(Closed) How to help friend in open relationship

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 17
Member
2755 posts
Sugar bee

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@daybyday:  We communicate a LOT. I did a ton of reading, research and discussion with others in open/poly relationships beforehand and have really worked to make sure every step of the way we are on the same page. We spent a month discussing the pros and cons, what we both would ideally want in the short and long term, what pitfalls we could foresee, etc. before venturing into “open waters”. 

There’s also something about being able to not only look at the grass on the other side of the fence but (excuse the crassness) go roll around in it that makes me appreciate my SO so much more. I remember the first time I met my current secondary partner in person for coffee, I walked away thinking that while I was definitely attracted and looking forward to getting to know him better, there’s no way he could ever surpass my SO. I love connecting with other people and have thoroughly enjoyed it, but I also crave reconnection with him after and that’s always pretty earthshattering – whether physical or just the talks we have with each other.

Monogamy is pretty hardwired in our society, so I understand why probably a good 80% of people on here and otherwise wouldn’t get it. I totally am fine with that, so long as I don’t get judgements about my character thrown around (which sadly happens here and elsewhere).

Post # 20
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2755 posts
Sugar bee

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@preppysouthernbride:  No problem, happy to help!

I do worry a little bit, mostly because I am a big people pleaser and don’t love the idea of people branding me as something that I’m not. Some of my friends know, some don’t. My mom is totally supportive of it because she’s a hippie and is all about free love and being happy. We’re in the process of relocating, and the area we are moving to has a VERY large poly community, so I think that will also be beneficial.

My secondary partner is engaged and he and his fiance are poly. Actually, right after I met him the next night I was invited to have dinner and watch a movie at their place. One of the decisions SO and I made early on is to only be involved with single people or people also in open relationships. We prefer to meet each other’s partners (he’s Skyped with my local secondary), and I definitely prefer to meet the primary partner of anyone I might get involved with.

Post # 21
Member
8035 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@preppysouthernbride:  I think it’s best for you to listen. Realistically, any advice you give will only be taken once she is ready. And generally people have a pretty good idea of what they need to do… they just don’t always do it.

I am not sure you need to understand. Obviously I don’t know all the details, but open relationships work for some people and not for others. If she was forced into it (i.e. she just went along with what her bf wanted so she wouldn’t lose him), then of course it won’t work.

I would suggest to her that if she isn’t happy, she should get out. Open relationships make relationships (already complex entities) even harder. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

Post # 22
Member
2638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2006

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@MissCalifornia:  Is the secondary partner clear that you’re already committed to someone else? Do you think it’s ever insulting for THAT person to know that in your eyes, he’ll never measure up to the person you really love? Or is that not an issue when it’s more for sex/companionship and not love?

Do you think it would work as well if you lived with your SO/weren’t LDR?

Sorry, I’m like really, really curious about this.

Post # 23
Member
353 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I don’t agree with open relationships, so obviously I’ve never been in one, but I have known a few people who have. I can say from what I always observed and heard all parties involved were 100% secure and content with their lifestyle choice. Unless there’s something I’m missing, I would think that she isn’t too keen on the idea of an open relationship if it’s bothering her that much.

Post # 24
Member
2755 posts
Sugar bee

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@daybyday:  It’s not an issue – especially since he and I are pretty much on the same page. He’s committed to his fiance as his primary, I to my SO. Our relationship is based on sex, friendship and affection. I am starting to see someone now who is a single guy, but he’s had experience with poly relationships before and totally understands that I’m not going to fall in love and run away with him (nor does he want me to). We talk about my SO and my impending move a lot, in addition to our long discussions about Game of Thrones 😀

I am very interested to see how it’s going to play out when I move in 2 months to live with my SO. I’m fairly certain for a long while I’m not going to have any desire to seek additional partners out just because I’ve been deprived of HIM for so long xD It was probably going to happen eventually in our relationship (we talked about open relationships on our first date haha) but the distance sped up it becoming a reality.

No problem, it’s fun to talk about! If you want to ask more questions off-thread, feel free to PM me.

Post # 26
Member
2755 posts
Sugar bee

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@preppysouthernbride:  Honestly, I was totally monogamous until this relationship. I didn’t realize there was another way to be until this past year – I was engaged before my SO, but the idea of getting married and that being “it” made me feel really nauseous/constricted. I enjoyed the ability to meet and connect with a variety of people during my period of dating before SO and I decided to get serious.

It’s kind of more like I never imagined choosing nonmonogamy, but once I started learning about it, a “lightbulb” went off and I realized – ah, this is what I need.

Post # 28
Member
510 posts
Busy bee

My best friend is in an open relationship. It began when they were long distance, and continued since. Her SO has never acted on it (in 7+ years of being together) but she has. Twice. He struggled at first but she never has. The only way it works is for them to be TOTALLY open with each other. They need each other more than they could possibly need friends in this situation. IF they need to turn to friends, then something in the open relationship is failing. I’m not doubting the importance of friends in this scenario, but in an open relationship, only your SO can provide the communication and openness that is needed.<p><p>An open relationship can be a good choice for couples, but only for as long as they’re happy with it. Aka, it’s only as good choice for as long as it’s a good choice! You can be there as a friend, but ultimately, she and her SO need to be fully content and it needs to be working for both of them, not just one. All you can do as a friend is support her choices! And maybe help her scope out cute guys 😉

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