Relationships: Public vs private

Speaking openly about being in a non-traditional relationship is a tricky thing. On the one hand, I want other people to understand that, while it may not be for everyone, it works well for us and is not really all that strange. On the other hand, I value my privacy and don’t want to upset people I am close to.

Last year I spoke to journalist Arianne Cohen about my experiences of being in an open relationship, and my partner and metamour kindly agreed to be photographed with me for the piece. It helped that Arianne was writing for the Guardian. It helped that she is in an open relationship herself. That didn’t stop me being somewhat anxious today, wondering what would be published from our telephone chat. Thankfully, the Guardian has said that we’re making it work, even though they have printed a bit more detail than I would have liked.

If the subject of non-monogamous relationships is of interest, you might want to check out some of my blog posts on polyamory – including a group blogging project I started called Poly Means Many – pieces that I have written on non-monogamy and polyamory for BitchBuzz, and an interview I did with The High Tea Cast where I talk about how non-monogamy works for me. Hopefully, the more information that is put out there regarding different relationship structures, the more people will realise that nothing is ‘normal’. Relationships are supposed to make us happy, so we owe it to ourselves to create one (or more) that is right for us.

5 thoughts on “Relationships: Public vs private

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  1. Well done for doing it! As you say, it's so important to talk openly about this if we want normalisation. If it didn't sound a bit patronising, I'd say I was proud of you. xxx

  2. I loved the article and thought it very well written especially with the target readers in mind, unfortunately any article that challenges peoples perceived boundaries is going to get a mixed reaction but you and others are amazing for taking this step. Here is the comment I made on it:-

    “”I grew up within a religious (roman catholic) family..nobody got divorced so I had to put up with the fallout from my mothers' affairs and my fathers' distress with it.

    Then you had my grandparents whom had not shared a bedroom since my uncle was born (he is 8 years older than me) and still loved each other dearly..both of them had other partners..I met two of my Grandads' girlfriends and one of my Nanas' lived with them for many years.

    When my nana became ill and was dying my Grandad tended her every need, held her hand and wept with her as they told each other how they still and would always love each other and was their at her bedside in hospital until the end..I know because I was there too.

    I have had open relationships as well as poly ones..I seperate the two as open to me means permission to just go sleep around whereas poly means a lot more including the maturity and ability to be able to hear your long term partner say those words of love to somebody else and be able to accept it and be happy for them.

    I am currently in an exclusive relationship but we have talked about rules and such and if one of us finds ourselves attracted to another person we will discuss it and talk about moving boundaries that are not set in stone.”

    I hope this article and others to come means that poly becomes far more accepted 🙂

  3. I love that you have spoken about having an open relationship, I bet more people are in them than care to mention it for fear of criticism and it shows “normal” relationships are not the only way to go. It takes all types to make a happy world. Good for you 🙂

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