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Non-Monogamy: Do Open Relationships Work?

What makes a relationship something that people want to hold onto? What makes it special? Intimacy with your partner? Shared goals? Sex? I think the thing that makes a relationship special is that you are with the person you love. It’s special because it is two people doing something together that they are not doing with anyone else. That’s what marriage is, and the reason we outlaw polygamy is to preserve the sanctity (specialness) of marriage (love and sex).

Why would you want to preserve something that isn’t special and beautiful anyway?

Maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe because I am a woman, and have a hard time separating sex from emotion (love), I can’t possibly see the awesomeness of open relationships. And certainly, I want people to do what they want to do. I would never judge others for being non-monogamous, I just won’t date them.

I just feel–and it’s a gut feeling–that there’s something larger going on beneath the surface. It’s just a hunch, but I really think that it’s not monogamy that people don’t believe in. People who are into open relationships will tell you that they don’t believe in having sex with one person and that same person forever. But I don’t believe it. I think they don’t really believe in love, and I think they force themselves to deal with the thought of the person they love having sex with other people because they think that’s the only way to really hold onto their love.

I think what motivates people is often fear of loss or getting hurt, so they dumb down their relationships in order to protect themselves against pain. But people who do all they can to avoid pain, and I am often guilty of that myself, never truly get all the great feelings because they are constantly worried about the bad feelings. Pain and loss exist to make happiness and love feel even better.

If you don’t believe in “the one,” can you at least respect the one you are with right now enough to not sleep with everyone else? If non-monogamy is practical and “saves” relationships, then why do they break up just as often as monogamous couples do? If you are probably going to break up anyway, then why not at least have something special along the way? There is nothing you can do to avoid pain, so why not truly value joy while you have it?

Again, from The Princess Bride, “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” And folks, I did not get paid to write this article. I work for love.

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DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

915 comments

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8:11AM PDT on Jun 24, 2015

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8:57AM PDT on May 24, 2015

Thank you.

12:18PM PDT on Apr 4, 2015

This author has a fairy tale/Hollywood idea of what love is, and a very "icky-poo" type of ignorance about what non-monogamy is about. Think monogamous relationships take "work"? My non-monogamous relationships take a hell of a lot more work, honesty and open-ness than shackling myself to a single partner would. Also, it's not "all about sex" for every non-monogamous person. Monogamy does not work, the divorce and "cheating" statistics bear that out. Non-monogamy works, provided the right people get together, it's consensual from all sides, and there's open-ness and honesty (and no issues like jealousy or silly illusions like the author seems to have). And yes, it's worked for many years, it's real, it's about love and not just screwing, and it's absolutely beautiful.

11:46AM PDT on Apr 4, 2015

I also can't imagine the author getting paid for this aritcle; it's not an article about non-monogamy, it's a lost and confused person making a ton of illogical causal arguments to lead to erroneous conclusions. Such as her delusional equation that sex = love. This is not true!

Someone in the comments (Abby H.) said "why so defensive?..why attack her viewpoint?" I'll tell you why: She is misprepresenting ME as a non-monogamous person. She is building a "paper tiger" of false statements and illogic to then triumph over. Just about 75% of the crap she says about how love equals sex or that non monogamy is what keeps relationships together and the way she ATTACKS it with statements like:


“Non monogamy is about one thing - sex.” - Completely missing the point. Sex is the thing insecure little girls focus on because they are worried about sharing (and losing) something good if they find it. Sex for someone who is practicing LOVE is simply a way to express love. Like a kiss, a hug, praise, a backrub, a poem, attention and focus. Sex is attention and focus on mutual/personal/partner(s) pleasure. Sex can also be on the other end of the spectrum simply a way to pass your DNA on to the future. Sex is what you make it; the author of this article has made it (or rather has subscribed to the predominate culture’s stance) as a taboo, something both precious and sacred yet also profane. (“...getting dirty…”, “...Rob’s Herpes..” ←- T

11:46AM PDT on Apr 4, 2015

I also can't imagine the author getting paid for this aritcle; it's not an article about non-monogamy, it's a lost and confused person making a ton of illogical causal arguments to lead to erroneous conclusions. Such as her delusional equation that sex = love. This is not true!

Someone in the comments (Abby H.) said "why so defensive?..why attack her viewpoint?" I'll tell you why: She is misprepresenting ME as a non-monogamous person. She is building a "paper tiger" of false statements and illogic to then triumph over. Just about 75% of the crap she says about how love equals sex or that non monogamy is what keeps relationships together and the way she ATTACKS it with statements like:


“Non monogamy is about one thing - sex.” - Completely missing the point. Sex is the thing insecure little girls focus on because they are worried about sharing (and losing) something good if they find it. Sex for someone who is practicing LOVE is simply a way to express love. Like a kiss, a hug, praise, a backrub, a poem, attention and focus. Sex is attention and focus on mutual/personal/partner(s) pleasure. Sex can also be on the other end of the spectrum simply a way to pass your DNA on to the future. Sex is what you make it; the author of this article has made it (or rather has subscribed to the predominate culture’s stance) as a taboo, something both precious and sacred yet also profane. (“...getting dirty…”, “...Rob’s Herpes..” ←- T

11:45AM PDT on Apr 4, 2015

I also can't imagine the author getting paid for this aritcle; it's not an article about non-monogamy, it's a lost and confused person making a ton of illogical causal arguments to lead to erroneous conclusions. Such as her delusional equation that sex = love. This is not true!

Someone in the comments (Abby H.) said "why so defensive?..why attack her viewpoint?" I'll tell you why: She is misprepresenting ME as a non-monogamous person. She is building a "paper tiger" of false statements and illogic to then triumph over. Just about 75% of the crap she says about how love equals sex or that non monogamy is what keeps relationships together and the way she ATTACKS it with statements like:


“Non monogamy is about one thing - sex.” - Completely missing the point. Sex is the thing insecure little girls focus on because they are worried about sharing (and losing) something good if they find it. Sex for someone who is practicing LOVE is simply a way to express love. Like a kiss, a hug, praise, a backrub, a poem, attention and focus. Sex is attention and focus on mutual/personal/partner(s) pleasure. Sex can also be on the other end of the spectrum simply a way to pass your DNA on to the future. Sex is what you make it; the author of this article has made it (or rather has subscribed to the predominate culture’s stance) as a taboo, something both precious and sacred yet also profane. (“...getting dirty…”, “...Rob’s Herpes..” ←- T

11:45AM PDT on Apr 4, 2015

I also can't imagine the author getting paid for this aritcle; it's not an article about non-monogamy, it's a lost and confused person making a ton of illogical causal arguments to lead to erroneous conclusions. Such as her delusional equation that sex = love. This is not true!

Someone in the comments (Abby H.) said "why so defensive?..why attack her viewpoint?" I'll tell you why: She is misprepresenting ME as a non-monogamous person. She is building a "paper tiger" of false statements and illogic to then triumph over. Just about 75% of the crap she says about how love equals sex or that non monogamy is what keeps relationships together and the way she ATTACKS it with statements like:


“Non monogamy is about one thing - sex.” - Completely missing the point. Sex is the thing insecure little girls focus on because they are worried about sharing (and losing) something good if they find it. Sex for someone who is practicing LOVE is simply a way to express love. Like a kiss, a hug, praise, a backrub, a poem, attention and focus. Sex is attention and focus on mutual/personal/partner(s) pleasure. Sex can also be on the other end of the spectrum simply a way to pass your DNA on to the future. Sex is what you make it; the author of this article has made it (or rather has subscribed to the predominate culture’s stance) as a taboo, something both precious and sacred yet also profane. (“...getting dirty…”, “...Rob’s Herpes..” ←- T

10:54AM PDT on Apr 4, 2015

The author lost all credibility with their opening line: "Non-monogamy is about one thing–sex."

Obviously, that is projection and what non-monogamy is about for the author. The fact that the author is sex driven, sex obsessed and has issues with possessiveness and insecurity colors the article quite subtly, yet unfortunately I would rather read an article which understands non-monogamy from more than one perspective.

Since life and love after all, are all about this multitude of perspectives and realizing that reality does not revolve around just YOU.

12:56PM PDT on Mar 30, 2015

Thank you.

10:43PM PST on Mar 3, 2015

I feel very lucky and blessed that Priest Andrew was able to turn our marriage around like this with his spell. My husband used to spend as much time as he could away from home with other women. Since he cast the love spell on him, My husband is now so in love with me and its so funny that my husband had not go out for weeks now. His contact is priestandrew91@yahoo.com if you ever need his help.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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