*Throwback Post* My Thoughts on Open Relationships

June 9, 2016

I got my first boyfriend when I was 17 years old. I knew in my heart that this was the guy that my father would walk me down the aisle to spend forever with one day. To this day, we are still together.Now that I am 22 years old, I have gained much knowledge on how to keep my relationship solid. From living in different states for college to dealing with each other on bad days, my relationship with my first love persevered through these difficult times.


We experienced going to prom together as well as receiving our associates degrees together. The more I grew up with my best friend, the more I fell in love with him. Our bond grew stronger everyday. I’ve experienced so much happiness in my relationship that I can’t help but think, “Why in the world would anyone want to be in an open relationship?”  


An open relationship is defined as a marriage or relationship in which both partners agree to have sexual relations with other people. I’m sorry, but I can’t imagine sharing the love of my life with another woman and will never be open to the idea.


According to a recent survey by the Huffington Post, 41 percent of men and women through the ages of 18-29 would consider an open relationship.If you want to see other people while you’re in a relationship, you shouldn’t even be in that relationship in the first place. You should be so in love with your significant other that everyone else becomes irrelevant.


Dr. Karen Ruskin is the founder and president for a private practice called Dr.Karen Ruskin & Associates Inc. Dr. Ruskin is a marriage and family therapist who is very familiar with the topic of open relationships. She shared that the most common reasons couples request to have an open relationship are to spice up their sexual life, enhance their marriage and save their marriage.


“The choice of having an open relationship never saves the marriage. Rather, it makes a joke of the marriage and is destructive to the marriage,” Ruskin said. “It is relationship suicide to include another intimate partner or partners into your world, in addition to your spouse.”Ruskin goes on to say that open relationships should never be a solution to fixing a relationship or marriage.


Every strong relationship has a solid foundation. My relationship is built on friendship, faith and family. I love being my boyfriend’s best friend. We joke around and laugh at everything. We can be ourselves around each other. Faith plays an important role in our relationship because we were both raised in Christian homes.


Our faith impacts most of the life-changing decisions such as getting married first before living with each other.


Family also plays an important role in our relationship because they are our support system. We’ve invested so much time and energy on each other that we can’t imagine spending our lives with another person.


Simply put, if there’s no commitment or boundaries set in a relationship, then it’s not a real relationship.Think about it. No one should continue to mingle around when they are 50 with a spouse; by then, you should be settled down. Despite the rising concerns of an open relationship, there are some people who are happy being in one. Rayne Millaray is the editor for SexIs Magazine and a blogger who writes about sexuality and relationships.


In her blog, “Five facts about open relationships,” Millaray writes about her open relationship experience with her boyfriend of 10 years. She discusses the stereotypes society has on open relationships and how her experience is far from what people (like me) actually think. A few things she noted about her relationship is how her and her boyfriend still have high standards and how they remain loyal regardless of seeing other people. “Most of the polyamorous people I know are looking to fill a void within themselves that is impossible for them to fill with just one person,” Millaray said in her blog. “That’s not failing on either side, that’s just how they’re made.”


Hara Estroff Marano is the advice columnist for an online health magazine called Psychology Today. In an article titled, “Do open relationships work?,” Marano said that open relationships will not last because someone will form an outside attachment that will threaten the marriage or relationship. Marano also mentioned the importance of an emotional attachment and how it’s vital for our growth as adults.


“Help Guide” reported that we were born “pre-programmed” to bond with one significant person. When you’re young, this person is usually a mother figure.As you mature, you will grow an emotional attachment toward your significant other. It’s emotionally unhealthy for someone to have more than one partner.  


I would never consider an open relationship, but in the end, all that matters is a person’s happiness. As for me, I am happy being in a committed relationship and staying faithful to one person.


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