Open relationships aren’t for everyone, they’re not exactly new either. Polygyny (one husband, many wives) was common in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, as was orgies in Ancient Greece. Not to mention the practice of polyandry (one wife, many husbands) in Nepal.
On one hand, this style of relationship existed in previous cultures for the benefit of the economy; to help with population control. In other cultures, it was to promote good fertility within a community.
But here in the western world, my version of an open relationship is based on a personal creed of connecting with people in the most caring and passionate ways possible. Often it includes physical intimacy, but sometimes it’s just a strong emotional connection.
My partner and I both believe in never denying oneself of feeling attraction or wanting something society often says you shouldn’t have.
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I have one partner whom I love, but many people I will meet, care for and share a bed with.
That’s a system that works for us. We didn’t get there easily, but it did strengthen my ability to trust all facets of our relationship. This trust helped me process moments of insecurity and worry.
Every time there was a thought of insecurity, he would reassure me that he loved me.
Every time he left to be with someone else, I worried about if he’d still come home to me. I’d tell him how I felt and we talked about it.
Every time eventually turned into sometimes.
That reassurance and support he gave never left me.
My partner told me he loved me after two weeks of meeting me, the very morning after we had decided to be official. After he said that to me, I was more intrigued than worried that he might have been an oddball. Instead, I just had to trust that how he felt was the truth, and wasn’t simply a pick-up line.
Realistically, I didn’t initiate this kind of relationship. People always say, “Oh I bet he wanted to do it”, and they are right! I asked my partner why an open relationship was so important to him and why he thought it’d work for us. This is what he said:
“This is just what I am. I sabotaged too many relationships because I felt trapped. I saw your open-mindedness, your ability to love and care for others so deeply, and I figured this would work for us.”