Mike's introduction to Open Relationships.
I used to be a culchie...
and still am at heart since I live in Dublin. Back then, a sex date with a guy I fancied a lot showed me that I was still "that innocent".
I'm not sure how old he was, but let's say about ten years older than me. I was only 20, and quite starstruck. He was hot, kind and successful in a profession I admired; the 20-year-old me didn't need to know more. I met him in his amazingly decorated apartment; I tried to be the cutest I could, making the most passionate love I knew to him. And all of this, with the enticing flare of my confusing twenties.
We used the couch, and the floor and maybe the bedroom as well. After our fireworks filled the sky, I asked to clean myself in the bathroom. I was in my early twenties and quite easily impressionable. I didn't need a lot to fell in or out of love and I was already dreaming of marrying him when a mysterious manly voice said "Hello" from the other room. I said "hi" with a shocked voice while trying to keep it cool in my nakedness. Later I learnt that this man was his life partner, probably for ten or more years. My heart was broken. I went back home, put Natalie Imbruglia on the radio and laid naked on the floor; I was torn.
This was my first interaction with an open relationship. Before that, I had never heard of any openness in any relationship. But how could I? Showing mild affection for anyone outside of your relationship was the worst you could do to the one you loved. That's what we learnt at school, that's what my mum told me, that's what all series showed!
There is a Greek song that says, "I'm not leaving for 1. The lies 2. That you're ignoring me, 3. The bad temper, 4. The irony, 5. The jealousy, 6. The unjust treatment, I'm leaving for the 7. The cheating!" She was perfectly OK to go through all the horrible things, and the moment her partner did something "nice" to someone else, she drew her line on the sand.
Their open relationship baffled me. I had all these sick questions in my head; Are they perverts? Did that count as cheating? Did I hurt someone? Did they fight after I left? Did I break a relationship? Are they really in love? Thank Mariah that I kept those silly questions to myself for such a long time (until now). I knew I fancied them, so I stayed away from poisonous answers. I kind of wanted more, but I had to go travel and work away for two years.
But I came back, 24 months later and BAM! I revisited the couple and had the loveliest time with both of them. Time did wonders to my head. I got to admire what they had, secretly I wanted to be part of it, but I knew I wasn't supposed to. So I didn't mention it. I kept it to myself. I swallowed it as hard as I could, and maybe I texted once drunk. I didn't ask to meet socially, although I was dying for it. Deep inside, I knew I wanted something like that, but more of my own.
Fast forward to today, and I'm part of an open relationship. That couple laid the foundation I needed when I felt ready to get into an open relationship. Today, I can't even think of strong enough reasons to stay in a closed relationship for long.
I've gathered all my confidence and openness to challenge myself further. I want to understand how my actions reflect my thoughts, how my choices make me a better person, and I want everyone who has questions about open relations to get them answered in the coming posts.
Next Open relationships posts
Twenty-four couples replied to incredibly intimate and judgemental questions, so you won't ever have to be the prick who asks them. Read them on the next posts (Questionmark on Open relationships)
This post is the first of a series. Some of the posts are for paid subscribers only. All projects will become free in the following weeks.
Open Relationships 101 >
Questionmark on Open Relationships Part 1 >
Part 2 > Part 3 > Part 4