I have so many things on my list that I want to blog about but today I felt inspired by a post in a blog I’ve just recently started to read, (the site does contain some adult content so some posts could be NSFW), Queer Dirty Laundry, and the post is “Advice: Sexually Incompatible”.
This post was actually a letter that was sent to the blogger asking a relationship question. Basically, the writer is in his first relationship ever and has been with the person for three years now. He loves his beau but feels that their sex life isn’t working out and feels like he’s at a crossroads of wanting to explore sexually outside the relationship either with the beau’s permission or go so far as breaking up or cheating in order to do so.
I agree with the advice given for the most part but I feel like I want to flesh out a part of the dialogue a little more.
I think a key sentence of the writer’s letter is that he said that this was his first relationship ever, and it is not his beau’s first relationship. So we can infer that his beau has been in relationships before (not sure how many, but enough to qualify). Since the writer is still quite young AND it’s his first relationship, he has undoubtedly more things he wants to experience and is curious about.
This tells me that both members of this couple seem to be at a different outlook when it comes to a relationship. The writer has moved into a long-term monogamous relationship before he’s experienced alot that he wants to experience before settling down and still sees sex as a defining characteristic of the relationship, and the beau has been through the trial and error already and is ready to commit to a single relationship and thus not willing to do the whole open/sharing relationship.
The writer never really says how they’re incompatible sexually. So not sure if they just don’t have sex, it’s infrequent, or whether the sex itself is just awkward and not fluid/emotional. If there’s a fix to the relationship it probably lies here. With some willingness and open communication, new life could be brought back.
Sex in itself is not the sole reason for a relationship. I see so many folks dating/entering into relationships purely based on attraction or good sex. But you also need to make sure that the communication and potential for emotional relationship are there because that is what builds a solid partnership. Once the sex fades away or slows down (and it will), what is there to take its place? When we’re younger we think sex is such an important factor because of our libido, but as we get mature we see that it plays a part but not as big a part as the emotional support and authentic love.
New to the Dating World/Relationship Thing
I definitely agree that maybe the writer is probably not ready for a long-term relationship and would probably benefit more from light dating and focus more on friendships as this will give him more opportunity to gather experiences and feel satiated still as a young person. I know when I was that age it was hard for me to commit to a single person for some reason and I was super emotional about feeling restricted. Thinking back on it now it seems almost crazy that I didn’t want those relationships I found myself in, but I think I’ve found that we’re hard-wired when we’re younger to not want to feel tied down and to gather these experiences (safely of course).
I always tell friends that if they get into a relationship with a younger person (in general, there’s always exceptions though) that they should just enjoy their time together and not be too surprised if the person feels like they need to move on at some point.
Clingy vs. Committed
Now here’s where the real meat of my post comes in. I want to be able to paint the beau of the letter in a better light, just because I feel like he’s in a better place for relationships from the information I have.
I have issues with the word “clingy” because it paints a negative picture of a person as controlling or suffocating. And I think we use this word all-too-often in situations where it doesn’t necessarily apply, like in this case. The beau is being painted as clingy because of the writer’s need to explore outside the relationship, and the ideas that the beau wants to spend much of his time together and doesn’t like to do things without the other. In some extreme cases this can be clingy, but in my opinion this just shows a sign of commitment to the relationship and how much that person wants to be with the other.
He’s being seen as clingy because he’s limiting what the other wants, but what the writer wants is permission to stray essentially. A majority of folks in a committed relationship would not switch to an open relationship willingly. And if the writer wasn’t having doubts about the relationship sexually, these traits would probably not carry the negative weight as it does now in this case. Switching to an open relationship now after three years together would feel just like a break-up, except slower and more painful.
I’m not sure if I could deal with being emotionally committed to a person and then have them possibly go out and have a relationship with another person. I would feel like I’m losing the person and in need of finding new ways of trying to be able to hold onto my love. It would be okay if everything outside of it could be just physical, but as humans we are going to gain emotional attachments and the possibility of losing someone to another is a VERY real possibility. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but once you get there you almost always miss home.
My advice would probably have been more like this. What are your priorities? What is more important to you, getting out there and having those experiences or staying true to the person you committed to? You can’t have both and need to choose one or the other because I still think he (in general) is still too young to maturely do both. It would suck for the beau who is committed to the relationship, but it’d probably be better than trying to deal with a forced open relationship or finding out about unfaithfulness later if these feelings fruition into something more.
What are your thoughts on this? What do you think of open relationships and do they work? Is it more about “sowing your oats” or staying faithful to a commitment?
I think a very SMALL percentage of people have the ability to separate sex from emotions and can happily exist in a long term open relationship like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Then there are those who will say they are fine with it just to please their partner because they don’t want the relationship to end like any chick who attaches herself to Hugh Hefner (and his wallet). Then there is the majority of society who would only be fine with an open relationship because the emotional attachment is gone and they ulitmately want to move on anyway like the women on basketball wives who say their men sleeping around is just part of being an NBA wife.
Also, it’s diferent for women than it is for men. We aren’t hard wired to have those oat sowing years. Our mothers start dropping the “G” word (grandchild) when we are in our early 20s. So while those girls at the bar may look like they are out to have a good time, most of them are looking for a partner. And lesbians aren’t immune. Why do you think the Uhaul stereotype exists? 🙂
Haha there you go! You all start prowling for ball-and-chain early on lol. Cute CHECK, money CHECK, good genes CHECK lol Lesbians are so quick to settle down, I really admire that actually. Sometimes I wish I could settle some of these friends of mine down. 😛
ooo… that senario is actually something that i have pondered on before…but every relationship is different and i vote “NO” to open relationships…and i even vote “HELL NO” for trying a 3 way with your bf…(its practicaly cheating with supervision)
i had a gay classmate in college who i assumed had an open relationship with his “sugar daddy”..but i was too dumb and naive to know that he was just plain f#cK*$g around…
if there is sexuall incompatibility (whatever that truly means)… i think i would just compromise and give in to what my partner wants (sexually)…and hope he does the same for me…
wanting to suddenly be “open” after a 3 year relationship… sounds like a slap in the face to me…
A big part of relationships is communication and compromise. So many couples still try to stay individuals and not take a new account of themselves as a couple. Changing your frame of mind from “what can benefit me” to “what can benefit US” is almost a must-do thing for a relationship to work.
As a twenty year old, I definitely commiserate with the writer in the sense of unrest; however, this doesn’t justify him branching out sexually without consent from his beau. I’ve been through a couple relationships (never lasting more than a year), but have always felt like I’m looking for someone to be with long-term. I strongly agree that sex is important, but isn’t everything. My beau lives in Boston, and I live in Alabama…we met about a year ago at my brother’s wedding. So, obviously, we can’t put too much stock in the sex part. But it gives us a chance to strengthen our bonds for the long run, if there is one. I don’t think open relationships work. Period. Or, they shouldn’t. If you intrinsically love a person, you are fulfilled through all of their faults, and all of their failures. If the writer can’t get over this sexual failure, whatever it is, then he should move on from his commitment before it gets any deeper. Such is exploration. But never at the cost of love.
Very well said! Wow, a year for your LDR, congrats! I love hearing stories of LDRs working. It takes a real dedication and super communication to keep those going. My beau and I were only half a state away for the LDR part of our early relationship and we both worked really hard at staying in touch.
And yup we’re all full of faults and if we can’t stand strong with them and help them through their flaws and only see it as a hindrance, then you’re already starting the disconnect.
I admit the web link u posted is pretty hot as well as the pic :). I personally think that open relationships don’t work. I’ve never seen them last very long for other people. I think it’s important to explore things sexually but at the same time you can’t be stuck in a mode of what ifs… this is what I struggle with the most. I think that if your love for someone is strong enough you will do pretty much anything for them including giving up on thinking about some of your “what ifs?”
You can’t base life’s decisions on what-if’s. If you do, then you’re only preparing for failure. You need to approach everything like you’re going to own it. Open relationships just divert you from fixing the problems in your real relationship, and searching for bandaids to temporarily ease the problem.