Before we dive into the topic, I would like you to ask yourself the following question and I want you to be absolutely honest to yourself:
Does your life look different, if you’re in a relationship?
Hold on to this thought for a moment, we will get back to it later.
So where were we. Oh yes “Monogamy, A Failed Approach To A Happy Long-Term Relationship”. Alone by reading this headline people will most likely start judging me so I want to start this article by telling you a little bit about the person behind the question.
Growing up I had to witness my parent’s relationship and thus our family fall apart, leading to divorce and us growing up without a father. And all this even though both, my mother and father say that the other person was and still is the love of their life. This whole event was so drastic for me that it shaped many of my values I held for so long. I decided to become the perfect person, to play by the rules that society forces upon us so that something like this would never happen to me. And of course this included not getting too close to other women.
“I guess if you ask people close to me they would say I am the perfect person, friend, lover, father. But I am not sure if that’s something worth striving for, since society defines what’s good and bad and that’s not necessarily what’s best for you and those around you”
And I must say the plan worked pretty good. Nothing negative ever happened to me. Business wise I achieved a lot in a very short period and I found my soul mate that’s been by my side for almost 10 years now. Together we have the coolest son and live an amazing & free life in Bali. One could argue I had everything.
The Family Guy
The Unexpected But Needed Awakening
Despite all the good I had for the last 9 years, I woke up one morning knowing that something wasn’t right. I was confused & lost because I suddenly felt desires that went against the values I carried, that protected and guided me for so long.
I wanted to be free, I wanted to be able to do what I want, when I want and with whom I want without having to feel bad about it. At the same time I wanted to be a good father, friend and lover. In my old picture these 2 things simply didn’t fit together and that was becoming a problem.
So as the days went by the desire to be free grew and with it the confusion, since what I was feeling or longing for didn’t fit the perfect picture society created any more. I started questioning everything, my relationship, my life, me, simply everything.
The conflict got so big that it almost tore me apart and I saw no other way than to talk to my partner about it. It was hard since situations like this all too often end in partners breaking up, but for some reason I knew I had to do it.
So I told her everything. I told her about the sexual desires I had, the freedom I wanted, the experiences I wanted to make and even that I questioned our relationship. I told her all this without really knowing what was causing it or what I wanted to do, I simply had to let it out. The more we talked with each other and other people the clearer things became and I realized it wasn’t the relationship that needed to be questioned but the limitations I decided to live by. It where these that gave me the feeling not to be free.
This completely open conversation was in January 2013 and started a journey with lots of ups and downs, almost breaking up, tears, love, fear … these months where – emotionally – the most intense and hardest months of my life. But they also brought us to where we are today, in search of a new form of relationship, which leads us back to the question I asked initially: Does your life look different, if you’re in a relationship?
If you would have asked me that question 7 months ago it would have been a yes. I would have probably answered that if I wasn’t in a relationship I would party again like back in the days, spend time by myself and explore what other women have to offer. And I know for a fact that I am not the only person in a relationship having these thoughts – it’s only that nobody talks about it.
A Perfectly Flawed System
And this is where the whole problem starts. By entering a relationship you automatically agree to play by the rules of society even if it means sacrificing things you would like to do. But shouldn’t we instead do exactly that? Do the things we want to do? Shouldn’t a relationship support you in whatever it is you are longing for?
Think about this for a moment: If the rules of society where so “good” why is it that
- a large number of married men/women cheat on their partners at some point? Some studies even speak of numbers as high as 70%.
- if it happens, the other partner is often left in the dark. Is that the right thing to do?
- a large number of marriages get divorced? Again numbers are somewhere between 40 to 50% in the US according to the Forest Institute.
These points alone show me that something in our society is not right. Of course you can say: Oh he or she just wasn’t the right partner for me. Then why is it that the divorce rate keeps increasing the more marriages we have? Why is it that we always seem to want what we don’t have? There are cases where I would say a divorce is better but in many cases it could have been better to look for solutions outside of the boundaries society gives us.
All these things got me thinking and I was eager to find a different solution to our challenge. Because breaking up with my partner was not a solution but at the same time staying together with my partner guided by the rules of society wasn’t an option either. So what could this solution be?
The Player In Me I Never Was
It’s part of human nature to explore new things. I can see it every day in its purest form with my 2 year old son.
He is exploring the world everyday without the slightest thought about right or wrong, good or bad. It’s only due to society that this hunger to explore gets trimmed as we grow older. But still, we all love to travel, meet new people, eat different food, read new books, etc.
Wouldn’t life be boring if we had to do and eat the same thing for the rest of our life?
Most people would say yes but still most relationships at some point tend to become sort of an ‘routine’. Is it maybe this routine (missing fire, missing new experiences) that leads to so many couples breaking up? Why is it that most people can’t experience the whole spectrum of what they truly want even if they are in a relationship?
To be honest – I don’t have a perfect answer to this question yet. What I can say is that most of my reactions are taught by society. Created in a materialistic and egoistic driven world. If I had grown up in a different society this could be the most normal thing in the world to say that life should be no different in or without a relationship. And from a logical perspective (I am a very logical person) this absolutely makes sense.
These are just my first thoughts on where things might be going. Our journey has just started, we will see where it leads us and hopefully it will never end. What we can already say is that we will support each other in whatever way we can, no matter what it is the other person is longing for.
I would love to hear your thoughts on relationship how society defines it vs. a more open relationship.
Update: We have received so much great feedback on this article. We appreciate every single visitor, comment and share. Thanks from Adina & Oliver