Meredith, and I suppose you can link people to my soundcloud, http://soundcloud.com/braindouche and share my pretty, pretty music, described as good to take drugs and/or write novels to.
1. What insight about open relationships do you wish you had when you started?
That rules are highly overrated. In the beginning, I tried to control problems by adding rules, structure and boundaries, and it failed every time. Now, my relationship of 9 years trundles along very happily with 6 rules:
1. Call if you’re not coming home. (Because the partner wakes up in the middle of the night quickly, but rational responses to things come online much more slowly.)
2. When you do come home, tell me about it. (Because we’re both voyeurs.)
3. Be safe.
4. A gorilla must be prominently displayed in the living area at all times.
5. Don’t fuck her clients. (Was “don’t fuck the clients” when we shared a business. Now we run separate businesses, and anyway, this rule was temporarily suspended for a while.)
6. If you don’t feel like you can tell me something, come talk to me.
For a long time, it was just those first three rules, but as they all do, the rulebook expanded.
I also didn’t expect to come to the conclusion that I really, really *hate* dating, which presents an unexpected and interesting challenge.
Oooh, another good one, relationships don’t need to be symmetrical to be fair. My relationship with my partner has been open since day one, but she’s only ever “taken the option” to date someone else once, and briefly at that. (Twice, if you count that thing that happened at that party we went to, years ago.) I’m much sluttier than she is, and generally just more interested in dating, so I’ve been far more active outside of our relationship. We’re perfectly content to do it this way. A lot of people think it looks odd from the outside, or negative, or wonder if I’m lying or really cheating, and I see where they’re coming from and genuinely appreciate their concern. We just have somewhat different priorities, and go with it. (And we’re independent like that with everything, not just our sex lives. The joke is that I had to take her to my friends’ wedding this summer just to prove that she a) existed and b) wasn’t chopped up in my freezer. My friends have dark senses of humor.)
2. What has been the hardest thing about opening your relationship, and how have you overcome that?
For what it’s worth, I’ve only been in one non-open relationship. There wasn’t anything to overcome, I just, yanno, did it.
3. What has been the best thing about your open relationship?
Oh, all the typical warm and fuzzy marriage crap, that it’s great to have a teammate who knows all your plays, and other goofy metaphors. Compersion is pretty damn awesome, too, but it’s not a thing that’s limited to non-monogamous relationships. They just don’t know there’s a word for it.
4. Anything else you’d like to add?
There needs to be a term for people who are poly, non-mono, or otherwise in open committed relationships who, for whatever reason, don’t date or actively seek out other relationships or sex partners. It describes my relationship with my partner, and I’ve met scores of perfectly happy people who would welcome a compatible cutie falling out of the sky into their bed, but otherwise simply can’t be arsed to go out and discover other new cuties actively. The word “lazy” gets thrown around a lot.