My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly three years. We love and trust each other, but recently he has been questioning our monogamous relationship. He says he’d like to have an ‘open relationship.’ What should I do? I don’t want to be old-fashioned, jealous or clingy, but I don’t feel comfortable with the situation. I’m really lost.
Never squander the opportunity that comes with a crisis. You have arrived at a crossroads – the perfect moment for a clarifying conversation with your partner. Basic, fundamental questions must be answered.
Why are you together? What is your idea of the ideal relationship? What do each of you need? Are you prepared to look out for each other? It’s amazing how few people stop to ask, and answer, these basic questions.
Three years together in a stable relationship is a long time, and you are ready to take it to the next level. Your boyfriend has rocked the boat. He wants free sex, more adventures, an open relationship. All very understandable, but his approach is not very skilful, it is disruptive and threatening to love and belonging, safety and security.
This is precisely why you need to sit down and hash it out. Say: “What’s good for you, must be good for me. There are things that only you can do for me, and there are things that only I can do for you.”
A new lover might bring instant gratification, but he or she doesn’t know your story, wasn’t there the day you learnt to ski, or passed an important exam.
For quite a number of years, our society and culture has been moving towards independence and autonomy at the expense of connection and dependency. The time has come for you, dear Kasia, to deal a blow against the culture of alienation, and make a stand for close connection and physical contact. We all need hugging and holding, and we must shift our culture back towards connection and dependency.
To the barricades, dear Kasia, to the barricades…!