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Old 10-31-2012, 02:45 PM
purelyparadox23 purelyparadox23 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 10
Default Is it normal to feel guilty when first trying an open relationship?

Hi there, my boyfriend of 3 years and I recently decided to try an open relationship and I'm not sure how I feel about it. The main reason for the open relationship is that my boyfriend is the only guy I have ever been with and I have been dating him (long distance) for as long as I have been in college; this is my last year and lately I have been feeling like I missed out on all the college experimentation that most of my friends have gotten to experience, and when I admitted this to my boyfriend he told me I should go for it!

Now my boyfriend is an amazing guy, he's never been the jealous type, very supportive of me and says if I want to experiment with other guys that's ok as long as I tell him about it, he's always here for me. In fact he says he's been feeling guilty that I never got to have a wild college experience and will be happy for me if I get to. I love my boyfriend very much and am very attracted to him and completely trust what he says. The only thing is that I feel guilty about wanting an open relationship because he is so amazing!

There is a guy in one of my classes who I have a purely physical attraction to and I wouldn't mind having a little fling with him, and I have been tempted to write to him on facebook, but even though my boyfriend approves of it I feel like such a bad girlfriend for trying to initiate something with another guy! Is it normal to feel guilty like this when beginning to explore an open relationship? Part of me would really like to fulfill my curiosity for this other guy, but I don't want to be a bad girlfriend. Will I get over feeling this way eventually? What should I do?
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:40 PM
kissapolygrrl kissapolygrrl is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 12

I sometimes feel guilty because my husband is so amazing...but I think that's because we are conditioned by society to feel that way. I feel in my soul that this is who I am and I am so blessed to have two men that are so incredible in my life!
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:01 PM
Stevenjaguar Stevenjaguar is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: In a flat place in the middle of the US.
Posts: 95

I'd say you're fortunate to have an understanding boyfriend who has your interests at heart. Go ahead and make your move but be sure your new guy understands he's a secondary and keep everyone in the information loop. It's rewarding and fulfilling to bask in the glow of the love of two people but be aware that each of the others may wrestle with feelings of jealousy that they don't really want to have. If things look like they're not going the way you want, communicate, communicate, communicate, and don't be shy about saying what you want. Listen, reassure and get reassurance yourself.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:22 PM
Silkanie Silkanie is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 15

I don't think this is an abnormal feeling, though in my case long term repeat interactions on both involved parties in the relationship eventually lead to our current form of polyamory and closing the relationship. It's good to have an understanding partner and you have to keep an open channel even about the hard things that may happen during your relations with your out of wed partners. Communication, honesty, and directness in providing the truth about things can be very important but also make sure you pay close attention to the way your partner responds (both the guys you are 'around with' and your husband).
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:13 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,143

I don't remember feeling guilty when I was the hinge and BF1 and BF2 were in the picture. Neither was ever promised "exclusive."

I worried more about time management and emotional management and keeping the TMI wall where we agreed to keep it for the comfort of all players.

I also worried about jealously management but surprisingly -- both dealt with it realistically and never made a THING about it.

Whatever you feel is ok -- it's emotional internal weather. Rain is rain. Sun is sun. You have been open and honest with your BF, so it isn't being "bad" in the sense that you are lying to him. Or going behind his back. Be honest with the potential when you ask them for a date and explain you have another guy you are also dating. You aren't promising exclusive. Is he up for it or not? A date?

Then see what he says.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-01-2012 at 03:18 AM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:47 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 2,137

I am kinda at the other end of this than you. I am a single woman who is developing a FWB type relationship with someone who is married. All above board, everybody knows, blah blah.

But I have been feeling very uncomfortable and weird about seeing him, about being touchy with him, even though that is totally fine with both of them. She seems to think I'm a decent person. We're not interested in each other sexually but I like her and enjoy her company. He and I are going slowly, talking a lot and so on. They are not the issue.

I realized that I feel guilty. I have never been involved in any way with someone in a couple. And it feels so strange to me to touch someone else's husband, especially when she is around and might see! Or have him touch me! (I'm not talking explicit sexual touch - more of the flirty touching people do.) And I still feel weird when she isn't around - just not as much. Clearly some monogamy programming to deal with. So I've decided to talk to her more directly. We've talked but not explicitly about the developing FWB with her husband. I think that will help with the guilt. And I continue to feel it, acknowledge the weird, and try to move on.

So to answer the question, yes, in my experience, it's normal. Not pleasant but normal.

Last edited by opalescent; 10-31-2012 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:01 PM
Witch Witch is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19

My husband actually feels a constant guilt, and he hasn't even truly truly pursued someone yet. It's adorable in it's own sense I'll admit, he's very worried about me getting upset. When I'm the total opposite. I'm very very excited for him to explore. I think it's quite normal. I believe its the way we are raised and even if not that, its a big step. Maybe you don't want the other person feeling less loved, or left out. Maybe the guilt has less to do with guilt and just more worry about everything involved. Constantly being open and honest about how you feel may help. The more I let my husband know "I am okay with "a" and "b", I don't agree with "DEF". Butif you ever feel uncomfortable you can stop at any time." I don't push him to get a new relationship by anymeans, he is doing this by his own choice. But when I am 100% supportive he seems to get past the guilt. Just talk to your partner/ect. It may make you feel better.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:01 AM
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Helo Helo is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: California
Posts: 278

Originally Posted by kissapolygrrl View Post
I sometimes feel guilty because my husband is so amazing...but I think that's because we are conditioned by society to feel that way. I feel in my soul that this is who I am and I am so blessed to have two men that are so incredible in my life!
This. Essentially.

The vast majority of us have many decades of social programming that basically treats monogamy as the only acceptable mode of a relationship. By being poly, we're going against that and that causes a lot of stress because we're social animals and we've genetically been hardwired to want to follow social programming. In the way-back-when, it kept us alive.
I am as direct as a T-Rex with 'roid rage and about as subtle. It isn't intended to cause upset, I just prefer to talk plain. There are plenty of other people here who do the nice, polite thing much better than I can. I'm what you'd call a "problem dinner guest."
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guilt, open relationship, relationships

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