How can I have an open relationship without someone getting hurt?
Any time I have relationship questions, I always ask my inner Dan Savage, and he never leads me astray!
My boyfriend and I have had a wonderful relationship for six years. We have had "girlfriends" in the past who were involved with both of us simultaneously. But he recently met a girl and they instantly clicked. They have been on a few dates since — nothing physical yet — and she seems completely infatuated with him. She is aware that he lives with me/we are together, but I've yet to meet her. I am fine with them dating, but I have a few questions:
1. My guy and I share everything. He's shown me her texts and told me about her life. We both feel slightly uncomfortable with me knowing such personal things about her without meeting her, but we don't want to limit the intensely open communication we have earned with each other. How much am I entitled to know about her/them, and how can he tell me about her without being disrespectful?
2. Can I meet her? Under what circumstances?
3. Can this end well for her? Every girl we've dated has ended up hurt because our relationship with each other is always more important than she is. I worry this girl will be devastated when he doesn't leave me for her. Should he squelch all the romance now? She's had a rough few years, and he doesn't want to add to her problems. On the other hand, he's the first person she has been able to connect with in a long time. And should he even consider bringing her into our relationship? Things always end badly for the other girl, and I don't want to hurt her.
— Curious And Respectful
Your outer Dan Savage won't lead you astray either, CAR, but he will smack you around:
1. Your guy needs to tell this girl that he shares absofuckinlutely everything with you. He needs to tell her that he's in a successful open relationship — successful for you two, anyway — and that he has no intention of limiting the "intensely open communication" that has made your relationship work. She needs to know that you're hearing about their dates and the details of her life, reading every text, etc.
2. Sure, you can meet her — you absofuckinlutely should meet her, CAR, as soon as possible. How about under coffee circumstances? Or drinks circumstances? Or dinner circumstances?
3. Um… gee. If every girl you two have ever "dated" has wound up hurt, CAR, then a reasonable person might conclude that YOU'RE DOING THIS OPEN-RELATIONSHIP SHIT ALL WRONG. Your "wonderful" open relationship may be working for you and it may be working for him, but if it's not working for them, CAR, then it's not working.
So your outer Dan Savage is ordering you to refrain from inviting anyone else into your "wonderful" relationship until you get a handle on what's so un-fucking-wonderful about it for your thirds. If you can't come up with anything — if it's really not anything you're doing wrong — then you should have a few laminated cards made that read, "He'll never leave me for you, his relationship with me will ALWAYS be more important than his relationship with you, and this will most likely end in tears for you. Enjoy the ride."
Finally, CAR, if this woman is reeling from a rough few years and she can't handle more heartache right now and everyone you've ever messed around with has gotten hurt and you elect to "bring her into your relationship" despite my advice, then at least have the decency to stop pretending that you give a shit about the people you mess around with. Fuck her, fuck her over, move on — but don't stand there wringing your hands, pretending that you're just heartsick about the damage you two are doing to people.
My twenty-year-old brother is gay. My family has known for a few years. He came out to my mom — she found his Facebook profile; he hasn't come out to anyone else in the family, but we all found out anyway. (I already knew because I would be treated to some interesting porn whenever I opened the browser on the family computer after he used it.) I've voiced my acceptance of homosexuality while he is around, but he hasn't come out. Should I pull him aside and tell him that the family is okay with him?
— His Straight Big Brother
If you wanted to pull your brother aside to tell him the same shit every homo on earth has heard ten million times by age twenty — "I love you, bro, but Jesus said that every time two dudes get it on, an angel gets an anal fissure" — I would advise you to keep your mouth shut. But since you're supportive, and mom already knows, and it's on his freakin' Facebook page, pull the little coward aside. Tell him everybody knows, everybody loves him, but everybody is sick of having to pretend that they don't know what they damn well do.
I'm a hetero guy in my late twenties. I've been dating a woman I am crazy about for two months. We waited a little while to have sex, but once we finally did, during the ensuing pillow talk she probed my general fantasies and I dropped that I sometimes fantasize about superheroines. Despite the fact that these fantasies are otherwise very vanilla, she freaked out and said it reflects some kind of deep psychological problems and fundamental immaturity.
Dan, these women are drawn to appeal to what the inner pubescent boy in every hetero guy wants! Can you weigh in on whether there's something unhealthy about a grown man fantasizing about Supergirl and Zatanna?
— Superheroines Unconsciously Permeate Erotic Romps
There's nothing unhealthy about a grown man fantasizing about superheroines, SUPER, but there is something deeply disturbing about a grown man using the present tense the way you did in your letter. You wrote "a woman I am crazy about," when what you clearly should have said was "a woman I was crazy about."
She drew you out after sex and encouraged you to open up to her about your sexual fantasies, and then she stomped on you like that? That was an asshole move on her part, borderline emotionally/sexually abusive, and I hope you arranged to have the door hit her in the ass on her way out of your apartment.
I love it when you invent words, and I want to nominate a nameless phenomenon that sometimes afflicts boring het guys like me (as well as all other guys): the blockage that is created by dried semen on the tip of your dick after sex needs a name. You wake up at 3:00 a.m. to drop a line after dozing off after sex, and either the urine gets blocked for a moment and then bursts out like a geyser (which kinda hurts) or the blockage is only partial and the piss sprays off at some crazy angle and gets all over the floor or the walls (which kinda sucks). This phenomenon should have a name!
— Can't Spell Neologism Without Gism
I'm tempted to ask SUPER what his girlfriend's name is, CSNWG, because if anyone on earth deserves to be forever associated with a crusty blockage that has to be pissed away after sex, it's her.
But I'm sure my readers — the folks behind "santorum" — can come up with something better. Gang?
Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.