This week’s “Ask Dr. Greg” Q&A tackles a common trip-up of open relationships.
My husband of three years and I have an open relationship. He’s totally into it. He’s able to go out with other guys, just have sex, and then be back in bed to cuddle with me before lights out. Frankly, I never feel deprived and sometimes I even get turned on hearing about his sexploits. Generally it’s the same for me too, but recently my heart got involved.
You see, I’m a bottom and I like to get to know someone a little before I, uh, open up. The other day I met up with a guy from the gym for coffee. Instantly, I could feel the energy between us and by the time we were walking out the door, he just grabbed me and started kissing me. It turned me on so much. We kept kissing and I lost track of time until a car full of girls started giggling and filming us with their phones. I didn’t care. The world could watch and I didn’t want this moment to end. He was the best kisser I have ever experienced. We didn’t have sex, though, but we plan to soon. I told my husband as per our arrangement and now he seems jealous and worried. It kind of worries me, too, because I can’t stop thinking about the guy. What should I do? —Chris, Burbank, Calif.
Chris, put down the latté and back slowly away from the boy toy! This man you are dealing with is not someone you should mess with, nor should he put his hot mess on you. As wonderful as this guy may be otherwise, he’s going to cause you harm.
You see, you are dealing with a genuine R.E.D.—a Relationship Explosive Device. That is a man who has the capability of destroying your relationship. You step the wrong way and your relationship will be blown to smithereens. If your relationship does manage to survive a blast, it will end up severely disabled and will take a while to heal (if it heals at all).
Everyone in a relationship will meet an R.E.D., and some of have even been one. The key is how you handle it. Often when you meet someone out in the world who could take you away from your partner, being in a relationship doesn’t make a lick of difference. Here it may even have helped you, as when you told your partner about it, you gave him the chance to raise the caution flag.
Stepping away from this R.E.D. and telling your partner will result in him gaining even more trust in you. Continuing to see this R.E.D. will erode the trust that you two have built and will need to continue to build your relationship whether it is open or not. So step away and take comfort in knowing that you are capable of opening your heart to more than one man, but unless you and your partner are on the lookout for a thruple, it’s best to keep it to one man at a time.
Dr. Greg Cason is a licensed psychologist working in Los Angeles who has been featured on several TV shows, including Bravo’s L.A. Shrinks. Contact him by visiting DrGreg.com, and find him on Twitter: @DrGregCason