Big Love?

Monday, November 6, 2006

Written by Samartha Gamble

Dear Sammy,

My boyfriend and I are good friends and in love, but we are thinking of trying the open relationship idea. I've always wanted to find that one person I could share the rest of my life with. Now that we are considering this new relationship idea, I don’t know anymore. Dear Sammy, should I stick to spending the rest of my life with one person, or letting other people in?

  • Unsure

Dearest Unsure,

Who’s really thinking about this relationship renovation; is it you or your partner? If it’s the two of you that's fair enough, but if it's just your partner then be very careful of what you agree to. It is of the utmost importance that the two of you remain respectful, understanding and empathetic towards each other as you both discuss the pros and cons of entertaining this kind of arrangement.

This is a personal choice to be made by you and not something you can really discuss, give, or get advice on. So instead of advice, here’s a little education on open relationships. Polyamory is a relationship style, not a sexual practice and while polyamory (i.e., responsible non-monogamy) is used primarily as a means of expanding a couple's sexual relationship, the decision to engage in such a relationship, must be taken quite seriously and with a lot of fore-thought.

I understand why you and your partner would have a natural curiosity to try polyamory. Obviously it's because of the excitement and freedom that if offers; but checking in with your values and beliefs is a very important starting point in making this difficult and uncomfortable decision. Remember, your decision will weigh heavily on those beliefs and values and be aware of them before you agree to anything.

If you do decide to try an open relationship, then please research the psychological impact of such relationships on those who have tried them, then determine whether or not you’re a suitable candidate for this kind of relationship style. There is no shutting this door once you’ve opened it; believe me on this. I am certain about one thing though: your discomfort with this possibility. Your hopes of having a family one day suggest to me that your comfort zone is more towards a monogamous relationship rather than polyamorous one. If you want to be surer Unsure, it might be in your best interest to speak to someone who knows your emotional boundaries best, or a professional who is open-minded to the impact of both monogamy and polyamory on ones’ emotional well-being.

Kind regards,

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