Life, Voices

What I Learned from Being in an Open Relationship

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What I Learned from Being in an Open Relationship

…Is it really like this?

We go from being a virgin, to no longer being one. You are probably thinking, “Thanks DayRu, thanks for the super intellectual comment.” But it’s true. And it happened to me. I was, and then I wasn’t. Never will I be one again. But the story of me losing my virginity is one for the books, and I can thank my hippie-esque lifestyle for that one.
His name? “Gap Toothed Meditator.” He is what he sounds like. He was in a band (one that I found playing in the Times Square subway station), lanky, had a big gap between his two front teeth, talked about meditating and spirits more than most things, and changed his style more often than the MTA changes the subway fare. Not the easiest guy to have as your boyfriend, if ‘boyfriend’ is what you’d call him.
After seeing “Gap Toothed Meditator’s” band in the subway, I ended up going their shows and meeting him in the flesh. He was dorky, walked with his feet turned out, and had a ridiculous accent. I liked it. His Facebook profile screamed out that he was in a relationship, but I decided I was going to pretend I didn’t know and see what happened anyway. Chatting online quite a bit led to us hanging out at some parties, at one of which his girlfriend was present. Yup, you read that right… his girlfriend.

He kept flirting with me, and she was right there! Rubbing my back, putting dreadlocks in my hair (was something he was fond of doing), and simply being far too close to me for a man who was taken. The girlfriend watched, and didn’t care a bit. What was going on?! As the evening came to an end, I was approached by “The Girlfriend in the Bowling Shoes” (she had always worn bowling shoes and a charm on her head) and braced myself for a beating:

The Girlfriend in the Bowling Shoes: So, you like “Gap Toothed Meditator”?
(Uh oh.)
17-year-old me: Umm…yes.
The Girlfriend in the Bowling Shoes: Awesome! He likes you too, you should totally sleep with him!

(My eyes open wide and my jaw drops)

17-year-old me: HA! (I just couldn’t keep it in!)
The Girlfriend in the Bowling Shoes: Seriously though, it’s fine with me. We are in an open relationship so it’s totally cool. Maybe I can join?

(Face simply stunned)

17-year-old me: I should go now, good night!

I quickly gathered my friends and was out the door without another word. What just happened? I had no idea what was going on. I was 17 years old, a virgin, and had just been invited to a threesome with a couple. I was in awe, yet a bit curious…

The next time I saw “ Gap Toothed Meditator” was at another party. “The Girlfriend in the Bowling Shoes” was there as well. Great. “Gap Toothed Meditator” and I were talking and dancing and he, basically in plain words, asked me to have sex with him. Was everyone in this relationship overtly straightforward?! I shyly agreed. I took in the circumstances of his girlfriend being AT THE PARTY; but I took a leap and followed him, fairly tipsy, up to the roof.
As I climbed the roof ladder, I realized it was a part of my journey to hedonism, and potentially a messy love triangle, but I did it. Following that I was no longer a virgin. Poof, that disappeared.
Right after getting back to the party, I presume “Gap Toothed Meditator” ran to his girlfriend and told her what had happened, for she ran right up to me and CONGRATULATED me for losing my virginity to her boyfriend! Not smacked me, not chased me around with a hammer, or throw a drink in my face, but congratulated me. Phew, what a night.

I ended up dating “Gap Toothed Meditator” while he still dated “the Girlfriend in the Bowling Shoes.” We were all open and could do as we pleased with others, but when it got down to it, I wondered, was Gap Tooth really my boyfriend? After all, what was the definition of boyfriend anyway?

Well…
“A boyfriend is a regular male companion in a romantic and/or sexual relationship.”

That being said, Gap Tooth was that for me. He was someone I commonly saw, was romantically involved with, and enjoyed my time with. Did him going home (yes, they lived together) to his ‘other’ girlfriend every night eliminate the meaningfulness of what we had?

Coming out of that 4 month-long fest of love, I felt as though my view on relationships was skewed. Maybe I didn’t deserve to be someone’s number one choice? Maybe I’m just not good enough? I still struggle with these thoughts today.
I often wonder about open relationships; If they are truly doable, if they are what “free love” is, if sharing intimacy with people other than your partner is helpful or harmful to your relationship, if we are naturally monogamous creatures, and many more thoughts pop up.
If you ask me, yes, it’s doable. Personally, I have met many people in the scenario who struggle with jealousy, and I did as well. That damn jealousy is like that kid in kindergarten who wants all the Saltine crackers. Greedy and needy!

I for one, have decided to stick to monogamous relationships, for they make me feel more cherished and focused on. But I must say, there is something beautiful about trusting a person enough to both be with multiple people as well as serious with each other. It’s not the easiest set up in the world–but when was the other option, monogamy, ever ‘easy’? No matter what type of arrangement you have, there will always be struggles related to establishing and maintaining physical, emotional, and practical intimacies with another person. My final advice? MAYBE, just maybe, don’t lose your virginity to a gap toothed guy with a girlfriend, or you may just end up on a rooftop alone.

Also by DayRu: Vegan Dating in the Age of Swiping

The other perspective: Defining Love in My Long-Term Relationship

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Photo: Craig Duffy via Flickr

DayRu

DayRu

Contributor at Peaceful Dumpling
DayRu is a young woman living in NYC dealing with the ins and outs of dating in, well, basically every variety. Living in NYC since age 13, DayRu was once a ballet dancer at Lincoln Center, but has now evolved into a biotechnology student at BMCC. When she’s not on (usually horrible) dates, she is being a vegan food lover and a terrible bowler, waiting for her moment to nail a perfect score. She is constantly soul-searching as well as searching the city for new things to do and new people to chat with. DayRu is an open book and is eager to share her stories and knowledge with the lovers of Peaceful Dumpling! Follow DayRu on Instagram @daryenr.
  • Interesting. I recently listened to a podcast on polygamy, and it also shed some interesting aspects and thoughts into the light. My husband is also pro open relationship, as long as he can watch me and my girlfriend. Guys!
    Much like Gay relationships, I find it interesting to have have a peep at other people’s choices and lifestyles. Being bi myself, I prefer a monogamous relationship by choice though, and I just happen to fall in love with a guy. There is respect for other people’s experiences and choices, and even more if they have the courage to share it with people that won’t ever experience it for themselves.

    • DayRu

      Hey there,

      I would love to know more about what it’s like being in a polygamous relationship while preferring being monogamous and how you ended up there!

      DayRu xxx

  • Thanks for your story DayRu. One of my best friends is polyamorous and I am still learning a lot about that lifestyle (I am preeeety much the most monogamous person I’ve ever met! haha). Your article helps with that learning process!

    • DayRu

      Hey love,

      Try to be open-minded for sure, but always do what feels best!

      DayRu xxx

  • I notice it seems to be two or more women and one man. How many open relationships ate one woman being shared by multiple men?

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