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How can open relationships help us to grow as people?

Beer without alcohol, Coca-Cola without sugar, sex without obligations – Do these things taste the same as the regular ones? Just as some people like to wear briefs and others prefer jockstraps, many people choose to indulge in relationships that are strictly sexual. It’s not necessary about being scared of intimacy, it’s about the exploration of the (erotic) self.

Sex without love might sound like a losing game because your heart does not get enough points, still, your life gets many points. You are winning in building a life that matters to you. Living on your own terms and not being dependent on anyone is a true touchdown.

There is no final definition of an open relationship

In different parts of the world, open relationships have a different meaning. If you are dating someone from another cultural background (a hot Asian twink, for example), it is important to explain your perception of the potential relationship in order to prevent confusion or someone going Britney circa 2007. First, you need to be honest with yourself and know what you want. After all, real connections are all about being sincere, no matter what social conventions and obstacles are.

In Western culture, an open relationship is what most of us consider it is, it is a non-monogamous relationship in which both sides do not sacrifice their sexual drive. The number of people you sleep with is not restricted to one. Libido is free.

Having sex outside your primary relationship is like travelling to another country: it is new territory, there are some boundaries and rules you need to respect but once you come back home, you have no obligations towards the foreign country.

“Open relationships are a significant piece of a meaningful life puzzle”

In my opinion, open relationships are a significant piece of a meaningful life puzzle. Ask yourself: Is it possible for you to feel free, happy and careless in a monogamous relationship? Do you really get the sense of growth? If the answer is yes, then great – maybe an open relationship is not for you. And that’s totally fine.

It’s important to surround yourself with those who make your branches grow, and not with those who make your roots grow. Whether that’s with one person or more than one.

Many people may think that wanting to be in an open relationship is selfish but, on the reverse side, isn’t it more selfish to forbid anyone to sleep with whoever they want to sleep beside yourself? What often happens when people are not honest with one another, and maybe decide to ignore their own needs, is that they can become dishonest to the other person.

It is like there is a Bermuda Triangle between your heart, your brain and your mouth. Words are simply missing. You become insincere and you start acting by looking at the heteronormative society as a role model. Both partners start playing games that distract them from their authentic self.

Growing is also about learning how not to take NO personally. Do not misinterpret an open relationship as not wanting to commit to someone properly. Open relationships can be good for shutting down your ego. You do not own the person you are dating, you connect to them.

In fact, the less you tend to own someone, the more you belong to each other. Once you have a strong feeling of belonging, you will have more confidence to step up and live a meaningful life.

Written by Filip Teovanovic

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