Xun here. As I stated in my introductory post, I was introduced to the idea of nonmonogamy by Celia. Before that, I was by all accounts monogamous. My last two relationships had been monogamous and I was fully expecting the rest of my relationships to be as well. Even now, I would say that I am more on the side of monogamy than nonmonogamy (I hope that will change over time).
So why am I even doing this? Why leave the comfort of my emotional home to venture out into the world of alternative relationship styles? Join me after the break to find out!
It’s taken me some time to craft an answer that I can actually remember and that has a lot of thought put into it. The short version is: “Why not?” This was essentially my answer when Celia first asked me to be in an open relationship with her. Granted, that was my whole answer at the time, nothing more, nothing less. Now I have a much longer one. It goes something like this:
I generally consider myself to be an adventurous and logical person. They may not always go together, but that’s how I describe myself. I like to ride very tall and very steep trails at ski resorts. I’ve eaten many…exotic foods (I’ll spare you the details). I’ve traveled 17 hours by bus to a town that rarely gets foreign visitors in a part of the country where they speak a different language. I am a huge math geek and have a terrible tendency to look at things way too logically. You get the picture. This brings us to relationships. If I’m willing to go out of my way and out of my comfort zone for new experiences in travel, cuisine, heck, even my line of work is something I never imagined doing, then why not have the same attitude with relationships? Because they deal with “heavy” emotions like love, jealousy, pain, pleasure? Because we’re somehow attached to the idea of what is a “right” and “wrong” kind of relationship?
I figure if I am willing to do all these crazy things in my life, why not add another item to that list? The way I see it, I get to explore different kinds of love, learn how to be a better communicator, learn to deal with my jealousies and fears, and let’s face it, what guy doesn’t have some crazy fantasy about having multiple women in his life all at once? Plus, and not to blame her in any way, Celia didn’t give me much of a choice. It was open relationship or bust. Considering that I really liked her and wanted to be her boyfriend, it was a risk I was willing to take. All in all, not a bad deal, right?
"But what about the downsides?" I hear you ask. Don’t worry, dear Reader, I’ve thought about those too. I’m a jealous person (another topic for a future post). I can be overly possessive of those I’m dating. I’ve been known to annoy my partner just to get a rise out of them. Hell, I’ve been straight up mean with my partner. With all these negative personality traits, why start a situation where they can be amplified by the presence of multiple partners and complications? To a logical person like myself, that’s a recipe for disaster. Add in the other partners Celia may take on, the nights I might spend alone while she goes on dates or even (*gasp!*) has sex with other people, any arguments that may follow, and you really have a burning building with no fire escape.
The answer is two paragraphs above you. My interest in trying something new, like the helix piercing I just got, outweighs the negatives (the searing pain of said piercing). I’ve already reaped the benefits in some ways. Just in our conversations about nonmonogamy and what we want our relationship to be, Celia has stopped to point out how much she loves me for having this attitude. The sex on some of those nights? Well, she may disagree, but I think it was a pretty awesome display of our heightened affections. In the long term, Celia gets to stick to a promise she made to herself and I get to help her carry it out. Bonus points for me. Don’t be misled, I’m not doing this just for the thrills or a new experience. I love Celia deeply and am trying to bear witness to that love.
There you have it. What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. I firmly believe that no matter what happens between Celia and me, if things do or do not work out, that I will be the better for it. If I never have a nonmonogamous relationship again? At least I can say I tried and for me, that’s really all that matters.