I’ve been having very interesting conversations with men and women about cheating vs open relationships. Let’s unpack the two a bit. We all know cheating is any form of inappropriate physical and emotional behavior with someone other than your romantic partner. This includes but is not limited to touching, sexual acts, emotional bonding, etc. Open relationships are defined as “a marriage or relationship in which both partners agree that each may have sexual relations with others.”
Open Relationships Conversations with Couples
I’ve spoken to several couples who are in open relationships. All of their reasons vary, but the main factor in the decision-making process I heard is simply it’s not in a man’s nature to settle down with one woman. Several women have also embraced taking on multiple male partners when they want to add a bit of variety to their life.
Some look at multi-bond relationships as an opportunity to build. They feel that being in a relationship with all involved can help close gaps, build wealth, and promote family.
My biggest mental conflict being a 30-something woman in the dating scene is why isn’t one person enough?
One Partner for Relationships
I understand personal preference, however, the question still remains. As far back as I can remember, men and women have cheated. We’ve seen where some men had two households and secret families. In essence, it’s completely understood why polyamorous relationships have become more popular over time. Polyamorous is defined as “the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the informed consent of all partners involved.” People who identify as polyamorous may believe in an open relationship with a conscious management of jealousy and reject the view that sexual and relational exclusivity are necessary for deep, committed, long-term loving relationships.
It is argued that the need and urge for multiple partners is simply greed and a lack of self-control. I do not know if I completely agree, but I will say being in a monogamous relationship definitely requires self-control, respect, and ultimately the want of a serious monogamous relationship. It can not be forced, rushed, or coerced. Monogamy is also defined as “relating to, characterized by, or practicing monogamy: having only one mate, spouse, or sexual partner at one time.”
Now cheating is altogether wrong. It’s a complete violation of a person’s trust and love. You take away power and choices when you decide to be unfaithful in a relationship you agreed to be monogamous in. It’s a choice to lie to the person you’re with pretending to be faithful to, just to continue to benefit from the relationship.
Let’s Be Real With Ourselves
I know stressful, right?!! Maneuvering and navigating relationships are tedious. It’s not impossible though. We have to remember to be CLEAR with our wants and dislikes and stand firm in them. I notice with myself included in the past, I would say I don’t want a certain something and bend on what I said, which in turn invalidated my boundaries. Know your limits – if you know you don’t want an open relationship, don’t date a person who does want one. It’s that simple.
Honesty and communication are vital in any relationship and at every stage. The most important person you have to be honest with is yourself, then your partner. It’s okay to let go of someone if their wants don’t align with yours. We, as whole humans in the singles department, have to become okay with letting go. It’s selfish to keep a person around, and you don’t have the capacity to love them the way they need love.
As I bring this to a close, I want us all to remember to use caution in matters of the heart. We need it to live, so it’s vital we protect it.
Until next time,
That’s the Way ShayMo Sees It!