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Dating advice: Open relationships

by Las tres chicas

Here it is, another Wednesday night at Indigo’s. We girls are listening to some of the musical regulars when Marie Claire asks, suddenly, “Why is it that when you finally meet someone you like, there is always something?”


“What do you mean ‘something’?”asks Emmanuella.

“ Like, he was hurt once, and now he just wants an ‘open relationship’.”

“ Sounds like this is more than a hypothetical,” says Barbarella. “What happened?”

“ A cheating ex hurt him, and now he doesn’t want to be in a serious relationship, because he’s afraid that he will get hurt again. Which isn’t good for me, because I don’t want to share him. Why is it so hard for him to just be with one person? Why is he afraid? Doesn’t he know that I wouldn’t hurt him?”

“ Sounds like he has some issues,”Barbarella says.

“ What is an ‘open relationship’?” Marie Claire continues. “I mean ,OK, I’m told that it’s when you are dating multiple people, not just one person. But seriously, does this really work? Or are you just being played for a fool?”

“ I wouldn’t say you’re being played,” says Emmanuella. “People just need to get to know each other before they commit. I think it’s healthy to take time to decide if someone is worth a commitment.”

Notice, Marie Claire, that Emmanuella’s ring is mysteriously MIA.” says Barbarella.

“ What’s with that?” asks Marie Claire.

“ I told him the truth — that I jumped into the engagement without thinking, and that I needed to reconsider before I made a decision like that. I like to think I would only marry once.”

“ Honey, if your marriage happens the way your engagements have, you are going to be a another Liz Taylor,” Barbarella says with a laugh.

“ I beg your pardon!” exclaims Emmanuella.

“ And who was that boy you were strutting around Fort Street with?” Marie Claire asks, giving her a look.

“ I believe you should keep your options open,” Emmanuella says, finishing her drink.

“ There is that word again,” says Barbarella. “Open.”

“ I don’t know that I believe that,” says Marie Claire. “Okay, think about it this way. There is this couple, Rob and Jenny, who have just begun dating. It hasn’t turned serious, but both have admitted to really liking one another. Rob wants this “openness” and Jenny doesn’t. Suppose, actually, she doesn’t really know what she wants. It’s a hectic time, and she just wants stability and someone to buy her flowers, and well, she just wants to be with someone. With his and her jobs, it’s hard for them to get together. Yet they always find a way and hang out and have fun, and still he doesn’t want to commit, and he feels the need to tell her this, so, he says, that she can date other guys.”

“ Maybe he is afraid she’ll think he’s neglecting her,” says Emmanuella. “If he allows this freedom, it’s an instant ‘not guilty’ verdict.”

“ But imagine what’s going on in her mind: What if he is dating other girls?” asks Marie Claire.
“ That’s also an instant ‘not guilty’,” says Barbarella.

“ It gets even stranger because she goes out one night and ends up making out with a guy with the bluest eyes. Adam. They hit it off. They don’t go home together, but they exchange numbers. “She feels guilty,” Marie Claire continues. “Did she cheat on Rob? He did say they had an open relationship.”

“ So no fault there. Good for her!” says Emmanuella.

“ But still, she feels she wants to be with just Rob.”

“ Seriously, Marie Claire,” Barbarella says, “what’s the use of sticking with one banana when there are plenty more in the jungle? If you want to commit and he doesn’t, you should tell him. If he can’t, then dump the guy!

“ Easier said than done. I mean, I like this guy. I can’t see myself not being with him, and at the same time I don’t want to feel like this,” Marie Claire complains.

“ So you are just going to wait for table scraps?” says Emmanuella. “No, no, don’t roll over. You obviously know what you want—a relationship. If you have spent enough time with him to be sure, then you should tell him.”

“ Yes, if he can’t give you a relationship, then you should dump him. He’s not worth treats,” says Barbarella.

“ Don’t be afraid of what you want,” says Emmanuella. “It’s hard to take that stand. It is so risky, but isn’t that what life is all about?”



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