Last week, she learned the guy she was talking to has a girlfriend. They aren’t serious so it is OK. She was honest with him and requested the same. Refreshingly, he was honest as well. She said she wasn’t seeing anyone else and had stopped all the silly dating apps because they were getting along so well. He also said he wasn’t on any apps. She said she wasn’t seeing anyone else. Silence. After a silence that seemed eternal, he said he was seeing someone else, but they practice safe sex. Then he asked her, “are you open or not?”
She thought before she responded. She asked. She couldn’t be mad that he was honest. She could be happy to hear he was being safe although they hadn’t had sex and there were no immediate plans to consummate anything. They had just been talking and flirting through text. Now this information. Does it change things? Was she open or not? Maybe, a little.
She faked a meeting and said she would text him later. She sat at her cubicle and wondered what she was feeling. She knew what she was feeling. “Here we go again.”
She was 15 when she had her first boyfriend. Robert. He was on the football team. She was a cheerleader. They were cute together. Problem was, he left his girlfriend to be with her. That didn’t work so well. She went on a family vacation and while she was gone he reunited with his ex. It was heartbreaking at the time. It had been the best three months of her life. Then he was gone and she was the joke at the high school. Here she is now, 38 years later and realizing that all her boyfriends, lovers, husband and wife, without fail, all had significant others that were still in the picture. Was it her? Did she seek out people that were already entangled? If so, why? Maybe in the past. She didn’t know he had someone else so this time wasn’t her fault. She knew every time she got involved that they had a recent ex, or yes, they were still involved. She was the other woman, a good friend to help them through the break-up, etc. Was she ready to do that again? Or was she ready to break the cycle once and for all?
She decided to text him back. She would face this and be honest. The text read like this,
‘So what is the situation with the other women you are seeing? I have to be honest. I am tired of being the dirty little secret. I don’t expect monogamy in the beginning but eventually, I will, or I will want to be involved with what you are doing with others. It can all be negotiated but I need to know the real situation. Thank you for being honest that there is someone else. I just need to know what the situation truly is so I can move forward fully aware of the situation.’ Whether she was open or not was not the question. She had a very open mind on many things.
She pressed send. Feeling proud and somewhat empowered. She liked this guy. She didn’t want to walk away but the time had come for her to be better to herself. She wasn’t against open relationships, as long as they were truly open. If he walked away then that was fine. She waited for the response. When she got it, it was way more than she expected and now her decision was bigger than she thought. Now she had to decide if she was open or not.