A brief history of me: I'm a straight 24-year old male, and have been in one relationship to date*, and it did not end well.
She and I dated for about a year, during which time we would break up and reunite about every three months until finally I decided I was done. Our communication was really poor, and there were such different expectations of what we wanted out of the relationship, so the two of those things just kind of melded together into a downward death spiral for our relationship.
And what were these different expectations? Well, mostly it came down to monogamy/jealousy issues. There was drama about porn, books that included sexual content (even stuff we had to read for class), her ex (whom she was still not over), previous relationships, &c. &c. &c. It wasn't all her, I had my faults, too. But whenever there was a kerfuffle over what should be allowed in a relationship, it seems like I was generally the one pushing for it and she was pushing against it. "I'm not as benevolent as you are," she said to me once.
And, well, it turns out that what she called 'benevolence' is akin to what one would call 'openness' in a relationship. And while she and I were together, I stumbled across the idea of non-monogamy and did a bit of reading on the subject. I find it very interesting as an idea, but having never given it a try*, I don't know whether it would work for me. But I figured a good step towards figuring that out would be to poke around here for a bit. So yeah, it's a pleasure to meet you all
*Asterisks from above: There's this one girl with whom I'm presently involved somehow where I'm not sure how I would define the relationship. We have no expectations of exclusivity and we're both free to do whatever with other people, but I'm not sure whether we would define ourselves as friends with benefits or being in an open relationship. There hasn't really been a need to define what it is, so we vary back and forth. So if we count that, then I've been in two relationships, one of which was non-monogamous. But yeah, I dunno. Also, I'd be interested in hearing more from people here about how important (or unimportant) they find labels to be: does it make a difference to you whether you call yourself bf/gf, lovers, polycule, or whatever term you want? Feel free to share any opinions in a response below!