Dating someone in an open relationship
I guess in future I will learn to trust my instincts, and take matters into my own hands regardless. At loveisrespect, we talk a lot about how to support someone you care about if they are being abused.When my responses became curt and unwavering – I didn’t want to see him again, it was over – he confidently asserted that he would try and be monogamous again with his partner. The fondness and affection he felt for me were suddenly extinguished.While he couldn’t switch off his feelings for her, he could, apparently, me.I’d slept with women and felt the tyrannical constraints of having to repress that side of myself when I did eventually enter into more long-term relationships with men. And so it continued, until one day, sprawled out in the bath and thinking about our next encounter, I started to feel the first pangs of jealousy.
We laughed and ribbed each other and kissed some more, until he finally pulled away and, with that same unswerving gaze, admitted that he needed to tell me something. I’d just met the guy and besides, I’d been reading a lot about polyamory and agreed with most of its core ideas: that monogamy didn’t feel natural to a lot of people; that two-person couples – a paradigm largely defined and protected by a cis-gendered narrative – was flawed. At the end of the night he offered to walk me home and on the street near my flat, leaned in to kiss me and said that he would like to see me later that week.
My friend recognised him from his university days and shouted at him from across the bar to join us at our table, where we and our other friend were eating fish and chips and drinking tequila soda.
We talked about politics and TV shows and films we’d recently seen, my two friends fading into the background as I laughed to eschew the explosion that was mounting in my chest because of the way he was looking at me – insistent and unswerving – romance novel clichés elbowing sentient thoughts out of my brain.
He did, he said, and we met the following Friday on a bench at an outdoor bar in south London where the sun made both of us squint.
Three drinks later and we were at another bar, drinking tequila sunrises and comparing tattoos.