I enjoyed your posting, and found it because I’m also struggling with monogamy and talking to my partner about it. I’m worried that maybe I’m unable to commit to a long term relationship, because of my ‘wandering eye’ and my intense attraction to others, but I can’t just see myself walking away from an amazing person because of my sexual desires for others. Any advice on opening up a dialogue to an (almost) unsuspecting boyfriend?
Sadly, I hear this question a lot. One person wants to open things up and experience sex outside of the relationship, but they don’t know how to raise the topic of an open relationship with their partner. Often they don’t even know how their partner feels about monogamy. It’s just not something we talk about.
Telling your partner you are attracted to someone else does not have to mean you value them any less, that you are not committed to the relationship, or that you find them any less attractive or amazing. But you can’t even begin to address your partner’s fears until you understand what those fears are, until you know what monogamy represents to them, and until they know what it represents to you.
For all you know, your boyfriend also struggles with a wandering eye. Conversely, he may hold monogamy up as a measure of love, commitment, and self-worth. When we assume monogamy is the default, when we don’t really talk about it, we don’t allow ourselves to explore what it truly means and the values we attach to it.
Try raising the topic of non-monogamy with him. Grab a copy of Sex at Dawn, The Ethical Slut or Opening Up. Start listening to Savage Love or jump on forums like reddit.com/r/nonmonogamy. You may not agree with everything you read or hear, but it will at least give you a starting point to open up the conversation before you talk about opening up yourselves.
I really hope you guys can work this out. Let me know how you go.
This question was originally asked in response to ‘Why I struggle to give unbiased relationship advice‘