Many people seem to think the idea of an open relationship sounds like some sort of paradise. Images flood their mind of having two girlfriends or three boyfriends and endless sex, adoration, and attention. That somehow if both people in the relationship are banging around like a couple of kettle pots that there won’t be any jealousy or similar issues because it’s ‘fair.’ However, as with all ‘good things,’ there are massive pitfalls that we delude ourselves into thinking aren’t there.
Jealousy and self-esteem issues: Jealousy and self-esteem issues are obviously at the forefront of an open relationship. Most people over-estimate their control over jealousy and like to think they ‘aren’t the jealous type.’ Nobody wants to be seen as jealous because they believe that means they are somehow insecure. The truth is that jealousy is an entirely normal emotion just like any of the other emotions. Feeling jealous over your partner getting nailed by someone else does not make you insecure. Even if you don’t think you are ‘the jealous type’ it’s very likely you will be jealous when your partner starts sleeping with someone else or spending time with them over you.
It’s never really equal: Just like with anything in life — open relationships are rarely equal. Couples entering an open relationship often think they can mitigate any discrepancies. So they come up with some system that says they each get one ‘Bangarang’ a month or one other partner. The problem with this is that you assume that there will be honesty and that the world will react to both of you equally. It is highly unlikely that other people will react to both partners the same and provide both partners with similar experiences. Let’s be real here, an open relationship is always in the woman’s favour.
Sexually transmitted diseases: Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise. According to a recent study, nearly 20% of Americans have STD’s. The more people you sleep with, the more likely you are to contract an STD, it’s basic math. Open relationships only increase the chance of spreading STD’s due to the fact people are sleeping with multiples at the same time. If you and your partner each have one ‘secondary partner’ and that ‘secondary partner’ has a ‘secondary partner’ that’s a total of eight people. If one of those eight people has an STD, it then becomes possible that all eight people will contract the disease.
Pregnancy problem: Pregnancy is a severe issue in open relationships both for the mentality of the child and legal reasons. For example, if you are married and you have an open relationship and either your spouse gets pregnant, or the other partner impregnates someone else – it can lead to serious ramifications. If a child is born to a ‘secondary partner’ the original couple may be financially obligated to the child. n addition to that, if the child is born to a ‘secondary partner,’ it can cause serious issues with the upbringing of the child. The child may be confused as to their parental upbringing, and it can cause triangulation.
Emotions do get involved: The whole idea of emotions never getting involved is a dangerous assumption. Just like with plain ole’ jealousy, many people make the assumption they have more control over themselves than they do. Even if you can control your emotions, what about the other people. The ‘secondary partners’ may fall in love with you or your ‘primary partner.’ They may become emotionally enmeshed and either destroy your original relationship or try to sway you away from your original partner. There are just so many variables in emotions with multiple people that there is no way to predict the outcome. In essence, it’s playing with emotional fire. Once you ‘open’ the relationship, there is a good chance you’ll never be able to close it again.
Don’t think that because you participate in an open-relationship that you are somehow wiser or ‘more with the times.’ You might just be a complete fool, and you’re only deluding yourself into living a life that at the end of the day probably won’t give you the necessary human needs to be happy — family, friends, stability, self-esteem, self-respect, and integrity.