Wise Guys: Can a Man Be Talked into an Open Relationship?

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Advice from three of EMandLO.com's guy friends. This week they answer the following: "I want to have an open relationship, but my boyfriend doesn't want to open up the relationship. I don't want to break up, what should I do?" To ask the guys your own question, click here.


Straight Married Guy (Ben): Easy answer - if you don't want to break up, then you can't have an open relationship. But really it sounds like it's time for you and your boyfriend to do a yes / no / maybe list - a kind of sexual proclivities inventory where you see what each of you definitely are up for, what you might want to do if conditions are right and what things are total out of bounds. You each fill out the list on your own and then compare your answers. Whatever you both answer Yes to, go for it. Maybes mean it's up for negotiation. And No from either of you means No for both of you. There's a pretty great Yes / No / Maybe list on my Adult Parlour Games site.


Gay Single Guy (Justin Huang): First off, you're my type of lady friend. We should hang. Second, to be perfectly blunt, you should break up with this guy because the two of you don't belong together. And there are two different explanations as to why:

1) You and he have fundamentally different views on romance. It takes a certain type of person who wishes for an open relationship. You're polyamorous and we polyamorous people should really only date each other, not because we're better than the monogamous, but because we just view love differently, as something fluid and evolving. Even if you don't want to hurt him, you should realize that eventually, you will. You should let him find someone for whom he is enough. Or, there's an entirely different scenario…

2) This whole "open relationship" is just really the beginning of a slippery slope that ends with you leaving him, because you're lying to yourself when you say that you want to stay with him. He's not fulfilling you in some way, whether it's sexually, romantically, intellectually, spiritually, whatever. Don't string him along.

Both possibilities have the same solution. You need to be honest with him, but more importantly, with yourself.


Straight Single Guy (Max): If you find yourself constantly looking elsewhere, why don't you just break up? Comfort breeds laziness, which I think can be dangerous to a relationship - you may not want to do the work it takes to keep things going. Look, if you want to sleep with other people, do it. It's up to you to figure out if you want to be dishonest and cheat, or honest and break up with your partner. If you truly love your boyfriend, you'll stay with him and be honest about things. But - and I hate to say it - I know for a fact that sometimes a little infidelity can make you realize how much you value your significant other. It just causes a lot of pain and has the potential to destroy everything. Regardless, tread carefully!