The Truth Behind Open Relationships

by John Picciuto

Somehow, at some point, men convinced women that an "open relationship" was what their fledgling relationship needed. At some point, men created a situation in which we were still "together" but hey, we're both allowed to hookup with other people. And by both, I mean me. And by me, I mean if you hookup with someone else I'm going to bug, but if I do, I expect you to be okay with it.

I'm not really sure who started it, who figured it out, or who sold the first woman on it, but open relationships, point blank mean that you're single. Make no qualms about it. Some guy came up with this term so that he could have his cake and eat it too. Period. An open relationship is nothing more than one person not wanting to let the other person down too hard.

Open relationships shouldn't even be a term or a classification for a relational state. Because in actuality, and I hope you know we're being honest here, all it means is that we're single. BUT, one of us will inevitably get angry at the other if, or when, they transgress and hookup with someone else.

See the sad thing here, I think open relationships were created to be the anti-label. Perhaps put into place to avoid labeling whether we are boyfriend and girlfriend or just hooking up. I'm not really sure, but in actuality an open relationship tends to cause more harm than good.

For me, I was in an extended open relationship. We'd often discuss our status back and forth and had an understanding that while we could if we wanted to, neither of us would hookup with someone else. Alas, when both of us ended up hooking up with other people, it caused endless drama and crazy amounts of headaches.

The truth is, had we actually been mature enough to sit down, converse and decide just what was going on, we never would have hurt each other and the whole need for an open relationship would have been avoided.

You see, to me there is no reason whatsoever to be in an open relationship with someone. If you've been dating someone for an extended period of time and they bring this up to you as a way to step back from the seriousness of a relationship, just run. All they're doing is creating a wedge that will inevitably end the relationship. But if you ask me, what's worse is if you've just started to see someone.

The beginning of relationships are often tricky. When do you have the "talk"? When do you discuss boundaries, etc? It's often nerve-wracking and difficult to even bring up these subjects, let alone have an extended conversation. So usually when you first start dating to avoid complications or seriousness you classify your status as an open relationship and this is where things will undoubtedly lead to issues.

At the end of the day, the definition of a relationship whether it be on paper or Facebook needs to have a clear cut understanding. You and your partner need to thoughtfully and tactfully define your relationship and your boundaries.

An understanding not to hookup with other people is common and I think fair. We don't have to be boyfriend and girlfriend to be exclusive. Truthfully, open relationships open cans of worms that just lead to drama and fighting and nobody wants that.

If you're at the state of deciding what to call your relationship I think it's time people increased maturity levels and decided if they're together or not. Point blank. Yes or no. No need to blur the lines with obscurity. Be up front and honest about what you want with someone and for the most part, things should work out.

John Picciuto | Elite.