The more I live, listen, read and learn about this open relationship thing, the more I witness that the hard part is the others. It is not jealousy, it is not insecurity, it is not health, it is not even the difficulty of deconstructing everything we have learned about how relationships should be: the very bad thing is having to justify your own relation to others. This happens because as much as you and the person you relate to are autonomous beings who have chosen this way of relating, the rest of the world has not necessarily followed your reasoning and will. And the rest of the world, then, will question you and criticize you and judge you and look you crooked and be condescending and confused in front of your choice. And you and your partner, as they need to live in society and deal with family and friends, end up having to explain themselves. If you are interested in Matching couple outfits, let come to enjoy many design for couple, all in themed t-shirt, couple t-shirt, couple hoodies, etc.
It is not just the more traditional people who have their qualifications about open relationships. In the age of problematization, even the practices of deconstruction and paradigm breaks are problematized – are we liberating ourselves or creating new prisons and pitfalls? A common discourse against these relations has the feminist foundation that, for men, relationships have always been open, this is nothing new, and open relationship is another way to stay in power and control women’s sexuality. I’m a feminist and I favor problematizations, but I do not like it because I think it starts from the wrong premises. To say that man could always be unfaithful with impunity while woman is still considered a piranha is not to say that, for man, relations have always been opened. This is an erroneous and prejudiced perspective on what an open relationship is. In fact, the traditional relationship in which man does what he wants and the woman who screwed up has absolutely nothing to do with the mutual respect and trust in which the ideals of open relationship are based. And, let’s not forget, it’s possible to be abusive in any relationship model. But free relationships and abuse is a theme for another text and, malzaê, it will not be today.
Faced with so many comments, problematizations, crooked looks and requests for justifications, I decided to write this text, rebutting and explaining the inadequate conceptions that I observe more often. Come on!
1 – No one is exempt from jealousy.
Many people think that people who set out to live an open relationship are evolved beings who do not feel jealous or insecure and who basically are good with absolutely everything. There are even people who are like that, but this is not a rule. Feeling jealousy and insecurity is normal. The difference, in an open relationship, is that feeling jealousy is not a deciding factor for whether it is sexually exclusive or not. In other words, you recognize that feeling jealous is normal and think and talk ways to deal with it. It is also common to feel jealous in certain situations and certain people and not in others. The beauty of the relationship’s openness is to be able to discuss and resolve this as a couple.
2 – You can “lose” the person at any time, whether the relationship is open or closed.
I believe that one of the greatest fears that we have in love relationships is losing the person we love, who gets tired of us, falls in love with another, etc. Monogamy ends up being an illusion of security , the false idea that if you do not relate to anyone else, the person you love will not leave you. Except that the possibility of any of these things happening is the same in any kind of relationship. Everyone is always able to take an interest in others.
Personally, I believe open relationships are perhaps safer in that regard. I’ve seen a couple who broke up because one side became interested in another, and not being able to stay with the person, not wanting to finish or betray, ended up feeling stuck and very unsatisfied. I wonder, in those cases, what would have happened if the person had simply gone there and stayed with the one that interested him. The desire, perhaps, died there and did not turn into a temptation that would be such a big problem. Of course, yes, there is the possibility that the person may go there, stay with the other, be enchanted by it and want to break up with you. But it is not monogamy that protects us from this. In fact, there is nothing to protect us from this. (I.e.
3 – An open relationship is a serious relationship like any other.
We learn that jealousy and sexual fidelity are proofs of love. Therefore, it is not surprising that many people think that when there is no sexual exclusivity or even jealousy, it means that one of the parties does not really love, that one of the parties is being used and made of muggle, that the couple is more friend than boyfriend or simply that the relationship is not serious. I think a lot about how this is tied to the view that the traditional model of relationship – in which, even if it denies itself, all practices start from one premise of owning the other – is the right and the parameter. I believe that loving is free, but I do not go around criticizing traditional relationships and saying that it is not real love if you do not let the other do what you want. However, because it is different from the traditional one, if I let the other do what I want, anyone feels at ease and in the right to criticize me for it, diminishing my relationship. Is not it a curious parallel?
What seems to me is that society places too great a weight on sexual exclusivity, placing it on top of fellowship, affection, friendship, loyalty, affinity, trust, dialogue and so many other important aspects in a relationship.It seems that if there is no sexual fidelity, there is absolutely none of these things either. And that’s not true. People may very well love each other and also like to go out with others, just as we go out with several friends and we do not owe exclusivity to any of them. You may now ask me: in what way, then, is an open relationship different from a colored friendship? As far as I know, a colored friendship is sex with someone with whom one has a friendship, not a “romantic” involvement, so to speak. Let’s go, guys, it’s not difficult: think of a friend and think of a boyfriend and what you feel for both. If you add sex to the parade, is your relationship with your friend identical to your relationship with your boyfriend? What’s more, if you have sex with someone else, what do you feel about your boyfriend?
Sexual fidelity is only sexual fidelity. It is not a determinant of NOTHING beyond itself in a relationship. It defines neither the existence nor the degree of seriousness of the relationship, it does not even define the love between the couple. Similarly, having an open relationship does not mean that there is no commitment – just as there is no close relationship without commitment.
4 – It’s not just a phase.
Couples in open relationships listen to this often asked, “Is the relationship still open?” As if it were an internship. This point has to do with the previous one, which is not to take the relationship seriously, to think that it is only serious when there is monogamy. It may be that the couple at some point decides to become monogamous, but that does not mean that there has been an evolution in the character of the relationship, it just means that it was open and closed. Simple.
5 – It is not an attempt to save the relationship.
This thing of dating other people is also often seen as a way of saving relationships from the routine. I do not know if this works or not for someone, but just as sexual exclusivity has an end in itself, I believe that sexual freedom also has it. That is, I do not see the opening of the relationship as a means to an end, although it may end up having that intention and working for some couples.
6 – This is not the most important and defining aspect of the relationship.
It’s just one of them. Just as being shortsighted, left-handed or lame does not sum up as a human being, an open relationship is not enough for that either. She’s a lot of other things that other relationships are too, but folks see the label and it fits. Any less.
7 – It’s not about the couple.
I think this point is one that gets a lot of people, but let’s start: your sexuality is yours. It is part of who you are as an individual. If you’re gay, straight, bi, pan, ace, demi, mono, cop … This is all about YOU. It’s not about the person you date. Likewise, the person you date has the characteristics of her individual. When you come together, these characteristics do not vanish or add up, they coexist.It turns out that some of these characteristics collide, as individuals are different worlds and, there, it is up to the two people relating to make agreements. If you’re cute and the person you date is poli, one of the two will have to give in. The traditional assumption is that being a cop is being single and being monkey is being in a relationship. But the relationship is yours and the person, so let me tell you a secret: you do what you want with it. The poly person can choose to live in a mono relationship, in the same way that the mono person can choose to live in a poly relationship. This is called respecting the individuality of the other.After all, although the sexuality is of the individual, the relationship is of the couple and the decisions about this relationship affect the individuality of each one. This brings us to the next point.
8 – It is not a dispute between the couple, nor against other people.
Following the line of reasoning from the previous item, if you are mono and the person is a cop, you can either resolve to have a mono or a poly relationship, right? Right. I do not need to explain the monkey, because everyone accepts. And the cop, how does it work for a cute person? In the same way, uh. Open relationship is not a sexual competition between the two people relating. If you have entered into this sexual opening agreement, it is not because your boyfriend leaves with another person that you need to leave too. Just leave if you feel like it. The great thing is to have the freedom to do it when you want, if you want, and to know that when your boyfriend / girlfriend goes out with someone else, it’s not about you. If you do it because of the other, as a rematch or whatever, it loses all sense. Again: sexuality is part of the individuality, not part of the couple. And, as dating is not about you, there is no dispute between you and everyone else your partner leaves. There must be enough confidence and dialogue for the couple to be sure that what’s between them is important to both of them and will not be shaken by what each does in their free time when they are not together. This is independent of whether the relationship is open or closed.
9 – It’s no excuse for widespread bitching.
I’ve heard it a lot, that open relationship is something people want to bust all the time. Not necessarily. The relationship can be open and, in practice, the couple rarely associates with outsiders. And, okay, even if the person wants a generalized bitch, what’s the problem, as long as it’s allowed by all parties? I find a moralistic and exaggerated comment from someone who is too lazy to think. I have even a little patience to develop this topic, so I’m going to move on to the last one.
10 – Nobody is obliged.
Have you read this far and not been convinced that open relationship is better than closed relationship? Great! It was not my intention to convince anyone of this. The debate here is to acknowledge open relationship as a legitimate way of relating affectively and sexually with someone, if so desired by those involved. That means if you do not think it’s for you, do not do it. Just as no one is obliged to like and fit into the traditional model of relationship, no one is obliged to want to run away from him. As long as there is respect and consent, each one lives as he or she wants. And quit craving rule in the lives of others.
If you have read and found this open relationship stop a great idea, I recommend the same thing I recommend for any other relationship: DIALOGUE. Fair communication above all else. There is no formula, no rule; there are agreements. Learn, by trial and error, what works and does not work for you and your partner. And be happy.