This has been an interesting thread to read
My boyfriend, "Fly", and I had an open relationship from the start. It was my first major relationship in general, and I was pretty insecure. At that point, we had kind of a lot of hard-n-fast rules:
- Safer sex (condoms for any and all penetration, no protection required for oral although I prefer to use one with men)
- If you see the same person more than 3 times, you must tell the other partner (Fly was doing a lot of one or two night stands, but more than that I felt constituted a relationship
- We needed to link our facebooks - he meets a lot of people online, and I wanted to stake out my territory
Since we've been together so long now, and have so much more trust, and are dealing with ongoing relationships, things have relaxed. Everything is always changing as we forge ahead, so instead of having rules (other than the safer sex one), we check in with each other out of respect and love.
For instance, I'm going out with the guy I've been seeing (I'll call him "Punk") tonight, and he's picking me up. I've spent a lot of time at his house, both by ourselves and also when his wife and kiddo have been there. Fly, however, is still not super comfortable with details and openness/sharing. We're working on it with baby steps, and it's very different when the situation is with an ongoing romantic/friendship person rather than a hookup or even a FWB.
Fly and I have decided we're not comfortable having sex with other people when the other one of us or kiddo is at home. But I didn't know if Fly was ok meeting Punk, or if it was ok for Punk and I to hang out at our house after the movie. Before, negotiating this would have been filled with drama, long conversations, perhaps written notes or emails, and would have been a very big deal. It would have resulted in a set-in-stone rule.
Instead, it was a 5-minute conversation last night. "Is it ok if x happens?" "Well, yes, x is ok, but I'd rather you didn't do y at the house, and could you text me when you guys are on your way home?"
So freaking awesome to be so chillaxed now!
Our only other "rule" we have right now is that if Fly is going to take someone else on a trip (he travels a lot for a particular hobby he has, and we have a lot of friends at the places he goes to), he needs to tell me in advance. This was born out of a breach of trust where he lied to me, so that and the condom rule is pretty much it.
Punk and I don't really have any rules, except to be kind to each other