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Could A Non-Monogamous Relationship Be For You?

Updated on June 24, 2019
Mariah Schnoebelen profile image

Why I think it's important to date as many people as you want before you try to settle down with just one.

Have You Ever Thought About Having An Open Relationship?

Have you ever found yourself in a relationship, happy, but you felt like you were missing something? Or in better words . . . just like you weren't sure if you were happy with just this one person, yet? Maybe you didn't 'get it all out of your system' some like to say. Now I am sure when a lot of people read the title of this article they will naturally assume I am implying that you should sleep with every person you desire, and never take anyone seriously. Not at all. It used to be normal to casually date rather than meeting one individual and locking it down right away. If you want to date and have platonic relationships, go for it. If you want to date and have multiple sex partners, go for it. I do suggest being safe obviously and most importantly . . . have enough respect for everyone involved to allow them to know they are not the only person you are seeing. Respect for yourself and your partners are most important next to communication. Oh, how some people are really bad at this. That is okay. We all communicate very differently so it's up to you to find the healthy balance in regards of what works for you and that one person. However, what works for the two of you may not work for you and the other person. So you'll find a new way of communication. Expand your mind, perspective, and listening skills. You will be spoke to verbally and physically – it's up to your mental awareness to hear what is being said properly.

Our generation has lost its foundation of dating. It's more of a rat race, who can get the cheese the quickest. That is literal and figuratively speaking. We are seeing more people jump into these relationships off a surfaced based list of requirements and often no requirements at all besides a hot body and well known Instagram. Unfortunately we are not a list of things people can choose from – that is not love. Pure love is not seen with eyes but rather found within.

Imagine standing inside a bubble, stretching your arms out as far as you can, push hard, and popping the bubble. Now before that bubble was popped it was consumed with restriction, obligation, and expectations of what you thought you needed to be to impress a person. Most often when people make proclamations about themselves they are usually the opposite of what they are claiming to be. You have orchestrated the best parts of yourself to be seen because you want him or her to want you. It's in our nature, we want to be wanted. We're scared to show the real, authentic, and vulnerable pieces of ourselves at first in fear that we will be rejected. Social media, society's picture of what a relationship should look like, and the urge to be better than those around us has ruined the true experience of dating. This is why I think it is important and conducive to our mental and intimate growth to create an open and transparent friendship before you try to become intimate partners. In my experience, when I kept a relationship open it released the inevitable feeling of pressure. The energy between us was calm and more comfortable rather than me trying to keep up with a persona that would be good enough for another to desire me. Then eventually we would show the real parts of ourselves later once we get more comfortable. Have you ever heard someone say “ we were good the first year, but things have changed” and the most famous line amongst dating, “he is showing his real colors” why do you think this is? I think we all have some friends we are attracted to but we know we would never exhaust our energy trying to date this person have seeing their true character and values for others and their self. We tend to rush the whole process with a motive that is powered by intimation and insecurity: with a mindset that we have to make this exclusive as quickly as possible so no one else can get in-between what you have. We lost the mindset of connecting with a person beyond our shared items, life experiences, and anything superficial. You're trying to bring two very different perspectives, two different love languages, two different worlds, two different desires and needs, and trying to combine into one - that is where you fucked up. the sun and the moon do not come together as one - it would burn up in flames - however, they do work together to create a revolving functionable world to co exist in. You cannot create a co-dependent relationship and seriously think it's healthy or will work out over time.



A personal experience of my own:

I knew I wasn't anywhere near wanting to be in a monogamous relationship but I did want to see people. One weekend my best friend and I got ready for a pride festival in Orlando, FL. We talked about how many girls we would sleep with, how much we would drink, drink, and drink more. We were leaving a nightclub one night when I met a girl. We were standing on the sidewalk trying to get an Uber when I looked over my shoulder and saw a tall girl with long brown hair wearing a buttoned up shirt that was covered in flowers and birds, jeggings, and chucks. She walks over to our group because she knew one of the girls with us. She made a phone call and there we were, nine girls in one Uber back to our hotel. We sat on the side of the bed sharing our favorite songs, and I couldn't stop telling her how adorable her little curl was. Eventually she walked me back to my room where we said our goodbyes. The first thing I realized when I woke up was I never asked her name or her phone number. I woke my friend and told her to send a group text to our friends and find out who she is. It wasn't an hour later when I had her Instagram and that's where it started. We talked every day, nothing too serious, we hung out as friends, and then one day she asked what I was wanting from her. Well, I didn't know what I wanted but I did know what I didn't want – a girlfriend. We both agreed we had shared interest in each other and we both wanted to have sex with each other and other people. We made respectable boundaries – we would always tell one another if we hooked up with someone, no close friends, we wouldn't sleep together until a few days later if we slept with someone else. We would communicate anytime we didn't like something.

This was amazing. We were having great sex every chance we could. We were seeing other people. We would lay in bed and talk for hours, we'd go on long walks and talk even more. We'd swim in the ocean at night learning all the little things about each other we could ask. She was slowly becoming one of my closest friends. For the first I wasn't afraid to talk about all the things I keep out of a new relation-ship of whatever sort. Over time our friendship was looking a lot like a relationship but we didn't fight it. We just kept going on and allowing all the pieces fall together. I didn't ever think this was going to happen, for me, but I stopped looking at other woman or men as an option. I could appreciate their beauty and company but I didn't long for their intimate side anymore. One day I spent the day drinking and walking around downtown St. Pete with a beautiful girl. I've known her for about a year and I couldn't wait to get the chance to hang out with her alone. We packed a bag and got on her motorcycle. At one point in the evening she tried to hold my hand and it just didn't feel right. We worked our way back to her house and I tried to leave. She persisted that I stay because we had drank too much. I remember thinking oh shit. She's going to want to have sex. We shower and she turns on a movie. Of all movies she turns on Below Her Mouth. The most popular lesbian movie ever and there she is taking my pants off. As soon as she goes down on me I asked her to stop. I kept thinking of her. She knew how to touch me just right, she knew where to start, her hands, and her mouth is what felt like home. This was the day I knew I could be with just her and I'd be happy. Did I tell her that? Hell no. There was a bigger part of me that didn't want to change anything than the smaller piece that did. I did tell her that I loved her and she said loved me back. I know for certain if we had gone into this trying to keep us both locked away with only one option I wouldn't know her the way I do now. I wouldn't love her in the depth that I do.



Sex shouldn't be awkward

Sex – Oh. Sex should be fun, intimate, and spiritual at the same time. You should be able to laugh, bite, grab, scream, feel, and connect even more. The lights should be on so you can capture every moment along with every sensation running thru your body. Have you ever started seeing someone and you dreaded and looked forward to having sex at the same time? The dread of oh my god – this person is about to see me naked, what if they don't like it, what if I do the wrong thing, what will they think about, should I talk? What if i don't talk and it becomes more awkward. Girls overthink sex too, guys. Man, we worry about every detail as you may. And let me tell you it can be even scarier if you're a girl about to sleep with another girl for the first time. HALF the time a guy never gets us off, we are too good at faking it, and we shouldn't be. At least with a guy it's pretty simple. One goes in another. A girl . . . every woman responds so differently. Some girls need more time to warm up. Some girls get off internal and some get off externally. Some girls like friction and some do not. How many times have you had sex and you needed the light to be off and all you could hear was the breathing between the two of you? It was a race to see who could get off first. Did you feel connected or did you lay there wishing this experience could be different? It should not be like this. In my experience, the best sex I have ever had in my life was taking my time getting to know this person. I can remember the nights in detail where we would lay laughing on the beach talking about every experience, hysterically laughing at every embarrassing moment we could remember with ex's. The things we wish we could take back or the things we wished we did. Perhaps, the things we knew we would differently when we got to that point. We knew we were not even close to being there so we spent many days and hours learning every thing we could about each other. There was no pressure. We were uncertain but completely certain at the same time that this was it. We were it. I remember being so connected to this human that simply having our naked bodies wrapped into each others, It felt like the safest place I could be.

Ask Yourself What You Are Looking To Find First

Humans don't do well when we are told we cannot have something - we want it even more. So don't limit yourself and don't limit others from their creativity. It's not a game. Its often when we rush towards something we want - someone we want - we forget all the beautiful moments and gifts that are given along the way to bring us closer together. I suggest taking your time, expand your intelligence within each other, experiment, and find the brutal truths that lie under the thin layer we sometimes hide under. Sometimes we unconsciously hesitate to welcome people into our life because we feel like our space isn't good enough, so knock your own walls down, and allow as many people as you want in. You cannot fully connect with another if you aren't able to connect with your own self - become truthful to yourself and it'll be easier to be truthful to those around you. If you aren't happy with the relationship that you have with yourself how will you be happy in one with another person? Date as many people as you want and I promise you'll find many things within each person that welcomes you to a different point of view.



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    • Guckenberger profile image

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      9 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      I will state that, for some of us men - if we don't have a lot of warm up too, it can be disastrous for the experience. I need to know from my partner that we don't NEED to do anything; that we can just cuddle, if that's all one member can feel good with at that point in time. Foreplay can make all the difference in the world for some men too. Any man CAN HAVE an orgasm - but, orgasms alone aren't always pleasant for the males of our species. A man can be raped until orgasm without ENJOYING said orgasm. Both parties need to slow down sometimes, and show each other love. We also need to slow down at times to ensure that each person is having fun. Sex, even with the orgasm, can be a horrible experience if effort isn't made on both ends. Sex, like in other times with the people in our lives, can be a chance to show love or hate. Love always takes effort.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      9 months ago from Chicago

      You make an excellent point regarding where one lives.

      Fortunately for most of us in the U.S. we have the freedom to relocate. Personally I have always preferred living near large metropolitan cities because of the diversity and free thinking/spirituality and the "live and let live" attitudes of a large segment of the population. Southern California felt like heaven on earth to me when I was in my 20s and 30s. LOL! I still miss it!

      Hopefully you will be in a position where you can live where you want to be and be free to live as you please. Having said that there will always be people who are unaccepting of others but as long as they do not (have the power) to keep you from having a career, buying a home, getting access to loans, and pursuing happiness it's okay.

      Judgment without power is simply someone's opinion.

      No one has ever been universally liked/loved. Even Jesus Christ who walked around preaching love and forgiveness got killed.

      As for not caring what people think sadly that seems to come with age. We tend to waste our youth worrying about being accepted. When people get into their 40s, 50s, and beyond they really don't give a damn. I've known people who cut out toxic family members from their lives. "Friends are (the family) you choose."

      Hopefully you'll be able to leave the "bible belt" soon.

      Best wishes!

    • Mariah Schnoebelen profile imageAUTHOR

      Mariah Schnoebelen 

      9 months ago from Tampa,FL

      Absolutely - I believe we create our own safe space to be comfortable in and that doesn't always play in our favor. We live in our own judgement free bubble that is placed in a much bigger bubble that is full of judgement and expectations. Unfortunately, some people have not gained the ability to break lose from caring what others will think of our actions and who we choose to be.

      That being said, that is why I think it is so important for myself, and encourage many others, to share their perspective of whatever they choose so others can do the same. I think it's crucial to talk about these sensitive topics so others know they are not alone and most importantly, knowing there's nothing wrong with them for desiring something like this.

      The first person we lie to is ourselves - and if people were more honest with their self then we'd here more of these stories. Most people don't want to be judged or questioned so they hide these parts from others.

      Back to your question earlier if people in open relationships make it known to family and friends - there’s a lot of reasons people choose to keep it private. Obviously there’s a lot of factors but a huge factor is location and environment. I live in Tampa Bay where everything has at least been seen or done once. It’s hard to come across something and think “ what the hell are they doing “ however, I recently moved home for a year. In the Bible Belt of Oklahoma ... a small town where being gay isn’t accepted yet so how would anyone feel comfortable sharing their open relationship? It’s not that it won’t happen but it would be hard to come across here.

      Thats something to take into consideration.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      9 months ago from Chicago

      Thanks for your reply Mariah.

      I did read the entire article and none of questions were about your own personal life. They were meant to be about the discussion itself. I've always been a champion for people to live their life as they please. Your statement below answered my question.

      "I have a lot of friends and have met strangers who have done or live in this situation that chose never to share it with family and friends because people wouldn't understand."

      When we no longer care what others think we are truly free.

      As I've stated I live in a judgment free zone when it comes dating and relationships. My book is about empowerment of the individual. We are all responsible for our own happiness.

      The world may not owe you anything but (you) owe yourself the world! Know yourself, Love yourself, Trust yourself.

      "If you live for other people's acceptance you will die from their rejection." - Lecrae

    • Mariah Schnoebelen profile imageAUTHOR

      Mariah Schnoebelen 

      9 months ago from Tampa,FL

      Maybe you didn't read the entire article … as stated above we started as friends, nothing more, and when we decided we wanted more we left the doors open that would abstain from any obligation that normally surrounds new couples some are okay with that and that's okay. However once we became closer, falling more for each other I clearly stated how I no longer felt the desire for another woman or man. That's a powerful statement - from wanting nothing more to loving her to the point I had no desire for another person? I didn't think that would happen. This is what this entire article is about and reaching a variety of different point of views in any kind of relationship.

      We were very honest with every friend and family member - which no one understood. That is also okay. What worked for us is not and will not work for other people. As you said - life is personal journey and this was our personal journey.

      And just as every situation in a relationship - I wonder how common one suggests something and the other follows. Yes, I wonder if they followed because the smallest piece of them was interested and never had the opportunity to peruse something new and eventually loved the choice they made. I also think it's very common people have made the choice together.

      I have a lot of friends and have met strangers who have done or live in this situation that chose never to share it with family and friends because people wouldn't understand.

      This isn't as abnormal as a lot of people would like to believe. I have heard of amazing couples that started this way and ended up in a monogamous relationship, some that stayed open.

      Again - It's their personal journey and not for us to question.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      9 months ago from Chicago

      It's not so much that an open relationship isn't for me as much as I'm saying there is usually one caveat in such circumstances.

      That caveat is how deeply in love you may be with your mate. Not every relationship I've been in had the same emotional investment. Therefore they were instances whereby I could completely at ease with having an open relationship. In some respects having a FWB aka Friends with benefits or a booty call is equivalent to having a no strings open relationship on a different level. The main difference is you're not going around and telling the world this is (my) girlfriend or boyfriend.

      I just believe the more {emotionally invested} one is in a person the less likely they will want to share them physically.

      You made the following statement in your comment.

      "I am talking about an open one that is desired by {both people}."

      I wonder how common that scenario really is.

      It would not surprise me if (one person) initiated the conversation of going "open" and the other person decided to {go along} with it rather than risking losing her/him.

      We see the same things with couples who have had threesomes. There is usually (one person) who is gung ho and the other is passive. I suspect it would be very rare if the other person said:

      "You read my mind! I was thinking the same thing!"

      One final question: Has it been your experience that people in open relationships make it known? or Do they hide it from friends/family?

      If it were me I'd want the whole world to know so no one would come running to tell me they saw my significant other with someone else.

      Life is a personal journey.

      Whatever makes a person happy they should pursue.

    • Mariah Schnoebelen profile imageAUTHOR

      Mariah Schnoebelen 

      9 months ago from Tampa,FL

      I appreciate your response, and you taking the time to read my article. However, as my title asks. It obviously is not for you and that is okay. I do not personally think the same way and that is the beautiful part of having different perspectives. I myself do not think a relationship is solely meant just for two people, perhaps it is for you. Having an open relationship doesn't take love away from either person. There's a vast variety of relationships and you're only talking about a closed one as I am talking about an open one that is desired by both people. I can see how it might be an oxymoron If we were trying to build an intimate and emotional relationship outside of ours, but we're not.

      Thank you again - I appreciate your perspective :)

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      9 months ago from Chicago

      I believe at some point every man is open to the ideal of having a bisexual girlfriend who will let him join in from time to time.

      However the idea of being (in a relationship) is mainly for the purpose of taking oneself off of the open market. Therefore the concept of being in a "open relationship" is sort of an oxymoron.

      Sure you can try to tack on certain rules but ultimately if you are "in love" with someone the thought of them hugging, kissing, licking, and rocking someone else's world is never going to sit well with you.

      On the other hand if the passion has died in your relationship and you're both fairly bored but "comfortable" being (open) may work.

      Nevertheless you open yourself up to the possibility of one or both of you actually falling in love with someone else.

      Essentially it's the equivalent of holding onto one job while you're looking for another. Much like a cheater you want to keep all of the "good things" you have in your existing relationship while addressing your "other needs" on the side.

      Some people can't accept the 80/20 rule. They want it all! :)

      "While we are free to choose our actions we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions." Stephen R. Covey

      Once you cross certain lines you can't undo them. Anyone considering having an open relationship need to look at all the potential consequences before making up their mind.

      Short-term thinking usually leads to having regrets.

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