A few years back my fiancé wanted more experience. You see we had only been with each other. At first I said no. Eventually I said yes, but I didn’t want to, I didn’t think it was a big deal. So now, he has been with someone else and I have only been with him. We have talked before and he said he doesn’t know what would happen if he knew I had been with someone else. But now I really want to. I can’t help myself but to think about it… I have someone in mind and I want to bring it up for real. I just don’t know how to. A lot of people I know say it’s only fair, but I don’t know. I am scared I will do something I regret. How do I tell him this is what I want, and how do I tell him I don’t just want it to be a one-time thing?
You are ahead of many couples in that you have discussed non-monogamy and what it means to each of you. It’s completely understandable to be worried about how the experience might be for you and your partner. Even if one partner has experienced being with someone else, that doesn’t change the feelings that can arise when the situation is reversed, or when the situation happens again.
How did you feel when your fiancé was with someone else? How did your fiancé feel? Did it change how you felt about one another?
Were there boundaries or limitations on his experience outside your relationship? Are these limitations he will place on you or are there key differences?
Is the opportunity to have this experience a deal-breaker for you? How will you feel if you ask your fiancé and he says no? What if he is not comfortable with this particular person, or is only comfortable under certain conditions, such as a once off, or limiting the activities in which you engage?
These are questions you need to ask yourself and each other.
There is no right or wrong in this situation. Own your feelings, own your desires, and reassure one another that your relationship is paramount.
Spend time assuring your fiancé of your feelings for him before bringing up your desire to act outside the relationship, and continue to offer that assurance. Then, be honest about what you want and what it means to you.
It may be that you need to dip a toe in first, for instance having a date but not sex, or sex with limited activities, and see how you both feel afterwards. It may be that your partner says okay, but don’t tell me any details.
Whatever happens, keep communicating and accept that feelings might change at any point. Acknowledge those feelings and respect one another’s boundaries. Be understanding and don’t hold onto anger or resentment. This should be about your relationship growing, and letting it grow together.
Best of luck, and let me know how you go.
This question was originally asked in response to ‘How do I tell my boyfriend I want an open relationship?’ (text edited for clarity)