Thursday, November 7, 2013

Refuse to be the Bad Guy

Open relationships are eternally unbalanced. You can do your best to date the same volume of people, to be scrupulous about the time you both spend with others, but at any given moment, one of you will get more play.

This imbalance often makes the more active partner feel guilty and/or the less active feel jealous, insecure, etc. As a result, the more active may offer the less an opportunity to close part or all of the relationship.

I am deliberately formatting the following statement unpleasantly, to make sure it permeates:

The decision to close an open relationship
(even when "closing" relates to a single person rather to the relationship as a whole)
should ONLY EVER be made
by BOTH partners JOINTLY.

If your partner comes to you and says, "I will stop seeing X if you want me to," don't take the [well-intentioned] bait. Open partnerships are partnerships first and open second. One person calling the dating shots for the other breeds the most corrosive sort of resentment.

There are a million ways to approach the inherent imbalances of dating outside your primary relationship, but all of them start with talking to your partner, and end with making decisions together.

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