From the times we’re young, we envision our older selves happily committed with another person and living happily ever after. In today’s age however, that cliché, monogamous happily ever after seems far-fetched when most of us will cheat or have been cheated on by a significant other. Could open relationships with our partners transform the way love and think as individuals?
My junior year of high school I watched my parents marriage blow up and crumble into a big pile of chaos. Soon enough, the family’s skeleton’s in the closet all began to storm out and knock us upside the heads. They both had cheated in different times in their marriage and for different reasons. No matter the duration, reasoning, or “severity” of the affair(s) it all yielded the same result: things would never be the same. Why is that though? Why do we let actions that happened once, or even multiple times, conjure up such intense feelings of resentment, anger, sadness, worthlessness, etc. towards a person we claim to love and have spent time with?
You may answer with “it’s betrayal, “I trusted them,”I would never do it to them,” “he/she was mine!” Reasonings that are seemingly valid in a relationship that is supposed to be monogamous. Monogamy is the way we’re taught from the beginning of how we’re supposed to love another person in a romantic relationship. Two people. One lifetime. Spent together. Despite this normal expectation, why do we continue to cheat and pursue others outside of our monogamous relationship? Perhaps, one person isn’t all we need.
Seven billion people in the world, and we’re only meant for one? Say what?
Now, I’m not saying we all need to have four wives or three husbands and we all live under the same roof. What I am saying is what if instead of proclaiming one person as ours and placing all of our hopes, dreams, and absurd expectations on them, we take a different approach? Open relationships/polyamory isn’t about going out and having sex with whoever and whenever you please. It’s about being open and honest with your partner with certain thoughts, feelings, and desires that the majority of people in relationships wouldn’t dare to speak of or allow to happen. This is why I believe most relationships and marriages fail. Communication and the taking action about sexual desires or emotional connections with a person who isn’t your companion is practically non-existent, which inevitably results in cheating. Who is to say though that it’s wrong to have feelings for more than one person, or lust after another?
“Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. You get it? We both have layers”
Believe it or not, we all happen to be ogres. We all have layers, and it seems a bit naive to believe one person can appease every layer of yourself for your entire life. Do I think you could still spend a lifetime with someone while in an open relationship? Definitely, and I think you have a better chance at sustaining a healthy relationship if certain doors were left unhinged. On life’s journey, we’re all constantly changing and growing, and through our lifetime we’re going to meet so many people. People who will change the way you think, act, touch, and love. You love one person from growing up together, but you love another for the way they challenge and inspire you. You have a great sex life with your partner, but you can’t stop thinking about your next door neighbor. Love or lust, these encounters are bound to happen. When we begin to recognize and fulfill these longings, I feel we are truly honoring ourselves and what we want as our own person. If we are completely honest with ourselves and partner, then there is no way to lie or hurt them.
Are we able to open our minds to accepting the fact its human nature to want more?
Open relationships and polyamory are still very taboo topics to think about and consider. Our minds immediately race to the thought of our partner in bed with another. Many would feel inadequate and angry at the thought of someone else encroaching on our “turf.” Emotions that are supported by a type of relationship that is simply failing in today’s society. If people began to actually communicate in their relationships and open it up to the possibilities that are bound to happen, could we destroy the cheating mentality as a whole and create healthier relationships? Could we learn to be in control of our own thoughts and desires? Would we be able to love ourselves more if we stopped placing expectations and restraints on our companions, and allowing ourselves the emotional freedom of not being bound to just one person?
Let me know your thoughts! Have you ever cheated or been cheated on? What was the effect on your relationship? Would you ever consider an open relationship/marriage? If you’ve had one, do you agree or disagree with anything I said?
Done rambling on,