What it feels like…when your partner wants an open relationship.

By Sara, Oxfordshire.

I love my boyfriend of 10 years plus, I really do and when he stated “I love you but I need to have an open relationship” I wasn’t sure how to react or really get my head and my heart around what he was saying.

What he was basically saying is ” I want to have sex with other people.” Right, ok but not really ok.

I discussed this with my closest girlfriends, one of which had recently read an article in the New York Post where 53% of couples surveyed said they would allow their partner to have sex with someone else. They called it a “hall pass”.

Call me old fashioned but what when it comes to love and intimacy I am pretty straight laced. The thought of him having sex with someone else makes me feel deeply insecure and somewhat panicked. My  non-emotional, rational brain kicks in – what about the potential outcomes? So many reasons why this could go wrong, very wrong. What happens if; the sex was amazing, they fancied each other, they make it a regular thing, he doesn’t tell me.

Sex is never just sex, or is it..?

Against the advice of my closest and best friends ( both female and male ) I gave it great consideration         ( they thought I should knock back the suggestion immediately ) and we all discussed it at length, sometimes for hours over a number of weeks. What would they do in my shoes?

When you’re both in a relationship and it’s long term you try and keep the passion alive and if you trust the person you are with completely then you have to work out a way to indulge both your desires without comprising each other or the relationship.

Part of me believes that insisting on fidelity is the fastest way to send your parter running off in the other direction, we can’t suppress natural sexual urges can we?

We’ve been together for 11 years and whilst marriage and a family are on the cards in the next few years. Currently I believe this to be true and until then I have decided that I will agree to my other half’s request for an open relationship with the caveat that he must tell me when and if he decides to use his “hall pass”.

None of my circle of friends have had an open relationship, or at least none of them has tried it so far. I can only hope that he doesn’t decide to have sex out-with our relationship and that if I decided to have sex with another man outside our relationship, that he would be just as understanding.