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Open relationship – End of monogamy as we know it?

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By Bunmi Sofola

Goes without saying that traditional dating has pretty much disappeared. These days, it’s almost a rarity to meet someone new in the real world and go on to date them. As things are now, it seems like the vast majority of the population can’t grasp the notion of committing to just one person at a time. The number of people getting married is decreasing, while the number of people staying single or in non-committal relationship is on the rise. As an alternative to monogamy, a lot of couples are opting for an open relationship for a variety of reasons.

So, what exactly is an open relationship? The actual definition is: “a marriage or relationship in which both partners agree that each may have sexual relations with others.

“Relationships are confusing enough as it is without adding sex with other people into he mix”, observed Felicia, a relationship counsellor. “Open relationships are pretty normal these days, of so it would seem at first glance. After having looked into it a little more, it seems to be the case that every couple in an open relationship adhere to different rules that suit them. And I suppose that’s fair enough. I mean, if you’re going to involve other people, then there certainly needs to be some sort of prior agreement to ensure that no one crosses the blurred boundary lines”.

Generally speaking, it seems that non-monogamous couples set rules that any action outside of the relationship must be ethical, consensual and, above all, safe. trying to find out what kind of rules these might be, I stumbled across an article written by Valerie Fischel, who herself is in open relationship with her partner. I read through her rules and there seems to be s sort of attraction, but I’m not sure I agree with her. But the fact remains we’re all different.

Anyway, here are three of Valerie’s rules and her thoughts on them.:

Rule 1. This is our primary relationship: This is all well and good, but if this is really your primary relationship, shouldn’t you be putting all your efforts into making it work? Might your own sex life become stale because you’re more interested in pursuing the forbidden fruits elsewhere? Sure, you control how many times you sleep with someone, but you’ll never be able to physically control your feelings. It doesn’t matter whether you spend little or a lot of time with someone else. You might fall for them instantly, and then what?

Rule 2: Be Honest: I’ve thought about this and I’m not sure total honesty in an open relationship really is the best policy.

If your supposedly significant other came home gushing about the best sex of their life with another person, your self-esteem would be through the floor, leaving you feeling inadequate and hurt. I can see how, if they’re honest about where they are and who they’re with, it would set your mind at ease. But at what point do you withhold information to spare your partner’s feelings? I know you’re both down with the whole open relationship thing, but no one ever wants to know too much about their partner being with another person, surely?

Rule 3: No friends allowed! Women over think enough as it is, to the point where if over-thinking burned calories, we’d probably all be emaciated or dead! It’s bad enough imagining that your partner would even consider going near someone you consider to be a friend, but actually knowing that they’ve done it? And it may not be with just that one friend! Insecurities alone can be enough to wreck a relationship. Imagine if all these fears actually come true! I totally understand that we’re all different and we have different needs. But I still struggle to comprehend how you could love someone while happily sleeping with someone else. In other words, how can you share an emotionally intimate, physical connection with a person – then jump straight back into bed with the supposed love of your life that very same night?

A lot of people in open relationships will say that they believe monogamy to be unnatural for them. I suppose monogamy is a bit like Marmite, and that’s the way we should look at it – some people love it, some people hate it. It doesn’t make any of them definitely right or wrong. The rise in popularity of open relationships is quite intriguing. Why are they becoming seemingly more common by the day? Maybe our generation has been tarnished by horror stories of divorce, infidelity and betrayal which seem to dominate celebrity magazines and tabloids. Maybe it’s just the hectic pace of modern life that leaves us with too little time for genuine commitment.

At the end of the day, it’s an entirely personal choice. The only logical way to look a it would be if you’re going to do it, just make sure you know what you are letting yourself in for …

Common health myths – debunked

Gum: All of us have heard it take seven years to digest swallowed gum. Not true! It will pass through your body – just like anything else you eat that your body can’t digest.

Deodorant: Research by the International Cancer Institute concluded that there is no evidence connecting the use of antiperspirants or deodorants with breast cancer.

Joints: Cracking knuckles may be annoying, but it doesn’t cause arthritis – as many people think. The noise is actually created by a gas bubble that forms between the bones.

Cold: Spending time in the cold doesn’t actually give you a cold, no matter what your mother told you! You’re actually more likely to get ill indoors where germs are passed around easily.

Eggs: Many believe that eggs are bad for your hear, but while the yolks do contain cholesterol, an egg or two a day doesn’t actually raise the risk of heart disease in healthy people.

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