You are generally happy with what you have built with your boyfriend. Enjoying your time together and the intimacy that you share. Yet, your eye wanders a bit. Even when you are out with your boyfriend you can’t help smiling a little coyly at your waiter. When you are at work you always go out of your way to meet a certain colleague at the water cooler for a spirited bout of back and forth banter. These urges to check out other guys surprise you at the same time that they titillate you. You might consider an open relationship.
You realize that at a subconscious level you are toying with the idea of expanding your orbit of affections. This shocks you because you worked so hard with your boyfriend to get to a place where you both were comfortable and committed. Astonishingly comfortable and committed just isn’t doing it for you right now. What next?
The sheer truth is you want to expand the orbit of your affections without anything as disruptive as a breakup. You are toying with the idea of a inconsequential cheat on your next business trip. Or when your boyfriend is home with his family. But deviousness is not your strong suit. What you really want is to investigate whether your boyfriend might consider an open relationship. How do you start the conversation?
Find A Quiet Time
Choose a time when you and your boyfriend are unconstrained by other duties and tell him you want to talk. Avoid the weekend when his kids are visiting or when you are going to a party with mutual friends later on the day you plan to talk. Handled properly this is likely to be an intense and lengthy discussion so do not sabotage the situation by bookending it with obligations either of you must meet.
Have A Preliminary Plan
Many couples do thrive within an open relationship, but each duo has to work out the details. Try to think through what you would be comfortable accepting as each of you explores adding other intimacies. If you are just hot for the guy at the office but can’t imagine allowing the BF to even flirt with his office mate this open thing is not going to work. Be fair and balanced in your approach. No blaming, no shaming.
Asking for openness in a relationship definitely can feel like a rejection so have a better intro to the subject than “I’m just not into you right now, but I don’t want to break up.” The best way to broach the subject may be to ask if he ever wonders what it would be like to see other people while still having you as a main relationship. Assure him it is about your need to learn more about yourself, not an indictment of him or what you have together. Be honest and forthcoming.
Expect The Unexpected
Guys are “supposed” to be the ramblers, but since you are the one actively on the prowl do not be surprised if he is not at the same point. If he is saddened, hurt or offended by your questioning you need to be ready as you will have a hard time putting this genie back into the bottle. Decide how you will respond if it seems like a real “no go” on his side.
Intrigued Rather Than Despairing
If your guy warms up to the idea, right away or after you assure him you are not looking to replace him, it is time for the two of you to start working on the structure of your potential open relationship. It may seem odd that an open relationship adds a layer of responsibility to the mix, but it does. Before you even bring up the subject you should have some workable ideas about how this new venture is going to look and feel for each and both of you.
If it works for both of you this can be the beginning of a new level of intimacy. Be kind, calm and try hard to honor your hard work, both on your monogamous relationship and you new journey toward openness.