When you hear, “I’m in an open relationship,” how do you respond?

Being single?  What does that mean to you? 
There are many shades of being single.  Being single allows one to play the field. Being single means you’re miserable on the weekends with your DVR.  Being single is just your way of holding out for that great romance that is coming your way.  Being single means I have time to hang out with friends whenever I want in any city I want.  Being single means I am not looking for anyone or anything at this time.  Being single could mean all of those for the same person depending on how one’s upper and lower brain are communicating during that day, hour, minute.  Been there, done them all.
I’ve been single for about 12 years.  What does that mean to me? Well, it means I have not used the word boyfriend in that long of a time to relate me to another male.  There hasn’t been anyone serious enough to establish a relationship.  Some sleep overs and hooking up here and there, getting to know a couple of people off and on, but the boyfriend barrier was never broken.   There have been some f-buddies and some interesting understandings between myself and a “straight” man for about 5 ½ years, but nothing stuck. 
One boundary I never desired to cross was that of the open relationship.  When I see on someone’s profile or hear them mention they are in an Open Relationship or Married, I move on to the next profile / person.  At this point in my life, I am not looking for someone that is already attached, even if it may be just for a little fun.
I had been chatting with a guy for about 2 months.  The texting was great and the pics were very "uplifting."  We both knew we would hit it off.  Schedules never coincided and I didn’t like to host at my house if it got to that point, so it was just chatting, but still getting to know each other without a face to face meeting.  One day while chatting, I glanced again at his relationship status and noticed there was nothing there.  We had both said we live with roommates so I thought he was single.   To clarify, I asked him, “Do you have a fb or a bf?”  He surprisingly did not know what an fb was so I had to explain.  Then he asked me if I wanted to know the truth. I responded as I always do, “Honesty is the best policy.”  “Well, if I tell you, you may no longer be interested,” he typed.  If he lied, I’d definitely not be interested.  He told me he was in an open relationship.  I had invested enough time in him that I was interested in meeting him, but if there was a great connection, I would have liked to pursue more than just chat and extra-curricular activities. With him being in an open relationship, it put a block on anything more occurring than just sex.  I reiterated I was looking for more than just fun.  His response was you never know …
You never know?  So was I supposed to meet up with this guy and he would see if I was better than what he had already and if so, WE could date?  His answer was basically, Yes.  He was hanging on to one option until a better one came along.  Apparently this is where his open relationship was at.  I wish I was able to show you a screen shot of the conversation, but I told the guy that I wasn’t here to compete with his boyfriend and if that is how he dated, I don’t want any part of it.  He was a little insulted that I questioned his morals and blocked me, making the chat screen disappear.  Bad option, bye bye.

I know or at least I think I know that all open relationships do not function like this.  There are several layers to some where others are pretty black and white.  It seems there are as many shades in the “open relationship” definition as there are in the “being single” category.  Some shades in each are more hopeless than others, while other shades may be filled with happiness and success. 
Maybe I should end this post as I started it, with questions.
Being in an open relationship?  What does that mean to you? 
Would you ever be in one?
Would you ever be with someone that is in one?

41 thoughts on “When you hear, “I’m in an open relationship,” how do you respond?”

  1. question – why would a guy in

    question – why would a guy in an open relationship chat with me on scruff for 3 months…and constantly compliment me and flirt with me and talk about everyday stuff as well as sex…and then we hook up and then he still flirts for a week but then one day says things have shifted b/c it's the nature of his relationship situation….does it mean the last 3 months meant nothing?  he said such nice things.  i feel so let down and wasted.  At the beginning….he asked if i was okay with "this"….at the time i was thinking…fuck yeah we can hookup and call it a day.  I wasn't expecting it to turn into a 3 month long/flirty friendship thing.  we even became friends on facebook which he said was uncharted territory for him.  "against the rules"…that he wants to be friends cuz of our talks but yet he's also sexually attracted to me.  i thought i was different from his other guys.  i guess i was played?  how could he suddenly just not want to talk anymore?  he said i didnt do anything wrong…just part of his nature.  im so so sad.  how do i get over it? 

  2. Okay. I don’t blame the open
    Okay. I don’t blame the open relationship but I have a question to open relationship couples. Is it normal ‘hiding’ his relationship to have sex wity guys? I met a guy saying “I ‘had’ bf before and he was acting like single guy saying that he wants to have a bf on the future but I found it out that he had a bf and they were in an open relationship. I never judge open relationship couple but lie to guys to have sex wity them…I think it’s not good thing to do. What do you think?

  3. Single people should love

    Single people should love open relationship guys. We're drama free sex and companionship and we're a LOT nicer than most of the other single guys.  

    It's prob the only encounter where you can get to know someone and there is no question about what can come of it.  

    • Ever consider the possibility
      Ever consider the possibility that every single gay guy is not just trying/wanting to meet guys for sex? Or for sex only? There’s nothing wrong with only sex just as there is nothing wrong with sex in general. We all get horny and sex is about as natural a human need or desire as eating or sleeping. However while i can have casual sex wirh someone i prefer if there is a connection or at least a fair chance a connecion can or could develop up to and including a bf. To each his own, of course, but dont assume everyone youre hooking up with is only into the sex. And guys in an open rekatkonship should always be up front about that fact. Besides…if u r trying to hide the fact can it really be all that great? Just saying…

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  5. Just to take knowledge a bit

    Just to take knowledge a bit further in this article, I can assure you that if being in a relationship you ask your partner if you can have sex with someone else, it talks about a good communication between those partners which is most of the times a serious problem between heterosexuals (I even had encountered a huge amount of married heterosexuals cheating their wife with gay guys in a sex chat!!!). BEWARE 

    And if you set up the parameters of this open relationship even better (it would be very important for both to be experts in sexual care so then you can demarcate the kind of protection you will be taking). I think that there are a lot of things that are still a taboo and shouldn't be for the health of individuals.

  6. First off, there are many

    First off, there are many heterosexuals in open relationships, so it's not just a "gay men" thing. Secondly, there are many reasons why couples might want to open their relationships. Whatever works for each couple is their own business. I know a few couples in open relationships and they seem to be going strong and are very happy. Whether you're in a monogamous or an open relationship, whichever works for you, more power to you. Try not to judge other people and how they want to build their relationships. You never know what they're going through. As long as you're happy in whichever scenario you chose to be in, that's all that matters.  Life is too short to worry about what other people think. Besides, there are way too many people who believe gay relationships (open or closed) are somehow "less than" because they're not heterosexual relationships. Why join them by demeaning our fellow gay brothers' relationships just because they're not behaving the way you would?

  7. If both parties are truly 100
    If both parties are truly 100% okay with it, it doesn’t matter. But for me, knowing someone else had slept with my boyfriend, would kill me. I’m not against open relationships. However it’s not for everyone. Being honest with yourself is as important as trusting your significant other.

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  9. It’s very simple to me. 

    It's very simple to me.  Having lived the Gay life for 30 years.  An open relationship means you have a problem with sex addiction.  Ask any professional.  You will continue to look for it anywhere, in adult video stores, go to bars or wherever you can find it.

    I agree with the posts above that say this is how we get the bad reputations from the straight world.  There's nothing wrong with dating and looking but if you are looking all the time for just the sex, it's pretty simple.  You're probably a slut.

  10. To each his own. As for me
    To each his own. As for me there is no way I would ever be in an open relationship. Sex to me is more than physical. It’s about love, intimacy, trust, and a sharing what’s most sacred with one. The comparison of gay couples trying to act like straight couples it’s ridiculous. They are just as fucked up as we are. Let’s face it. Modern men and women alike are whores, but when you find that one that only wants you. It’s amazing.

  11. Guys, it’s really quite

    Guys, it's really quite simple. We don't want the straight world judging us as gay men, why are we so damn hard on each other? Stop judging – every relationship is different. There is no "norm" when it comes to love or sex.

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  13. I just dont understand how

    I just dont understand how some guys on here dont see that having sex with another person – while being in an relatonship- is cheating/adultry? No wonder gays are not taken seriously and viewed as being promiscuous beings. 

    • It’s cheating when it is lied

      It's cheating when it is lied about. Open relationships value communication much more than monogamous relationships do. Because they have to in order to function properly. So stop judging others in your own community when we're judged enough from outside of it. Monogamy is -not- for all couples. Open relationships are -not- for all couples. stop trying to put love in a box, because it doesn't belong in one.

  14. ugh…some of these people

    ugh…some of these people are so ridiculous. "Open relationship" status for gay men isn't some sort of experimental "commune" where you've got two lovers who are lovers etc etc. It mean, you're in ONE relationship, but neither of you cares if you occasionally indulge in a bit of naked fun with someone else. Simple.  Too many Puritans with no clue about what it is to truly trust someone.

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  16. Started relationship/open,
    Started relationship/open, was very interesting
    interesting. But,3 years later “we.”were home talking about sexw/these other people, we found out it wasnt.for us, relationship keep.going strong,9 years.
    Lost him to aids, started with.a nerve sindrum/91 days.in hospital,got.in-house flu,past.4.days.later.
    Been.tested 1000 times,all.good.

  17. Why we want to duplicate
    Why we want to duplicate heteros roles? Why we insist on living in a fairy tale? Romance is one thing, totally idealistic. Real love not necessarily equals monogamy. If your expectancy in relationships would depend in how faithful both are, surprises lay ahead in life. Or a life of serial monogamists!

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  19. Definitely a complicated

    Definitely a complicated subject. I don't like to judge people period because you never know where they are coming from and what they've been through. As for me, I don't think I could be in an open relationship. I've been together with my bf for 7 years and the thought of him having sex with someone else kills me and I don't why. At this point we don't have as much sex as before and we check out other guys but I feel like it would just destroy the relationship. 

  20. Hi, i’ve been in a

    Hi, i've been in a relatioship for a year now with a guy that has a boyfriend. They live together and they had been together for 7 years (which kind of took the crap out of me when I knew it). He is 34 and his boyfriend 27. They are in an open relationship and I think his boyfriend is dating someone now (which i have to consult). I've met his boyfriend at the beguinning of the relationship. We have made a trio once, but it seems his boyfriend and I are not made for each other (what doesn't mean we don't get on well). Even though in this year there have been tough months we are still toguether, in love and very happy with each other, willing to keep on. Things have gone bad because, between other reasons, this is my first serious and longest relationship, I come from a time where I entered manhunt (I met him in that site) and pages like that & had sex with extrangers not really caring of myself, and I am quite too young mentally for all this (even though I consider I am mentally "mature" at my 19 years old), for me understanding and accepting he has a boyfriend. Society has taken its part too, since my friends allways told me this was weird, which is not (we are told all our life's that love has no shape at all). Sometimes I see his boyfriend's facebook and get a little bit sad/disgusted as I can't stop thinking of them having sex, which somehow upsets me in my deeps. But, since I've heard the story of how they met and staff, I can assimilate things better. It might be because I get to see them as humans.

    I stay with him because he is a really nice guy, very handsome, we share interests and because I thing it is difficult to find someone that will stay there for you, even at your worst, just because they belive in you. It makes you feel you are worth it.

    Even though we live in the era of communications people tend to have a lot of problems in this part of communicating, which is essential for living in society. And though you can allways stay up all night looking for your prince charming on the internet (as many lonely boys do like i used to do) things can turn to real shit if you are alone since you loose self respect, wich is essential to enjoying yourself that for me is the key to survival of this mad world.

    Best wishes,

    Juan Cruz, Argentinian, 19 years old, Nursing student.

  21. I’m a bit disappointed in

    I'm a bit disappointed in this article. I can understand being upset at being lied to. But the above does not question or ponder how it is that many, many long-term LGBT couples have HAPPY, HEALTHY non-heteronormative relationships. I feel, as gay men, we get to decide how we choose to relate to each other. And that includes who we have sex with, and in what a capacity – as friends, as boyfriends, in groups – or as monogamous or non-monogamous relationships. I think that freedom to define relationships ourselves is what separates us from our straight counterparts. And I think it is much healthier than one-size-fits-all (which often does not fit, as we are all complicated.)

    When I was young – and single –  I felt very sad for men in open relationships. I thought, "why be in a relationship at all?" That somehow it meant there was a lack of commitment on the couple's part. Now, in a happy, healthy relationship of many years, I care less what others do, and, my partner and I decided to be non-monogamous sexually. We are completely committed to each other. And, with total confidence with what we share together, sex together or separately is honestly no big deal. We're going to be together for the rest of our lives – exploring sexually is not going to change that.

    I understand a single man being frustrated at open relationships when one is hoping to pair up in a relationship. But judging others in our community is very disappointing. I strongly believe we should embrace our diversity and our ability to choose not only who we love, but how. We have a lot  to learn from each other if we can keep from applying own version of happiness on others.

    • I’m sorry you sound like a
      I’m sorry you sound like a hypocrite. When you were single you were desiring to be in a relationship and be happy and in love and whatever. Now you have defeated that and I can’t respect open relationships because it has a negative affect on young gay men. Let’s say for example if all short/long term relationships were open relationships then that puts a negative influence on young gay men, the ones who truely desire love, and then have no hope to find a potential partner. A lot of gay men are promiscuous so open relationships only spreads more promiscuity, monagomy less desired, and not mention the spread of more diseases. Its hard to find someone serious and long term in the gay world so when I hear or read about gay men like you it’s a slap in the face. Now that fact that you claim that you and your partner will remain together forever is a bunch of BS. And I don’t need to know you to say that this is true. Open relationships is not love… it’s convenience. Open relationship couples are together to block out loneliness or being alone. It’s not love and I dont think you truely love each other because if that were true then there would be NO need to look else where for sex.

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  23. I’m the type of person that
    I’m the type of person that believes it should only be 2 people in the relationship. No wonder people have negative thoughts against us, because of these of actions.

  24. Been in a loving, caring

    Been in a loving, caring relationship for 17 yrs here. Works great. The open part is just sex. If you are trusting and know 100% who you love and who loves you, its not a problem. In fact, its quite fun. We check guys out together

    • I agree 100%..   I have no

      I agree 100%..   I have no jealously or anything..  We check out guys together and exchange stories.. When you love and trust someone 100% it works.. My husband is not just a hubby, he is my friend, family and my whole being..  We share it all , and it brings us together more each day.


    • That’s the rub, if you are

      That's the rub, if you are both 100% trusting and in love, with good sex (this sounds like a tall order!) being open to sex with others can work. It can only work if your relationship is in a good solid place already. Boundaries have to be agreed on.
      Mine isn't, and things have just become too hard. I'm not happy, period.
      Communication too has to be good and honest, A lot depends on the personalities in a relationship, are u the jealous type?
      I've had people respond to the open relationship status, as, er, no thanks, too complicated

  25.  Heaven to me.  🙂 I know

     Heaven to me.  🙂 I know alot of relationships that are not honest and they cheat, etc.. We are upfront, always have been and it works..  Legally married and been together 20 years..  I never knock down anyones relationship. If it works for them, who am I to judge..


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  27. To me, being in an open

    To me, being in an open relationship means, you're emotionally committed to someone, but the two of you are allowed to have sex with others outside the relationship.

    I would never be in an open relationship.  I've dated guys and found out they were in open relationships and that's where things ended.  I know some people are ok with dividing sex and love, but some people package the two (like I do).  I don't judge, it's simply not something I want to deal with, so I would try to never be with someone that is in one, but some guys are shady and hide it well.

    I think it's easy for couples to label themselves as "open", using that term as a placeholder until they find someone hotter.  It's not always the case, but I think its a huge part of our culture that values youth and sex appeal, so its like we're always waiting for something better to come along.  

    • So what…I’m judging.

      So what…I'm judging.  People in open relationships are cop-outs because they want a boyfriend/husband/life partner yet be able to engage in emotional/physical relations with others.  They'd be lying to themselves if they think they'd not encounter a bout of jealousy and/or STDs.  Being in a open relationship is the opposite of being bisexual…can't commit to one person so you 'jump' onto/into whatever is around them that catches their eye.  No disrespect and to each their own, but personally I'd commit to the vow and not to adultry.

  28. I’ve been in a open

    I've been in a open relationship for over 15 years.. Love it.. To each their own tho…  I love my husband and we've been together for over 20 years. Its the best of both worlds..  I come home every night to snuggle and have the comfort of always knowing he is there for me as I am for him..  We have an open relationship for sex only..    We can fool around here and there with some hotties, but still knowing we have a loving relationship.  The best of both worlds..  We built a great life together with a nice home, dogs, etc and looking forward to retirement together in our later years. Full of travel, relaxing, and yes.  Some sex on the side.

      • Heaven to me. 🙂 I know alot

        Heaven to me. 🙂 I know alot of relationships that are not honest and they cheat, etc.. We are upfront, always have been and it works.. Legally married and been together 20 years.. I never knock down anyones relationship. If it works for them, who am I to judge..


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