Alternative first conversations
I can't stop thinking I've been really lucky with how easy it has been for me and Alec to open up our previously-for years-monogamous relationship. It seems to be so hard for many people, and I can totally understand why. But somehow it's just worked for us, and we've come to want similar things at the same time. I want to write about my experience, because I feel it's still important to know it doesn't have to be so difficult for everybody planning to open up.
We'd been together maybe around 3 years when group sex scenarios started to emerge as a theme in fantasies we shared. They became quite common, but we didn't discuss that outside of bed for a while. I started to think about sexual openness, and came to the conclusion that I wouldn't feel bad or jealous or threatened if he slept with somebody else, and therefore I saw no need to hold on to the monogamous rules anymore. I didn't feel like I needed
freedom for myself, but I saw no reason not to "give him permission" to do stuff with others if he felt like it. I analysed this stuff on an internet forum first (some things don't change
). Pretty much everybody there was really monogamous, and when I brought up the idea of giving partner permission to sleep with others, they said they would react really badly to such suggestion and think it must be because I'd want the same for myself. Now my reaction would be something along wtf
but then I got really nervous. I still proceeded to write a letter to Alec about it and waited, anxiously, while he read through it. And his reaction was something to the effect of "well isn't this sort of what we've been talking about".
So, kind of anti-climactic, which I'm a total fan of.
Poly talk, 3 years after that, was none more dramatic. I had visited Mya and after that I realised that I don't just want to have sex and friendship with her but that we have mutual romantic feelings. Once I realised that, I approached the topic with Alec thinking that if he's not ok with me having a relationship with Mya I would just try to step back and wait for the crush to be over. After all, I didn't know how he would feel, since we hadn't really ever talked about the possibility of poly, only about sexual relationships and a bit about casual sort of dating. But when we talked he didn't feel any jealousy about my feelings for Mya, and was fine with us starting a relationship. It's actually pretty amazing. I'm sure Alec had ever considered to have another relationship himself, and he doesn't know anybody in this kind of arrangement. And yet he seemed to be instantly able to wrap his mind around the concept and didn't feel weird about it. Our talk even touched some practical issues and boundaries: he said that he's fine with any amount of love I may in the future have for somebody else, but what he wants/needs is that we'll stay together and I'll live (not necessarily exclusively but also) with him.
So, not saying that it can't be hard to open up a monogamous relationship, just that it doesn't have to be. I know I would have liked to know that when I was anxiously waiting for Alec's reaction to my open-relationship-letter. That would have enabled me to trust my instinct, that he won't freak out, rather than believe the people telling me he will freak out because that's how everybody
reacts to a proposition of non-monogamy.