Why I’d never be in a open relationship

"I don't want to be second best"


Freyja, 18, is in her first year at the University of Glamorgan doing applied psychology. She eventually wants to become a clinical psychologist, but in the meantime enjoys cooking, driving, midnight walks on the beach and putting the world to rights with friends over a glass of wine.

I’ll go out for the night and there’s some guy who seems to be really into me. And then I find out he has a girlfriend. But only a “sort-of girlfriend” as it’s an open relationship. At this point I’m usually thinking: “Here we go again.”

The open relationship seems to be a way of saying: “I’m going to stay with you until I find someone better, but let’s keep having sex, yeah?” What’s the point? Either you want to be with someone or you don’t.

What exactly is a relationship? To me it involves some sort of commitment. I guess there’s a tiny bit of commitment in an open relationship, although it seems rather flimsy and easily breakable. And what about love? Everyone has a different definition of love, but in what universe is: “Will use you when it suits me, but will also go off with others” a fit with love? I haven’t been to this universe, but more and more people seem to be deciding it’s an acceptable place to live.

The open relationship concept is a get-out clause for people who are either too spineless to walk away from a dead relationship or are too scared to commit. Then there are the people who decide because their boy/girlfriend is going to be far away (uni, travelling, moving away), their relationship has to become open. Obviously this has to happen, because no relationship ever survived a few weeks or months apart, did it? Actually, tons of couples manage it all the time and, to be honest, I see those who aren’t willing to try as cowards. Give it a go and if it doesn’t work then you can make a decision.

Open relationships are also a source of jealousy and paranoia. The boundaries just aren’t clear. Some people think you should be honest about everything and others think you shouldn’t discuss any other partners or happenings to any degree. There’s bound to be jealously if one partner sleeps with someone else and then goes crawling back to another lover. Also, how could someone not be slightly paranoid about who their partner may have slept with without them knowing? Surely keeping such secrets, perhaps even actively lying, is unhealthy and will end in disaster?

The absolute icing on the cake is when people are in open relationships, right up until they do find someone better and then the other person gets dumped once and for all. This proves my point.

My advice to people in one of these relationships is grow a spine, decide what you want, communicate and go for what you want. Second best isn’t good enough.

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015