Self-Evaluation from “Opening Up: A Guide To Creating And Sustaining Open Relationships”

Opening Up Cover

Opening Up: A Guide for Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

I pulled this self-evaluation from the book Opening Up: A Guide To Creating And Sustaining Open Relationships because I want to answer some of these questions in subsequent blogs, and also hear what others may have to say about these topics. I know it’s a long list and a lot to think about!

It’s funny, because I’ve been thinking about how I would react to my partner being in love with another person, and imagining how I would feel, but I’m not really going to know how I’m going to feel until it happens. Still, this is a great list of questions to ask yourself, write about, and contemplate before entering into a polyamorous or open relationship.

If you are considering an open relationship, first evaluate yourself thoroughly and honestly to determine whether venturing beyond monogamy is right for you. Here are some questions for you to contemplate, write about in a journal, or talk about with a friend, partner, or therapist:

What are your beliefs about monogamy?

• If you’ve been in monogamous relationships before, how did you feel in those relationships, and how did they work or not work for you?

• Do you believe that someone can love/be in love with more than one person at a time?

• What role does sex play in your relationships? How important is it to you? What does it mean to you?

• Can you have sex without an emotional attachment? How are sex and love related or not related?

• Have you ever had a “fuck buddy” or “friend with benefits”? What worked and didn’t work about the relationship?

If you are currently in a relationship:

• What is the state of the relationship? Does it feel stable and secure?

• What are your most common conflicts with your partner?

• Do both partners want to explore a different structure?

• Do you have sexual needs, desires, and fantasies that aren’t being fulfilled?

Imagine your partner having sex with another person. It’s important to be brutally honest, not censor yourself, and really let yourself feel what that would be like.

• What feelings does that bring up?

• What would be your worst fear?

• What would the best-case scenario for this situation look like?

• What would be an absolute deal breaker?

Imagine your partner having a relationship with another person. It’s important to be brutally honest, not censor yourself, and really let yourself feel what that would be like.

• What feelings does that bring up?

• What would be your worst fear?

• What would the best-case scenario for this situation look like?

• What would be an absolute deal breaker?

How do you handle feelings?

• Do you consider yourself a jealous person? How do you deal with intense feelings like anger, jealousy, and resentment?

• Are you able to determine what your boundaries are and communicate them to others?

• When something is bothering you, do you more often keep it to yourself or share it?

• Do you have the ability to communicate openly and honestly, even about difficult issues?

• When conflict arises, how do you usually handle it?

How available are you?

• Do you have the time to nurture and grow more than one love relationship?

• Do you have the energy to devote to several different people and juggle multiple lovers?

• Do you have access to potential partners who have nonmonogamy experience and strong relationship skills?

• Do you have the self-knowledge and communication skills to be in an open relationship?

Feel free to comment on any of these questions, and like I said, I’ll delve into my answers to them in more detail as we continue on this journey together.


The Venture Begins

Love isn’t always simple and today you have an opportunity to experience a more complicated kind of pleasure. Beautiful Venus usually adds sweetness and grace to your life but an uneasy aspect from shadowy Pluto offers up sensual delights from the hidden recesses of your subconscious mind. No matter what, don’t let fear stand in your way of a meaningful experience. Open your heart and let love in.

With a horoscope like that, it makes sense that I would have the conversation today. I’d been thinking about it for a couple days, that now was the time to seriously talk about opening our relationship, before something bad happens or someone gets hurt. But we are also on a time frame because we’re having a baby soon and ideally I’d like to have a girlfriend for both of us before then, so that when I’m recovering or too tired or not feeling up for it, he will have someone to have sex with. Does that sound crazy? Oddly enough, I feel like this is the least crazy thing to do right now. Crazy is expecting to have 100% of your needs filled by one person, for the rest of your life.

To be honest, I’ve wanted a polyamorous relationship since before I was with my current partner and have had open relationships in the past. Who’s to say whether they were successful or not? I mean, they all ended, but is a “forever relationship” the only kind that can be considered successful? They worked while they worked and ended for reasons that had nothing to do with an open lifestyle, so in that way I consider them successful. But those relationships were also different than my current situation, because I was less invested in the people I was with before. Like I said, my boyfriend and I are having a baby in about four months, and while we’re not sure if marriage is right for us, we definitely want to be together and raise our child together for as long as possible.

I’m not going to say it’s all for him, but the reason I’m bringing up polyamory now is because I want us to be honest and open with each other, so that cheating doesn’t happen. Cheating has become almost an accepted way of life for a lot of people, and I’m of the opinion that it’s wrong and unnecessary. I’m not a jealous person, I just don’t like being lied to. I’m more than happy to share as long as it’s fair and it’s out in the open, not secretive and selfish. Since I caught him lying to me and trying to meet up with another girl a few months ago, I’ve been suspicious, jealous, watching his every move, and he’s defensive, more secretive and still lying. I don’t like being like this, and I’m sure he doesn’t either. Another girlfriend might be just the thing he needs.

But I also miss having a girlfriend. It’s been a year and a half since I’ve been with a woman, and the last one broke my heart, but I miss having a deep connection with another female like me. I also love boobs and pussy and it’s been a long time since I’ve touched them. I want to share another woman with my man, but I also want her to myself sometimes.

It’s not like we’re gonna go get a girlfriend today or even put up an OKCupid profile just yet. I’m reading up first. The Ethical Slut and Opening Up are both open on my computer right now, so I can learn as much as I can to make this relationship work. It might be a month or so before we meet up with a girl and that’s ok, because I want to find a lasting relationship with someone, and don’t want to enter into this on a whim and hope it works. That’s just a recipe for disaster.

This is just the beginning of our journey, our venture into polyamory together, and I have no idea what’s going to happen. That’s part of the fun of it, right?

Polyamory by Matthew Bobbu