#RelationshipGoals: Does An Open Relationship Just Delay The Inevitable?
Continued from: #RelationshipGoals: Should A Relationship Ever Be Open?
Ah, the joys and pains of an open relationship. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle it, but I figured I would give it a try anyway. I judged people who opened up their relationship, wondering if it was just delaying the end. But when I found myself in that sticky situation, I needed to know: how do you know you’re breaking up? Was my open relationship a sign?
“Wow, I didn’t really think you’d be into it,” Jackson said as he put his fork down in his plate of half-eaten risotto.
“Then why would you ask?” I was confused, but secretly delighted that Jackson was getting worried about our relationship going from exclusive to open.
There was a long pause. I sipped my wine. Jackson moved his risotto around on his plate. More pausing.
“Alright then,” Jackson was reluctantly agreeing to open our relationship–something he’d originally suggested.
I wasn’t sure how to even start opening up a relationship. So I did what any clueless girl in love would do–asked my friends.
I met my friend Keri out for dinner and before we could even order an appetizer, I blurted out, “Jackson wants an open relationship.”
“Girl, what?” Keri asked. She heard me, but she just needed me to repeat the crazy that escaped my lips.
Keri interrupted me, “I heard you. I just…Danielle, what in the world does that even mean?”
“We both want to stay romantically involved, but we want some space,” at least that was the definition I’d built since my last dinner with Jackson.
“The lies you tell!” Keri screamed and laughed. “Isn’t that just a long ass breakup?”
“Is it? Because I feel like it’s something that could work–give us space, time and clarity…”
Ker interrupted me again, “To screw other people.”
“Date!” I corrected her.
“So that’s what you’ve agreed on?” Keri attempted to flag down the waiter who hadn’t even had the chance to come over and introduce himself to us. “Momma needs a drank!” Keri said, fanning herself with the cloth napkin on the table.
I laughed, “Same.”
“Danielle, do you really think this is something you want to do?”
“Well, I’m not 100 percent sure, but he suggested it and I took some time and decided to go for it. Now he’s not so sure about it,” I laughed.
“I just think opening a relationship is delaying the inevitable–the break up. Jackson is a great guy, but he’s showing you that he doesn’t have what it takes to give you the commitment you need and deserve, girl. But I know you’re going to do what you want, just know that I don’t think it’s a smart thing to do.” Keri finally flagged down the waiter.
“I don’t know, Keri. I feel like, if we break up to give each other space, there’s a chance we won’t come back to each other. If we stay together and date, there’s a bigger chance that we’ll come back to each other with some stronger feelings,” I almost didn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth.
“Or you’ll both fall for someone else.” Keri switched gears. “If I get the yucca fries, will you have some? I’m only getting them if you have some.”
A few weeks later, I found myself still with Jackson, but in an open relationship. At first, neither one of us really knew how we’d go about opening things up and then it happened. I met someone.
At first, I didn’t think anything would actually happen with this guy, Abdul. We met at a club where he worked as a bouncer. He flirted, I flirted and we exchanged numbers by the end of the night. I even fought myself on sharing my number because I was taken, and then I reminded myself that the relationship was open.
Abdul kept the flirting going strong–texts, late night phone calls, occasional emails of interesting, cool and heart-warming stories he’d read and wanted to share with me. This was refreshing and I was always excited to get these forms of communication from Abdul. We started getting much closer.
One night, Jackson and I decided to have a date night for old time’s sake. We’d been talking, but not as much as I’d been talking to Abdul. Jackson and I decided to go for dinner and drinks. During dinner, Abdul and I were chatting and making date night plans of our own.
Jackson noticed how often I picked up my phone, the stupid smile plastered on my face, and he frowned, “Those must be some amazing Snapchat posts,” he tried to joke.
I laughed and finished my text and put my phone away, “I’m all yours…well, not really.” I smirked.
“Cute,” Jackson fake laughed. “Who was that?”
“A guy I met a couple of weeks ago,” I said casually while sampling his dish.
“Oh OK,” Jackson proceeded to be quiet for the rest of the night.
Any joke I made, he’d give me a fake chuckle. Anytime I tried to hold his hand, he’d find a reason to pull it away. By the time we made it to the bar, I tried to lighten the mood every which way I knew how, but Jackson was determined to be seething, but still cool.
We were both a bit tipsy when I asked, “Baby, what’s up?”
Jackson laughed, “Baby.”
“Yes, baby…the name I am always calling you,” I was getting upset with his attitude. My phone rang. It was Abdul. I text him that I was out and will call later.
That stupid smile must have found its way right back to my lips because Jackson immediately asked, with venom in his tone, “Was that the guy?”
“What’s going on Jackson?” I asked, trying not to answer his question.
“I think we should break up, that’s what,” Jackson couldn’t even look at me when he said it.
“What?!” Heat flashed in my cheeks and found its way to my ears. I was livid. “Break up?”
“Break up,” Jackson repeated.
“Give me one good reason,” I searched for his eyes.
“I can give you two,” Jackson turned towards me. “You met someone and I met someone.”
My heart sank. Was my girl Keri right? Were Jackson and I just dragging out our break up instead of going through with it? Did Jackson really meet someone or was he trying to make me just as jealous as I made him? Was any of this healthy? I had all the questions and I am sure you do too, but you’re just going to have to wait until next week to see how Jackson and I kept things together, or fell apart.
Come back next week for the conclusion!