Do Open Relationships Actually Work?


Am I possessive? Am I jealous? Or am I crazy?

These are the thoughts going through my head when my professor mentioned that one of her gay friends is in an open relationship. They are in that kind of relationship because marriage isn’t “their thing.” This left me in awe. Mouth opened and everything.

For some reason, I got warm and was so ready to speak my mind on the topic. The closest thing I could relate to regarding the situation was based on a previous relationship.

I was overly jealous and extremely possessive. If anyone was too friendly or touchy, I was on the defense. So, you can understand why I felt so strongly about the idea of an open relationship.

Maybe I’m not open-minded enough to allow my significant other to have relations with anyone other than myself. I feel that those who are in a serious or long-term open relationship doesn’t necessarily fit the criteria of what a relationship is.

A relationship is working toward something more eternal, like marriage or children. I could sound critical on the topic but I’m free for anyone to change my mind.

For me, those in an open relationship aren’t in a relationship at all, it’s more like dating. If a person finds themselves not being able to be fully committed, then a relationship isn’t for them.

Yes, it’s true that some individuals can’t be satisfied fully in different aspects of their life like sex and intimacy, by one person, but instead of finding multiple partners to fulfill that, why not just find the right one?

Maybe I’m more bothered by the fact that this conversation came about from a gay “couple” because it’s so prevalent for gay men to be in open relationships.

It comes off as normal behavior I guess, but it rubs me the wrong way. I can’t help but feel that for gay men, especially those who come out very late in life, feel that they need to fulfill any sexual experiences that they might’ve missed out on. Also, they find that it’s okay to be in an open relationship, which is why most gay men aren’t opposed to it.

I could be digging too deep but maybe open relationship individuals aren’t willing to work toward commitment with just one person. Maybe they’re scared of being with one person for the rest of their lives, so they cop out and decide they want multiple partners.

But wouldn’t you feel nervous or alone if you really liked or loved someone who feels the need to share their intimacy with more than just you?

I would.

It’s scary knowing that the special moments you share with your partner aren’t being shared just with you. It’s as if you’re in competition with other people for your boyfriend/girlfriend’s attention.

I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t try it. It could be something I could possibly like.

As they say, “You don’t know unless you try it,” but I’m very confident that I wouldn’t take it as seriously as I would take an actual relationship between me and just one other person.