How to have a casual "open relationship"

  • If anyone has any insight on rules or guidlines of how to have a successful open relationship with someone, as he likes to call us really close friends 😉 -he says he's loyal but just doesnt want a girlfriend because he doesnt want to be controlled and says this is a great opportunity for me to work on myself, which i do admit i need to start caring more about myself and less about a significant other, ive never been single this long and its only been 3 1/2 months... how do you stop yourself from being infatuated with someone? I have a big ego and it needs to be stroked on almost a daily basis... and this guy is very charming but i get insecure that he is seeing more than just me because i only see him on the weekends, ive asked him just recently and the person i thought he was seeing he says is like his little sister..... im trying to focus on myself and not care so much about men, but does that mean i have to have no sex life?

  • Barbara,

    My suggestion is to go out and have a good time. Try not to think about him. Make plans with other people and stick to them. Don't hang out waiting on his calls and definitely make other plans for the weekend than just seeing him. Maybe it would be good for you to date a few other men as well and that doesn't necessarily mean in a sexual manner. He does say "Open" relationship so it shouldn't be a problem for you to date others as well. Also, don't be fooled by the little sister act, I've been through that before. I'm not saying that men and women can't be just friends but be careful. Hope I have helped.

    Let me know how it goes.



  • ditto

  • he seems like a player, he says he has alot of girlfriends but has introduced me to quite a few of them and they are very of his girlfriend's happens to be one of my best friends and she tries to give me the dirt on him lol. i told him it didnt bother me that he has lots of girlfriends because i have lots of guy friends and only three girlfriends -theyre like my sisters, and he has gotten jealous from me getting a back massage one night from my friend jesse whom i told him he was like my brother because he is, ive know most of my guy friends since i was 14 and i would not give any of them up so i respect the fact that he has girl friends. wether or not she really is like a little sister, i dont know... i just try not to worry about it. I had the captian do a reading on me to see what i really want out of life and it turns out the one thing i really want is to be in love -go figure, so that is probably why i spend so much time on boys that do not deserve me, problem is i know what im doing wrong but i still do it. I am trying my best and am actually taking a break from sex all together so that i can get my head on straight, i am starting to see more clearer already and its been a week and a half! maybe i truly do need to be by myself, i can just chalk him up to someone i can be with on drunkin nights lol

  • One of the hardest things for most women is to separate *** from love. The problem with the occasional hook up is that if you have any feelings for someone and that happens some drunken night then you may start analyzing the moment. You might question if it was it just a hook up or did it mean something to him. I know for a fact that you can hook up with someone and it can mean nothing but I bet for you with this guy that is just not possible. If it is meaningless *** that you are looking for I would choose someone else that you really don’t have those kind of emotions for but with him I think, you have already crossed that line.

  • It depends on what he means by it. Some people feel threatened when someone proposes a “casual open relationship”. There are certain connotations and sometimes it is exactly what it implies; no emotional bonding, no ties, and freedom to do whatever they want with no consequences to anyone. Friends or friends with benefits, probably in a lot of cases this is just what they mean. However, if you think about it, friendships and maybe even fwbs require a certain measure of respect between 2 people and if you don’t have that then what you have is a perpetual one night stand. In my opinion, there is another definition to this terminology. The basic concept is learning to live in the here and now without expectations and without inhibitions however, there has to be TRUST between two people. There is a goal, but the goal is to evolve the self and the selves in a relationship without the boundaries set by a relationship. So, take care to find out exactly what he means by it and determine what is acceptable to you.

    In your first post you indicate that he said “he’s loyal but just doesn’t want a girlfriend because he doesn’t want to be controlled….” Very often when we enter into the dating/relationship cycle there is a progression (generally imposed by society) as you move from one phase into subsequent phases. It plays a big role in benchmarking a relationship and sets expectations as to where a couple should be at a given time. If we don’t experience the results of those timelines then typically that’s when demands start being placed on the other individual to meet those expectations. Problems then come to the surface if 2 people aren’t at the same place at exactly the same time, which can lead to withdrawal of one and the exposure of insecurities of the other. This is where the controlling behaviour comes into play.

    My relationship was casual-ized to some extent but since then we have moved into a committed relationship while still maintaining that casual fluidity. We both have a life as individuals and to be honest I was probably willing to give up pieces of my life more than he was. But, we could always feel it bubbling inside…that feeling of obligation, that feeling that we should be spending time with each because that’s what a relationship dictates, feeling that we had to explain ourselves if either of us just wanted a weekend by ourselves to kick back and do nothing. For 2 people that do need time alone, it was a lot of pressure. People shouldn’t feel obligated to spend time with someone and we shouldn’t be made to feel guilty because we don’t. If you don’t see each other this week, there is always next week so we have to learn to trust that she/he will be there next week. If he/she doesn’t call back right away then he/she will call when they get the chance. You don’t impose or project the hurts of your past relationships and you leave all your baggage behind. There is much more to this, but these are just some examples.

    For me it was a valuable lesson in trust because I used to waste my energy in previous relationships worrying about all those things and in essence I was losing sight of me as an individual. But now I know I have the support of my bf in whatever I choose to do with or without him and vice versa. We don’t impose our dreams onto each other; we share them, whether we accomplish them separately or together. When you casual-ize the relationship the fear that the relationship isn’t progressing as “normal” disappears and it takes on a life of its own. There’s a freedom to be your true self because the fears and inhibitions of how a relationship should be are not there. And because there is no preconceived definition of “relationship”, the 2 people involved make it into whatever they want it to be.

  • Doesn't it all boil down to what you are comfortable w/ and what is ok in your own skin? there are lots of folks who need the security of a relationship and those who can enjoy the freedom w/o. Some behaviors that are abominable to some are freeing to another. If you need your ego stroked on a daily basis I don't know how comfortable you'll be tho. But more importantly are you being true to yourself? Are there unspoken rules you find yourself following?You can learn a whole lot about yourself when your ego hackles get raised but what about self esteem? Are you hurting or helping it? The ***hook is so great sometimes it's hard to know what is.

    Follow your conscience and listen to your gut if it's right for you and you are not hurting others you should know. I do not think it would hurt you to spend some time solo and find out what truly serves you.

    Cheers Pfree

  • Yes, it does boil down to what one is comfortable with. And you’re right; there are lots of people who want the security of a relationship, but security doesn’t mean dependency. Dependency seems to be a theme in a lot of relationships and you can see evidence of it here on the boards. It is a constant cycle of trying to have your needs fulfilled by another person. But it’s not only that neediness that can turn someone off; it also has to do with feeling that they are sacrificing something of themselves in order to be part of a couple. I think we live in a much more selfish (using this word loosely) environment than our parents did (depending on how old you are). There are fewer self sacrificing people out there who marry and stay in a marriage through better or worse, and there are more people looking to see if they have an ideal mate before committing to taking the relationship further. I think that’s why this concept of a casual relationship is becoming more prevalent.

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  • I know this isn't exactly what you wanted to hear on this topic but something you stated spoke to me.

    I have a big ego and it needs to be stroked on almost a daily basis....

    My thoughts are that you are correct that you need to work on yourself. If you need someone else to stroke your ego, you aren't in a place where you can have a casual relationship. If you were sure of yourself and not looking for someone else to stroke your ego, you might feel differently about a casual relationship. Take care of yourself first and the love will follow. If 3 and a half months is the longest you've ever been by yourself, you need to find yourself. You need to love yourself and not depend on someone else to make you feel loved. When you don't love yourself, you seek relationships to fill a void that you need to fill yourself. Once you love yourself, the relationship will appear. If it was to be a casual will literally be casual. You won't care what he's doing and with whom. You will be ok only seeing that person occasionally and it won't matter if he doesn't call. By loving yourself, you will attract the person who wants to be with you and wants to be committed. the thread started by really is an eye opener and definitely hits home on being "casual" with someone.

    You are strong...stroke your own ego....and find who you are. No one else can make you happy. Only you can make yourself happy. The others in our lives only add to our happiness, they can't be what truly makes us happy. It's not their responsibility, it's ours. Love and blessings.

  • Aqua bubbles :Yes dependency can get a bad wrap especially if it's overblown. But that is as individual as ones needs. Personally I've been confused many times by the power some give others in relationship how one loses oneself at times. I haven't been in relationship for almost 2 decades (by choice) so I have looked at it from the outside. I take it I am much older cs I do still see many who stay in a relationship trying to work out the kinks or just accept them because the alternative is ghastly to them. Especially if they are used to living well. Then again I know many who have become independent and are not self sacrifising but who prefer casual even long distance or choose not to have any at all as their lives are full w/ their own responsibilities to themselves family and jobs that they just don't have the space for it. Peoples needs are so varied. When I was younger my need for the "other" was greater I now value self nurturing more. But alas when home repairs come along and I'm sweating and straining to do something a strong man can do in half the time...there in lays the tradeoff. Also as far as dependency goes, I have a developmentally challenged daughter who is very dependent on me at 29 and that dependency does mold a lot of my identity. As she grows older and is more independent I think I'm more challenged by it at times then she is. The letting go....I offer her the security I can and the boundary wavers believe me between security and dependence.

    Cheers Pfree

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