Is semi-swinging ok? Does it work?
January 31, 2006 3:45 PM   Subscribe

My soon-to-be fiance and I are both quite in love. However, we met and had a child when we were both younger then we wanted to be to settle down with one person. She suggested (and I'm considering) dating other people while still being together.

So we've agreed that no sex is to take place, but anything up to and includeing is OK. I repeat, we're still very much in love, it's just we have things we each want to get out of our system. This would be simpler for me if we didn't have a 3 month old child, but that's how things worked out. She's 18, I'm 19. I have a good job, we're both in college, and things in our lives are going great, it's just we were both virgins when we met, and hadn't been with someone else before really.

We're talking about a having a number of just almost one night stands (no commitments).

Has anyone else ever done this successfully?

P.S. We're seeing a councler on thursday.
posted by TrueVox to Grab Bag (76 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What you decide to do is a hard choice that only you two can make but the idea that petting but no penetration will lead to a Clintonesq language game: oral sex is not screwing etc etc
Risky and will not work.
posted by Postroad at 3:49 PM on January 31, 2006

Best answer: a) Go with what the councillor says, not what metafilter says

b) What is it, exactly, that you hope to accomplish by dating other people? If you think that it's a problem that you've only had sex with each other, how would it change anything if you aren't going to be having sex with the people you would be dating?

Has anyone else ever done this successfully?

Not to my knowledge.
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:50 PM on January 31, 2006

I've been in polyamorous relationships, and many of my friends have as well, and I highly doubt this will work. How exactly can you have "almost one night stands" but not have sex? See, the way it'll work is this: one of you will fuck someone else, because you're young and horny. You're young, immature, and inexperienced, so I doubt you two will react with anything but stifled resentment, and the relationship will become a painful trainwreck. Of course, it'll be a good learning experience that we all need to have, so it won't be all bad.

That said, both of you should read The Ethical Slut, and give up on the idea that you'll be able to get "it" out of your system just by making out occasionally with another person. Either do the monogamy thing entirely, or do the full on polyamory thing where you both pursue your desires maturely. Anything half-way won't work.
posted by cmonkey at 3:56 PM on January 31, 2006

a) Go with what the councillor says, not what metafilter says

what he said.

My personal thought is that if there's sexual curiousity issues, there are ways to handle that without involving a third party, but... talk with a professional.
posted by I Love Tacos at 3:56 PM on January 31, 2006

I think the worst thing you can do for a 3 month year old kid is have the mom start dating random dudes.

Can the kid go live with someone's mom while you guys work this out?
posted by Mid at 4:01 PM on January 31, 2006

I agree with both A) listen to your councillor and B) You guys are 18-19 and one of you is going to fuck someone else if you do this, and the other is going to be really pissed off.
posted by Justinian at 4:02 PM on January 31, 2006

Your marriage will never work. Doesn't take a professional to see that. You still need to grow up. You're not ready.
posted by justgary at 4:03 PM on January 31, 2006

Holy shit, don't do it.
posted by danb at 4:10 PM on January 31, 2006

I repeat, we're still very much in love, it's just we have things we each want to get out of our system.

By all means, do the counseling and the dating others and whatever other deals you've made with yourselves. But your relationship is terminally ill. How long it takes to die is essentially up to your girlfriend. But you're done, and you have a long road ahead of you making child support payments and trying to find decent girls who will date you despite the fact that you're a 19-year-old dad.

Sure, maybe you'll beat the odds. But it's a longshot for a reason. Get ready, and don't let people sugarcoat anything-- temporary reassurance is no help to you where you're going for a long while (whether you want to hear it or not, or whether the people who have already flagged this response want to see it spelled out.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:10 PM on January 31, 2006

There's nothing wrong with being (romantically, emotionally, sexually, intimately, what-have-you) monogamous with one person for your entire adult life. Our grandparents did it all the time, and some of them are pretty happy with the results.

I'm not sure what it is that you and your fiancée think you're going to be missing if you don't explore relationships with other people, but under your circumstances, I'd get that sorted out with your counselor before you decide what needs to be done and how.

From the vantage point of years, I can tell you what I'd have missed, had I committed to someone at that age: some good times, some wacky times, some heartbreak, some misery, some embarrassment, some betrayal, some bliss. Some excellent sex, some terrible sex. Some things I look back on with nostalgia, some things I'd rather not revisit.

These are also things I've experienced within the context of my current, longterm, monogamous relationship (which also happens to be my marriage to the father of my children). So in that sense, I might very well have never missed any of it.

So, again I'd have to ask the question "What do you think you'd be missing?" The answer might be "nothing".
posted by padraigin at 4:12 PM on January 31, 2006

Yeah, as cmonkey says The Ethical Slut goes into many scenarios that you can talk through.
posted by holloway at 4:18 PM on January 31, 2006

it's just we have things we each want to get out of our system.

what does that even mean? why does she want to do this? and when you say again and again that you're in love...who are you trying to convince?
posted by mcsweetie at 4:26 PM on January 31, 2006

We're talking about a having a number of just almost one night stands (no commitments).

That'll end well. Nothing starts off a stable, long-term, monogamous relationship like polygamy. Sure you think this is a good idea?
posted by Rothko at 4:32 PM on January 31, 2006

Your first priority in your life needs to be your child. Forget about "getting things out of your system" and grow up a bit. I just can't imagine this scenario ending ending well at all for any of you.
posted by Ostara at 4:45 PM on January 31, 2006

Polyamory almost never works. Maybe one time in a million, a balance is reached, and that one time's success depends on at least one member of the group having serious, fucked-up mental health issues.

Do not get married. You have time, time you will need to grow and mature. Getting married at 19 is a crapshoot at best, and the fact that you both want to (non-)fuck other people does not bode well. It's obviously important to both of you that you sow your oats. Do it. Break off the relationship and be parents with solo lives. If you want to give it another shot when you're 24 and have porked to your heart's content, then be my guest.

I know this reads like a condescending lecture, but I'd spare you the agony of learning the hard way. Better to cut the cord now while things are good between you, when you're not coming home early from work and finding her fucking last weekend's dinner-and-a-movie (or vice versa).

Your child is the most important thing right now and for the rest of your life. It needs a stable home, and right now the most stable is almost certainly one in which Mommy and Daddy do not live together, but live separate lives. There's always the chance it can come together when you're older and know better who you are and what you want.

It's time to be a father, and let husband come when it will. And in your free time, you can log all the bed-related XP you want. Just don't bring them around the kid.

But the best advice is this:

Go with what the councillor says, not what metafilter says
posted by middleclasstool at 4:51 PM on January 31, 2006

I'm not even gonna begin addressing your problem. I will, however, tell you my life story:

I have been with my life partner for over nineteen years. She is the only person I have dated, only person I have loved, only person with whom I've had sex, and I'm pretty sure all those things will remain true through the rest of my earthly life. And in the true spirit of TMI, as we're heading toward our forties we are finding that our relationship in all aspects keeps getting better and better.

For the life of me, I can not understand why everyone isn't serious about living this sort of lifestyle. The longer we know each other, the more we find ways to love each other even better. I guess it's too much work for most people these days. [shrug]

Anyway, that's all. Just figured you should hear that there are people who, at your tender age, actually have gone on to uphold their relationship commitments, and do not feel there has been any loss whatsoever in not dating/loving/screwing other people.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:57 PM on January 31, 2006

That's one of those ideas where, no matter how many thousands of couples have had it before you, and no matter how many thousand will have it remains incredibly stupid.
posted by cribcage at 5:02 PM on January 31, 2006

I've known a few friends in polyamorous relationships; from my limited understanding of how they all made their relationships work, the thing they had in common is that they all had enough relationship experience in general for them to draw on as a source for understanding their own (and their partners') desires. In other words, all of them already had sufficient romantic, emotional, and sexual experiences before they made the decision to be polyamorous. To try to do this when you guys are both so young, so inexperienced -- and have a child to think about! -- strikes me as an absolute powder keg. Trying to keep your relationship together will be difficult enough. Don't start buying the nails for its coffin by thinking you can just innocently "date" other people and somehow manage to avoid having sex, getting jealous, etc.

Of course, I can imagine that you are both very much curious about what each of you has missed by not having other partners at this point (and I certainly empathize with that) but I truly cannot fathom how things can possibly turn out well if you try to satisfy your curiosity right now. Not to sound cynical, but in the event your relationship doesn't work out and you split up down the road, you'll get to date other people then.

In the meantime, I have to say that I don't even know how you think you've got time to date -- you have an infant to feed/burp/diaper/etc., classes to attend, jobs to hold down, and sleep to catch up on. Frankly, if either of you has the time to be going out on dates right now, you're ignoring one or more of your priorities. Seriously, all the couples with infants I know can't even find the time to go to the movies with each other -- much less with other people! When you two chose to have a child, you chose to give up (or at least severely curtail) your social life for the foreseeable future. (Exception? Kevin Federline. 'Nuff said.)

Good luck with counseling.
posted by scody at 5:06 PM on January 31, 2006

Best answer: If you're serious about staying together, do it.

You both want to, you're young and have experiences left that you still want to have before you decide (and if you decide) to swear off sex with everyone else. And you've already established that it wouldn't break the other person's heart if you did, so the bottom line is that you're going to do it anyway.

The question is whether you're going to be honest with each other and act like adults about it, or whether you're going to do it behind each other's backs.

People are telling you it's going to wreck your relationship. I think that's mostly based on other people's insecurities, and may also be based on jealousy (enjoy the 18-year old girls while you can. it'll be creepy when you're older).

If it might hurt your relationship to sleep around openly, betrayal will absolutely wreck your relationship. And since it sounds like you've thought and talked about this a lot and it's something you really want to do, you risk eventual resentment if you don't let each other have some fun now.

And if she's just suggested seeing other people because she wants to fuck around and find someone else while still keeping you to help take care of the kid, then she is going to do that with or without your blessing.

Do talk about expectations. No penetration? Okay, but figure out exactly what that means, so there's no temptation to push a fuzzy boundary (that sounds dirty). And insist on protection. And figure out what "protection" means (condoms/dams required for oral? etc.). Decide how much information you want about your partner's activities, and vice versa (do you want pornographic play-by-play text messages, do you want her to watch and live-blog the shit, or is it strictly la-la-la-i-can't-hear-you? Or do you want to know specifics but not gory details? How soon afterward do you need to tell each other?). Make agreements about things like that and respect them as religiously as you would your wedding vows.

Some folks here are treating you like you're stupid, but it sounds like you're actually talking this through like adults concerned about your relationship. That's more than you can say for a lot of people.
posted by crabintheocean at 5:11 PM on January 31, 2006

Listen to this story from a old guy. Years ago, a couple that were professors at NYU (university) wrote a book called "Open Marriage." (their name: O'Neill) this book they said many marriages fail because of monogomy and boredom etc and so they suggested open marriage as an was, they said, ok to date others, to have sex with others, etc. But what you had to do was to discuss these things with your spouse. That approach would soon end the silly notion called jealousy.
The book was a very big seller and many many people tried it. And that led to many many divorces. In fact, eventually the authors divorced. But schoar that he was, the guy wrote another book, the title of which I forget, but which said that monogomy was the only way for marriage and that open marriages were not very good for marriage. The sad thing was that so many people followed advice from the first book and didn't need to read his second book to discover what he later wrote about.
posted by Postroad at 5:12 PM on January 31, 2006

Your situation bears almost no resemblence to those of any of the healthy swingers or polyamorous folks I've met.

The swingers I've met tend to get off as much on the idea of their partner fucking somebody else as they do on the opportunity to fuck somebody new. What's more, the swingers I know do not go out, pick somebody up at the bar, and (almost) fuck them. In general, both partners meet the prospective, agree on him/her together, and then have an orgy.

They also tend to be in marriages with a significant amount of emotional and financial investment by both parties. Swinging, for them, didn't come until relatively late in the relationship--like, years into it.

The polys I've met have all been exceptionally weird people who simply loved multiple partners. Universally, these have been situations in which all partners loved all other partners at least to some extent. What's more, the relationships between all partners formed at approximately the same time.

What you're talking about is frequently called an "open relationship". It differs from the above primarily in that there is no mutual decision-making involved. Person A, partner to person B, decides that she'd like to go fuck person C... and disappears one night to do so.

I've been in two of these. I have a number of friends who've tried them. None of these relationships has lasted more than a few months after being "opened". The problem is that it's rarely a mutual desire to open the relationship. It's one person trying to manipulate the situation so that they can date around while still maintaining a failsafe option--the other person tends to go along with it out of fear of losing the initiator.

The interesting thing to note is that open relationships seem to last for a shorter duration if there are rules as to what activities are allowed. Somebody always violates the rules, and that percipitates the end of the relationship.

So, you want to figure out if this is a good idea. I can help you; even keeping in mind this no-fucking rule. It's not terribly hard. Just answer the following questions to yourself.

How do you like the idea of your girlfriend wrapping those pretty lips around somebody else's dick and swallowing his come? What about the dude sitting three rows back from her in lab; how does it make you feel to imagine him buried balls-deep in your girlfriend ass? What's your reaction if your girlfriend staggers home at three in the morning, comes to bed, you wake up to kiss her, and you find a blob of drying jizz in her hair?

If the answer to those is "turned on", ya'll should join a swinger's club and enjoy yourselves; God speed and tell 'em Aubrey sent you.

Any other answer, and you should seriously reconsider whether or not you want to be with her at all.

(Also, you should know that there are STDs that you can get even without having intercourse. Herpes, for instance, can be passed from cold sores to the genitals, resulting in genital herpes.)
posted by Netzapper at 5:14 PM on January 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

Everyone seems hellbent on shooting down this idea which is, and I'd agree, a bad one.
I just wanted to throw in that I'm sorry; this sounds like a really difficult issue with no easy solution.

I hope things work out well for you and that they work out in a way that is not harmful to your child.
posted by tysiva at 5:22 PM on January 31, 2006

middleclasstool: you know not whereof you speak. Polyamory works lots of times and you are an idiot if you think it requires mental health issues. Is it for everyone? Hell no. But don't be a deluded prick. I'm in a fabulous situation with multiple people in multiple relationships. I'm 32 and I started down the road (more earnestly) when I was 19. I know many other people that have done quite well in Poly relationships as well.

I heartily recommend The Ethical Slut. Its well written and has a great deal of practical information for those considering non-monogamous relationships.

To the poster, I'd ask this: You state that the impetus for this decision is that you were both virgins when you met. Yet you also state that "no sex will occur". That doesn't seem like you are really addressing the supposed cause of the issue. Are you lamenting the lack of sexual experience? If so, then you need to deal with sexual situations. Are you lamenting the lack of romantic couplings? Then you need to reconsider the "no commitments" portion of your post.

From personal experience, I will say that setting limits on your relationship(s) is difficult. I made the mistake when I was younger of thinking that it was easy to separate "sex" from "love". How do you tell someone not to fall in love? Seems rather absurd looking back. People develop feelings, they get emotionally involved. That's when you have to really, really believe that your relationship with your partner is based on you and them and is not something that can be threatened by a 3rd party.

Its good that you love her and she loves you. The important part is to figure out what you need, what she needs and how to communicate it. Love is necessary but not sufficient for a long term, workable relationship. Lots of fun and not so fun work remains ahead. But its worth it, whether you stay monogamous or open up your relationship.

Good luck.
posted by afflatus at 5:27 PM on January 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

Also, as resources I'd recommend the following:

Poly Under 30 mailing list. Good folks that are more likely to have recent experiences with the sort of situation you are facing.

Kink Aware Professionals. An unfortunately large number of therapists just assume that anything not conforming to the "standard" notion of serial monogamy is deviant and therefore wrong. The KAP list has folks from all walks of life on it. There may or may not be someone on there that you can develop a good rapport and working relationship with, but the therapists on the list will generally have a broader vision of human sexuality and relationships than your average suit.
posted by afflatus at 5:38 PM on January 31, 2006

Don't don't don't.

You can put your energy into your relationship. Or, you can leave your relationship idling in neutral and put your energy into one-night almost-stands. Which will cause your relationship to grow, and which will cause it to wither?

There is a reason monogamy is a hugely prevalent social convention. It has worked better than the alternatives over time. It would take a huge amount of luck to do what you propose and not have at least one of you end up hurt / jealous / infected with an STD / enraged / sad / betrayed, etc.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:44 PM on January 31, 2006

Truevox, I agree with the posters who have (a) recommended the Ethical Slut and (b) suggested that setting artificial limits in advance is likely to lead to trouble down the road. (The one limit that I believe it is important to agree on and that should be possible to keep is safer sex boundaries.)

Polyamory and swinging can take many different forms. I've been in successful poly situations myself, and know others who have as well. I'm not poly now because, ultimately, settling down was more important to me and the person I wanted to settle down with was not poly!

It is easier to walk this road if you are around other people who share the values and support them. (It's easier to find dates AND it is easier to get appropriate feedback on what's happening.) It looks like you live in Vermont. I'm not sure what's available there, but there is a very active poly community in Boston, and I know people who've commuted down from Vermont on a regular basis for events, discussions, etc. Google Poly Boston to get some pointers.

And good luck!
posted by alms at 5:50 PM on January 31, 2006

Also, NetZapper, many relationships fall inbetween the categories you present. I met my wife and fell in love at 19. She was a virgin, I was not. I, like the person posting the question, was worried about her relative lack of experience and wanted to make sure that she never resented me.

I encouraged her to explore and she ended up sleeping with one of my friends. She was also not comfortable at that time with me sleeping with anyone else. So I was monogamous and she was not. And that was ok, it was what was necessary to make things work for us at that time. Its about communication and trying to make the relationship successful.

Later, we opened things up more. We got married when I was 23. I had a bit of a romp here and there, she ended up in a serious relationship with a good friend of mine. Our personalities were different that way. I had more relationships, but they were more about "fun" and friendship. She had fewer, but they were more emotional.

I really had problems with it at first, but we worked through it. Eventually, he moved in with my wife and I. This was also a period where he and I worked together. At home. We weren't sexually involved, but we were friends, so it worked.

Eventually I met someone else, started as a physical relationship, turned into much more. As it progressed, we decided it would work out best if I stayed day-to-day with my new partner. I had a wedding with her last summer and my wife organized a good portion of the wedding. Everyone is really quite happy.

The point is, you talk to everyone, you care about them, you are honest and you figure out what works best for everyone without letting social norms get in the way. The people are what is important and every relationship is going to be different.

Sure, it will be hard for TrueVox's relationship to work out how he might like. But that's true for every relationship and especially for ones formed so young. So just be honest and know thyself and the rest will work out as it will.
posted by afflatus at 5:54 PM on January 31, 2006

it's just we have things we each want to get out of our system

Psst! Over here! I'm going to let you in on a little secret.

It never gets out of your system.

So. You can either accept this, or you can take 10 years of selfishness to find this out for yourself. Either way you'll come to the same conclusion. The question is, projecting ahead (and thinking of the kind of person you are) what are you going to regret less?

If it was just a relationship, I'd say sure, fuck it... what the hell, right? Worst that happens is you end up hurting each other, but hey, you're both adults. Unfortunately in your case, you have a third element in the equation.

So, are you the kind of person who would regret missing out on a few shags more than (potentially) messing up your own kid's life? I mean, it could turn out that the kid ends up fucked in the head, anyway. Alternatively, you might give up your swinging lifestyle and big-collared Don Ho shirts, spend all your attention (and a good part of your youth) being a "good dad", only to have the kid be a complete shit. That's the chance you take.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:59 PM on January 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

There is a child involved in this.

If you two are not ready to settle down I truly wish you'd given thought to adoption.

My parents married young-I was born when dad was 20 and mom was 19. They are still together (I'm 47 now.)

Forget the culture around you that says "sow your wild oats." Either commit now or don't. Either way you are both parents now, and THAT commitment, THAT responsibility is what ties you down now. Whether you want it to or not.
posted by konolia at 6:03 PM on January 31, 2006

afflatus, is bigamy legal in Oregon?
posted by JekPorkins at 6:12 PM on January 31, 2006

So, you want to date other people but not emotionally invest in them (you're getting engaged to someone else soon and want 'one night stands') but you also won't have sex with them? What's in it for them? I don't get it. Why don't you just check out one of those Cuddle Parties instead?

Or maybe do your homework, work, and hang out with your kid and the girl you're so emphatically in love with.
posted by heatherann at 6:27 PM on January 31, 2006

Response by poster: Woah! That's a lot of comments in a little bit of time! I wasn't expecting THAT much of a reaction.

First: I marked CrabInTheOcean and RustyBrooks as best answers because A: I'm likely going to wait to see the counceler and as for Crab's answer, well, it just seemed to give a lot of good information (to everyone who suggested it: I'm gonna read the Ethical Slut ASAP: do you think a library would have it?).

However, I feel the need to explane a BIT more.

1: My mistake, by no sex I ment no penile-vaginal intercourse. Sucking, eating, anal (though I know she's not intrested in the last one though) is ok by each.

2: This [opening up the relationship] is something she brought up a while ago. I always had a problem with it, but I was prepaired to go along with it if that's what it took to enable her to enter into our relationship fully securely.

3: The vast majority of my energy IS directed towards my relationship. I take about an hour a day to attempt to keep up with college (I'm doing an online course) + a good chunk of one of my days off, 10 hours a day working as the General manager of a fast food franchise, and what remains goes DIRECTLY to them. I have no friends, I play no computer games (and if you knew me, you'd know how shocking that is), I hardly have time to read. About the only time I have to myself is when she goes out with her friends once or twice a week, which is how I'm finding time to post.

4: I'm reasonably sure she won't fall in love with another guy where she's going to meet them. It's rather far away. As for me falling in love with another girl, the three of us have discussed it a bit, and it's only sexual. No dinner and a movie, just wam-bam-thankyou-m'am.

5: Where is our child during all this? Likely at his grandmothers where he spends an inordanate amount of time anyway (We just work and school to much, yes I know it's bad, but we need to do what we can).

6: Long story short, if your post wasn't flamesque (regardless of if you were for or aganst), thank you. If it was, isn't $5 too much to waste to flame someone when you can do it for free on Slashdot?

God, I shoulda asked my Hard Drive question...
posted by TrueVox at 6:45 PM on January 31, 2006

Sorry, I just feel I need to add this:

You say that your life is extremely busy, and that your son is with his grandmother most of the time, since you don't have time. You apparently aren't able to spend the time you really should with your own child.

If you're not able to spend time with your own child, you're clearly not able to spend the time you need to with your fiancee in order to form the strong bond that you'll need in order to have a successful marriage. If you want a relationship to work, you need to put the time into it that it requires. Taking time away from your soon-to-be marriage in order to have sex with someone other than your fiancee is taking time away from your fiancee, and it is taking time away from your son.

I suggest you ask yourself the following:
1. How much time do you think a child needs with his parents in order to grow up well-adjusted and happy with his family situation?
2. How important do you think it is for a child to grow up with loving parents present in the home?
3. Do you think that, given your busy schedule, you will be able to devote the necessary time to your son and to your relationship with his mother, if you're also scheduling sex romps with someone else on the side?
4. After you've scheduled time for your extracurricular sex romps, will you and your fiancee have enough time/energy to develop a strong emotional and physical relationship, and to grow as parents?
5. How do you think it will psychologically affect your son to learn that, rather than spending time parenting him in the early stages of his life, his parents rearranged their busy schedules so that they could go out and get laid by third parties?

Only you can answer those questions. Well, I bet lots of us can, too, but I'm tryin' hard not to flame.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:11 PM on January 31, 2006

JekPorkins, nope, bigamy is not legal in Oregon. I've not filed paperwork with the state after my second wedding. For that matter, my wife and I are probably going to get a divorce as well at some point and I still don't plan on filing paperwork again.

As the years went on, we realized that the state sanctioning is not what is important, it's the committment and relationship that is important. I'm going to see a lawyer about making sure that visitation, end-of-life decisions, financial matters, etc issues are dealt with. In my opinion, though, the state shouldn't be in the marriage business. Let the state deal with contract issues and let social institutions deal with the ceremony bits.

And back to TrueVox (to keep this on topic): If it's important to your partner, I think you should go for it. Just communicate, communicate, communicate. And don't lose site of what is important to you. Making her happy and helping her be more confident about settling into your relationship long term is a noble goal. Do keep checking in with yourself though. It won't do your relationship any good if you become bitter about "sucking it up" and being ok with something you aren't really ok with.

Its a matter of communication, balance and comprimise, just like most relationship issues.
posted by afflatus at 7:14 PM on January 31, 2006

No sex, but anal and oral is OK? What's so sacred about the vagina?

I don't know what to think. This seems sort of like a hoax, although I do remember a bit about being your age, and I thought some pretty dumb stuff too.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:16 PM on January 31, 2006

afflatus, fyi, here is Oregon's bigamy statute, which makes it illegal even to "purport to marry" another person. It is the same class of felony as incest, or child abandonment.

163.515 Bigamy.
(1) A person commits the crime of bigamy if the person knowingly marries or purports to marry another person at a time when either is lawfully married.

(2) Bigamy is a Class C felony. [1971 c.743 §171]
posted by JekPorkins at 7:19 PM on January 31, 2006

Some thoughts

It would be nice if you'd consider the feelings of the people you'd be almost fucking.

The best sex in my life has been with someone I cared about, and where we had the time and inclination to explore each other physically and emotionally.

You have 1 child who is likely not planned. Really, really be careful not to have another unplanned child.

Honestly, you don't sound ready to commit to each other. Commit to being really good parents, and commit to having the best relationship you can.
posted by theora55 at 7:22 PM on January 31, 2006

So, just out of curiosity, are you two living together right now?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:28 PM on January 31, 2006

"it's only sexual. No dinner and a movie, just wam-bam-thankyou-m'am."

A PS. - It's much harder to find people (male or female) for this scenario than you might think. If you do this, be very careful who you pick, they have motives too!
posted by crabintheocean at 7:28 PM on January 31, 2006

JekPorkins, most excellent, I appreciate the citation. It never occurred to me that you could get in trouble for believing you were married when you didn't file paperwork with the state. I wonder if this potential felony will cause problems with my business as a Minister performing marriages? Inquiring minds want to know....

Now that I know I'm committing a felony, I feel more comfortable joining my gay bretheren in the feeling of persecution for having consensual relationships.

My thanks.
posted by afflatus at 7:29 PM on January 31, 2006

Because it kind of struck me that with your schedules, you wouldn't even have the time--even if you had the desire--to screw around if you were living together. That is, of course, unless she's already got someone in mind. And you said she was the one to bring this up, eh?

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:31 PM on January 31, 2006

what's with people being so concerned with where they'll find the time to fuck other people?

no one would be all nosy about how they chose to spend their precious little free time if they each just wanted a night out with their repective friends once a month.

it doesn't really take that long to fuck someone, even if you make a big production of it. the discomfort is clearly about the sex. don't dress it up in concern that they're not spending enough time together.

and to konolia, who had the nerve to tell a perfect stranger that she wishes his child had been adopted... that's really fucking amazing. how dare you say that to anyone.
posted by crabintheocean at 7:46 PM on January 31, 2006

As someone mentioned earlier, I found the following passage very amusing:

no penile-vaginal intercourse. Sucking, eating, anal (though I know she's not intrested in the last one though) is ok by each.

I'm don't mean to be crude here, but really: if you're going to suck them, eat them, and anally penetrate them ... for God's sake, just go ahead and fuck 'em.
posted by jayder at 8:32 PM on January 31, 2006

I always had a problem with it, but I was prepaired to go along with it if that's what it took to enable her to enter into our relationship fully securely.

This is the blinking neon sign that says BAD IDEA. Heck, are you sure she's not bringing it up because it's what she thinks that it's what you want? What it will likely lead to is both of you willing yourselves into having some dreadful half-hearted sorta-lay with someone else, during which you'll both br feeling guilty about your respective sexual activity while resenting each other.

Look, I'm no opponent of casual sex or polyamory and open relationships in some circumstances. But this is not how to do it. You two are nervous and scared and freaking out. Try to calm down, appreciate each other right now, and don't worry too much about what you might have missed. Down the road, if this relationship doesn't work out, it doesn't work out, but don't let the two of you decide to sabotage it because one or both of you think that having one and half notches on your bedpost instead of just one is going to provide you with any valuable experience.
posted by desuetude at 8:33 PM on January 31, 2006

and to konolia, who had the nerve to tell a perfect stranger that she wishes his child had been adopted... that's really fucking amazing. how dare you say that to anyone.

I say it as a mom of three children, and having had relatives who went into early teen marriages "to give the baby a name" which lasted about as long as a hiccup, and watching these relatives recycle relationship after relationship. Two of these offspring now have given birth in their teens as well.

Babies and children need stability. Either these two will sack up and do what it takes to provide such or they won't. If they don't, the baby would have been much better off in the arms of a couple prepared to give the child that sort of stability.
posted by konolia at 8:45 PM on January 31, 2006

Seconding crabintheocean's last comment, Jesus Christ.

There is a child involved who is being both loved and taken care of by his parents (with help by grandparents). As far as I'm concerned, adoption for someone in this rather fortunate position is unnecessary and absentminded for a child who'd parents are as committed as they obviously are to him.

Please consider what you say before deciding to completely debase someone's core ethics when they're most certainly not the worst this kid could do. Far, far from it. It's rather insulting to the rest of the MeFi community.

Meanwhile, and back on track to TrueVox—
One of my best friends is married and in a somewhat open relationship. "Anna" got with the guy ("Tony") she's with after breaking up with "Steve." Anna was still good friends with Steve, and Tony was out of town. Tony is a very liberal person who believes that if Anna wants to be with someone else, he'll need to let it happen. If she decides to leave him for whatever reason, that's all there is to be done about it, and if she won't stay based on his merits, that's that.

During their courtship, she would frequently "service" Steve, but was required to ask Tony's permission every time. No sex was involved, but everything up to that point was. Ironically, Steve was a groomsman for the wedding. Tony was perfectly okay with this, and would actually get off on it.

They're now married, and she fools around with other guys far, far less, (read: not at all) not because she's not allowed to, but because they now live together. The philosophy still stands that she *could* if she wanted to, because that's what will work for them.

Note that Tony IS NOT allowed to reciprocate with other girls, at least in absentia of Anna. There is a major double standard, but the key is open communcation and agreement on all parties, and a complete owning up to all ideals of jealousy and ownership. Tony has agreed to this because it's what he's okay with. He even gets off on it, a bit.

Again, this is just by way of saying what works for some will not work for you. What works for you works for you. But the most important underlying concept is that you need to openly communicate, and continue to facilitate said communication. It does not get more important than this.

Boundaries, rules and openness. You also need to make sure you are comfortable with the rules you set forth. If you start to get jealous towards her, it will not work. You need to know that this isn't just an excuse to bang anyone else around, but that it's transitioning towards a more stable relationship, however ironic. And you need to accept that it may fail, and that's sometimes how things go. You need to weigh this against the potential problems it may lead to with your child, and be careful about it, but most of all, you need to be open.

Good luck on whatever you decide to do.
posted by disillusioned at 8:55 PM on January 31, 2006

Wow. I agree with konolia in terms of babies needing stability, I'm just not sure that sexual fidelity really has much to do with providing that stability. [The "responsibility to the baby" issue stands whether this marriage works or not.]

I wouldn't presume to tell you what is right or wrong in this scenario. I guess it could work, but it could just as easily go terribly wrong, it depends on the true compatibility of your values in regards to sexuality, and how open you are to compromise. We all know that marriages break up for lots of reasons, if not about fidelity, then with conflict on finance, religion, and/or parenting values, you name it.

I guess my advice is, if you do go forward with this take it slowwww, and reassess this decision often. Most of all, try not to hurt each other, above all else.
posted by lilboo at 9:24 PM on January 31, 2006

I agree with Konolia's comment. Disillusioned: does the fact that a child's situation is "not the worst this kid could do" really immunize that situation from criticism, as you appear to suggest in your earlier comment?

The original poster asked us what we thought about the situation, and Konolia shared her opinion. If Konolia sincerely thinks this situationg of formalized fooling around bodes poorly for the healthy upbringing of the child, I don't see how you could find her comment offensive.
posted by jayder at 9:46 PM on January 31, 2006

Dude: One in five your relationship lasts to marriage, one in seven that it gets five years in. And that's without this scheme. Then your odds start dropping to, like, one in nine and one in 15.
Smart play? Realize that you're breaking up with the baby momma, and use this time to date other women.
posted by klangklangston at 9:56 PM on January 31, 2006

Well jayder, I don't find it offensive so much as I find it ill-informed. I suppose that's where the offense, if any, comes from.

I do not have any children myself. I plan on that situation changing in the next couple of years. I can say with ease that I know some fantastic Poly parents. The apriori worries about the amount of time a parent has for the children is terribly overblown in my opinion. Of course a busy parent can be a good parent. How many Metafilter members are parents but take an hour or so every couple days to post thoughtful posts on MeFi?

Good parenting vs "having fun" is a false dichotomy. Non-traditional relationships are more heavily scrutinized because they are non-traditional. It doesn't apply in the situation with TrueVox, but I would argue that comitted, multi-partner relationships are more stable for children than the so-called "traditional" monogamous relationships. These monogamous relationships are laregly a modern Western social construct. History is filled with a variety of successful family structures. Some are multi-generational, some are multi-partner, many are both. "It takes a Village" and all that.

The point, once again, is that it comes down to what works for TrueVox and his partner. Maybe monogamy will work best. Maybe polyamory. Maybe breaking up and being friendly co-parents with seperate romantic lives. But don't prejudge a situation and say you know what is best for the people or the children involved.
posted by afflatus at 10:11 PM on January 31, 2006

What's the point of replying to the question if you're not going to have some sort of opinion on the subject at hand? Other than a resounding chorus of "talk to a counselor!", I mean?
posted by Justinian at 10:18 PM on January 31, 2006

Where is our child during all this? Likely at his grandmothers where he spends an inordanate amount of time anyway (We just work and school to much, yes I know it's bad, but we need to do what we can).

The answer to this problem is not to figure out ways to spend less time with him! You need to spend time going to school and work for your future(s) and for your child's fundamental well-being; you don't need to get blowjobs from other women for comparable reasons. If you and your girlfriend already don't spend enough time with him as it is due to work and school, exactly what do you think you will accomplish as parents by spending even less time with him? What do you really think you're going to regret more in 5, 10, or 20 years: not having a bunch of one-night stands, or not spending more time with your own son? This is not a rhetorical question. I think you had better give it some serious, direct thought.
posted by scody at 10:58 PM on January 31, 2006

One comic or another I heard once said that if a woman says 'It's time we started seeing other people' she's already got the guy picked out. Food for thought?

My take is that the possibility/threat of outside sex is another way of thinking about your fear of the huge commitment and responsibilities you are staring at.

Why do I think that? Nowhere do you discuss your feelings about your child, parenthood or the mother. Or, rather, you do--'quite' is a weasel-word par excellence. To be 'quite' in love means what, exactly? I'd guess it means Holy Freaking Shit I Knocked Her Up AND NOW WHAT?????!!!!!!!!

And quit deluding yourself that your 'lives are going great'. Online college, ten-hour workdays at menial jobs, relationship counselling and being a nineteen year old unwed parent fall so far outside of any reasonable definition of life going great I don't know where to begin. How are your finances? Got that 529k account for the kid's college going yet? Thought so.

May I suggest that biology and lack of good sex education snared you and the mother, not to mention the child, in what commonly becomes a life-destroying trap? And may I also suggest that you need to think very, very strategically to evade the common destiny of people in your predicament? And that doing it while honoring the responsibilities you now have is hellishly difficult?

Let the marriage thing ride until it's clear one way or the other whether it will work. Accepting that it may well not is, paradoxically, healthier for the relationship than forcing the issue. Divorce is just brutal.

Try to be a decent Dad. Long after all the other stuff has melted into insignificance your success at that will have great meaning.
posted by thayerg at 12:31 AM on February 1, 2006

What thayerg said, in spades. Especially the last 2 sentences. Really, really well put, thayerg. Where the hell were you when I was 19?
posted by paulsc at 1:07 AM on February 1, 2006

Long post here. Since I'm a realist, I'll be approaching this question rather bluntly.

I'll tackle the baby subject real quick, as it should be the most important part to you.

As others have said, babies need stability. Also keep in mind that children get their views on love and relationships from their parents. If this situation works out great for you and the girl and goes on into the child's 2's, 3's, and 4's, you may likely end up with a teenager/adult who has major commitment issues and constantly cheats on SO's because they think that is what love is, as that is what you have shown the child what love between mommy and daddy are. This is why parents who fight raise kids who fight, and children from abused households later go on to abuse or put up with abuse in a relationship. This is NOT HEALTHY FOR YOUR CHILD.

And as a few others have also said, if you don't have enough time with your child because you are at school and work, then how about you spend time with your child together instead of searching for one night stands at the local bar? YOUR CHILD NEEDS YOU. Don't abandon your child with a third party that it has less of a bond with so you and the mother can get your jollies off with other people.

I realize that this was unplanned, unexpected, etc....but it's done, and now you both have to be adults about the situation. The number 1 thing in both of your lives HAS to be the child. If that means you make sacrifices, then you make them.

And now, for the relationship part, which can be summed up by this: It won't work.

Ditto others on the limits, don't place them there, because they will be broken. And someone will be hurt for it. So remove the limits. If either of you arn't comfortable with no limits, then don't go foward with the 'plan'.

If you want to try it, go ahead. But what it really seems here, is that she has more time then you. You have no friends, you don't go out, because you work all the time, and she goes out with the girls every other week. So, this is what you should expect: She will go out with girls, not come home, and get laid. Because women who want to get laid, have no problems. You, on the other hand, will enjoy your alone time, maybe go out once in a while, and probably not get laid, except to the mother. She will tire of this, and find some exciting guy that gives her great sex and is more interesting then you. She'll then tell you to get lost so she can start a life with this guy and screw him every night, and you'll be SOL. Oh, and to top it off, you'll continue school and work because you'll be paying child support, and you'll be lucky to see the kid on holidays. So if this sounds like a great option, go through with it.

But what you are actually doing is enabling her to find someone else. That's what she wants. She didn't suggest this because she wants more experince in bed. Or because she thinks this will help the relationship. She has a reason for this that she isn't being totally honest about. Most likely, it's simply her not being ready to settle down with one guy. If that's the case, just break up, it'll be a ton easier in the long run. You obviously are not comfortable with this, as you are asking a huge community of people for suggestions.

However, I'm not too concerned. Because the counselor will be telling you tommorow that you should not be doing this, and should attempt to work out a relationship together.

By the way, while one or two people have touched on the idea that you will not get a warm reception from other people who get sucked into this, have you even had any thoughts about possible reactions? If you start screwing a girl here and there, and she falls in love, and you tell her it was just a one night stand and you have a girlfriend and a child, who's to say she's not going to start stalking you, the girlfriend, and the child? Because yeah, _that's_ gonna be an issue. Same with guys. What if she sleeps with some psycho violent guy and he comes into your workplace and beats the crap out of you because he's in love with her and can't have her because of you? There are too many things that can go wrong when you involve other people in these things. The only way to solve this would be if you both agreed to tell any one night stand that it was just sex, you have an SO, and a child, and it's all okay with them and you are in an open relationship. Which will work until one of you meets some really hot person that you MUST screw but casual conversation reveals they arn't into that, so you don't tell them and screw them anyway, and then things get nasty again.

It simply won't work.

So, don't enable her actions. Either stay together and try and make things work, or just be friends, work out a visitation schedule, and you both move on with seperate lives.

And above all, THE CHILD NEEDS YOU.
posted by Phynix at 2:20 AM on February 1, 2006

The problem is that it's rarely a mutual desire to open the relationship. It's one person trying to manipulate the situation so that they can date around while still maintaining a failsafe option--the other person tends to go along with it out of fear of losing the initiator.

I just wanted to highlight this again.

And it sounds to me like you want to use other people for sex-any-way-but-vaginally, which I don't think is very fair to them. What if they get attached, even though they're not supposed to? It happens sometimes.

This sounds to me like an "I want to be free!!!" sort of reaction from someone who's feeling a bit tied down due to a new baby. You make your choices, and you deal with the consequences. Children are a hell of a consequence. I don't think the mother's responsibilities are going to lessen any if / when she gets the screwing around she's hoping for. I just hope this doesn't end up making things harder for the child - I don't think it bodes well at all.

Parenthood when done right, is difficult. It requires a massive investment of time, effort, energy, and love. It's hard to adjust to, even for people who have loads of free time, money, and relationship stability. Seeing other people isn't going to make it any easier at all.

Maybe this is just a way to sort of treat yourselves, let yourselves have something fun & good because life has gotten rather tough due to the baby. There are a lot less destructive ways to do things that make you happy than to use random strangers for meaningless sex.
posted by beth at 3:18 AM on February 1, 2006

I thought of it another way - this is the threshold of adulthood, right here. What sort of man do you want to be? Your child will look to you as an example. What sort of man do you want him to become?
posted by beth at 3:21 AM on February 1, 2006

Response by poster: Ok, I had thought this would be the end of this question when I put the little check mark next to it. Ie. no further solicitations required. I see that's not the case.

For who ever decided that "quite" was a weasle word, sorry. I'm not silver tongued, so I donno what else to say. Very in love? I had an engagement ring picked out for her before we knew she was pregnant? Or would you prefer 100% love? Perhaps love 198 proof? I don't know what you people are looking for.

I don't consider my job to be menial. I over see 150+ employees at 10 different stores (including a central production location). I bring in more per week then my father ever did (mind you, my dad's no Bill Gates). We have almost $4,000 saved up towards a rainy day, and we're looking to buy land from my uncle. So, yeah. I DO think we're doing well. Is this a crazy time in our lives? Yes it is. But I still think we are doing ok for ourselves.

As for my own moral values, Beth, I think I am a very good man. I have stood by my love every step of the way. I was prepaired to REALLY get a labor job if that's what I had to, even after she offered to allow me out of the relationship and the child support (which I refused). I... bagh. Why even bother? I think I found my problem. I posted a question to an internet forum.

Please, just let this question die. I was the one who made the mistake of posting on here. As far as these kinds of questions are conserned, I won't make that mistake again. I have enough problems in life just between work and school without makeing more by coming here about this. And for anyone wondering why I didn't mention our child amoung work and school, it's because I don't believe him to be a problem.

Thank you, good night.
posted by TrueVox at 5:26 AM on February 1, 2006

You're the one that asked the question. The fact that you're reacting so badly to people who don't agree with your plan suggests that you're not really comfortable with the plan.

Let me just chime in on the "bad idea" side of things again. How do you imagine your 10 year anniversary? Reminiscing about all the wild times you guys had in an open relationship? This sort of stuff is hurtful and lasts a long long time.
posted by Mid at 6:47 AM on February 1, 2006

"Why even bother? I think I found my problem. I posted a question to an internet forum."

Bzzzt. Wrong. When you get advice you don't like, the answer is not that you shouldn't have asked the question. Crazy time? Yeah. Doin' OK? Probably, though the kid spending a lot of time at Gramma's is probably not such a good thing. (In fact, I'm not really sure why you decided to have the kid... But hey, pro-choice means respecting that choice).

Your problem is still that your fiancee wants OPP, and the last P is not that simple. You don't sound like you're down with it, and in the deal you'd be getting the short end of the stick. Something you may want to do is ask her for, say, a five year moratorium on the question. Stick together, be monogamous, and then in five years check back in and see if you want to open the relationship up a bit. Things should have chilled out a bit by then, and you should be able to be discreet enough that the kid won't know.
posted by klangklangston at 8:10 AM on February 1, 2006 [1 favorite]

TrueVox, I'll just chime in and say it's not such a terrible idea. As I've pointed out many times before a lot couples already effectively do just this: they "break up," date other people, and then get back together months later once they realize just how much they love one another. A lot of misery could be saved if people could just skip the first "break up" part. Unfortunately Western society just has no encultured concept of putting a relationship "on hold" while both partners sort things out except for the legal notion of separation. The only flaw in the plan is the no-sex. It doesn't sound realistic. If you're going to do this, you'll have to fully accept the possiblity that you or she will sleep with somebody else. I'll also say that yeah, I can definitely see why you would want to do this. You're young and, quite simply, you deserve some time by yourself to figure things out. The fact that you have a baby is a complication, yes, but not an absolute barrier to your self-discovery. And, let's face it: if you two aren't so much in love, it's better to figure this out now while the kid is young then to try to force things to work. Whatever you decide and whatever happens, I think things will probably turn out fine on the whole: you and your fiance both sound like smart people who'll work hard to take care of the kid.

The problem is that it's rarely a mutual desire to open the relationship. It's one person trying to manipulate the situation so that they can date around while still maintaining a failsafe option--the other person tends to go along with it out of fear of losing the initiator.

Eh, that's not true at all.
posted by nixerman at 8:11 AM on February 1, 2006

This [opening up the relationship] is something she brought up a while ago. I always had a problem with it

Then don't do it. You're not being unreasonable in feeling this way.

Kids these days.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:03 AM on February 1, 2006

And for anyone wondering why I didn't mention our child amoung work and school, it's because I don't believe him to be a problem.

No, you don't indicate that you think he's a problem, but your initial post and subsequent replies don't really do much to indicate that you think he's a priority, either. As in top priority. Above all other priorities. For the next 18 years. I and several others keep pointing out that if you and your girlfriend have time to go barhopping to look for quick fucks, then you've got your priorities out of whack -- you already admit the child spends "an inordinate amount of time" with one of your mothers. While I'm all for children spending lots of time with other loving adults -- hell, I moved to LA in large part to be with my nephews! -- the fact remains that YOU and YOUR GIRLFRIEND are the PARENTS, not your mom or her mom. Every night one of you goes out looking to get laid with some stranger is a night you could have spent feeding your son, cuddling him, playing pattycake, reading to him, holding him. What would you have preferred your own parents do when you were three months old?

I agree with the response upthread that if you and your girlfriend really do want to stay together, stay together and put this idea on the back burner of opening up the relationship for a few years. Get some stability in your lives -- settle in as parents (and as a couple!), finish school, buy some property. If, in five years (say), when your kid's in kindergarten and you two are still curious about other partners, then perhaps you can pursue it in a way that benefits your relationship. But for now -- you need more steadiness in your lives (and your son's), not less.
posted by scody at 9:21 AM on February 1, 2006

I went around and around about posting after you signed off on this topic, but I decided that this is such an important question that I couldn't leave it be:

If I woke in your shoes tomorrow, the first thing I'd do is to hold my son (i don't yet have children) and tell him how much I love him and how he means the world to me...
Then I would drop the college and save the extra time for my son, and my "soon-to-be fiance."
I would save money from my good job so that in a year or two I could re-enroll in college and wouldn't have to work such long hours while studying; stretching myself so thin is not the way I would want to show my girlfriend how much I love her, what kind of commitment I have to our relationship and our child. Being there for them is how I would show that.
I would certainly go to the counsellor. Best idea yet.

Now to directly address the 'swinging.' Sex, er not-quite-sex is not-quite-sex, that's all. Its possibly fun, probably akward, likely unsafe if done with someone you could "wham-bam-thank-you-mam" because you sure are not going to be the first wham-bam. I would feel that it is not worth it, especially when I looked into the eyes of my son. No one wants to be raised in an unstable (revolving door), angry (jealous) or lonely household. I would avoid teaching my son about relationships in that fashion at all costs. Swinging won't work for me, I now have a child. I am no longer care-free and young. I am a parent, and I must mature myself appropriately into that role. Anything less would bring about a large dose of self-loathing from the part of me that knows better. My girlfriend would have to make that same decision on her own and if we decided to be together...Glorious! If she decided to leave me for fun and games that would not change my feelings towards my son, and I would fight like hell to get him out of her custody. But as you can tell I am answering the question I would ask myself, not your question directly.

If you do what you know is right, you can't go wrong, I wish you all the best.
posted by iurodivii at 11:09 AM on February 1, 2006

I'm reasonably sure she won't fall in love with another guy where she's going to meet them. It's rather far away. As for me falling in love with another girl, the three of us have discussed it a bit, and it's only sexual.

Wait, who's the third party? I assume you don't mean you, your girlfriend, and your baby have discussed it, and you say you haven't seen a counselor yet -- is there already someone else one of you is interested in? Sorry to post again, and I know you said you were signing off, TrueVox, but I just caught this. Maybe you just mistyped. But if there's a third party involved already, then... well, let's just say I wish all of you even more luck when you meet with your counselor.
posted by scody at 12:26 PM on February 1, 2006

I'm reasonably sure she won't fall in love with another guy where she's going to meet them. It's rather far away.

To piggyback on scody's question...huh? She's leaving town to find sex partners? She already *knows* that she's going somewhere to find them?? Is she leaving the kid with you to go travel for sex? I'm very confused.
posted by tristeza at 2:22 PM on February 1, 2006

This story becomes more and more bogus the longer it goes on. Now we have an unknown third party involved and she's gonna kite it on outta town to get laid?!

Y'all need to grow up. You've got a child who needs to be raised competently.

Frankly, I think konolia nailed it: the kid should be up for adoption.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:50 PM on February 1, 2006

As far as the conversation you need to have with your soon-to-be fiance, you'll sort it out when you guys talk about the prenuptial agreement.

What? You have a ring picked out, but haven't thought about a prenup? How'd that happen?
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:58 PM on February 1, 2006

TrueVox, your blog says you're 22 but your question says you're 19. How old are you really, and how old is your soon-to-be-fiancee?
posted by amber_dale at 3:12 PM on February 1, 2006

So, questions up in the air:
  • Are you two living together?
  • Who's idea was this?
  • Does the initiator already have someone picked out to "just fool around with, that's all"
  • You really think any of this will end well?
My guess:
  • Nope.
  • Hers.
  • She sure does.
  • It will for her. She'll get the kid, a new daddy, and some custody loot from your sorry ass.

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:55 PM on February 1, 2006

1. she gets you to start fooling around with other people, thinking she's doing the same.

2. you get married.

3. it turns out she wasn't actually being unfaithful at all -- but you were.

4. since you were unfaithful, you lose big in the divorce proceedings.
posted by JekPorkins at 3:59 PM on February 1, 2006

I now think this is fake.
posted by Mid at 4:00 PM on February 1, 2006

Fake and stupid.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:51 PM on February 1, 2006

Questions about TrueVox's TrueAge aside, I've skimmed through his blog and don't think the general situation is fake -- his blog certainly has plenty of references to a pregnant 18-year-old girlfriend who seems reluctant to get married (as well as a link to his Flickr page of dozens of baby pics), while he's desperate to "prove" his worth to her. It sounds increasingly to me like the girlfriend wanted to have a baby without having to give up her pre-motherhood teenage life (i.e., getting to have "experiences" with other guys while Grandma actually takes care of the baby), and TrueVox is trying to jump through every hoop to satisfy her because he doesn't want to lose her or his son. It's a bit heartbreaking, really.
posted by scody at 5:33 PM on February 1, 2006

Actually, now I think scody is right.
posted by Mid at 5:46 PM on February 1, 2006

Maybe the best plan, then, is to claim the kid for himself, tell her to shove off, and do his best to be a parent.

The heartbreaking bits -- to me -- all involve the poor kid that's in the middle of it all.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:50 PM on February 1, 2006

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