He Said, She Said
Can Open Relationships Truly Work Out?
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 14:09
He Said: “No, they cannot. Somebody is going to get hurt, because of the lack of trust within the relationship. It doesn’t work for a number of reasons: they wouldn’t be responsible enough to have kids, the emotional stress placed on them would far outweigh the benefits and human nature tells us that we should be loved by one person only and that will resurface eventually,” Nick Conner, a freshman majoring in university studies, said.
She Said: “Yes, I think open relationships can work out. Granted they are not for everybody, but some people can make them work. An open relationship would allow someone to continue to love their significant other while getting outside fulfillment. Many people seem to think they need a fantasy life with their “true love,” but I believe there is more than one true love out there for everyone. So, instead of trying to find the all-around perfect soul mate, people should try to find someone whose company they enjoy,” said Calla Price, a freshman majoring in zoology and pre-med, said.
Some call it cheating or swinging; others call it a biological predisposition. By definition, an open relationship is one in which both partners are allowed to see other people within limits that the couple sets up together. These limits would include whom the other person is allowed to see, when or where he or she can see another person and how often he or she sees other people.
Whether it is because of culture, the media’s portrayal of relationships or a primal instinct, open relationships have become a fairly common and highly controversial topic. Men’s Fitness magazine states that open relationships can work well for some people, but from a biological standpoint, humans are inclined to be jealous of a partner having another relationship.
It all comes down to a mutual agreement. Having this type of relationship presents pros and cons for any couple -- even if both people agree to the arrangement. And some would rather not consider the possibility of sharing a significant other at all.
Welcome everyone with open arms
Making an open relationship work is not easy. If both partners do not wholeheartedly want to try it, or if one continuously crosses the boundaries into off-limits territory (for example, seeing an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend when asked not to), friction can form within that relationship. It is possible to find happiness though.
The key to a lasting open relationship is communication. Women’s Health magazine reports that those couples who stick to the set rules of their open relationships reported that they have actually grown closer. This may be because they know each other’s expectations and can be honest about their actions.
Opening a can of worms
On the other hand, open relationships are not for everyone. If one partner feels pressured into the arrangement (to make the other person happy, to avoid getting cheated on, etc.), in the long run it will not work out. Both people truly need to feel the same and want to have flings outside of the relationship.
Jealousy is another obvious reason an open relationship may not end well. If one person cannot bear the thought of sharing a significant other, this type of arrangement is a definite no. Some people even believe that it is impossible to not feel pangs of jealousy when hearing someone they care about talk about seeing another person.
Overall, the most important factor in any relationship, open or not, is to communicate. Talk to the other person and figure out their perspectives and ideas, and do not turn to outside sources to fix internal problems. Before you consider any alternative styles of relationships, make sure to get everything “out in the open.”
Next week’s question:
“Is it necessary to ‘define the relationship’ on Facebook?”
Have an answer? Include your name, major and year in school in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org