With snowflake details inside, how would I go about navigating the waters of finding a partner for limited openness?
June 18, 2012 7:55 AM Subscribe
I think I may be interested in exploring an open relationship at some point down the line, but where do I meet others like me?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Anonymous because this is just going to sound shitty from every perspective.
I'm a late 20s female. I've recently started thinking that maybe in the long term, I would want some sort of an openness in my long term relationship. I don't want to start out open - I think a couple needs at least a few years to be together and bond - but eventually, I wonder if an affair or two a year that are mutually allowed would only enhance life.
The problem: how do I figure out who might be up for this sort of arrangement most tactfully?
I'm culturally fairly mainstream, and most of my friends are professionals and academics. We typically ascribe to pretty conventional lifestyles and values. The people I've seen seeking openness on their online profiles or attending polyamory meetings, etc, are generally very counterculture. I respect this, but it's not who I am and it's not typically a crowd I fit in with.
So now what? At this point in time, if I saw a man's profile that openly stated a preference for an open relationship, I would be fairly put off, because the honest statement of such a preference reveals some disregard for playing by society's rules. I recognize the irony here, but I actually do have a career that would be potentially damaged if this were a well-known fact about me, and most of the men whose lifestyles match mine probably fit into this same category. I actually hope this fact about society changes in the future, but this is the reality now.
So... Do I just date and initiate philosophical conversations about the nature of monogamy, taking it from there by gauging response? Do I bring it up directly within the first month or two of dating? Another issue here is that I don't want to scare off someone who may potentially be GGG about this after learning more about it by bringing it up early or in a manner that may seem aggressive. I think many people may never have considered the possibility that this can be a functional reality, and need to give it thought before being put off by unconventional ideas. For this reason, I wonder about the benefits of gently holding philosophical or hypothetical discussions and seeing where things go from there.
Also, do you have any examples of conventionally successful couples in every respect but this? I have NO doubt that some if not many couples I know have agreements of the sort, which are unknown to me for the aforementioned reasons, as well as just privacy. Are there high-powered professional couples who are open about this, whom you know? What are they like? If they're not open publicly about it, how did it come about?