Dating a girl in an open relationship
And as the secondary lover, it's harder to ask for support.I feel like the man's responsibility is toward his primary relationship, especially if there are children. "When jealousy does arise, these women seemed to have found a way to keep it from consuming them. When Ivy*, a 35-year-old activist, lived in New York, her relationships never seemed to work out.She dated the way a lot of people date in the city, juggling multiple partners without any real forward movement.Since transparency was required—and they were involved, in some way, with the wife or primary partner—they could be out in public as the "girlfriend." "I loved her like a sister," says Ivy, of her ex-boyfriend's primary girlfriend. And I got weeks off, but still got to feel the love of these two people."Still, Susan—a 44-year-old graphic designer from San Francisco who likes being a secondary because she tends to feel suffocated as part of a traditional couple—acknowledges that there's an inherent sadness to the setup."I don't know any woman who isn't occasionally like, God, I just wish someone else would handle my husband tonight. "They get to go home to their partners and have a conversation around what it was like for them," she says. Which can be really amazing, but I don't have somebody to [immediately] share my experiences with.Ivy was, for all intents and purposes, the "secondary." She was more curious than turned off: "I've always been one to question relationship paradigms, and I thought, well, the only way for me to really understand this is to try it," she says.
The expiration date on this experiment was crucial: "I didn't want to be obsessing every day whether it worked for me, because that's a recipe for unhappiness." At the end of the six months, she'd assess."You're telling her that she's good enough to fuck but not good enough to be seen in public with.You're telling her that you love her—but not as much as you love the social privileges of seeming to be monogamous," Veaux writes on More Than In the open-relationship world, there's a term for this: "couple privilege." It was introduced to the lexicon by Franklin Veaux, coauthor, with Eve Rickert, of 2014's .
They define it as "external social structures or internal assumptions that consciously or unconsciously place a couple at the center of a relationship hierarchy or grant special advantages to a couple." You can imagine how this plays out in practical terms.So who are the mysterious people these nonmonogamous couples are sleeping with?What would it mean to be in someone else's open relationship as a single woman?The focus is always on the couple—how their adventures in nonmonogamy fuel their partnership and heighten their sex lives; how they're able to navigate sleeping with others without breaking their sacred union.