You, Me, & She…& He: Are You Open To An Open Relationship?Published by sueZette Yasmin Robotham on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm.
In the tradition of fad diets and style trends, open relationships appear to now be all the rage among the Hollywood set. Academy Award winning actress Mo’Nique, and singer Jill Scott, have both professed themselves to be happily in, or willing to be in an open relationship. And while the whole notion of bringing a third party or parties into the physical and emotional affairs of a “committed” relationship seems a bit perplexing to us “regular” people, the idea of it’s dynamic being successful is rather intriguing.
I was first introduced to open relationships—known formally as polyamory—while in graduate school in 2006. My Gender & Sexuality professor was a self-proclaimed polyamory guru, who wasn’t shy about her lifestyle—she’d written and published articles in reputable journals about her and her husband’s journey. As I read her work, I constantly wondered, how “open” did one have to be in order to be actively involved in an open relationship? What were the boundaries? Was there a safety word?
Enter relationship expert and life coach Kenya Stevens, professionally known as JuJuMama.”The biggest misconception that people have about open marriages in that it’s a deviant thing to do,” says Stevens who, along with her husband Carl, has gained national attention and exposure, with appearances on Dr. Phil and The Mo’Nique Show, spreading the gospel of polyamory.
In her eyes, she believes open relationships build personal awareness and promotes honesty, because it allows one to live in a relationship and the world free from lies—there’s no longer a need to cover up needs or desires, or hide who you are as an individual when you can be open in your open relationship.
While her views might seem radical to the traditional mind-set, she advises that before one enters into an open relationship, they first love themselves and then be successful in a “regular” relationship. Surprisingly, JuJuMama’s poignant advice, albeit through her Twitter page, to young lovers is that they truly take the time to understand the purpose of love, which according to her is not about feeling comfortable, happy, satisfied, or secure. In her opinion, love is in fact about growth—which can be uncomfortable. A novel idea, that oddly holds some truth.
It seems that to even enter into an open relationship, one has to enter sans hang-ups and any set views on love, sex and social standards. While my personal views on open relationships/polyamory are still undecided, would you or could you see yourself in an open situation?