A favorite podcast of mine took a swing [and a miss] at discussing open relationships. The roundtable was a group of monogamous women (one gay, two straight) who expressed bafflement at the attraction of open relationships. Unfortunately, the conversation ate its own tail, since there was no one there to offer a nonmonogamous perspective. So! Here's my random and unsolicited 2.5 cents:
- Human beings are wired to seek sexual novelty, and we ignore that need at our peril. People in otherwise happy relationships wander (I loathe the term 'cheat') because the urge for strange is a biological compulsion. Resisting that compulsion doesn't make you a better partner. Giving in to it -within the negotiated framework of an open relationship- can.
- People in healthy open relationships get REALLY good at communicating. The stuff nonmonogamous partners discuss can be hugely uncomfortable, awkward and painful, but also enlightening and enriching. Even if a relationship ends, the partners walk away knowing themselves better, and are often primed to be healthier partners to those they connect with in the future.
- Nonmongamy is hot. G'wan - dispute that, I dare you. :D
- Committed relationships make me bored, intolerant, antsy and generally unhappy. I find open relationships let in nearly all of the good and very little of the bad.
- I suck at the responsibilities that accompany commitment. For example, I can be a great friend when you're having a serious illness, but I don't have the emotional resources to be a 24/7 source of support to a monogamous partner.
- I'm reeeeeeally bad at sharing my space. I've lived with three different boyfriends, and ended up hating it every time. I can handle living with my kid, but that's because I make the rules (and thus far pick out all the artwork and furniture).
- Sure, go ahead and tell me that dating someone doesn't require cohabitating, but who are we kidding? Even at my age (early forties), there's an expectation that monogamous relationships are Going Somewhere. No one expects a nonmonogamous pairing to have that kind of trajectory - the pressure doesn't exist.
- People who know me have heard this crack a million times, but it's true: when I stopped looking for a single person to be my Everything (partner, babydaddy, best friend), I started dating MUCH more compatible men. Turns out the kind of guy who trips my trigger often isn't someone suited to be a father.
IN SUMMATION: nonmonogamy makes me happy. And I say unto the very literate and charming members of the Double X Gabfest: don't knock it til you try it.