Sex & Love

FFJD: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (Me Who You’re Smooching)

Some people swear by open relationships – it’s less pressure, more relaxed, no commitment. But isn’t that what a relationship is about? Commitment? Isn’t that the point? Read More

By / January 31, 2011
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No, I’m not talking about that DADT. I’m talking about open relationships. You may think you’re game for a dowhateveryouwantbutalsohayletshangout sort of agreement, but are they really possible?

Open relationships are just that – open. The definition itself is fluid and varies from couple to couple (and even person to person). But in an attempt to reduce the mess and the noise and the fights of a “real” relationship, it can just get heinous.

Some people swear by open relationships – it’s less pressure, more relaxed, no commitment. But isn’t that what a relationship is about? Commitment? Isn’t that the point?

I’ve been in one, long distance, bi-coastal, and very expensive-plane-fares-away open relationship. It was tough shit because of the ten states that spanned between us, let alone the fact that we weren’t exclusive. My ex and I operated on a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” AKA if you’re going to touch someone else in a frat basement and maybe drink too much jungle juice and end up tangled in his or her Ralph Lauren twinset that everyone has, just don’t tell the other person.

That worked for a bit. But even this agreement is messy – you feel guilty, insecure, and unsure of where you stand. At least I did, constantly. The level of commitment I was looking for absolutely could not be achieved from two time zones and a lack of exclusivity away. So I ended it.

Some couples in open relationships operate on the premise that they tell each other things, like hooking up with other people or rubbing up against three guys in Cabo four margaritas deep. Which seems entirely masochistic and straight up Closer of them, like that harrowing scene with Clive Owen and Julia Roberts screaming at each other. Which is one of the most painful scenes between two actors, I think. I don’t know if I like that policy. Then you just start lobbing hookups and makeouts and sexts at each other with reckless abandon and try to one-up the other until you’re both messes.

But that’s not to say open relayshes don’t work at all. Clearly some people even have open marriages, although somewhat lawbending, Mrs. Robinson can sleep with the pool boy repeatedly because hey, she’s sick of carpooling with the Atkinsons and her husband Bernie just isn’t doing it for her anymore.

What do you think?

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Email FFJD at fiftyfirstjdates@gmail.com.

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