There are far more options out there for gay men when it comes to having a dating life than there has ever been before. Some guys find that the single life is best for them because it provides for flexibility, some prefer married life and may even want to have kids, and some people prefer a little bit of a combination.
There has been a major rise in the number of gay couples who identify as polyamorous, or in other words, enjoy the idea of open relationships. On the other hand, many people are still very traditional and prefer to have one monogamous partner, whether it means they are married or if it means they are simply in a steady relationship.
This article will explore the pros and cons of both open and traditional closed relationships.
Open Relationships: A Definition
While any relationship should follow guidelines that you set, open relationships, or otherwise known as polyamory, is often described as romance on your terms. Put simply, an open relationship is when a couple, married or not, decides to become open to the idea of adding a third.
Typically, in an open relationship, two partners who share a primary and emotional relationship will agree to either adding a third person for intimacy, or it could be that both partners agree that they can each have sexual encounters with other people.
The definition of the word “open” differs from couple to couple and the dynamic depends on all parties involved. Open relationships can have many benefits that traditional relationships do not, but many aspects could be seen as detriments.
The truth is, open relationships are not for everyone, but they can be just as successful as typical two-person couples.
Pros To Think About When It Comes To Open Arrangements...
One of the great aspects of being involved in an open relationship is the fact that it can provide a thrill, which makes things interesting. This can help ensure that you and your partner won’t fall into a relationship rut and then become bored with each other.
Many people involved in open relationships have reported that it even made them more adventurous with their partner even when the third person in the relationship was not around because the relationship feels new for longer than if they were only involved with each other.
Another benefit of being in an open relationship is that it could spice things up in the bedroom due to both guys picking up sexual interests from others. This can be compared to almost any other walk of life because we are always learning new things from others, but if you have a monogamous relationship it can be difficult to become open to new sexual experiences because you’re always with each other.
Of course, there is also the obvious advantage of simply including your third partner in the bedroom that also serves as a factor that makes your sex life more fulfilling.
One other great thing about open relationships is that people who decide to engage in them are not adhering to the typical way that society has always said relationships are supposed to work.
This is important because no one can say what is right for everyone else and by simply being in this sort of nontraditional relationship they are challenging social and relationship norms. This should not be the reason you decide to pursue an open relationship, but it is a positive factor because it helps push the culture forward instead of simply doing things the way they have always been done.
Cons To Consider When Opening Up Your Relationship...
Open relationships can be difficult to make work for many people. This does not mean that they are not a viable option, but there are some aspects of open relationships that could cause harm to either an existing relationship or the parties involved.
One of those cons is the fact that being in a relationship with multiple people, despite the level of commitment, can cause you to overlook important issues in a relationship because you always have that other person to distract you from seeing clearly. This may not be bad in the beginning, but the cracks will start to show and the fallout may be worse than it would have been if you could see the issue earlier.
Another potential con is the fact that jealousy could become a factor in your relationship if everyone is not honest about their feelings. This is because before you enter into an open relationship, the guidelines need to be set and everyone needs to be comfortable with those. If one person is not honest about being comfortable with this type of commitment, they will start to become jealous of their partner’s relationships with other people.
This is important because although they have agreed verbally, their internal feelings could lead to similar feelings of someone who has been cheated on. Many people who have been in open relationships that have gone wrong say that the institution failed because one party was not fully on board.
This can also manifest itself with couples who add a third without having sexual relationships with outside people. This could even be worse because one person could start to feel that their partner has become more attracted to the other person than they are to them.
Another con of open relationships is that this is still a relatively new concept, and while many gay men are socially progressive it can be hard to tell people that this is the dynamic of your relationship for fear of judgment.
While it is important to be comfortable with your decisions and to not let outside pressure drive how you live, this is still a factor. Many gay men are struggling to find ways to tell their family members that they are gay, which means it would be even harder for them to also tell them that they prefer relationships with more than two people.
Monogamous Relationships: Are They Right For Me?
Monogamous relationships are considered the standard for romantic relationships because that is what has always been done. This means that one person is in a relationship with another person and if the relationship is healthy, there should not be any level of romance with an outside partner. Of course, as gay men, we adopted this relationship dynamic from traditional heterosexual relationships, but they still work for many gay men nonetheless.
Pros of Traditional Relationships...
Sex in a monogamous relationship is safer and healthier than for people who are in open relationships. This is true because in a monogamous relationship you are only engaging in sex with one person and the same is true for that person, but this is different with open relationships. An open relationship could lead to two partners only having a third, but then that third person could be having sex with other people as well.
The advances in safe sex practices have advanced to new heights, but having sex with multiple people is still riskier than having it with only one.
Another pro of monogamous relationships is that having a relationship between two people is typically more stable. This shows itself especially with building a home together and developing a system to make that work. While this is still highly possible with open relationships, having to include other people in that stability can be tricky.
One major positive aspect of monogamous relationships is having one person who you get to know over time is a special thing. You grow with that person and learn more about yourself while you also get to know them. This is much harder to do with an open relationship because your attention is more divided.
Of course, you still have your life outside of your partner, but being intimate with one person and sharing your life with just them in a romantic sense is an experience that can truly shape a person. This is true even if the relationship does not last forever.
Cons: Is Monogamy Realistic?
One of the cons of monogamous relationships is that most people simply date in this way because it’s what they saw their parents do. This does not mean that monogamy is bad, but it does mean that many people think this is the only way to date and they can’t wrap their head around the idea of having multiple romantic partners.
Many people who may be well suited for open relationships could be missing out because of what they have always been taught.
Another con is that is can be hard to keep things interesting when you are always with the same person sexually or romantically. This is one of the main reasons why most people who have been together for a long-time report being less excited to be with their partner, but they are happy enough so they remain in the relationship.
All relationship dynamics are stressful and this is something that needs to be understood. Open relationships work perfectly fine for many people but are less successful for others, and the same is true for monogamous relationships.
Figuring out which is best for you is key, and this may mean that you need to experiment with both to understand which one works for you.