Young & Non-Monogamous
I’m horrible with emotions and feelings–– I barely understand my own let alone someone else’s. Friendship, fun, and sex on the other hand, I’m damn good at. I love the thrill of meeting someone new, making new connections, and definitely those first few honeymoon weeks of naughty flirting.
That’s why I chose non-monogamy.
Now, I’m not saying that I don’t believe in monogamy, because I do– it’s just not for me. Nor am I saying that I completely disregard other’s feelings, either. To me, being non-monogamous means taking my significant other’s feelings even more into account. I want them to be as happy as they possibly can be. If that means having someone else for a night or a little flirting throughout the week, by all means. Sure, it might twist my stomach at times, but I put my feelings aside and think about theirs. To me, that’s love. With love and trust in hand, I know they will come back to me and, in turn, give me the same respect.
Some people think non-monogamy are for those who never saw a functioning relationship, but really, that’s not the case at all. When it comes to monogamy, I’ve actually been quite lucky to have the best example right in front of me my entire life. My parents have been happily and monogamously married for thirty-one years. They drive each other nuts at times, but at the end of the night, they’re truly happy to be lying next to one another. With every up and down, they’ve made it through– I honestly don’t know how they do it, but in my 25 years, my faith in their bond has never teetered.
So, while this is great for them, it’s not for me. It’s not about the relationships I’ve seen, or having a tragic past, it’s just what makes me happy. But, it took me a long time to figure it out.
Starting Out Monogamous
I, myself, have held a monogamous relationship for a year and a half with my high school sweetheart. However, it was no easy path getting there. Even as a young adolescent, I never had a major desire for a relationship. I never knew there was any other choice but monogamy, and I was having way too much fun being a little flirt. He and I were best friends starting in the eighth grade, and he’d been in love with me ever since. It took me all the way until junior year to say those three little words and agree to be in a monogamous relationship with him.
For the next year and a half, we were in a fully committed relationship; no cheating and no major fights (if you can believe it). We were headed off to different colleges in different states, so although the relationship was good, I decided to break it off. Well, it wasn’t so much of a break up as it was an unofficial re-categorizing to “open relationship.” When we were at school and apart from one another, there was little to no interaction and communication with each other. On visits home, we were together again like no time had passed. The only difference was me asking about the other girls he was having naughty fun with. It was interesting to me, and a bit of a turn on, too.
As weird as this sounds to most people, it worked for us… for awhile. Eventually, I realized that while I loved him and always would, I was no longer in love with him, or our sex, for that matter.
Time to Figure Things Out
For the first time in awhile, I felt free. My first year of college being “single,” I practically took a sabbatical from sex (until I saw my ex again). I took time to enjoy life on my very own for the first time. After that I began my exploration.
There was no one to worry about but myself; no one to check in with, no fights, no jealousy, no drama– it was some of the best times of my life. I discovered the strength to say “no” when I wasn’t interested in a guy and how to confidently say “yes” when I was, instead of acting coy and playing games (like most people do). This time taught me to go after what and who I wanted, but be satisfied and secure with being alone. The best lesson I learned was figuring out what turns me on, and what I needed on an intimate level. I found confidence, courage, and self-worth.
Best of Both Worlds
Then, I had a feeling I never thought would come. I found someone I actually wanted to be with– someone I fell in love with because he did not make me choose. I didn’t have to pick between my freedom and him. He happily gave me both without hesitation. We both had our cake and got to eat it too.
As fun as this sounds, it comes with a price. I am still able to spread my wings, flirt and be naughty, but there are rules. Jealousy still rears its green face, even in open relationships, so rules are set as protection for each other’s feelings. We keep the line of communication wide open– constantly talking, working, and changing the parameters of our relationship, even when we don’t intend to.
It works for us. And, while we’re in an open relationship, we have our moments of monogamy. The more freedom you have, the less you care about having it. That’s the beauty of non-monogamy, no one relationship looks the same. You and your partner make the blueprint to your relationship, instead of the one many of us grow up to believe.