I’ve had reason to think about this some more and the one thing I gotta point out that if you’ve opened up your relationship to other folks, um, this ain’t a competition, something I’ve found that causes people to fail in this. Being open just isn’t about who’s having the most fun or successes and who’s not having that much fun and being successful seems to be a pipe dream.
It’s about experiencing an unorthodox way to grow as individuals and as a couple and turning this into a competition will only foster a lot of resentment. If your being open isn’t about “us” then I feel you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons; being open is an extension of what you already have and, as such, still requires for your relationship to be worked on… constantly because just like being monogamous, your open relationship will not run all by itself.
Yep, you go open and you start laying down rules and stuff – there’s no way I know of to be open and without a foundation of rules. However, a lot of people fail in this because they never factor in the fact that things change and when you don’t allow for change in any of this, well, drama will always happen. And, of course, communication – open and honest communication – becomes even more important because if you’re not in touch with what’s going on in your minds – thoughts, feelings, stuff like that, you are royally fucked if you aren’t able to share everything you’re experiencing in this and no matter if it’s good, bad, or indifferent.
Other than what I like to call Rule Number One – “Always take care of home first” – the next important thing is having a shared vision in this and one that encompasses your whole relationship and not just individual wants and needs. It’s not that those wants and needs don’t ever form the basis for being open but if you’re not thinking about how your individual wants and need can benefit your relationship as a whole, you’re just not doing it in what I’d have to say is a smart way; if you’re not truly together in this, yep, you’re fucked and not in a good way.
Not only is it not really all that easy to get the ball rolling in this, it’s not easy to get everything “settled in” to where everyone is comfortable; again, this takes work and just will not happen on its own and it most certainly isn’t going to happen quickly – this shit takes time as well as effort and if you’re not of a mind to take/spend the time to make sure things do settle in nicely, you’re doing it wrong in my opinion. Until y’all get settled in, everything is trial and error and you have to accept that, yep, you’re gonna make mistakes – then the trick is not letting those mistakes make you fail. If you don’t support each other in this, ya might be doomed because I can’t say it enough: This ain’t just about you – this is an “us” thing. How can we be better with and for each other? How can what we experience in this give us both individual growth as well as continued growth as a couple – and then in as many positive ways as we can manage?
You talk, openly and honestly… and talk some more, and keep talking because it’s not really one’s activities that causes a terminal failure – it’s that lack of effective communication that’ll do it. Every concern needs to be addressed when it comes up; holding shit back from the discussion is beyond self-defeating. In the beginning, yeah, it’s kinda easy for resentment to sneak into things and it’s not just one person’s job to deal with this – it takes a combined effort so that any resentment and all those other negative feelings are squashed – and then always keeping in mind that negative feelings are always gonna crop up and you just need a good plan on how to deal with this.
Being open is a terribly severe test of your love for each other as well as the strength and security of your relationship… and I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you both become proof against the things that can cause doubt, mistrust, and a lot of other shit that could destroy your relationship. If you don’t realize that there are a lot of occupational hazards that go along with any kind of relationship, well, I’m telling you that there are. You just cannot ever question or doubt your love for each other! Being open, well, it’s not just about the sex that can be had although a lot of people believe this to be true and because they do, they try to go out of their way to prevent feelings of attachment to other folks and, honestly, while this can be done, I personally think it’s a mistake and one that’s self-defeating because, uh, if you’re not allowed to feel anything for someone else other than lust, why are you even bothering to do this?
If you’re gonna experience being open, experience all of it and not just the parts that have the most appeal. Maybe you think such… extra attachments aren’t supposed to happen and if you do, I’m here today to tell you that being cluelessly in denial about this isn’t going to help at all because if you’re human – and I’m assuming that you are – then you have the ability and capacity to feel something other than lust for someone else – and, yeah, even when you’re already madly in love with your partner. Love has never been a “one and done” kind of thing but if you think it is, go ahead – keep thinking like that and find out how things will work… or stop working. When my [then] wife and I first went open, yeah, I was worried sick about her falling in love with someone else and losing her… until I realized that this same thing could happen even if we weren’t open and it didn’t make any sense for us to make rules that served to prevent other feelings from taking place – and, exactly, how does one go about doing that? You can tell yourself that you’re not gonna fall for someone else… but you just never really know – it’s impossible for you to know and if you do, um, can you pick out all of the winning lottery numbers for me?
Maybe other feelings won’t happen… but you’d better be aware of the fact that they can happen and have a plan, however tentative, for dealing with the probability of this. Know that even if you or your partner begin to feel things other than lust for someone else, that doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed or that you’re gonna suffer loss because, bluntly and honestly, if you have fears of loss, you need to not be doing this and maybe shouldn’t be in a relationship at all: Nothing is forever. If you dare to love, you also accept the risk of loss… but you don’t have to fear it. Prevent it, yes; let the fear of loss drive things? I wouldn’t do that…
Okay, time for me to get off my soapbox and find something else to do…