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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Open relationships

I was talking about this with someone the other day, and they asked me my view on it. This is basically what I told them, that I thought I would put into here as well:
Western society is Christian-based, which means it's based on monogamy, where we're only allowed to love one partner at a time. However, I have a more open belief about love. Love isn't defined by society - it's defined by how someone makes us feel. And so we can love more than one person at a time, if they have those qualities which we can love.

Society forces us to feel guilty about it though, and says, "How dare you love more than one person! There's only so much love to go around, and you can only love one."

However, we're allowed to love more than one family member, and we're allowed to love more than one child. We're even allowed to love more than one close friend. But we're only allowed to love one partner.

I think it's unnatural to force ourselves to love only one person, and prevent ourselves from feeling love for more than one. I also think that's why relationships and marriages end so often, because people are forced to make choices

How secure would a relationship - even a marriage - be if we were allowed to not only love our partner, but someone else? If I could stay with my partner in a loving relationship, AND be allowed to love someone else, KNOWING that being in love with another person doesn't mean the marriage ends, wouldn't that actually strengthen the relationship?

Why do people get jealous? It's because they're afraid of their partner finding another person that they would choose to be with INSTEAD of them. What about if they could be with them AS WELL?

No one loses, everyone gains.
What are your thoughts?

Posted on 7/20/2005 02:19:00 PM Backlinks

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Blogger passion said...

Some truths are universal and eternal. Others are conditional, arbitrary dogmas appropriate within their time but no longer relevant in the changing tides of history. Ultimately each of us must live our own lives, free of idealism, shame, or dogmas that do not serve our wholeness or our realities.

Fortunately we are living in a time which relatively speaking offers a lot of freedom. There are brothels you can visit, there are gigolos you can hire, there are swing clubs you can join, there are open relationships you can choose. Just remember, whatever faith, region or belief we practice, we must realise that sexuality has no inherent morality or immorality.

Open relationship is not the direct opposite of a traditional monogamous relationship, rather, it is an extension to a monogamous relationship. That is, you must be able to achieve a satisfying one on one relationship first before you can achieve satisfying open relationships. Like sexuality, open relationship has no intrinsic morality or immorality. Ultimately, a satisfying open relationship depends entirely on how you make it, as to my knowledge, I am not aware that there is law or ethical standards against it in this country. Basically, it’s a personal choice.

7/20/2005 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Hopeful said...

Are we talking theory or practice here?
In practice I feel it can only work if the two people in the relationship are both like minded. That is, they BOTH want an open relationship. They BOTH determine the boundaries and limitations. If one party is being pushed into it - then ultimately the relationship will crack. Then, there is the possibility that a diamond is lost. No matter how many sapphires, rubies or emeralds you find after; it may not provide you the happiness you had with that one single diamond.

7/21/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Alan Howard said...

We're talking about practice here. And yes, it can ONLY work if both people in the relationship are like-minded. Anything else is doomed to failure. And if there is no communication and honesty, it's doomed to failure as well.

I believe a successful open relationship has to have rules and boundaries, communication, honesty and trust. If there is anything missing from all those requirements, or the rules and boundaries are not adhered to, then it won't work.

It takes effort to be open, but it takes effort to be closed as well. I think that ultimately, it would be easier to be open than closed. (By 'closed' I mean monogamous.)

7/21/2005 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger passion said...

Talking about open relationship, I don’t know of any real life stories except the following:

Gu Cheng, a talented young classic Chinese poet and international scholar, came to live in New Zealand with his wife Xie Ye. Their artistic, romantic and open nature prompted them to invite Gu Cheng’s lover, Ying’er in China soon after they started their new idyllic life on the Island of Waiheka.

Ying'er received their invitation and came to New Zealand to join this beautiful and romantic family life of three under the safe roof with air ticket bought by Gu and Xie. For a while, it was a perfect open relationship.

A year later a book was jointly written by Gu Cheng and Xie Ye titled "Ying'er" while there were visiting Berlin as scholars. It was a book about a man and his two wives and their ‘happily-ever-after’ life. When it was published in China, no novel had ever sold so many copies as "Ying’er". It was a refreshing, daring, and utterly romantic non-fiction.

However, when they returned to New Zealand, to Gu Cheng’s despairation, Ying’ er had disappeared. She fell in love with a Kiwi martial art teacher and simply took off with him. Despite a sense of betrayal, Gu understood why she did that.

The following months after Ying’ er disappeared (left) sent Gu Cheng to hell. He could not reconcile in his mind about a life without Ying'er. It was at this time his marriage with Xei started to rock.

One day, the most unimaginable happened...

Xie Ye was killed by her husband in the most brutal way - by using an axe. She died on the plane flying to hospital. Gu committed suicide by hanging himself.

This happened in 1993. No one could believe that a most liberated and seemingly happiest couple came to such a tragic end, which is most unthinkable.


The mind of human beings is too complex and too unpredictable, especially in the matter of love, of relationships and of love. These people, too, had their best intention, trust and honesty. They thought open relationship was a perfect way of living. Yet the way life evolves was beyond the control of anyone’s mind. True, we all learn our life lessons by trial and making mistakes. I suppose we could say "at least they tried..." But in this case, the lessons are far too unbearable.

Sorry I do not intend to sound negative. It just occurred to me that I was searching for positive real life examples about open relationship and the above story came to my mind. No doubt there are many successful stories our there on open relationship. Perhaps happy story doesn’t sell so we don’t know?

If one day, Alan, you can share with us after experiencing the pros and cons about an open relationship, that would be most appreciated and enlightening. We do want to hear more success stories rather than the one I shared above.

7/21/2005 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger passion said...

Sorry typo... should have been "The mind of human beings is too complex and too unpredictable, especially in the matter of sex, of relationships and of love."

7/21/2005 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Alan Howard said...

I'll be sure to update my journal with my feelings and experiences, should that happen.


7/21/2005 10:58:00 PM  

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