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31 Oct

We made a new rule then: No sleeping with Facebook friends, no friending lovers. Every attractive woman was a potential threat in my mind, and I was paranoid about my boyfriends’ connections with other people.

Rule 5: Two different lovers in one week is a little much, so we try to avoid that. Since our communication never allowed for a simple conversation about how beautiful some woman was, or how cute a guy I saw was, any amount of flirting was catastrophic. Besides, a little jealousy can be healthy, and it usually fades after a few hours to a few days.

Or as Dan Savage calls it, we are “monogamish.” Even that can look really different from relationship to relationship.

One married couple I’m friends with has a couple of girlfriends between them, and they also have their own partners (she has both male and female partners, and he has female partners).

We were both always aware of the existence of other lovers, but it was clear that we were each other's favorite.

It occurred to us that we could keep the excitement and variety, and still let ourselves fall in love with each other. And since then I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how we make it work and why we would even do that in the first place.

We can, and sometimes do become friends with them, especially if they hang around for a couple years, but we have to cut it off if it becomes more than that. Rule 3: Always get consent from the person who’s getting involved.

We build and modify the relationship—and the rules—as we go. We started with very few, and now we have a few more that we’ve devised along the way.

There have been instances where something has felt uncomfortable, or times we’ve felt hurt, so we've modified.

I get that it can be hard for a lot of people to understand.

But it works for us, and it’s not as unusual as it seems. An open relationship is a form of non-monogamy, which is an umbrella term for any physical or romantic partnership that is not predicated on exclusivity. In this article I’m focusing on what Adam and I are and do: a committed couple that takes lovers.