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Sex + Relationships

An Open Relationship is Not a Relationship

An open relationship is not a relationship. It shouldn’t even be classified as a type of relationship. People who say “we’re in an open relationship” are just single. And it really just comes down to definitions—a relationship is when two people devote love, time and attention to each other, and only to each other. Think about it: when Cinderella left the ball, Prince Charming didn’t give up and decide to f*ck some other girl with a later curfew.

Open relationships are the anti-relationship. They are a socially acceptable way to justify cheating and an excuse to avoid the inconvenience of ~the talk~. I understand that in today’s culture, booty calls are in and romance is out (chivalry is dead). Personally, I blame Miley Cyrus. In 2009, when she shocked the world by picking Jake over Jesse, she inspired us all to believe that He Could Be The One. But now our childhood role model is all “free love” with her floral nipple pads and on-and-off fiancé, and we’re left tearing up while watching Hannah Montana reruns and wondering where all the true love went.

If you are in an open relationship, you’re treating your part-time significant other like an emotional support dog. When John Tucker had 3 girlfriends, they all tried to kill him! But no one got mad at Owen Wilson when he left Marley at home for hours on end. Why? Because being in a real relationship is different than owning a dog!

When you’re home and feeling lonely, you hang out with your dog—play with them, hug them, kiss them. They’re loyal. Your dog loves you unconditionally. But as soon as your friends ask you to hang out, you put the dog in the crate for 8 hours and don’t even call to check in. That’s exactly what you’re doing to your SO when you fail to clearly define the boundaries of your relationship. You’re happy to spend your time and energy on them when there’s nothing better to do, but as soon as another option comes calling, out comes the metaphorical crate and in goes your fair-weather lover. You are in an open relationship because you either can’t or don’t want to put in the hard work it takes to stay faithful. But you still want them to put up with your bullsh*t. You rely on them, text them when you’re lonely, call them late at night, and let them compliment you when you’re feeling insecure. Still, when you meet a cute new prospect at the bar, you put your SO into the crate until your “friend” from last night leaves in the morning.

You would never just decide to ignore your actual SO when they need you, but you have no problem making your dog hold their pee because you’re too lazy to go for a walk—in the same way you take no issue with not answering your part-time SO’s text because you’re  “out with friends”… aka cheating.

And you, the one “out with friends”! You don’t mind waking up your dog to hug them just because they look super cute while they’re sleeping. Yet, you would be furious if your dog disrupted your third nap of the day. That’s the same as only answering your SO when you’re not busy or just when you feel like it. So take take your SO for a walk! Let him or her go pee when they need to! Play with them when they wanna play, not just when you wanna play! Demand the level of the commitment that both of you deserve. And remember, you are your SO’s emotional support dog too, and you are worthy of much more than that.

Freshman at Brown University. Varsity soccer player. Climbed Kili. Interested in political science and law school, one day. From LA, but love the east coast. Wayyyyy less serious than this bio sounds :)
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