Thursday, August 25, 2011

Open Relationships Suck

I have never believed in marriage, not even when I was a kid. The idea of Prince Charming coming to rescue me and make my life complete all while I’m dressed in a gorgeous white gown never ran through my mind endlessly.

I don’t know why I wasn’t like the other girls who dreamed of getting married and having kids. Perhaps it was because of all the damaged relationships that I witnessed first-hand with the grown-ups in my life as a child. That was enough to make me never sign up for the marriage fantasy. Seeing those relationships taught me what real relationships looked like, and they didn’t resemble the ones in fairy tales.

Which brings me to this week…the Internet was abuzz with rumors of Jada and Will Smith splitting. The rumor turned out to be false, once again, but I still believe their announcement in support of their marriage was a cover-up. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the collective “whew” that went through the computer lines because so many people were glad the rumor wasn’t true. The collective “whew” that said, “Thank God they aren’t breaking up because they are the perfect couple.” Scratch. That was the sound of a needle going across a record. Since when did the epitome of a perfect couple become one with an open relationship?

I just don’t get it. Open relationships suck. No matter how much I don’t believe in marriage, I could never see myself being part of an open relationship. To me, it dishonors the meaning of commitment, whether you are married or not. To me, once you decide to be in a relationship, you should decide to be there one-hundred percent. Make a decision and stick with it. Open relationships don’t allow for that. An open relationship allows you to have one foot in and one foot out, and relationships shouldn’t be a game of hokey pokey.  

There are those open relationship activists who say that open relationships have made their marriages better and that women want them just as much as men. They’re saying that women weren’t hard-wired to be monogamous and that millions of years of socialization have made us believe that we want monogamy. And to that I say this: There is some truth to that.

Socialization has taught women to deny our urges, which is why I say relationships aren’t made to last forever. But I still don’t want an open relationship. I would rather have a series of committed closed relationships that last for years at a time rather than an open relationship that lasts for decades. There is just something about the idea of my man being with another woman (and me knowing about it) that just doesn’t sit well with me. Call me old-fashioned, but some things aren’t meant to be changed.

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