Should I Tell the Man I’m Seeing That I Don’t Believe in Monogamous Relationships?

woman thinking of telling her man that she don't believe in monogamous relationship

I have been with my partner for over a year. We have a fantastic relationship and we are very close. We strive to maintain a non-possessive, non-authoritarian relationship, so he encourages me to exercise my freedom and spend time with others. I started spending time with another friend about 4 months ago and we like each other very much. We have never discussed the nature of our relationship but I have been led to believe that he is looking for a monogamous relationship. My partner does not think I have a reason to tell my friend about us as the expectations in place are unreasonable (as in for me to explain who or how I am choosing to spend my time). However, because I know how these things are viewed, and I do not want my friend to be hurt, I feel that we should have a conversation to discuss how we view relationships so we can be on the same page. Do you have any advice for me?


Stick only with people who want open relationships and enjoy them while they last.

Yes. Stick only with people who want open relationships and enjoy them while they last.

Your partner’s selfish take on how to handle this situation doesn’t speak well for your (non-possessive, non-authoritarian) future, in my humble opinion.

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  1. 1

    I started spending time with another friend about 4 months ago and we like each other very much. We have never discussed the nature of our relationship but I have been led to believe that he is looking for a monogamous relationship”.

    Probably should have let him know that you were already in an open relationship with someone else about 3 and 1/2 months ago so he could decide if he wanted to continue seeing you or not.

  2. 2

    I agree with KK. I would fess up sooner rather than later, because not saying anything is just leading him on. You may just see this is as a bit of fun, but from his side he might be seeing the potential of a monogamous relationship, and not the reality of being a condoned secondary relationship. Any literature devoted to open relationship stresses the importance of open communication towards ALL parties, not just the couple within the primary relationship. Please treat the man with the respect you would want to be accorded yourself, and clarify your relationship status. He might be completely fine with this situation, but he is going to be way more open to this set up, if he hears the info from you.

    In the dark ages before i consulted Evan’s blog, i dated a man who said there was someone in his life but that it wasn’t serious. As I was so keen on him, and he seemed so happy with me, i figured that we would eventually move towards a monogamous relationship with each other. A friend of mine then heard through the grapevine that he was engaged and living together with this ‘not serious’ relationship. When he confirmed that this was the case, i was devastated. Of course, the blame was partly on me, as i should have dug deeper and not just taken his initial explanation at face value. Yet i felt truly screwed over, and it ruined any potential of lasting friendship or even respect towards the man. I hope you are able to prevent a similar situation.

    1. 2.1
      Emily, the original


      I don’t know much about open relationships. I’m not implying you do but you mentioned “condoned secondary relationship.” I wonder if the secondary partner ever becomes more important than the primary partner. If that happens, I wonder if that blows up the primary relationship.

      1. 2.1.1

        Hi Emily,

        I have never been in one myself, and would run away screaming if any dude i was ever dating proposed it. But i do sometimes get e-mails from men who are looking for a non-monogamous relationship on OKC, so i decided to delve into the subject out of curiosity.

        There are different set ups within non monogamous relationships. Some have one night stands or short lived affairs, others have full blown relationships outside the central open relationship. I think that if the primary relationship is strong and both people within  it have willingly chosen non monogamy, new relationships need not be threatening. If the relationship is weak and a partner comes along who offers a far better alternative, i would think all bets are off.

        A lot of people are genuinely happy with this kind of arrangement and i can see why. Certain needs that are not met within your primary relationship could be met outside, you would have the variety of different partners, the thrill of the new would always be a possibility, not just a dream. I just couldn’t bear the thought of sharing my partner with someone else, so for me personally, it’s an absolute no.

        1. Stacy2

          I have seen ORs work very nicely, in situations where the men a woman is an alpha and the guy is a beta. The reality is, strong-willed women have it worst in the “traditional” setup – a beta guy would be the best fit for such woman to form a stable couple, but she will always crave the short-loved excitement he simply can not provide. In this type of situation, it makes for a much more stable union if she is allowed to satisfy those cravings outside of the main relationship. I have not seen it work the other way. Perhaps because women are in general more possessive and jealous and not willing to “share”.

        2. Emily, the original

          Hi Malika,

          I just couldn’t bear the thought of sharing my partner with someone else, so for me personally, it’s an absolute no.

          It’s not my thing, either. I support peoples’ right to do what they want in their relationships, but I would want a man to tell me right away, up front, if he was in an open relationship and asked me out on a date. That’s a piece of personal information that you can’t wait to tell someone until you know her better.

        3. Emily, the original

          Hi Stacy2

          The reality is, strong-willed women have it worst in the “traditional” setup — a beta guy would be the best fit for such woman to form a stable couple, but she will always crave the short-loved excitement he simply can not provide. In this type of situation, it makes for a much more stable union if she is allowed to satisfy those cravings outside of the main relationship.

          I’m not sure I am following you. The alpha woman should couple up in a long-term relationship with a beta man but have an alpha man as a side piece because the beta man will bore her sexually? (Sorry if I’m way off in interpreting what you wrote.)

        4. Stacy2

          Emily, the original:

          Yep you pretty much got it. But a beta man would not just bore her sexually (in fact that may not even be the case) as much as emotionally. A beta guy provides no thrill. He’s by definition very ordinary, reliable, comfortable. Not thrilling, exciting, or exhilarating etc. So it’s not just about sex, and in fact may not be about it at all. This is where I’ve seen this type of relationship work and this is how my friends who were in these relationships described their feelings – and I totally get it. Completely.

          Sometimes I wonder if this could be ideal for me also. It seems just about impossible to have all of your needs met by one person. If I want both the comfort of a stable relationship and a thrill of being with somebody exciting – am I doomed? Probably. But I am still hoping against hope to find my soulmate and be a power couple.

        5. Adrian

          Hi Stacy2,

          I know a little over about 15 different couples who are into open relationships or swinging and this number does not include the couples I know that are just into actively having threesomes.

          From what you have said about yourself I believe that you are only 4 or 5 years older than me, so our years of experiencing things isn’t too far apart. You also mentioned that you know of couple in an open relationships as well so I don’t believe I know more than you on this subject and vise-versa.

          So with all that being said, I don’t know how many couples you know that are into that lifestyle but as far as the one’s I know of I would have to disagree with your alpha beta theory.

          Of course I view alpha beta as being on a scale and not finite. There are plenty of alpha women that are happy with their   relationships and with their man’s level of beta.

          …    …    …

          All the research that I have read about love, lust, and sex suggest that no matter how strong the sex or emotions are in the beginning eventually they will lessen. So even your most exciting man will eventually become a level of boring.

          Though I am curious: you mentioned that if you did try an open relationship you want a beta for this type of relationship but you did not mention being with a stable Alpha that is into open relationships-why? Is that because you want the freedom to go have sex with someone more exciting but you don’t want your husband to do the same?

          Or if you did try a open relationship would you be okay with him sleeping with other women as well?

        6. Emily, the original


          If I want both the comfort of a stable relationship and a thrill of being with somebody exciting — am I doomed?

          That therein is the eternal problem! It’s because love is based on intimacy and closeness while desire is based on distance … and wanting to get at whatever it is you want. It’s a conundrum. I agree that no one person can fulfill all your needs, but I guess my hope was the man would fulfill the sexual needs while maybe close girlfriends fulfilled the emotional needs. ?? Or a close gay male friend. These friends of yours in open relationships with the beta guys … did the guys see women outside their primary relationship, too?

        7. GoWiththeFlow

          Adrian & Stacy2,

          I have known couples who were into swinging, tried an open relationship, or would have frequent threesomes.   All split up or divorced.   I think many tried to open things up in the sexual arena as trouble started in the relationships in an attempt to keep things together.   In a few of these relationships, one partner was committed to the lifestyle before they met their partner, and the new partner was drawn into it.

          The thinking seems to be that they will be able to control things.   But, things like chemistry and emotions can’t always be controlled.   There are two competing deep seated drives/needs at work here:   The desire for sexual variety and novelty and the drive for pair bonding and security.   In the situations I have knowledge of, the relationships broke up because of jealousy and broken trust.   One partner crossed lines and became attached to one of the flings.

        8. KK

          Hi Emily,

          If not too personal, have you ever been married? I’m genuinely just curious because of the comments you’ve made about chemistry vs compatibility.  

        9. Emily, the original

          Hi KK,

          No, I’ve never been married and don’t want to be. Actually, what I wrote about love versus desire was from an interview I read with Esther Perel. I thought her ideas were interesting and there is some truth to them.


        10. Emily, the original

          Hi KK,

          Yes, I have read Evan’s post “Passion vs. Comfort.” It’s essentially what I was attempting to convey in my earlier post and I think what Stacy2 was commenting on. You aren’t going to have equal parts passion and comfort in a relationship. And as we have learned from this site, the people you have the most passion with are not necessarily the best partners in the long term. Thus, the conundrum.

        11. Stacy2


          That’s exactly it, the passion vs. comfort debate. I’ve been in “comfort” relationships… and have always been confronted by the feeling of emptiness in them. Even if the sex was good.

          FWIW, i don’t think that passion comes from distance. Not for me anyway. I never found it to be the case.

          Also, i surmise that the majority of people are going to do quite fine in “comfort” relationships, but a minority (myself included) must feel more acutely and as a result don’t feel content in those types of relationships. Oh well.

        12. Emily, the original


          but a minority (myself included) must feel more acutely and as a result don’t feel content in those types of relationships.

          I’ve been in three high-chemistry situations and, yes, it’s feeling like no other, but none of them moved into anything substantive. But then the guys who I’ve really cared about and/or could talk to on an intellectual level … I didn’t feel a strong attraction for. I wasn’t UNattracted to them, but I didn’t have that “OMG, I want this guy!” feeling.

        13. Adam


          I think you make some great points. What it boils down to, IMHO, is what works for two people is what works for them. I could never see myself in an open relationship, but one of my friends is in such a relationship. She loves her man and he loves her, they have been together for a few years, but they are not exclusive. They are exclusive in terms of being emotionally exclusive, they aren’t in love with anyone else, but in terms of sex, they have flings with others.

        14. Adam


          You make some great points which I completely agree with.

          Having said that, men are not more willing to share their partners than women are. Nearly all men have a deep desire for their women to be theirs only, no matter what they say or don’t say. Even among these beta men who say they are “OK” and “happy” in their open relationships would prefer that their women were only theirs but figure it is better to have an open relationship than no relationship.   In other words, it is not that beta men are more willing to share, but they believe the only way to have a woman is to share her. It is actually really sad and depressing.   One of my friends was in a relationship with one of these alpha women and it was a de facto open relationship. She regularly had sex with other guys and he stayed with her. Everyone knew what she was doing but he never broke up with her over this and the relationship only ended when she dumped him. He really cared about her, was extremely beta and had to put up with this in order to stay with her. She was very pretty and he probably felt that an open relationship was better than no relationship.

      2. 2.1.2


        I disagree with the following:

        no matter how strong the sex or emotions are in the beginning eventually they will lessen

        The novelty will wear off for sure, but if i have certain degree of admiration of a person who’s exciting to me, it will not go away, unless that person actually changes himself into something different.

        Though I am curious: you mentioned that if you did try an open relationship you want a beta for this type of relationship but you did not mention being with a stable Alpha that is into open relationships-why?

        In my fantasy world 🙂 I would have my “main” relationship with a beta man, and side relationships with alphas. I’d like my life to be anchored by a reliable, stable partner and only occasionally spiced up by some thrills, not mired in never-ending drama. Of course, the beta partner would have to get something in return, so I’d probably throw in some threesomes for him LOL. This is what my girlfriends in such relationships do. It freaking works.. better than my monogamous relationships worked for sure.

        1. Adrian


          Hi Stacy2,

          You said, “In my fantasy world  

          Well I can’t argue with that (^_^).

          Though to be honest from my personal perception of you based on all you have wrote about yourself I think you could easily make this into a reality you just choose not to because it would not feel right to you. Having great but meaningless sex with others while (though he may be boring) the man that is your faithful husband is sitting home waiting for you goes against who you are… at least that is how I see you…

          So… Regardless of your pragmatic EMK superwoman persona I think you a probably really a sweetheart in reality and I hope that you find your nice guy with balls in the new year.

          …    …    …

          I have been thinking about it and I will admit that if all the ingredients are right than an Alpha woman can get a beta man to allow her to go into a open relationship.

          Now to be fair I do not have second hand experience on this like with the other open relationships I described so this is more me just piecing together things based off of observation.

          One of the couples that was trying to recruit me was trying to put together an orgy so I met a few of the other couples that were going to attend (I didn’t by the way).

          Of   all those couples it was easy to tell which was a Alpha female, beta male relationship.   Anyway the ingredients were:

          > The woman was always at least 2.5 leagues above the man on the sexual market value rating

          > The woman was slightly younger (or at least they appeared to be to me)

          > She had sex with other women outside of the relationship more than men. Anytime there was another man they would share as a couple and he would be short-term, but all the long term thirds were females.

          The third point seemed weird to me because you would think that the couples were the males were the alpha’s it would be the woman wanting a male for the third.

          But read what I wrote to KK and Happy, I think that explains why these alpha women sought other women instead of men for long-term thirds.

          And remember even beta men don’t want their women just have sex with every hot guy she likes because then he is nothing more than a friend with benefits.


        2. Robert

          so, in other words, it’s okay to use the beta in order to meet your needs while you turn him into a total cuckhold.

          Is it okay for an alpha to use a woman for his benefit? Have his children, clean his home and act as a hostess at dinner parties while he maintains a hot mistress on the side? Every woman I’ve ever known was far and away too jealous to ever allow that.

      3. 2.1.3

        That therein is the eternal problem! It’s because love is based on intimacy and closeness while desire is based on distance …


        No offense, I like your comments, but if the combination of sexual gratification and some degree of emotional fulfillment is really that elusive for you then you’re either doing something wrong, or have deliberately set unrealistic standards for yourself. Honestly, that statement to me reads like a PUA playbook for teenagers.

        1. Emily, the original


          Read my response’s to KK. What I wrote has been debated on this site many times before.

      4. 2.1.4

        Hi GoWithTheFlow,

        I agree with everything you said. The couples I know were all successful maybe because it was done when they were older and had been happily married for over 25 years.

        Like I told KK there are different types; people who are only doing it for the sex seem to fail. Women who do it “only” to make the man happy or thinking once she does it he will get it out of his system will fail. Men who push their women to do it when she doesn’t want to will fail. Men who try to manipulate their women into doing it will fail. Couples who think this novelty will save their already dying relationship will fail.

        There are so many variables that everything has to really line up for it to work. Every Time I was approached I was never single so it was not even a consideration. Now that I am single I probably still could not do it.

        I would feel dirty having sex with another man’s wife… Not that I think they are dirty or that I am morally superior, I just would not feel right afterwards.

        Surprisingly the majority of the stories of couples who failed due to trying these things I learned about from the very couples who wanted me to join them. Successful couples are successful for a reason but they are private and also I think no one wants to hear of it working. That is why you hear more about the couples that did it and it did not work because it confirms societies ideals about that type of lifestyle.

        …    …    …

        GoWithTheFlow what would you do if your happy long-term husband brought up trying a threesome?

        Would the mere question forever ruin your love, respect, or trust in him?

        I always think if you have been married to a person long enough you should know how they would react to certain questions so why even ask if you know she is not into that sort of sexual activity?

        1. GoWiththeFlow


          I’ve been approached about being a 3rd by two couples in recent years.   One couple I thought were somewhat creepy and I was not attracted to either one of them.   They were hardly discreet about their lifestyle. They are now divorced.

          The other couple, I was friends with the woman, and if I was to ever have a same sex experience it would be with someone like her 😉   She met her boyfriend after I met her and he got her into “the lifestyle.”   She was very open with her friends about their “hobby” but as a couple, they used made up personnas for swinging purposes.

          When she approached me about a possible encounter, I declined precisely because she was my friend and that made me very uncomfortable.   I would have been the first person they knew outside of their lifestyle network to be with them.   They would meet other swingers for sex but not have ongoing interactions with them outside of that.   I don’t see how you have NSA kinky sex with someone then just act cool about it at work or when I would meet up with the woman for our sunday afternoon movie dates.   They broke up a few months later.

          As far as what I would do if my husband brought up trying a threesome with my theoretical long time happily married self, no I wouldn’t be upset about it or lose love, trust, and respect for him.   Don’t think I would do it because the conditions under which I would feel safe proceeding with something like that would be akin to aligning the stars, LOL!   But I think I could play with the fantasy element of it  by, for instance, blindfolding him and pretending to be two different women.   Or pointing out a gorgeous woman and saying, “Hey how about her?   I could absolutely see myself kissing her!”

          Overall, I think there are some things that are best left to fantasy.   Trying to bring them to life just doesn’t work out well in reality.

        2. Adrian

          Hi GoWithTheFlow,

          The two stories you describe seem typical of people who are doing it for the wrong reasons. I would guess that the first couple had the hidden agenda of thinking it would add spice back into their relationship.

          I would also guess that the only reason that they were open about it is because they were not that attractive and so it was harder for them to find willing participants… thus their need to advertise.

          The second couple is also typical, as much as men on here rail against women, I have noticed that when a woman is in love she will do almost anything to make a guy happy even something she is not really too sure about or something she doesn’t really want to do.

          Ahh… the conundrum that is women. (^_^)

          If I were to guess, it was his idea to have you be the third. Or it was his idea to have a third and she picked you more because of the fact that she trusted you and felt safe with you verse some stranger who would try to steal him behind her back or who he would try to get with behind her back without telling her.

          You made the right choice not getting involved with that. I don’t even want to date someone I work with just because of fear of consequences if it does not workout.

          …    …    …

          As far as the threesome question, I honestly don’t know what I would do or how I would react if a girl I was in love with brought it up. Not because I would not want it but because of fear of it destroying a good relationship. If I did not care or did not think it would hurt the relationship then maybe…

          But again my point was that a person should know their partner well enough to pretty much accurately guess how they would react. So guys who ask and get turned down while simultaneously hurting their women I don’t understand. He should have know that she would not be into threesomes.

          …    …    …

          My last question to you of the year… Yah! (^_^)

          By the time you read this it may be to late but… What would you do if you were at a new year’s party and the person standing next to you was a guy who you thought was very sexy but he was married.

          The new year ball drops and everyone is kissing and he came over to kiss you… What would you do?


          This happened to at our New Year party last year and I was very attracted to the woman but since she was married I declined the kiss from her. I have no clue where her husband was and she said he was okay with it and he was probably doing the same but I still turned her down. After that she seemed upset with me and had been avoiding me ever since.

          I felt horrible, I don’t know what I should have done. To some people it would have been just an innocent kiss but I would have felt wrong doing it even if her husband condoned it.

          Anyway I don’t want something like that to happen again this year.

          What would you have done?

          And do you think your reaction would be different if it was someone whom you had not physical desire for? Like would you have easily gave him a peck on the lips and thought nothing of it afterwards?

          Happy New Year! (^_^)

        3. Adrian

          Hi GoWithTheFlow,

          I just read your post.

          You said, “Don’t think I would do it because the conditions under which I would feel safe proceeding with something like that would be akin to aligning the stars, LOL!

          What did you mean by feeling safe?

          and what are those conditions that would make you feel safe?

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          Hey Adrian,

          Happy New Year!!!!

          “I would also guess that the only reason that they were open about it is because they were not that attractive and so it was harder for them to find willing participants… thus their need to advertise.”

          Bingo! They aren’t  very attractive.   From what my friend told me, the swinger or open lifestyle community are very appearance oriented.   After my friend entered “the lifestyle” the time and amount of money she spent on her appearance went up exponentially!

          With the 2nd couple, the one where I was friends with the woman, I had a very uneasy feeling about the whole thing and really didn’t know what the deeper motivations were so I never even considered it, though I was polite when I declined.

          As far as man bringing up the subject of a threesome in a relationship that has seen many years go by, I think that needs and desires change.   I think couples need some guidelines in place when talking about sex and sexual requests.   I think if she can take it at face value and not try to read in to it that he doesn’t love her, then he should be able to accept it gracefully if she declines.

          “What would you do if you were at a new year’s party and the person standing next to you was a guy who you thought was very sexy but he was married.”

          I would turn my cheek!   I’ve had more years at parties where I have not kissed anyone at midnight, that years where I have.   A kiss isn’t mandatory.   Please don’t feel badly, you didn’t do anything wrong.   It’s on her.

          You said, ‘Don’t think I would do it because the conditions under which I would feel safe proceeding with something like that would be akin to aligning the stars, LOL!’

          What did you mean by feeling safe?

          and what are those conditions that would make you feel safe?

          I think that by safe I mean that I felt certain that the relationship wouldn’t change afterwards.   IMO there is much to worry about when you open up a relationship.   Would I really feel okay seeing my honey in the act with someone, would they be okay with it?   Would we be able to go back to having satisfying sex between the two of us, or after that would one of us be perpetually dissatisfied?   What if the 3rd goes psycho and won’t go away?

          One  of the conditions would have to be that this is an agreement for one time only.   That the 3rd could not be someone we have an ongoing relationship with, who I would run into at the grocery store, or he would run into at the gym.   We wouldn’t do it at our house but at a neutral place (hotel room?)   And very shallow of me, but the 3rd would have to be ridiculously hot 😉   Also, I would have to know deep down that our primary relationship was on very solid ground. That he loved me unconditionally and was committed to me 100%

  3. 3

    Radical honesty is the foundation for non-monogamy.   Radical honesty is foundational for ALL relationships, but non-mono has more challenges than most because it doesn’t have cultural apparatus to stand in for the consciousness of the people involved.

    If you don’t plan to be sexual with the new “friend”, then the new friend doesn’t need to know anything about your sexual activities with others.   But if things are or have been sexual, then it’s time or past time to share as much as each of you honestly feels comfortable with…. meaning that if you are not comfortable sharing as much as the new friend wants to hear from you, then you must cut back on shared sexual activities to the point where everyone is comfortable with all the levels of sharing of sex and information.

  4. 4
    Michelle H

    Day one would have been the appropriate time to tell him in my opinion, and not a minute later.

    Unbeknownst to me, I once dated someone like you, and here is my unsolicited advice:   LEAVE US MONOGOMOUS PEOPLE ALONE!   Stick with people who share your same (ahem) “values”.   Thanks.

  5. 5

    Simple! MOST people seek a monogamous relationship, although some men and women go through an experimentation phase. So monogamous is the norm. Anything else might be deemed “non-standard”, although we should hesitate or give pause to qualify fringe or non-standard  as ABnormal.

    The immediate concern is whether or not a person such as the OP has a capacity for emotional attachment. For various reasons, some people have lost (or perhaps never had) that trait. Disclosure of your beliefs or way of life  is essential. If lesft unsaid, you manipulate or exploit for your own purposes.  Whereas if properly declared, the “buyer beware” clause is resolved. Both parties are free to frolic, or not. No games. No surprises. No harm done. Although harm could still come about if the other person gets attached, falls in love, and the like, but that was their call: they were forewarned.

    1. 5.1

      FG, Agreed!

  6. 6
    Yet Another Guy

    Am I the only one who believes that the term “open relationship” is an oxymoron? A relationship is a commitment. A commitment is by definition closed. An open relationship is little more than close friends who have sex.

    1. 6.1


      I totally agree that a committed relationship is closed. I had a colleague who wanted an open relationship with his wife of 10 years. He had begun to make a lot of money and with that garnered the attention of many women. He told me he couldn’t love just one woman. I’ve obsevered over the years that men and women who want an open relationship are quite self-centered; eventhough their excuses sound convincing.

      1. 6.1.1

        Hi John,

        You stated, “I’ve observed  over the years that men and women who want an open relationship are quite self-centered

        How close were you to these people and how many did you know?

        Because I completely disagree with this “blanket statement.” I have probably turned down more invitations to join open relationships, threesomes, swing parties, etc than most men here.

        But I never allowed myself to start to feel like I was morally superior to any of those people.

        By the way I do acknowledge that many people (predominantly men) who want to try are selfish, but not all couples who do it are selfish.

        1. John

          Hi Adrian

          Of course I am not talking about all couples. The person who wrote to Evan is being deceptive, and that is the problem.

          If you’re going to have a conversation, generalizations and “blanket statements” are part of having a discussion. Would you agree that Alaska, in general is a cold place. Alaska is also warm from time to time as well.

          If two consenting adults agree to have an OR, I don’t have any opinion about that; however, I have a problem with deceiving some to have an OR.

          I have seen many marriages wrecked by one person wanting an OR out of nowhere, and the reasons were less than noble.

          You can say I’m judging people who do those things. It’s true. If my girlfriend started an OR without my knowledge, and someone said I was judging her and I’m a bad guy, that is BS. To be discerning keeps you out of many types of trouble and this whole “don’t judge” attitude is a great way for people to get away with bad behavior.

          You said your probably turned down more ORs, swing parties or 3-somes than most men who comment on this blog. What is your point? Are you more disciplined or are you a “nice” guy because you turned all that down. How can you prove you turned more sexual adventures than the other guys. I would love to hear how you came to this conclusion.



      2. 6.1.2

        I agree with John that it’s self-centered. However, if you’re honest about it from the start, no harm, no foul. His colleague is in a different situation than the letter writer since he wanted to change the rules of the game along the way. If his wife agrees to the new arrangement, that’s her prerogative. If not, I see infidelity and divorce in the near future. The letter writer has demonstrated an incredible lack of integrity by seeing someone for months and lying by omission. I didn’t see anywhere in her letter where she was fearful of others finding out about her lifestyle. The main concern seems to be the possibility of hurting her ‘friend’. He will either be delighted by the news and continue to see her or he’ll be very hurt she didn’t let him know up front. Either way, even if he’s okay with the ‘arrangement’, I can see him questioning her for waiting so long.

        1. GoWiththeFlow


          I agree that the potential for the LW’s “friend” to be angry with her is there.   She basically took his right to choose away from him by not disclosing that he was her side dish.   It may be that if he had known up front he may have gone along with a fling but would have put it in the short term entanglement category and would have let before he became attached.

          As for your take on John’s college who wants to open up his relationship, he is indeed trying to change rules in the middle o the game.   While he perceives that he is newly attractive to women and wants to open up the relationship to take advantage of it but still have his nuclear family, what he may be missing is that his wife gets to screw other guys too.   The reality of that might just hit him in the head like a 2 X 4.   I know of one couple where that happened.   The husband kept pushing for an open relationship, but then couldn’t handle it when his wife actually had sex with other guys.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          ***colleague not college

          Very annoying to have to check my computer’s spell check. . .

        3. KK

          Hi GWTF,

          The husband of the couple you mentioned not being able to handle his wife having sex with other men seems like a predictable response. Funny, being that he was the one pushing for it. I can’t imagine any man being okay with his significant other sleeping around. In the open relationship scenario, where he is okay with it, my guess would be that he isn’t truly in love with her. I’m also guessing most of these arrangements are pretty short lived.

        4. Adrian

          Darn it KK!

          That’s it!

          I’m rolling my sleeves up… to help you with the dishes of course… don’t hit me (^_^).

          …    …    …

          I agree about his colleague and that the letter writer should not continue to string this guy along.

          The majority of my answers are just conjecture based off of the couples like that whom I know; so yeah I could be completely wrong about her.

          Something in her letter just makes me think she is not that emotionally close to guy #1 but she likes the freedom and probably sex he brings her which is why she really wants guy #2 because he fulfils her unmet emotional needs. Kind of like Stacy2’s stable at home beta boyfriendand wild sexy alpha in the bedroom fantasy.

          I assumed that she did not want it to be know because again all the couples I know who are into it work hard to keep their lifestyle private. The only reason I know about it is because they have all invited me to join.

          The funny thing is this always was “months” after one or both partners had been vetting me subtly. They would reveal this to me and while it all seemed to come out of the blue to for me, for them it was always on their mind.

          There are different types of open, swinger, and even threesome relationships. Short-term ones are more about just sex but long-term ones are usually with one steady third partner not a host of random people. Apparently I am always long-term quality but never hot and heavy sex short-term quality (-_-). This is why the couples were so open to me about everything.

          This is also why I don’t believe that she originally intended be with this guy so long and accidentally got emotionally attached to this guy. He probably was originally going to be just a short-term sex partner in her mind. Also remember that women are like platinum in the open and swinger lifestyles; it would be incredibly easy for her to find a guy to just have sex with whom did not want a relationship.

          But instead of only going for the almost endless supply of guys like this, she chose to keep seeing the guy who wanted something serious… this is why I assume there is an emotional element there.

          She does not want to dump the guy, she wants a way to tell him without losing him. To have a relationship with him without losing the freedom that she craves.

        5. KK


          LOL! Please refresh my memory. What job was it where you were exposed to all these swingers, etc?

  7. 7

    I think she did not want to tell this guy because she did not want to risk her personal and private life becoming exposed if he decided to tell others.

    Plus… I am sure that 4 months ago she did not plan on getting so emotionally attached to this guy (yes I am speculating).

    Finally I think she wants to tell him in hopes of him accepting it and her because again, I sense that she really likes this guy.

    …    …    …

    I have a lot of third hand experience with people in open relationships because of my old job which I have spoken of a lot on here.

    So Magdalena my advice is to just leave the guy alone but “if” you want to keep what you do private then I would not tell the guy about being in a open relationship.

    Just tell him that you don’t see a future with him or that you are talking to someone else. People are actually experts at rejecting potential suitors without being mean or harsh.

    You called him a friend, if this is true and you don’t want others inside your circles to know then again DON’T tell him that you are in an open relationship.

    Just break off contact. Again I think the only reason that you are struggling and want to tell him is because you do like him and you subconsciously want him to be okay with your lifestyle… The whole wanting your cake and eating it too cliche’.

    …    …    …

    Also I am wondering… if you would have met guy two first instead of guy one would you still be wanting an open relationship? Unlike many commenters I knew many couples who were in open relationship and couple who were swingers. They are not the same thing. Though you wrote so little about yourself, you do not seem to fit completely into either group. So I wonder is this just you finding yourself or running from something.

    If you met a great guy and fell in love would you commit to him or reject him in favor of the open lifestyle?

    1. 7.1
      Mrs Happy


      like KK I am fascinated – I’m curious regarding the factors contributing you being approached by so many swingers. Maybe you have particular personality or physical characteristics… maybe you worked at a Swingers Club Headquarters..? I have never been approached, and after hearing your stories, I’m wondering, why not?!

      (I’ve no desire to swing but am now questioning whether my life has been incredibly conservative without me realising.)


      1. 7.1.1

        Hi KK and Mrs Happy,

        You must remember that I have only had two jobs after graduating college. And the one I am at now I just started back a few months ago in this new city and state after accepting a promotion… Yay me! (^_^)

        My former job I was at for 8 years therefore these were instances that were spread out over an almost 10 year period. So it was not like I was getting offers back to back and I never worked at or even been to a swingers club.

        With that said, Mrs Happy I think all the couples who approached me had picked me for all the same reasons.


        1). I am not a model but I am very handsome-I do greatly resemble the actor Tom Welling when he was in his late 20’s; I am just more muscularly toned and athletic.

        2). I am a very positive person… to the point of appearing to others as naive. But I also dress, speak, and act in a manner that causes me to appear classy and very educated.

        3). I am young. I started to work at the company fresh out of college at 22 and I when I left a few months ago I had barely turned 30 years old.

        All the couples:

        1). Very financially successful, very committed to each other, but very bored with having sex with the same person for over 30 years.

        2). Both spouses in all couples were Alpa’s in their own right; though the man was usually a little more dominate than the woman, yet they were both very deceptively charming when it came to getting what they wanted.

        3). Both were usually no younger than about 60, but I swear if you looked at them you would think all were in their late 40’s early 50’s… and if you really looked at them long enough you could start to see the work of plastic surgeon. Though plastic surgery or not they were all very very attractive men and women. There was no fat or wrinkles among any of them; both the men and women could easily out class most 30 year old in the looks department.

        …    …    …

        If you put all those ingredients together what do you get??? Bored rich people who are all about control, that are use to getting what they want, and they wanted a sex toy. Again I can’t speak for all people just the one’s I dealt with.

        My trusting personality is what made me safe for them because to them I was easy to manipulate in their eyes. My youth gave me “perceived” stamina and smooth skin, while my looks make me easy to look at sure but, also made me like a trophy to them. And my high class demeanor, job, and way of carrying myself made me seem high quality and not just some cheap guy they could find in a nightclub.

        Looking back on it now I can tell that most of the couples that approached me through the years were at this pool party that the VP had and I was not only the youngest guy there but also the only male actually swimming; so by walking around wet with no shirt on most of the night I guess I gave everyone a preview of the merchandise.

        I ran track in college and I continued to go to the gym afterwards so I am very muscularly defined.  Geesh I can’t believe how simple I was back then, because now it is obvious that it was one of their sex parties but I thought it was just a regular party that got out of had after people got drunk. I ended up leaving early after I saw about four or five people having sex in the pool and a few more having sex scattered all around the back yard. These parties were often small because allowed for better control over who came in and out and who know about the parties.

        Honestly I really did just think too many people were acting out drunk fantasies (I rarely drink). I mean these were people who I respected that ran billion dollar companies and they were all old enough to be my mentors. Nevertheless, I think that is how most of the couples who later approached me found out about me; through that party. At the time I thought I was super lucky to be invited to a party with so many high ups and VIP’s of the corporation.

        Plus when each couple started to scout me individually, it was never about directly joining them or was it ever even about sex. It was to feel me about as a person, my goals my dreams, things like that. They would only slip little questions in about sex here and there to see how I would react or the wife would probably flirt with me and since the husband was there I would often mistake it for friendliness.

        Think of it like training a pet, you do it little by little to get them use to it without even realizing it so there is no resistance and accepting it is natural because you built up their trust. So the touching from the wives was never overt or distasteful; they just escalated more and more little by little.

        Anyway if you read the comments of others on this post about couples who have tried and failed or succeeded; you will see that their are different skill levels and those who know what they are doing host parties like the pool party to feel out new members; they don’t really attend swingers clubs because they consider them to trashy or low quality and because there’s too much risk; they accept almost anyone; whereas a party is invite only.

        The second major place I was approached a lot was at out of town conferences. Though to be honest most of the women approaching me there was doing it for a one night stand affair type sex not something to share with their partner back home, and nothing that was meant to be long-term. The only times when I was approached that was for a threesome, or an open relationship invitation, or for the husband to watch me with his wife at a conference was when the man did the approaching and the wife was still sitting at the table (the majority of couples scout together).

        Again I don’t judge others for what they like, it was just that at the time I had a terminally ill girlfriend at home and I would not and could not even dream of cheating on her. But I also could not share this with her either because of her condition we rarely if ever had sex-her body just couldn’t take it. I knew that saying something about those offers to have sex with other women or my unhappiness about our years of not having sex (though it wasn’t her fault) would have made her feel so guilty and unworthy as a woman.

        I was damn horny, but couldn’t act upon it. Maybe… just maybe that is what those couples were really picking up on about me. Maybe all the stuff I said above did not matter, maybe they could just tell I was easy prey. My girl and I were together since college and she passed away about 2 and half years ago but during all those years we rarely had sex the worse she got. So I would be lying if I said that I was never tempted or even regretted at times turning those couples down because even though I had someone at home I had not had sex for many years at that point.

        You know the age old battle: Love vs. Lust

        One time we were in Britain for a conference and one of the senior directors who had been trying to convince me to become a permanent third for he and his wife invited me to a private sex party in this small town a few miles outside of the city of London. Two very very attractive women (neither was his wife and both younger than me) came to pick us up at the hotel. I went back and forth about going but ultimately declined; the cold shower calming you down thing is a myth… at least for me that night cold water did not work.

        Anyway I have never run into the young couples or the publicly announcing what they do couples that others mentioned on here. From what I was told private parties are better than swingers clubs or sex clubs because you get to pre-select the guest list. But that is just code for “instead of anyone being allowed to enter they only accept people who they consider attractive, who are not overweight, and who can prove they are STD free.”

        Young attractive single men or single women are rare; especially single women. Single men are not that rare but really good looking single men are. Personality is more important than looks in my opinion. Most couples will just slept with a hot man or woman but they will only try to invite them into their bedrooms long-term if they seem like they won’t derail the core relationship of the couple. This is rare because most people are just attracted to one member of the couple or would fall in love with only one member of the couple and try to steal them away.

        This is why the majority of these couples prefer short-term sex partners; not always a threesome some times the man or the woman just likes to watch their husband or wife with someone else. Plus these type of   short-term encounters are very low risk, the names and faces are easily forgotten; it is about the pleasure and experience of the couple in that moment not about the third person.

        If they want a long-term third they would pick a young female because again attractive and easy to manipulate. If they are after a good looking guy for something long-term then it is usually mostly for the wife and the husband is probably bisexual, or the guy wants to have sex with other women independently of his wife and therefore he uses the young guy as something to give his wife to justify his having a young girl and sometimes they all four have sex together.

        Young and easy to manipulate is always key. Believe it or not, this outweighs looks because neither husband nor wife wants to lose their marriage because their partner fell in love with someone else. This is why short-term sex is the most sought after; it provides the novelty and excitement of someone else without the risk of emotional attachment.

        If they pick someone long-term they will be young and easy to control but also beta so that they know their place in the hierarchy of the couples. Couples do love their thirds in long-term relationships, but it is weird because the third is not allowed going outside of the married couple to have relationships or sex, partly because of fear of STDs but mostly because they view it as cheating on them both.

        I think the age of the couple is the key to an open relationship being successful. I don’t mean age of them individually but the years that they have been together HAPPILY. It seems that these type of couples can handle their loved one sharing their body with someone else better because of the trust and lack of insecurity. But another weird thing about people is that even though they are okay with their spouses sharing their bodies with someone else they don’t allow kissing for the most part because it is seen as being to intimate.

        Again I can not speak for all couples who are into swinging or open relationships, just the one’s I’ve encountered.  I never joined them but because of the trust and attraction they build between them and myself I came close many times, so I learned a lot about that world, though it is still only second hand experience.

        1. Malika

          Hi Adrian:

          Thanks for your enlightening experiences in being invited to threesomes! Have you ever thought of writing a blog? I always find your contributions here well written.

          If you look like Tom Welling, no wonder you are  constantly fielding these kind of offers.  It must have been very tempting at times, especially given your problematic home situation.

          The reasons you state for people inviting you to their threesome setup sound rather familiar. I have a baby face (which at 35 is a mixed blessing) and people can find that pleasing and misleadingly beta/docile. The polite but clear  nope rocket i give them  usually disabuses them of the latter notion. As tempting as it can be during a dry period, i do not wish to be someone’s side dish.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Hi Adrian,

          That you met the huge majority of people who approached you through your job doesn’t surprise me.   The women partners of the last two couples who approached me I had met at the same work site. It’s a place where a lot of stuff goes down–mostly affairs amongst coworkers.   I really believe that this kind of underground sexually permissive culture at your former work place (and one of my current ones) isn’t typical.   It probably starts with one or two couples, and then as they “recruit” others to join them there is a kind of normalization of the behavior.

          In my case, the couples I knew were into swinging.   I was friends with one of the women and she shared a lot of info about what “the lifestyle” involves.   From what I learned there are swinger networks in my city and state, and some require a vetting process to be invited to “events.”   Attractive unattached women were encouraged to attend, but a man usually needed a woman with him to get into an event.   This couple wasn’t into the long term 3rd partner thing (and I was worried that this is what they had in mind when I was approached) and the ground rules they had in place meant that the swinging was done together.

          I think that outside of being able to target and groom conquests, the partners have to be  pros at compartmentalizing, otherwise rules get violated and there is spill over into other areas of life and it wrecks the relationship.

          BTW–You look like Tom Welling but more muscly???   If only I was twenty years younger ;-0

  8. 8

    Withholding an important truth like this is equivalent to lying.

    I don’t even understand why this is a question.

  9. 9


    Please elaborate on the excitement that appears to be eluding you and others that you have had conversations with. I’m not trying to snipe at you, just trying to get a better understanding of what is considered excitement. The alpha, beta thing is thrown around in so many different context, that it is hard to put any real value to the terms. You seem to be associating beta with being ordinary, reliable, & comfortable. I’m having a hard time grasping being thrilling, exciting, and exhilarating between the sheets, along with being ordinary, reliable, and comfortable outside the bedroom, but still be up for replacement.

    I guess it comes down to the structure of each individual’s relationship pyramid. Personally, I wouldn’t throw a hand grenade at those qualities. I would seek out a dopamine hobby.

    1. 9.1

      I think that excitement is different things for different people. In general, it’s a person who is not ordinary in some way. He could be a rock star or a top banker or astronaut or whatever. I am exaggerating a bit here to get my point across. May be he isn’t a rock star but somebody like a producer or who works with them closely and can get me into a vanity fair oscar party as a plus one 🙂 Now that’s exciting. To me. Other women may find other things super exciting, may be backpacking across Hawaiian volcano park or something. To each her own.

      1. 9.1.1
        Emily, the original


        Other women may find other things super exciting,

        I find a man who is his own person exciting.

  10. 10

    Open relationships are complicated for us guys too, especially when they’re with your ex wife and there are kids involved. I blogged about it here : . But I’m with EMK.   Honesty is always the best policy in these circumstances.

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