"Non-monogamy showed me what it really means to be with someone"
One of the great world newspapers is The Guardian, based in the UK, with US, Australian, and international editions. It's progressive to boot. On Friday it published this piece by its regular culture writer Kate Iselin of Sydney, Australia:
Non-monogamy showed me what it really means to be with someone
By Kate Iselin
Being in an open relationship flies in the face of everything we are brought up to believe about ‘loose’ women being undesirables
Non-monogamy, polyamory, open relationships: whatever your preferred term, it can be a heavy word to drop at the dinner table....
‘Who am I to demand a partner never again indulge a crush, share a kiss at a party, or take someone to bed? And who are they to demand the same of me?’
(Photo: stone / getty)
For most of my life I was as monogamous as it was possible to be, almost to a fault. I found that jealousy would frequently rear its head if my partner or crush du jour was so much as spotted in the same room as someone who might chance at a flirt.
Only when I was in my mid-20s did I meet a man who tipped that attitude on its head and told me that although he was as interested in me as I was in him, he was already in a successful open relationship and monogamy was not an option.
My choice was clear: I could either give it a chance and try dating someone who already had a partner, or risk losing them for good.
What I experienced surprised me in the best possible way. While I initially feared I would become a quivering nervous wreck at the thought of my partner with someone else, the openness and honesty we developed assuaged my fears and rid me of my worry of being a “back-up girlfriend”.
At no point did I feel neglected or envious; indeed, I found non-monogamy worked for me better than any relationship formula I’d seen in the past. I got to know my partner’s partner, and we got along well, and while they shared romantic weekends away and dinner dates together I was free to date and hook-up as much as I wanted.
And spoiler alert: I did.
Once I let go of the fears and insecurities I had previously held around relationships, I was granted a fresh perspective on what it meant to be with someone.
Even more important than any of this, non-monogamy helped me to reassess and redefine the values I sought in — and brought to — a relationship....
Read on (December 3, 2015).
The article was also reprinted at Alternet the next day.