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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

TEDCRED 30+

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Is being in an open relationship, in an intimate relationship, practicing open mindedness? How?

I have talked to some people in the past and they tell me that being in an open relationship is the ultimate form of open mindedness if you want your spouse or partner to be happy.

I personally don't understand how that is actually being open minded, but just a personal preference, though I think an open relationship is troublesome in the long run.

Isn't being in an open relationship another way of saying "I like you right now, but if someone else that is better than you comes by, then being in an open relationship allows me to pursue both of you or dump you for the other person"?

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    Jul 16 2012: Call me closed minded if you wish, that does not work for me.
    Or maybe these people are so open minded that their brains fell out!

    Or maybe they are too wounded to really love anyone. Using someone for self gratification is not love.
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      Jul 19 2012: I'm really falling in love with that phrase Debra, "these people are so open minded that their brains fell out"... I think that describes most people who seek open relationships almost perfectly.

      I'm not a fan of telling other people how to live their lives... but I think the open relationship is a breeding ground for drama and heartbreak.
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    Jul 22 2012: I find that as I become more intimate, I also become more vulnerable and dependent. I allow myself to "need" the other person, and at times my need may even become "neediness." Also, as I draw closer to the beloved, the more I am invited to deal with my and her frustrated expectations and shortcomings. In other words, I have to deal with my stuff. Hopefully, because of commitment and grace, the relationship is a place where there is freedom to make mistakes and grow. That "safety" allows for an increased capacity for still more love and intimacy. Bottom line: deeper levels of love require deeper levels of trust. We are just too fragile as human beings, I think, to love deeply someone who may leave us as part of a romantic or sexual experimentation with others.
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    Jul 18 2012: An open relationship is based on trust, and mutually agreed upon parameters even rules that the relationship can not only exist but thrive on.
    One partner or even both may like to explore certain areas of sexuality that their partner may not.
    To be able talk to each other, to not keep secrets from each other, to be open and honest about an outside relation, but to know that that person the person you love will come home to you is an incredible feeling.
    As far as open mindedness is concerned it is actually understanding you partners needs seeing beyond the "Norm" and allowing that person the feedom to be themselves or discover areas of themselves and yourself you never knew existed.
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      Jul 18 2012: Hi Morgan,

      Wouldn't finding something about yourself intimately/sexualy with others mean that you aren't with the right person or you aren't ready to be in a committed relationship?

      I knew someone who would always argue with partner a lot or one person wouldn't seem as happy as the other person, though things always seemed alright, on the surface anyways.

      I find that society labels people who explore their sexuality when they do not have a relationship. It is silly to have to restrict yourself to only having sexual exploration when you are in an intimate relationship.

      Why not explore your sexuality within your relationship and just open up dialoge with your partner?

      Is the lack of another person, that is your partner, stopping you from finding more out about yourself sexually?
  • Jul 21 2012: Priorities and life living models are always changing. We live in a society of change and we learn that change should be good. Open minded relationships are more risky than the traditional one and everyone experiment this way of life needs to know the benefits and be able to accept its consequences.
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    Jul 19 2012: Sex is also only a part of a committed relationship too Derek , there are a lot more factors involved in relationship than just sex.

    An open relationship is very much based on trust personally I believe if this is the way you wish to go there still has to be rules and guidelines if there isn't then basically you dont really have an relationship. Also there is nothing wrong exploring sexuality with your partner but as I said before there maybe somethings you enjoy that your partner doesn't.
    Just beause you wish to explore does not mean you are not committed to each other it is just another part of the relationship.

    To be honest you have to be perfectly comfortable with each other and make sure your guidlines are clear and agreeded upon before embarking upon an open relationship and you then find there is that love, trust and understanding that goes a lot higher than in a lot of regular relationships.
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      Jul 20 2012: In an open relationsh, I believe, is mostly defined by having intimacy with others besides that persons current partner, though I don't believe sex is everything, but it enhances a relationship a lot or something I have observed and experienced.

      I, sometimes, believe that guidelines shouldn't be needed. I believe that two people just fit together and are respectful of each other. A couple should be verbal, but not need to set guidelines, but they understand and definitely respect each other.

      I don't want to be in a relationship with a person that I have to fake a smile, so I think there is no need to make two people fit if they aren't compatible. Just my personal preferences.
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        Jul 20 2012: Thats exactly right based on respect, love and communication every relationship is different and so it has be treated that way. Personally I would prefer to know whom my partner had slept with and not be afraid to discuss it.
        If you have that depth to your PRIMARY relationship nothing should be off limits and respect is utmost.
        If you are not compatible in the first place then you have nothing to base a relationship on.
  • Jul 17 2012: Regarding relationships, I try not to give advice or answer these questions for others. Instead, I just relate my own story and let you learn what you will.

    When my wife and I got together, we agreed that our relationship would be open.

    When the opportunities arrived, I knew it would hurt my wife, and I just could not hurt her. Never have, never will.
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      Jul 17 2012: Hi Barry,

      I believe you mean that you were/are in an open relationship and you had other intimate connections with others, but you don't find the need to tell her?

      That is sorta defeating the whole "open-relationship" aspect, just in my opinion, if that's what you meant.

      Though I wish you the best in your current situations with your spouse, regardless of the topic above. I still don't see how it is being open minded....
      • Jul 17 2012: No, there were no other intimate connections with others.

        Addition: See above.
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          Jul 18 2012: So you and these "opportunities" were strickly friends and no deeper types of contact?

          (sorry if I'm prying, but feel free to not respond.)
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    Jul 16 2012: I have had a relationship that ended because it was disfunctional even though she "loved me always and will always love me" the relationship had a problem from the beginning somewhere that I found the last issue breaking us up was not having sex before marriage because of a religions view. Even though in the beginning I was primed or groomed as a toyboy as my mum put it but she always had insecurity issues and intimacy issues that only drew me nearer and to fall in love with her. So I committed my part and got close... which brings me to think that if you love someone you only should share that sacredness with them and you should know this from the beginning of the relationship! why would anyone in their right mind be with someone just to gain at an advantage of another human that would be greatly happy and bennifit from being in love with the right person and having someone rightly love them. We went through many experiences that made us see the importance of not hurting the other person and it took us through to being engaged but this wasnt enough for this person to see I was committed even though this was the degree of the relationship religion still interfered with our selves and the potence of how we came together!!! so I tried many thing to try to conform to this person and still it ended up breaking up something that begun special and beautiful when we were together... I even went down the path of why condoms were invented and was it a catholic thing that god didnt want people to be together unless they were matramonally married (in which I still havent been convinced and have read my bible every day looking for that answer from God) cannot share what happens when to people have shared and are intimately involved in a relationship which is special and committed to stay together.
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    Jul 16 2012: Question is ; why should it be any other way?
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      Jul 19 2012: Pregnancy

      Disease

      Violence induced by jealousy... Just the first few to come to mind.