Donate Now
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » limited open relationship??

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: limited open relationship??
littleduckling
Activist
Member # 22480

Icon 1 posted      Profile for littleduckling     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I attempted to search this but couldn't really find what I wanted...

Ok, so as you may or may not have read in my other threads, my boyfriend and I have recently been having some problems, to the point where we almost broke up. Through ALOT of talking I think this is mostly do to his fear of my going away to college next year (only a hour away). He's afraid of cheating and hurting me. We've been together a year and 8 months and have spoken futuristically countless times. We are best friends and dont want this to dissolve, we do love eachother.

My question is this. First, I don't really understand an open relationship, but from what I've gathered its being technically a couple, but being allowed to branch out to other people...correct me if i'm wrong here. So, is it possible that we could do something like this with limits, like we are still together, no intercourse or oral with someone else ( or maybe yes to sex, i'm not sure), but kissing and flirting and considering others is ok? I'm not sure how to go about it. Like a "Don't ask, Don't tell" thing, where maybe in a few years if we are still together and I'm out of college or he moves closer we revert back to "us" and have one long talk where we admit everything? I dont know. I need suggestions and clarifications.....thanks.


Posts: 50 | From: us | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DarkChild717
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 139

Icon 1 posted      Profile for DarkChild717     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
An open relationship is whatever you want it to be. There are no solid definitions for it. Though, from the tone of your post, I don't think this would be a good thing for either of you.

If you want boundaries, then those need to be firmly set. You need to be prepared emotionaly, should your parnter actually step to those boundaries. While saying something like "oral sex is okay" might sound good now, what happens when you find out that he's done that? How would you feel?

The not asking, not telling thing is problematic. It encourages secrets, and you should always be open with your partner about your sexual history. So, if either of you has sex with someone else, the other should know to protect themselves.


Posts: 2789 | From: The Evergreen State | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
littleduckling
Activist
Member # 22480

Icon 1 posted      Profile for littleduckling     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DarkChild717:
Though, from the tone of your post, I don't think this would be a good thing for either of you.

Why don't you think it would be good for us?
I was going to talk to him about it tonight...but now I'm hesistant...


Posts: 50 | From: us | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, for starters, it very rarely works out for people in open/poly relationships to choose what sex activities can and can't be done with other partners.

Not only does that just tend not to work -- likely mostly because when you're having any sort of sex with someone, activities tend to feel like the flow into each other fairly naturally, so that rule will tend to get broken alot, and then you've got partners inclined to be dishonest -- it doesn't tend to do what most think it will. In other words, you want to make that rule, probably, because this activity or that one feels most intiate to you, so what you're really trying to do is limit the intimacy someone has with another partner. But those activities may NOT be the most intimate to them, and/or they may have varying levels of intimacy regardless.

Plus, if you really want to curb intimacy, make it exclusive, then having an open relationship just tends to be the wrong choice in that situation.

Your partner gets to decide if he "cheats" or not, for the record. And don't ask-don't tell? Generally also a horrid sitch: that's you two closing off even more communication with each other. Planning to do that with "confessions" years later? Oh lordy: that's setting yourselves up to have giant bmbs dropped in your lap.

Also, switching to open or poly when you're already having problems tends to also rarely work out well. An open relationship often requires a bit more constant communication than one which isn't, and has a lot of extra/new challenges. It's sage only to go into that when you're NOT already having other problems.

Ultimately, people for whom poly or open relationships work best are those who CAN be very honest about who everyone is seeing, what those relationships are, what's going on in them in some basic way, ongoing. They're best when both people in the primary realtionship ARE sure of what they want.

So, what I'd suggest for you is to really give this a lot of thought. You two might want to consider stepping back to just dating, or splitting as a romantic couple for right now while you're separated, but giving yourselves an option to "rnew" or revisit the possibility of being together should you be in the same place again. Of course, you could also stay eclusive during this if staying together as a couple is something you both really want: like I said, your partner does get to control his own actions. Or, by all means, cnsider moving to something more open, but you'll probably want to do so very differently than you're envisioning for it to really be doable.


Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One more thing?

An hour away is NADA for distance.

Heck, growing up in the city, almost everyone I dated lived at least 45 minutes to an hour away by subway and bus. I don't drive, I bike, so even when I've dated locally as an adult, usually I'm looking at an hour's trip to see someone.

It seems to me you're looking at this as if it were going to be a long-distance relationship when it isn't.


Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OnlySupernova
Neophyte
Member # 26838

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OnlySupernova     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
One more thing?

An hour away is NADA for distance.

Heck, growing up in the city, almost everyone I dated lived at least 45 minutes to an hour away by subway and bus. I don't drive, I bike, so even when I've dated locally as an adult, usually I'm looking at an hour's trip to see someone.

It seems to me you're looking at this as if it were going to be a long-distance relationship when it isn't.


I definitely agree with Miz Scarlet: an hour is nothing. While it might have posed a problem if you guys were just starting out in a relationship, now you have options. Maybe set up a way to see each other on a fairly constant, egalitarian basis (you come see him one weekend, he visits you the next). Best of luck.


Posts: 6 | From: Fulton, MO, USA | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
colourmetwice
Neophyte
Member # 16568

Icon 1 posted      Profile for colourmetwice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Its not a good idea because you're not comfortable. You're going to be wondering everytime he says he's going to a party who he may or may not hook up with. Not that that thought wouldn't cross your mind anyway, but in an open relationship--the idea just might drive you mad.
What do you want and what do you deserve?
I know you want to make this relationship work, but is letting one another explore while trying to maintain it the best way? I'm trying to look out for your future mental state here. I don't like picturing you sitting alone in your dorm room all depressed-like wondering if your boy is hooking up with someone else because you told him it was okay to.
On the other hand, if you're the type of person who thinks they can honestly do that and be okay, I say go for it. Both of you are taking a risk by doing it (especially when it comes to STD's!) but I'm a big one for enjoying life. If "you do your thing I'll do mine, don't ask don't tell and there won't be jealousy, let's explore but you still have my heart" is going to make the BOTH of you happy, by all means...
Just remember to define what having a realtionship actually means to you.

"He's afraid of cheating and hurting me."

If he's afraid he's going to cheat on you, I'm afraid about his true level of commitment to you.

You owe yourself more than redefining a relationship because your partner is unsure of how he feels or what he wants.
What do you want? Its okay to want something different or something more.

------------------
She is intolerable, but that is her only fault.
-Talleyrand


Posts: 35 | From: Oak Harbor, WA, USA | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
littleduckling
Activist
Member # 22480

Icon 1 posted      Profile for littleduckling     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I want to be with him. See, right now I think we are a little shaky because he's scared of me leaving and getting hurt/hurting me. I also think that its hitting him that the longer we are together the more and more likely us staying together forever could actually happen.

So my thoughts were that sorting out our possibilities now may calm him a down a little so we could rebuild anything we've lost. I'm not leaving til August, I just got my acceptance letter (and $56,000 scholarship!) a week or two ago so now its real.

Also, we've talked about the fact that we could be happy spending the rest of our lives together, but I've never been with anyone else either, so the open relationship (whatever we decide to make it) would almost be like testing the water and making sure we are what eachothers wants. If we are as strong as I think, than the flings would just serve to make us realize how much we love eachother.

Oh, and I agree with all of you that not talking about it and then confessing later is not a good plan.


Posts: 50 | From: us | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PinkPenguin06
Neophyte
Member # 26887

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PinkPenguin06     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm in a similar situation and I was thinking about doing a similar thing. I just got my acceptance letter about a month ago, and I'm going to a place 4 hours away from home, which is kind of hard to get to (located in a very rural location). He'll still be here, as he's one year younger than me. I don't want to approach the topic with him yet as it seems too soon for something that's like 7 months away, but its hard to remain comfortably in a relationship if you think its going to end. I know he wants to stay with me, but I honestly don't know if that will work. Even if we could make a long-distance thing work for a year, after that if he went to college, most likely in New York he'll be even farther away from me. I also know he'd meet someone wonderful there, because he is an amazing person and I'm completely unworthy of him.

So when the time comes around I'm considering asking him what he thinks of an open relationship. I do not want our relationship to end under any circumstances (unless he wants to end it), so if he didn't not want that, we would not do that. I'm pretty sure having an open relationship would not affect my feelings for him (as I don't think anything could), but I don't want to offend him by asking. I just think it might be a good idea because while I probably won't act upon it, I like to have the option without completely hurting him. So I think I'll talk to him about this option when the time rolls around. How soon is too soon to approach this topic? It is starting to get to me and I don't want the future to really affect our present relationship (which is stupid, because obviously the future has to have some bearing on the present, but I want to try to enjoy what I have now). I think its too soon to talk about it now but maybe April, or after school ends?

As for your relationship, it seems really strong and I think it could last even in an open relationship, but I don't even know if that is necessary in your case. I think you can make the long-distance relationship work (as it is only an hour, right?) Good luck, whatever you decide!


Posts: 22 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
littleduckling
Activist
Member # 22480

Icon 1 posted      Profile for littleduckling     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow PinkPenguin this does sound quite similar...

I agree with you that it seems a little too soon to bring it up, but I feel like its affecting us right now. I know he thinks about and worries about the future so I feel like talking about our options may help things right now. I mean he sent me a text already today that he wants to talk tonight and that he can't promise me things will be ok...great. But I'm ready and prepared to tell him how I feel, so fingers crossed.

I think if the prospect of you going to college isn't hurting the relationship now, then I'd wait til April or June, or whenever it does pose a threat to talk about an open relationship. I also agree with you in that I don't think I'd be the one who'd act upon it as much as he might. I also don't want to offend him which is going to be hard to do, so I'm just going to lay it all out on the table.

I never thought college would be a problem, yet here we are seven months away worry, worry, worrying...aye.

_________________________________________
A life with love will have some thorns, but a life without love will have no roses


Posts: 50 | From: us | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
summergoddess
Activist
Member # 11352

Icon 10 posted      Profile for summergoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's really your choice, your life, and your beliefs.

Personally, I don't like open relationships. Just because then, your sharing your partner with other people. You don't have them to yourself 100%. Even if the openness is just sex or emotional romance. You don't have the offical togetherness.

A relationship to me is sacred. When you love someone and are in love with them, you commit to them 100%. Your partner should be the same way. You two are connected together in every way.. emotionally, physically, sexually, romantically, and etc.

Open relationship is like asking for trouble. A way to get out in one way or another. If your partner wants to share him with someone else besides you, i would like... well what's going on. What's wrong with our relationship. If he can't be enjoyed by you, then it's time to reconsider the relationship. If he's worth your time, or move on.

But that's just me on open relationship. I like monogamous relationships.

------------------
~Jules


Posts: 369 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amaryllis
Neophyte
Member # 26825

Icon 10 posted      Profile for amaryllis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I entered into a "limited" open relationship once, and it ended up causing me to have the most painful, terrible breakup I've ever experienced. He wanted the open relationship, and I didn't AT ALL, but I really cared about him and wanted to give him what he wanted so he wouldn't leave me. I thought that maybe he'd be so happy that I was willing to LET him be with other people that he'd love me more and stop wanting to be with other people.

Well, once given my permission, he went off and started flings with tons of other girls. I had told him it was okay, so there was nothing I could do about it, but it made me soooo miserable. I couldn't stop thinking about it. My life became entirely consumed with obsessive worries about who he might be with or want to be with and why wasn't I just good enough? I brought it up with him eventually, but he was enjoying himself so much that he wan't willing to give up that freedom to be with multiple girls at one time. We tried to work it out, and I kept making sacrifices for him, but ultimately I had to end the relationship.

Don't let yourself get into a situation like that. If you aren't really 100% ok with him being with someone else, don't pretend like it's fine!! As was already said...an hour is not really long distance. You guys can make that work.

On the other hand, for other situations like the one above, where you're leaving for a college that is really far enough away to be inaccessible on a regular basis, I am an advocate of just breaking up and promising to give each-other a call when you graduate. College is a time to start over. You will be surrounded by new people, and new ideas, and new experiences. You don't want to have all that and not be able to take advantage of it.


Posts: 9 | From: USA | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Peaches44
Activist
Member # 27099

Icon 10 posted      Profile for Peaches44     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I dated my current boyfriend for 1.5 years living an hour away. That was when we first started dating too so our relationship was just beginning. We took the greyhound to see each other. Alternating weekends.

I can tell you honestly, in a year and a half, we didn't miss a SINGLE weekend. Somehow we always managed to find a way to see each other.

(a greyhound ticket to somewhere that is only an hour away only costs like $20-$25 round trip, it's worth it when you're talking about seeing the person you love. some methods of transport would probably be even cheaper.)


Posts: 50 | From: Alberta Canada | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
littleduckling
Activist
Member # 22480

Icon 9 posted      Profile for littleduckling     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think my wanting an open relationship was to just keep him around. Subconsciously, I knew it was going to be over, and now it is,we broke up. Its really hard because he keeps getting confused and wanting to talk, or thinking he made the wrong decision, but then realizes that we were growing apart and its better this way.

He says he changed too much, and it wasn't the real him anymore. But, he also got a new girlfriend in two days (the same girl that while we were dating he swore was just a friend)!!! It's really hard. We're trying to stay friends, and he's there to help me through it, which is odd. I don't know. Breakups suck.


Posts: 50 | From: us | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3