Nov 222010

Question: I am in a long distance relationship and my girlfriend wants to sleep with other people with no emotional attachment. Is it more likely than not that if we tried this, our relationship would tank?

Answer: I’m not going to put a probability on it. Why? Because I don’t know how well you communicate, how your relationship is right now, how long you’ve been long distance, or how you personally feel about consensual non-monogamy. All of these are factors that can and will contribute to how well this will work out.

Step one: Get a copy of Opening Up by Tristan Taormino. You can click the link to buy it, but lots and lots of libraries have it to check out, or one of your friends may have it to borrow. Make sure both of you read it, especially the parts about “is non-monogamy right for you” and the sections about jealousy. Not everyone is suited for non-monogamy, and even those that are may not be ready for it now, or know how to make it fit with their current partner.

Once you’ve read this, think about how it makes you feel when your girlfriend talks about this. Happy that she’s getting more physical needs met? Sad that you can’t do it for her? Angry that she’d consider this? Jealous that she wants to do it? There are tons and tons of emotions that center around non-monogamy; there are no right are wrong ones, but you need to recognize that they are there. Also, look online. Lots of bloggers write about polyamory/non-monogamy — there is even a Poly Podcast. Check out these resources, and continue to talk and communicate with your girlfriend.

You may decide to have her give it a try, and realize it doesn’t work. Then you communicate again, and go from there. You may decide not to try it…but you still need to communicate with your partner. Non-monogamy or monogamy will not break you up or keep you together, but lack of communication most certainly will.