About a year ago, my girlfriend and I made the decision to open our relationship. She works in another state several months of the year, and so I’m left alone for long periods of time. We love each other, but neither wanted to go for months without sex.
That decision was made when she was home for a few months, so neither of us had a desire to act on it immediately, but she left for her out-of-town job a few weeks ago for the first time since we opened the relationship. A few nights ago, I met a woman online who seems interesting.
I’d like to meet up with the woman, but I’m feeling a little guilty. As far as I know, my girlfriend hasn’t hooked up with anyone else yet. We’re supposed to let one another know if we do find someone, and it has to be purely about sex ... no serious feelings.
Unfortunately, I’ve already developed a bit of a crush on this woman online. Should I pursue her and discuss it with my girlfriend or should I just forget the other woman?
— The Ladies’ Man
Dear Ladies Man,
Much like communism or late-night, drunken runs to a Taco Bell drive-thru, open relationships are good in theory but often so not much in real life. Communism gets tyrannical and late-night burritos give you gas the next day. Open relationships mostly result in jealousy and inevitable break-ups.
My best advice for you: keep it in your pants (I feel like I say that a lot in this column, but it’s no-fail advice). You’ve only met this woman on the Internet. You don’t really know anything about her. She might be a 12-year-boy, or worse, Chris Hanson from To Catch a Predator. How would your current girlfriend feel if you were busted for an Internet meet-up on Dateline NBC? Seriously, since you two have discussed your boundaries and established an open relationship, I suppose you’re well within your rights to hook up with the new lady. But start with an honest meet-up for coffee, no sex. Get to know her and make sure you’re willing to put everything on the line for a lay before you dive in.
You don’t have to tell your girlfriend that you’re meeting with the woman if you’re not having sex with her. But, as outlined in your own rules, you’ll have to let your girlfriend know if you do decide to go all the way.
Don’t be surprised if she doesn’t take it as well as she thinks she will. Jealousy and emotions may override the rules. Don’t act on the open relationship unless you’re ready to accept the potential consequences.
Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at firstname.lastname@example.org.