What’s Your Relationship Style?

» Posted by in Weekly Column | 3 comments

I’m exploring relationship styles for the next two posts. It is one of the most important things for gay men to consider when they are looking at compatibility. We need to know what we want, and how to communicate it.

Too many men are not honest about what they’re doing outside their relationship. But, being honest about what we need helps us in decide. early on, if he’s Mr. Right.

Let’s explore some options. I’ve tried a number of relationship styles. They’ve always been simple couplings. The idea of a polyamorous relationship is entirely intimidating to me. A relationship with one other person is complex enough. But, poly relationships can, and do, work.

A recent survey found that almost 15% of people had been in, or were in, poly relationships. Almost 25% were open to the idea.

Jeff Leavell discussed his polyamorous relationship in a recent vice.com article.. He feels that his relationship with his husband has been enhanced by the inclusion of another equal partner. “We struggled in the process,” he says. “Three-way fucking is hot; three-way fighting is a nightmare.” Regarding jealousy Leavell states, “ I constantly have to remind myself to shift the focus of my thoughts back to me: What am I really afraid of? Why do I not believe I am deserving of all this love?” 

Most of us were raised to believe that a monogamous paring is the only legitimate option, but also that a heterosexual one is. After a number of experiences I know that monogamy is the relationship style I prefer. We’ll get into my reasons in next month’s post.

The next option to consider is an open relationship. It is difficult to have a discussion about open relationships because what they look like is unique to almost every couple. For now let’s assume that an open relationship is one between two men who are not sexually exclusive to one another. That’s a pretty broad definition so let me break things down a bit.

Some men only play with others when they are in foreign cities, some only play together, some set aside specific times when they are both free to play, some are completely free and easy about it.

I’m putting this all on the table so that you can start thinking about what open means to you and how it could work if that’s what you want.

What people want in relationships can be very different. What works for you is not right for everyone.There is no point debating it. I could easily write a  post about what’s wrong with monogamy and another,  equally compelling, one about why open relationships don’t work. There is no ideal approach.

Hopefully you’re a little clearer about what relationship style you’re interested in. I’d love to know where you stand on this complex choice. What’s worked for you int he past? What hasn’t? Next month we’ll explore the in’s and outs of my experiences and how to discuss this sensitive topic with the man your dating, or your partner.

3 Comments

  1. From my experience, I feel that in an open relationship we avoid issues and the relationship is then weakened…I definitely go for monogamous

    [Reply]

  2. Lamely oversimplified. Little more than common sense. I expected more.

    [Reply]

    Brian Madigan Reply:

    Sorry you feel that way Mark. Only so much I can do in 500 words.

    [Reply]

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