Open Relationships
August 6, 2004 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone here have experience with a polyamorous and/or "open" relationship? [mi]

For definition purposes: I take polyamory to mean loving, emotionally-invested relationships formed between several different people. For an "open" relationship, I mean sex only, with no emotional attachments. In both of these cases, obviously, the two primary partners are aware and approving of all situations, therefore no cheating is involved. This is a subject I've always been curious about and drawn to, so I'm wondering about the viability of either option.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (35 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've never been involved with one, but I've seen people try it. I certainly don't think it's "wrong" or unworkable, but I do think it's LIKELY to cause pain. To be honest, I've never seen a healthy example -- one in which people didn't wind up getting terribly hurt. But I'm sure they do exist.

I think these sorts of relationships are difficult because people are complicated. For a polyamorous relationship, you need three or more people who all meet certain conditions:

1) they can't have any abandonment issues.
2) they can't have any jealousy issues.
3) they must be able to deal with harsh societal judgment and/or secrecy.

Note that ALL the people must meet these requirements. If even ONE has jealousy or abandonment issues, at least one person (and possibly more) will get hurt.

As for the "open" relationships, each member would need to make a CLEAR separation (intellectually AND emotionally) between love/intimacy and sex. Many people claim they can do that, but few can. MOST people will worry that their partner will form a deep bond with the people they sleep with.

Another issue: most people are vain to some extent. All the parties would have to be VERY secure about their looks. If one person is thinking, "I bet he thinks Alice is sexier than me," trouble is on the horizon.

I think polyamorous relationships are a sort of utopian idea. They sound really good. When looked at completely intellectually, they seem to make sense. Most of us pretend to be sexually sophisticated. We say things like, "I know sex can be just sex" and "I think one person can love two people at once." But reality tends to be messier than this. It involves underlying FEELINGS -- not just theory and an overlay of coolness and sophistication.

Note: you might find some useful info by researching Mormon polygamous relationships (mainstream Mormons have given up this practice, but some still do it.) Of course, this is a specific (some would say sexist) setup: one man, many women. But it's an interesting window into how these things work. One can't extrapolate too far into non-Mormon culture, because the people in it were raised with certain expectations that the rest of us don't share.

My very limited knowledge of these relationships tell me that it's a mixed bag. Some people stay in them and are happy. Some people stay in them and are miserable. Some people flee from them, feeling terribly hurt. Welcome to the human race.
posted by grumblebee at 1:52 PM on August 6, 2004 [5 favorites]


I have had several friends go this route, and I've seen it work both well, and terribly. If the partners involved are open and communicative, not the types to be jealous, secure in their primary relationship, and scrupulous with emotional honestly, it can work out well.

Communication and mutual trust and respect are the two key elements. Without that, it can quickly become a really bad scene full of back-stabbing, anger, jealousy, spite, and broken marriages.

I've got no problem with it, as long as they're not people of the "LOOK AT US WE'RE POLY! AREN'T WE SPECIAL?!?!" sort, of which there seem to be a good number -- but that's true of any countercultrual scene.
posted by jammer at 1:55 PM on August 6, 2004


I have been involved in both polyamorous and open relationships. Some healthy, some not. Feel free to ask questions. :)
posted by Jairus at 1:55 PM on August 6, 2004 [1 favorite]


Both options are very much viable, although as with all relationships of any kind, it depends entirely on the character of the participants. Tell the people involved what you want, be clear about what your expectations are, and above all listen to what your loves and/or sex parters are saying. Nobody has to play along if they don't want to, and being clear about everything avoids the kind of misunderstandings that can really hurt

I know this sort of advice is exactly like what you'd get out of a Google search, but it's all true. Multiple relationships are exactly like the more typical serially monogamous relationships, only more so: they take lots of communication to be good.
posted by majick at 1:55 PM on August 6, 2004


I'm in one, and most of my friends are involved with their own non-monogamous relationships. Depending on the persons involved, it can be really awesome, or really terrible (like others have said). I really think every participant should read The Ethical Slut.

The key bit is to be open and honest about most everything.
posted by cmonkey at 2:07 PM on August 6, 2004


I'm interested -- if people are willing to share this info -- about the average ages of people in these relationships. It's easy for me to imagine people in their 20s doing this. At that age, it seems like part of the general youthful, causal attitute towards sex and dating.

I have a harder time imagining people in ther 40s, 50s and 60s in open relationships. (Though whenever I see TV shows about "swingers," they are always middle-aged, hippy types.)

I have a REALLY hard time imagining working "open" relationships with a mix of ages. For instance a 22-year-old woman/45-year-old man/45-year-old woman relationship sounds dangerous. That would have to be one REALLY secure 45-year-old woman!
posted by grumblebee at 2:10 PM on August 6, 2004


Zosia, if your description of you and your bf is accurate, I don't see why it shouldn't work -- for YOU GUYS.

My concern would be for the other people. Will they all be as confident and jelousy free as you? If not, you will have to decide what kind of attitude to take. I've seen people take the, "hey, I was honest ... sorry if you got hurt, but that's not my problem" attitude. I think it's pretty unrealistic and loathsome. I guess in your shoes, I would want to do some kind of really thorough screening process for new partners.

Dumb as it sounds, I had a non-sexual roommate issue like this once. I was living with a really close friend, but the two of us couldn't afford the rent together. So we placed an add and started interviewing potential roommates.

We were VERY blunt with the applicants. We said, "We're really good friends. We're going to sit around the house and spend hours talking, playing games, joking around, etc. But we're not interested in a third-party. We need a roommate to help us pay the bills, but we don't need another friend. Of course, we will be polite to you, but we're not going to invite you to do stuff with us."

The guy we chose claimed to be okay with all of that -- and I think he THOUGHT he was -- but in the end, he got really hurt and offended.

At the time (I was in my 20s), I felt really irritated by him. I WAS HONEST WITH HIM, FOR CHRIST SAKE! HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS GETTING INTO! But I also felt guilty.

I can't imagine being "honest" with someone like that now (I'm almost 40). I now feel that humans are humans. They want love. They want equality. They get scared. They feel abandoned. Unfortunately, the also want to appear cool and sophisticated, so they sometimes cover their deeper needs.
posted by grumblebee at 2:21 PM on August 6, 2004 [6 favorites]


Pretty much echoing the good comments from others, and tossing in my own experience, FWIW: I lived for 13 years (age 23 to 36, roughly) with a guy who had a variety of outside relationships (both sex-only and emotionally-invested, both women and men). I didn't have outside relationships myself (mostly because, good god, being in a relationship with one person is difficult enough.)

It worked well for us because the guy was extremely honest and communicative, and made it clear I was the most important priority for him, and also because I apparently don't have jealousy/abandonment issues (my issues and fears are all about engulfment/enmeshment). I had a few twitches of insecurity in the first few months, but I learned I could trust his honesty and his love, and things settled down.

My only real problem was dealing with everyone else's prurient interest and expectations that either the whole thing was going to go kaflooie in some dramatic fashion or else that we were having all kinds of hot three-ways--or the friends who got very indignant on my behalf, thinking I was being exploited somehow.

Apart from the imperative to be honest, the only real "rules" were the ones about No Spreading of STDs and You Go To The Other Person's House For Sex, Don't Bring Her/Him Here (because I hate finding other people's effluvium on my sheets).

When the relationship did eventually end, it wasn't due to the non-monogamy stuff, but rather because I decided I wanted to live alone. (The guy and I are still very good friends.) So--as others have said--it can work well, but it's not for everyone. (And if you want to talk about it, drop me a line, we're in the same town. )
posted by Kat Allison at 2:30 PM on August 6, 2004


I've been in poly configurations a number of times.

Complete but not brutal honesty is the key to success.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:44 PM on August 6, 2004


I have. I don't understand monogamous relationships. For the record I was 15 years younger than my primary lover. From my point of view the relationship was the best of my life. Jealousy wasn't much of a problem since I knew from the beginning that my partner loved me. I don't know that my partner was as certain that I loved her but she had always been non-monogamous so she was comfortable with non-monogamous relationships.

On the other hand I've never seen anyone successfully negotiate a switch from a monogamous to a non-monogamous relationship.

If you're thinking about doing this realize that you're going to get a lot of shit. People will project their fantasies onto your relationship. and refuse to believe either their own observations or to listen to anything you or partner have to say. Some people will be threatened by it even though your relationships are none of their business. If you're a woman you're likely to get even stronger negative reactions from your peers than
posted by rdr at 2:53 PM on August 6, 2004


It worked out really badly for me. Or rather, things worked out badly, and this may have been a cause or a symptom or both, it's hard to tell.

After having got married in my early 20s, some years later my spouse proposed that perhaps an "open" relationship would be a good idea. I thought it sounded neat in principle - yay, more sex with other people! - but difficult in practise.

It turned out from my POV that a) my spouse was happy to agree to rules, but not to stick to them and b) every new person introduces a risk that they will become the primary partner - so the more of them, the higher the cumulative risk. Looking back, I think my ex was quite unhappy before this came up, but rather then address whatever issues she had directly she proposed a "solution" that would provide some other outlet.

Not to sound too negative on the subject, I suspect these things would work better in a new relationship where there were ground rules from the outset, rather than being introduced later.

And you know what? Since we split up I have had the wide range of experiences that one might hope for, and sleeping with a bunch of different people is fun, but it's also stressful, and not in my view as rewarding as sticking to one person. YMMV. But I would be extremely cautious if seeking a more varied sex life is your only motivation.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:24 PM on August 6, 2004 [1 favorite]


1) they can't have any abandonment issues.
2) they can't have any jealousy issues.
3) they must be able to deal with harsh societal judgment and/or secrecy.

This is a decent pre-qualification list. I would add that they have to be honest and also responsible, as there are pretty obvious health risks with opening up your pool of sexual partners.

Unfortunatley, once you narrow down the human population by these criteria, the proportion that's also attractive is negligible.

Really, though, if you're curious, you should come to Burning Man and meet some of the folks who run the Polyamory theme camps. Yes, indeed, orgies do take place at these camps. But they are not mere sex-spaces. These folks take their show on the road to Burning Man not only to score more partners, but also to advocate the lifestyle itself and gain recognition and tolerance. If you approach one of these camps just looking for someone to talk to, I'm sure you can get a nice introduction to what the lifestyle is all about from someone who's living (and celebrating) it.

If you *really* wanna know... that's what you should do.
posted by scarabic at 4:07 PM on August 6, 2004 [1 favorite]


I'm interested -- if people are willing to share this info -- about the average ages of people in these relationships. It's easy for me to imagine people in their 20s doing this. At that age, it seems like part of the general youthful, causal attitute towards sex and dating.

I'm 22, and all of my monogamous relationships have felt really stifling, even when the rest of the relationship was going well. I passed up many opportunities to have great relationships with other people, which always left me irrationally resenting my partner. Same with all my friends, they try to be monogamous, but no matter how old you are, you really can't help but have desires for people outside of your primary partner, which leads to all sorts of problems.
posted by cmonkey at 5:32 PM on August 6, 2004


Okay, well. I'm a big proponent of open relationships, and I think in fact the grumblebee assumptions are bad cultural programming + people not being willing to challenge themselves. I'm in a poly one myself (me 24, him 31) and I've broken nearly all the rules people brought up here; it's still a great realationship.

Going into it, I definitely had abandonment and jealousy issues. But because it made sense to me intellectually and I couldn't think of any logical objections, I went ahead with it. My main boy is very understanding and I am very emotionally honest, so I think that helped a lot. It began with us just fucking other people when both of us weren't in the same city. There was some drama over the ex-wife where I had to put my foot down. We spent nearly two years being not only practically monogamous, but spending almost all our time together. Then we both got busy with other stuff & I met someone, who I still see a few times a week. Doing this myself, and seeing that it didn't make me love my boy any less has really destroyed the massive abandonment/jealousy issues I had at the start of my primary relationship. He now has a friend as well, who he sees less often than I see mine. I don't really care.

It worked out this way because we were both willing to challenge ourselves & take responsibility for our own emotions, while respecting the feelings the other. We did things at the pace most appropriate for the slowest partner (me) and accepted that things changed.

Some former rules included: not when I'm in town & no sleeping over at the friend's house. Now, no STD-unprotected sex without the primary partners' approval & no going home with someone else when you came with me are still in effect.

Finally, as for the fear that new partner will become the primary: Do you love your partner? Doesn't that mean you want them to be happy? If they really met someone who made them so much happier than you, wouldn't you still want them to be happy? Besides, if someone is going to leave you for someone else, demanding that they choose one or the other is only going to hasten that day.

So yeah, monogamy is dumb. I broke all the poly rules & I'm still happy. Email or ask more questions here if you want.
posted by dame at 5:42 PM on August 6, 2004 [1 favorite]


I think grumblebee's comment is very insightful. I got badly hurt by this once...at first I was flattered to be part of her pantheon. Then I realized that she hadn't been honest with me (including lying about time spent with others) and was sending some seriously mixed signals (body language and verbal language in no way agreeing, etc.), and that together with some other stuff convinced me that I should be outta there.

I may have not been ready for what happened, but I also think the expectation of complete honesty from people with whom you're intimate isn't wholly unreasonable.

Sex tends to increase feelings of intimacy and trust in most people, (which is why it can sustain a relationship past the point where there's really nothing else keeping it going.) If you're truly interested in an open relationship, you might want to be very careful, aware, and watchful to see if issues are developing.

Since this is your boyfriend's first long-term relationship, you may want to tread very carefully.

All of the above said, I can't approach this issue from any perspective other than that of a committed monogamist. Maybe it's because I'm selfish, maybe it's because I require an emotional bond before I'm ready to consider sexual intimacy, maybe it's because going out for a burger loses its attractiveness when I have steak at home.
posted by Vidiot at 6:41 PM on August 6, 2004


It began with us just fucking other people when both of us weren't in the same city. There was some drama over the ex-wife where I had to put my foot down.

This is an interesting point. Whereas most monogamous folk think that polyamory is just a free-for-all, in fact there are boundaries. They're just established according to the personalities of the folks involved, not the mores of the larger society. Is it any surprise that this can be a better fit for an individual's own needs/limits? Shouldn't be. But is is difficult to redefine societal mores, customizing them to our own needs, without the societal rubber stamp approving our every step? You bet.

It's also worth considering that there are many people who have no abandonment issues nor jealousy issues, for whom the best choice is still monogamy. What we're talking about here is a personal choice, ultimately. There's nothing inherently right or wrong about any of the options. Like all things, it's a question of implementation.
posted by scarabic at 6:51 PM on August 6, 2004


Well, grmublebee, if you were as honest as you say, then I applaud you at least for that. However, honesty may be the best policy, but it's not a blanket license to behave cruelly, irrationally, partially, or like you own the damn house.

What you were offering was a shitty living situation (just pay the bills and stay out of our little party) and i'm not surprised you got shitty results. Do you really expect to get a perfect inhuman robot for the price of a rent reduction? I find it amazing that you even bring up this example of impoverished, makeshift college living in this context. You're basing your wisdom on perhaps the most ill-founded relationship I can imagine.

The living situation, like the romantic relationship, is a re-la-tion-ship. It has to have healthy channels operating in all directions. Whatever you had going on with your roommate, if it was exclusive and not subject to a third party's advances, it was probably more romantic/sexual than you're willing to admit. Perhaps you were honest with your applicants, but how honest were you with yourself, and your friend?
posted by scarabic at 6:59 PM on August 6, 2004 [1 favorite]


Vidiot, I was talking about this part:

I think polyamorous relationships are a sort of utopian idea. They sound really good. When looked at completely intellectually, they seem to make sense. Most of us pretend to be sexually sophisticated. We say things like, "I know sex can be just sex" and "I think one person can love two people at once." But reality tends to be messier than this. It involves underlying FEELINGS -- not just theory and an overlay of coolness and sophistication.

Generally, I think this sounds like people being unwilling to challenge themselves to do something that is hard & unusual & takes time. Which is fine. But saying people are just like this and leaving it at that is not the whole story. Or it doesn't have to be. (And frankly, that attitude really pisses me off. But that's my own problem.)

Scarabic, that's a really good point, and thanks for making it more obviously than I did. And you're right: "There are many people who have no abandonment issues nor jealousy issues, for whom the best choice is still monogamy." It is basically a question of where one chooses to draw the line. I simply believe people draw it closer than they have to for attitudes as cited above. Because they give themselves & others too little credit and expect too little. To quote the only smart thing the Chimp ever said, it's the "soft bigotry of low expectations."
posted by dame at 7:11 PM on August 6, 2004


I too think grumblebee has nailed it, and that's why I can't agree with "it's a question of implementation". Looking beyond my own somewhat unfortunate experience, I still think that by bringing in more people you necessarily bring in more risk of trouble. The rules, the honesty, the good intentions and the ethical practise are all aimed at reducing that risk, but they don't eliminate the chance that one day you realise that when you daydream about kids, they're not Howard's but Tony's. Or that Howard announces that he's sorry, but from now on he's sleeping at Michael's place. Or whatever.

Wearing my cynical-been-divorced-approaching-middle-age hat: if you think you can take it, go for it, and realise that hearts may be broken - or not. But there are no guarantees, not any.

There are no guarantees if you stick with the status quo, either. Weighing up imponderable odds of unknown consequences is hard, which is why faith and gut instinct are probably as good a guide as any.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:12 PM on August 6, 2004


PS: the point I'm trying to make is that this works for some people, as attested above, and not for others, but it is awfully hard to tell in advance. Everyone who's tried this thought it would work out ok, just like everyone who gets married does it good faith. Shit happens though and you need to consider it.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:14 PM on August 6, 2004


PPS: and this is why I also disagree with statements like "X is the key to success". Yeah, X probably helps. But no guarantees.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:17 PM on August 6, 2004


The rules, the honesty, the good intentions and the ethical practise are all aimed at reducing that risk, but they don't eliminate the chance that one day you realise that when you daydream about kids, they're not Howard's but Tony's. Or that Howard announces that he's sorry, but from now on he's sleeping at Michael's place. Or whatever.

And this differs from monogamy how? All relationships end one way or another (even if the other is death), and the open way you don't wind up missing out on awesome people. Or to put it another way, if you're going to want Tony's kids, you're going to want Tony's kids. Only maybe you never got the chance to find that out. Or maybe you had to give up totally worthwhile times with Howard for it.

The only key to success is being committed to figuring things out as they come along, which isn't thing X at all, but a host of things.
posted by dame at 7:24 PM on August 6, 2004


This American Life did an episode on this subject. Search "monogamy" on their site to turn it up in RA.
posted by herc at 7:25 PM on August 6, 2004 [1 favorite]


I second The Ethical Slut - it really is a fantastic book.

I am currently in a polyamourous relationship - note, most definitely not an "open" relationship. The difference being that in an open relationship it is implied that anyone can go off and have sex with anyone else at any time. With my partner and me it is a more shared experience, ie one where we have some degree of influence over each others' sexual partners.

This thing about polyamourous relationships being fine if you're not the jealous type is a bit misleading. Everyone feels jealous at some point - it's an undeniable part of the human condition. The key to successful polyamoury is therefore _embracing_ jealousy, learning from it and processing it into something more valuable for the relationship.

Couples often have rules (and Dame's are all very sensible), but in my opinion they can be boiled down to one: respect for the other person. If you treat your partner how you'd expect to be treated yourself, you won't put them in a situation which is likely to be embarrassing or humiliating. And most likely you won't lie to them either. Of course no-one's perfect and mistakes are likely to be made, but again respect will be the key to patching those up.

In my experience of monogamous and polyamourous couples, the poly couples stay together longer. Maybe it's because they want to carry on doing it that they treat their partner better than they would if they were supposedly monogamous.

My only question is why I never found the polyamoury theme camps at Burning Man!!
posted by skylar at 11:49 PM on August 6, 2004


I still think that by bringing in more people you necessarily bring in more risk of trouble

By that logic, why let anyone in? Really. Differentiate it for me. All relationships involve some risk. If you think 1-to-1 relationships are "safe," then you've never really had one. Perhaps monogamy is as much risk as you want to take on. That's fine, but recognize the difference between setting a personal limit and condemning the choice to risk more. In fact, in some ways, polyamory might be less risk - not all eggs in one basket. Makes you think.
posted by scarabic at 12:52 AM on August 7, 2004


My opinion: if you haven't had freakishly wonderful, understanding, loving relationships in the past, and if you tend to have relationships that end badly rather than those that shift into beautiful, loving friendships then you might find a polyamorous relationship a difficult course. On the other hand, if you're “just talking about sex” thats more an open relationship, or potentially ‘swinging’ than a polyamorous relationship. Definitions vary.

Random thoughts: You're going to get crap from friends and family if you're open about your polyamorous relationship, guaranteed. You might want to talk about how you're going to deal with that. For some people being informed about a SO's partners is a good thing, for some it turns out badly. Judgement call. Note that there are poly relationships that practise polyfidelity, so poly and ‘open’ are not necessarily the same thing. Also, its just way too easy to use one SO as leverage against another if you're not (extremely) emotionally mature about all of your relationships.

Now, questions: are you both heterosexual and/or do you intend to share partners? A very frequent mechanism for the shift into poly relationships is through being in love with the same person. It might make things a bit easier to have some common ground.
posted by snarfodox at 1:22 AM on August 7, 2004


By that logic, why let anyone in? Really. Differentiate it for me.

I'll try.

From what she's written, Zosia Blue already has a stable, functioning relationship. I assume that this is a relationship that she likes and wants to continue. In poly lingo, it's the "primary".

My assertion is that there is a small but definite chance that each secondary relationship will take on enough momentum that it will become the primary instead.

This could be a great thing for the members of that new relationship, and heartbreak for the ex-member.

This only holds as a caution given the assumption above, and given that you see two-person primaries as the only possible primaries (which, I think, I do). These assumptions may not hold for Zosia, and from what dame writes, not for her - in which case more power to them.

And as I say, it's a small risk. But small risks accumulate.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:35 AM on August 7, 2004


Scarabic, did you read my WHOLE post? I thought I made it clear that I REGRET how I treated this roommate. This happened almost 15 years ago, and I'm pretty sure the guy is over it now, probably living a happy life. I still feel guilty and terrible about it. If I could find him, I would tell him how sorry I am.

My POINT was that sometimes we have utopian views about people ("As long as we're all honest, no one will get hurt"), but that in real-life, things tend to be messy. Maybe we TRY to be honest and fail; maybe we ARE honest, but the truth hurts; maybe we go into a relationship wanting one thing, but find ourselves wanting something else over time.

All of this stuff is true in two-people relationships. With more people, there are more complications.

In any case, though it's good to set up a pro/con dynamic to help figure things out, I am NOT the anti-open relationship guy. I'm sure it CAN work. I don't think the people here who claim to be in good open relationships are lying. I believe them. I just think it's complicated, and probably often fails.
posted by grumblebee at 5:41 AM on August 7, 2004 [1 favorite]


I_am: I'm a little confused by your point. My primary is a two person primary; the other prongs are secondary. Are you saying that some people only want one relationship? If so, that's true, and to be fair, two relationships can end up being a lot of work. So that is one objection, one that I think hasn't been brought up.

And grumblebee: thanks for being the anti-guy.
posted by dame at 8:21 AM on August 7, 2004


Anti-guy? From what I've read, no one has been truly "anti". I find it intriguing that you interpret his words that way. Possible cause for self-reflection there, neh?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:10 AM on August 7, 2004


What are "abandonment issues?" This seems jargony.
posted by inksyndicate at 10:32 AM on August 7, 2004


Open relationships can fail, but so do all relationships. Sometimes people get into open relationships who aren't really prepared for them, and that really sucks. Sometimes they just fail for Normal Relationship Reasons that have nothing to do with sex, though that can be dragged in. Right now my boyfriend and I are kind of in the state of "If you get some sort of great opportunity I won't expect you to pass it up on my account" but we haven't really got any and the ones we've tried in the past haven't been that great for various reasons. So unless both partners have a steady second sex partner, it's just like the stresses of relationship + the stresses of dating. Ick.
posted by dagnyscott at 11:36 AM on August 7, 2004


Abandonment issues = fear of being abandoned.
posted by grumblebee at 1:15 PM on August 7, 2004


FFF: It was a joke.
posted by dame at 9:59 PM on August 7, 2004


But saying people are just like this and leaving it at that is not the whole story. Or it doesn't have to be. (And frankly, that attitude really pisses me off. But that's my own problem.)

I don't really follow you here, dame, or if that was directed at me. I think that open/poly relationships can work for some people. Not for me, though.

All I was saying was that my advice for those who are thinking of exploring such an option is for them to be very careful and watchful. Because, as others have observed, the more people involved, the more feelings that have to be considered.
posted by Vidiot at 10:02 AM on August 8, 2004


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