I felt atracted to somebody else I was VERY afraid.

I didn't want to mess things up with my boyfriend. He's just awesome and I want to grow old togheter and all that. I was afraid that he was telling me it's ok just to I can be happy, but that he would secretly get hurt.
I was raised to think it was wrong to love more than one person at a time, so I was also afraid of what people would think of me/say to him.

In our case, turned out just fine. He was happy for me when it finally happened. And in our case, though I need to point out it's not a rule, it did improve the ralationship.
I feel poly is right for me, so I feel happier and more secure of myself now. The fact that he made this possible to me and still by my side supporting me and being happy for me, listening to my insecurities and about my dates, makes me love him even more.

So i'd say go for it, If you want it and he's positive about it.

ThatGirlInGray 10-22-2012 06:10 PM

I replied to your other post about this, I'll just going to copy and paste it here so the discussion is all in one place:
Quote:

Originally Posted by purelyparadox23 (Post 160738)
Should I go for it and pursue the guy I'm lusting after with my boyfriend's blessing?

I would say probably. You've been honest, your boyfriend has given you the green light, there's just a couple other things you should clarify first:

- Talk to boyfriend about what happens/how you two deal if your feelings for this other guy become stronger after sleeping with him. Maybe your curiosity is satisfied and that's the end of it, but maybe not. It's a topic that should be broached before jumping in. Is he willing to take the risk that something could become more than just sex? Are you? Do you feel like you might be able to be in love with two people at once? (Note: these aren't questions I need answers to. Purely for you and he to discuss)

- Be honest with the other guy. I know, it's hard letting someone know you're interested, PLUS letting them know you have a significant other and are not, in fact, looking for a romantic connection (unless, of course, you are). As a female, it's highly possible you have fears of being considered a slut if you only want sex, which makes it even MORE difficult. But if you're thinking of this guy as an experiment, he deserves to know that before making his own decision about whether or not to sleep with you. It being college, telling him that you think he's hot and want NSA sex might work just fine, but he still deserves to know where you're coming from up front.

I see many parallels between your situation and my situation with MC when we were in college (especially when he was in Wales for a semester), as well as with my current long-distance situation with TGIB. I wish you luck!

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoonElf (Post 160857)
I was afraid that he was telling me it's ok just to I can be happy, but that he would secretly get hurt.

I totally know this feeling. I have to work really hard on trusting that both MC and TGIB will tell me how they're REALLY feeling, rather than trying to hide it so I'll be happy or not upset.

MoonElf 10-22-2012 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray (Post 160860)
- Be honest with the other guy. I know, it's hard letting someone know you're interested, PLUS letting them know you have a significant other and are not, in fact, looking for a romantic connection (unless, of course, you are). As a female, it's highly possible you have fears of being considered a slut if you only want sex, which makes it even MORE difficult. But if you're thinking of this guy as an experiment, he deserves to know that before making his own decision about whether or not to sleep with you. It being college, telling him that you think he's hot and want NSA sex might work just fine, but he still deserves to know where you're coming from up front.

I second that. It's very important that anyone involved knows both about your boyfriend and your intentions. Things can get pretty ugly whenerver there's not enough communication.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray (Post 160860)
I totally know this feeling. I have to work really hard on trusting that both MC and TGIB will tell me how they're REALLY feeling, rather than trying to hide it so I'll be happy or not upset.

Having another partner is very recent to me. I'm only starting to learn to deal with this and all kinds of fears, but I think this is one of the hardest parts. I don't think I'll ever stop worring if any of them are "taking one for the team", despite how much they tell me they're not and I tell them I do not want them to. :o

nycindie 10-22-2012 07:47 PM

It sounds like your BF is cool with your having other relationships and just wants to be informed. I see no reason not to go ahead, as long as anyone you get involved with is made aware that you have a LTR. However, I do find your use of the word "experiment" a bit problematic. Personally, I would not want to be anyone's lab rat to experiment on, even if it was going to get me some sex. Just remember that anyone you hook up with, even if they have a reputation as a player, are real people with real feelings and they should be respected just as much as you respect your BF. So, don't experiment on them, just be yourself and be with them, and see what happens. Good luck!

purelyparadox23 10-22-2012 08:40 PM

Hey guys, I just want to say that I'm finding all of your replies extremely helpful! Thank you so much for posting :) It really helps to know that there are other people out there who have been through similar situations where it has worked out fine, and you've given me some really great insights about what to expect. I think I feel confident enough to continue pursuing it, I will keep in mind the possibility that I could develop feelings for the other guy (or that he could develop feelings for me) and I'll talk to my boyfriend about it.

Do you guys have any suggestions/thoughts on what to do if the other guy and I end up liking each other? (I doubt that I would fall in love with him or choose him over my boyfriend, but I could see myself becoming friends with him and wanting to hang out with him as friends)

BoringGuy 10-22-2012 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by purelyparadox23 (Post 160927)

Do you guys have any suggestions/thoughts on what to do if the other guy and I end up liking each other? (I doubt that I would fall in love with him or choose him over my boyfriend, but I could see myself becoming friends with him and wanting to hang out with him as friends)


Keep seeing each other.


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