Guest Contributor Lolita on ‘Open Long Distance Relationships’ (OLDR’s)

I recently recounted on this forum the very torrid and unfortunately very brief affair that transpired between myself and Ms. S about a month ago. At the time I thought it would be a ‘hit-it-and-quit-it’, ‘wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am’ kind of deal and was prepared for that.

Boy was I wrong! We’ve communicated almost every single day since then and are making plans to see each other again soon. In the interim, we’ve agreed to what I suppose is an open long distance “relationship”: we’re free to do whatever we want with whomever we want, and here’s the kicker – we don’t have to tell each other about it. During my previous (very long) ldr, I sometimes wished for some of that freedom; I felt that things would be easier without the extra burden of sexual frustration, anxiety about mine or my ex’s ability to remain faithful, guilt/anger when that didn’t quite happen, etc. What I didn’t realize is that open relationships too, (long distance or not), come with their own set of issues. Sure, you’ve agreed not to be exclusive but should you be jealous? Feel guilty? Do you express those feelings? Do you tell each other when you’ve been with someone else? What happens if just one person is ‘getting some’ and the other, not? What happens if those extra liaisons become serious and not just physical? Do you cast them aside when your ‘boo’ returns? Is it even fair to all the parties involved?

Let me know your thoughts…

11 comments On Guest Contributor Lolita on ‘Open Long Distance Relationships’ (OLDR’s)

  • I don’t think I could handle an open relationship. There’s something nice about building intimacy with someone and not being distracted by emotional involvement with a third, forth or many other persons. There’s something special about reserving your sexual thoughts/fantasies for one person. But I guess it is when we want this “specialness” so bad that we get disappointed when our partner is not able to be as committed/strong as we are and shares him/herself with someone else. I still would want the one to one relationship but hey, this isn’t about what i want. There’s also sometimes a gap in what we say we want and what we do when presented the opportunity. So i’ll refrain from telling anyone how to lead their life. Do it if it makes you happy and it’s not discordant with your conscience. Do it if your partner is okay with it. We’re here today. Tomorrow we may not be. So live life whilst you’ve still got it.

  • All the reasons you’ve listed are why LDRs don’t work for me! If you are going to be hitting it with someone else, and then want to come back to tell me about it while I’ve been nashing in the house thinking of YOU, I’m going to be quite annoyed indeed! Oh Lolita, why??

  • if two people in a relationship cannot be answerable and committed to eachother, there is no point.
    Being in a long distance relationship is stressful enough (i am in one myself) without the knowledge that the other person is getting i on elsewhwere and u cannot even ask about it.
    As far as am concerned if u cant be true to each other, there is no emotional connection. And if u cant have that exclusive connectiion, dont do it.

  • Hmmmm, I have previously blogged about long distance relationships and as a general rule i am not a fan…saying that there have been one or two people who have recently made me think ‘maybe ldr’s are not such a bad thing’ but its definitely a complex situation especially where the ldr is also an open relationship. There’s one part of me that thinks you and your partner are just being real and acknowledging that chances of cheating in a ldr are disproportionately high so you should just be real and let each other do as they wish. The other part of me thinks ‘why bother?’. If you can’t have a real relationship then maybe you are not meant to be together? Maybe sometime in the future if you end up in the same space and are both single you could aim for a relationship then.

  • well when u find e only man who ever made u laugh really hard is thousands of miles away, u have no option but to get into a ldr.
    Btwn: however its entirely up to the two of u to make it work. They can be just as fruitful as regular ones. Though i admit its succeses are not many.

  • @Maameous – I wholeheartedly agree that “there’s something nice about building intimacy with someone” and “reserving your sexual thoughts/fantasies for one person”. But we’d be in denial if we didn’t acknowledge that we each have needs that need (haha) to be met. the long-distance nature of the relationship is what necessitated the agreement to be ‘open’ in the first place because i’m sure (or at least would hope) that if we were in the same place, we’d have no need of other physical/emotional distractions. With that said, I have come to the realization since posting this, that open relationships are more complex than they may seem on the surface. Expectations have to be very carefully set, communication very thorough, feelings (stated and unstated) always considered… it’s not easy

    @Abena – lol! You know you don’t have to be the one nashing at home… the fun thing about open relationships is that they are a 2 way street, unless you slack and allow only your partner to have all the fun!

    @Sasha – you raise an interesting point: that sexual commitment to each other should be at the core of any relationship, but consider for the sake of argument that maybe we have just been conditioned to think that way by societal norms and religions that champion monogamy? What if the emotional connection is all that truly matters? On the other hand, can one ever truly separate sex from emotion?

    @Nana Darkoa – not a big fan of ldr’s either, although with my track record you would never guess… lol. The complex thing is that both arguments you make are valid; on the one hand – people will probably cheat so might as well be open about it; on the other hand, can an open relationship even be considered ‘real’ without fidelity? Should people then get into only relationships that are geographically convenient?

  • I think Lolita and her experiences are getting to sound like the fictional exploits of a clever social scientist… her rationalizations seem a little too dispassionate. This last entry sounds like the kind of office memo critiquing this or that position that I see quite often.

  • @ Kofi – in spite of the moniker i have chosen, i’ll resist the urge to petulantly whine and insist that you believe me. instead i’ll say thanks for the compliment; i prefer objective pragmatic analysis to soggy anguish, this latter of which, more often than not gets one nowhere. dispassionate enough for you? 🙂

  • @Lolita baby – I just want to remind you that I gave you the name Lolita

    @ Kofi – Why are you such a skeptic? I remember you were an unbeliever where the ‘mile high’ club story was concerned. I’m curious, are your own sexual experiences of the more mundane variety?

  • @Ms S – yes dear i remember; “moniker i have chosen” just sounded better than “moniker my girlfriend gave me” lol… i miss u xxx

  • @Ms S: yep, you’ve got that right (I’m a mundane-ist!) 🙂
    ! I’m a close reader…I could be absolutely wrong, some things ring truer than others. You have a good memory. That story has made me look at airline seat configurations more closely over the last couple of flights, and I’m yet to be convinced. But the entertainment value of the story can’t be discounted.

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