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Boundaries in dating making dating work

Free people make commitments because they feel it’s the right thing to do, and they are wholehearted about it.By responsibility, we mean your ability to execute your tasks in keeping the relationship healthy and loving, as well as being able to say no to things you shouldn’t be responsible for….For some people, an open relationship is a liberating prospect and experience which makes certain that the hum drum of everyday life with the same person never has the chance to take hold.But according to a You Gov survey, 72 per cent of people would never consider it.As a starting point, it’s worth considering what an ideal open relationship might look like for you and your partner.Having an open relationship usually means that each partner is free to engage with other people sexually and emotionally but it’s really an umbrella term and non-monogomy can come in many different forms.Of course you’d have to hope that anyone entering this arrangement for sex or emotional intimacy, or both, also shares exactly the same agenda as the couple and intends to return to their life once it’s over.

At Relate, due to the nature of our work, we tend to hear about open relationships when they go wrong, but there are quite clearly many people living in healthy, happy and successful ones.Maybe you don’t want to actively seek thrilling diversions elsewhere but would like an agreement that if either of you wanted to, you could embark on the odd liaison free of guilt and worry.This might come under the label of ‘monogomish’, which has been coined by the US love and sex advice columnist, Dan Savage.Monogomy has long been the most popular way to conduct a sexual relationship in our culture, yet some anthropologists think that polygamy has actually been the norm though human history.This may explain why as a society, we often aspire to be monogamous, putting fidelity on a pedestal, but then aren’t always that good at it in practice.For some people who do end up entering into an open relationship, even though there’s an understanding between partners that the primary relationship still stands, the hurt that’s experienced when your other half actually carries the fantasy through is overwhelming.The reason is that we still tend to seek a one to oneness with someone who is special to us.Someone who we can rely on for comfort, intimacy and for the most part, exclusivity.Of course on occasions, exclusivity slips into ‘ownership’, with one partner actively discouraging their partner from making friends and having a healthy sense of being in a partnership, but also having their own individual identity.It wasn’t what was intended but it’s happened and their other half is devastated that the previously agreed rules have been broken.Suddenly, all the feelings that have been put to one side make a powerful appearance and accusations of having an affair are rife.

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