Ansel Elgort is not one to hide his true, authentic self. This is no secret, fam. I mean, the actor has posted a series of shirtless selfies with zero explanation and zero f*cks given. He’s also given countless interviews in which he's spoken about himself as candidly as possible, and in his most recent interview, he provided some insight into his relationship with his girlfriend, Violetta Komyshan. Ansel Elgort’s quote about open relationships is both revelatory and honest.
Elgort has been traveling through the UK to promote his latest film, The Goldfinch, which hit theaters on Sept. 12. In an interview with The Sunday Times, reporter Elle Austin asked him to share his goals for the next five years (before turning 30). He explained that he’d like to perform in a few more plays, and explore his original music. He also added, “I’d also like to find a lot more love.”
Hold up, let’s take a step back. The Baby Driver star has been dating Violetta Komyshan, professional ballerina and all-around BAMF, since 2012. They met while they were both attending LaGuardia high school, a prestigious performing arts school in New York City. And the high school sweethearts have been going strong for nearly eight years now (save for a very brief breakup).
If you're a tad confused by this statement, fret not — Elgort went on to further define what he meant by “a lot more love.”
“It doesn’t need to be sexual,” he told the journalist. “I could be done sexually with my girlfriend.”
In case you're stressing that this news might come as a shock to Komyshan, Elgort added that he and his long-time boo have already openly discussed this matter.
“I think we’ve been pretty clear that I want to feel free to fall in love with people and that [option] should be open, but sexually it can be closed off,” he explained. “I’m in love with a bunch of my male friends who I’m not interested in having sex with, so why can’t I put the desire to have sex with women aside and let myself have love with women?” (Elite Daily reached out for further comment from Elgort's team but did not hear back in time for publication.)
Elgort also noted that he experienced feelings of love for his Divergent costar Shailene Woodley, but didn’t act on them. (Note — Woodley has never commented on her feelings for Elgort.) "We never had anything sexual, and that was great,” he said. He also added that "you just have to be disciplined," which could mean that while he acknowledges an emotional connection may arise with someone, he's adamant about not giving in to those urges.
There's a lot to unpack here. The comparison Elgort makes to being “in love” with his friends suggests that the kind of love he’s seeking exists on an emotional level — it’s what psychologists call “companion love,” which is also known as friendship-based love or affectionate love. It’s slow to develop, and based on elements such as trust, respect, and caring. Companion love is very different from passionate love, which is essentially infatuation and involves very powerful feelings of sexual attraction.
Let’s keep in mind that Elgort and Komyshan have been dating for eight years. So, in all likelihood, they’ve built up a strong foundation based on trust and mutual respect. While some may be quick to judge Elgort’s comments on open love, the reality is, every relationship is unique — and if he and his longtime bae have found what works for them, that’s all that matters.
Besides, the couple has certainly been vocal about their commitment to each other. While they split in August 2014, reportedly due to Elgort’s busy schedule, they reunited just five months later and to fans, have been the epitome of #couplegoals ever since. That’s saying a lot, given that shortly after they got back together, The Fault in Our Stars and Divergent catapulted Elgort to a new level of stardom. And when he spoke to Details in an interview for the magazine’s March 2015 cover, he shared some insight into his mindset while he and Komyshan were apart.
"I knew something was missing, and I was like, 'Oh, that's love,'" he told Details.
You have my full permission to swoon, y'all. Then, in a February 2015 interview with Elle, he was asked if he considered himself a romantic. The actor responded, “I prefer being with a girlfriend long-term. I prefer to be with someone I can trust. I'm more into that … If you like someone and the sex is really good and you enjoy spending time together, why wouldn't you make that person your girlfriend? Why go around dating random girls and having terrible sex when you can be with someone you really like?”
So, let’s review. Elgort prefers committed, long-term relationships. He’s been with Komyshan for the entirety of his adult life. And while he’s eager to accept love in any form that presents itself outside of his relationship with Komyshan, he plans to remain sexually monogamous.
I can’t help but think back on that time that Elgort shared 17 shirtless selfies on Instagram in a span of 10 minutes (#neverforget). It was bold, and it definitely raised a few eyebrows. Elgort almost broke the darn internet but you know what? His explanation of the move was sincere. He told The Sunday Times: “This is almost embarrassing to admit — I just did a photoshoot with myself.” He said he decided to post them because it felt “honest.” “I’m obsessed with the idea of not wearing a mask,” he added. In the same way that he was super candid about why he went on that shirtless selfie spree, he’s been vulnerable to share his attitude about love.
Of course, the concept of an open relationship is nothing new — in fact, a 2015 YouGov survey of 1,000 American adults revealed that 13% of participants are either in one currently or have been in one in the past. But while many people consider open relationships to be sexually non-monogamous, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. In open relationships, it’s always up to the individual couple to decide what feels right for them and set their own ground rules — and that may mean sexual exclusivity, as Elgort describes.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is this: what matters is that Elgort and Komyshan are seemingly on the same page — and based on what he said in the interview, it does sound like they've come to a mutual understanding. As they say, live and let live. And while you're at it, love and let love.