By Chuck Strouse
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By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
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By Kyle Swenson
Hello, Kitty: When I agreed to an open relationship with my boyfriend, I thought it was the best thing for us. Not because I wanted to have sex with hundreds of guys and also be loved by my boyfriend, but because I thought it would mean I could keep my platonic male friends, get my occasional flirt on, and not have to feel guilty. The arrangement didn't really change my life at all and, honestly, since our relationship has flourished, I rarely spend time with those guys. But what did change is my boyfriend. He's suddenly out all the time — going on dinner dates and hanging out with groups of girls I've never met. He recently began to disappear for nights at a time, and when I asked him about it, he just said, "Don't ask, don't tell." Last week, I found a condom wrapper under his bed, and we never use condoms. I guess I should be happy he's being safe with these other girls, but it ripped my heart out of my chest to know he had someone else in "our" bed. Now I want this open relationship to be closed. But I'm not sure if it's too late to stop this train wreck.
Hey, Sue: God bless the child that has his own... stash. Allowing your man to have one will either help to maintain your relationship or ruin it because you can't handle the reality that he's spending time with other women. So why did you agree to this arrangement in the first place? All you thought about was your own right to have a fourth meal at Taco Bell with the homey Craig on a Tuesday. But you didn't consider that your boyfriend would be doing the same thing with hundreds of chicks you don't know. The difference is that while you might be a girl who likes to hang with the fellas, your guy tries to get in the drawers of anything that bleeds once a month. You could continue to not shag other guys, since you say you don't want to anyway, and allow this man to do his thing. You could keep the lines of communication open, remain someone special to him, and accept that he might have constructed the arrangement so he wouldn't hurt you with deceit.
You must consider that by agreeing to the arrangement, you made your boyfriend think that you want to date. He might believe you'll soon move on to the next guy who walks through your "open" door. Could each interaction he has with other women be purely sexual? Yes. Could feelings/emotions arise? Hell yes. This is what makes an open relationship "open." Both people are "open" to allowing someone new into their lives. If that's not what you want — if you're 100 percent about this man — you don't want an open relationship. What you want is your boyfriend to be secure that you want to simply hang around with male friends. That's not an open relationship. It's a mature relationship between people who trust each other. Talk to him. Meow.