So after starting this venture into "coming out" to the online community complete with videos, pictures, and dates.. the most asked question I've gotten is simple: "So.. how does your open relationship work, how open are you?"
Apparently, most open couples, or at least the ones I've talked to and heard about, establish rules and boundaries? I'm not trying to imply that these don't exist for me and Mike, but.. in a way they don't. I figured that the entire purpose of opening the relationship was trust and to experience things outside of our relationship to enhance said relationship.
Let me give you some examples:
Some women have a rule that their men are only allowed to sleep with other women that are not as hot as they are.
I really don't see the point in this. There is no way I would ever delude myself into thinking that I'm the hottest thing on the planet. If my man only slept with ugly women then really, what would the point be other than the simple "something different"? I want him to sleep with women that are more attractive than myself. More to the point: I want him to experience life completely and do/fuck whatever makes him happy. If attraction level meant everything then he'd leave me for a hottie anyway. Besides, I don't care how hot they are, I give the best blowjobs on the planet.
Sometimes there is a rule like, "no dating, just sex".
That just feels skeezy. Also the best way to get an STD. I don't want to just fuck the guys I see, I want to be able to hang out with them, have a few laughs, and get to know them. As far as Mike goes, well I honestly wouldn't want him to fuck any women that don't need a little romancing to get into their pants. Then I know he'd be getting some sort of disease. I want him to be friends with his women. Or at least for them to know each other more than nakedly.
Do my feelings and reasons mean that I never feel jealousy? No. I'm a woman. Women are irrational, emotional, bitchy, illogical, etc. Sometimes I feel jealous, but I talk to Mike about it, he explains himself or his feelings, and then everything is fine. In the end, it's not what he does with other people, it's the implied feelings behind his actions that sometimes makes me jealous. Men are different than women though, they were brought up being told to romance their way into sex, women were brought up knowing all they have to do is spread their legs.
You know that great feeling when you first start dating someone? The little gestures mean so much, you get/give flowers to make the other person feel special. People aren't blunt when dating and trying to get laid. Both sexes imply things that aren't true, or things that they only think are true. Flowers do not equal love, and actually nothing a guy does action-wise means love unless he flat out says, "I love you." Dating is like playing house as children, acting to inspire shallow feelings. I know that Mike would never tell another women he loves her before talking to me about it. He would buy them flowers.. but you know what? He loves me and buys me flowers more than he ever did before we were open. Not because he feels guilty, simply because doing little things for other people reminds him that I like it too and he loves me.
I have/am learning to not overthink actions and what happens with other people as we enter this new territory. I know that even if he does something romantic for another person it doesn't mean anything more than that he wants them to feel good, which I don't have a problem with. I don't feel the need to read his messages or oversee his relationships, I trust him to tell me about anything that he considers important. Also.. I've come to learn that men have some irrational attachments to "romantic" actions as well, which I think is hilarious.
Here are things he thinks are romantic that I do not.. seeing as it comes so naturally to me:
Pet names like sweetie, hun, baby
Taking naps with other people
Kissing without tongue
Kissing on the forehead
Hugs from behind while they're sitting somewhere
I didn't think twice about some of these until he brought up how he felt about it. Even though he knows I don't have any feelings for any other man deeper than friendship and companionship it would still bother him. So I don't do them. Some of them anyway, because he has come to realize how little some of them mean after feeling the desire to do a couple himself with other woman. Talking mostly about the pet name thing.
Like any other relationship, communication is key.
We don't really have any rules. We both know what would bother each of us, but at the same time we also acknowledge that no one can control or monitor this kind of stuff without going crazy. Just trust each other and love each other. That way if something happens that the other person may not like it doesn't seem as big of a deal, and is in no way a deal-breaker. Which makes being honest a helluva lot easier. It seems silly to have rules and boundaries when the goal is to "open" a relationship.
I may do more posts later to go into more detail, maybe describe some fights we've had or issues, but it's really difficult to put into words what we feel for each other.
Bonus: motivation to keep yourself fit and looking good, both of us take good care of ourselves knowing we have to impress others outside the relationship.