I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years, we met when we started university. All through these years I’ve been looking forward to graduating, getting a flat together and settling down. Now I’m coming to the end of my degree and I’m panicking because everything I thought I knew about myself seems to have changed.
All I’ve ever really truly wanted in life is a family. I always said my ideal age for my first child was 30. Now I’m nearly 26 and 30 suddenly feels way too close. I’m starting to feel trapped. I love my boyfriend, but I want more time to be alone. I want to experience just being myself again and being independent, instead of constantly a part of a couple. And sometimes I just want to sleep with other people. Especially girls, as I’m bisexual and haven’t had much experience with girls. I don’t want to go all my life wondering what that’s like. My boyfriend is fine with me kissing some of my female friends when we’re drunk, though I don’t do anything beyond that.I’ve recently suggested an open relationship, not only for my benefit but because I’m the only person my boyfriend has ever slept with. We started out as friends with benefits, but feelings came into it and we ended up together. Now I feel like if he chooses to stay with me, he’ll eventually wish he had more experience. I’ve read about polyamorous people, and I feel like maybe that’s a more fitting relationship model for me than strict monogamy: he’s a wonderful person and I’d like to share him, and I’d like to be shared, and I’d like that to happen with agreement on all sides. If we’re going to get married some day, I want both of us to go into that with all our wild oats sown, so to speak. My boyfriend is quite traditional and while he hasn’t shut down the idea of being open, he doesn’t exactly get it either.He says I’m having a quarter-life crisis. Is that what’s going on? Right now if I stay with him I could have the family and life I always wanted, but I don’t know if I want it any more – or at least not for some time. Could an open relationship let us explore more before settling properly when we’re ready for the next stage? I don’t want to lose him, and I don’t want to hold him back from experiencing life, and I don’t want to be trapped. It’s all really distressing and I don’t know what to think.
View related questions: drunk, friend with benefits, kissing, trapped, university
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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious + ♥, writes (2 March 2019):
Do you know what I wonder? Whether it is pure coincidence that we get ONE post about polyamorous relationships on this site, where most aunts and uncles were basically not in favour of the idea and suggested the poster go onto sites specifically for that sort of arrangement, only for it to be closely followed by another post about the same thing. Maybe I am just being cynical and it IS pure coincidence. In any case, I will treat it as genuine.It has transpired that most aunts and uncles on this site have had no experience of this sort of arrangement, neither do they consider it something they would LIKE to try. There are many sites (apparently – so the previous poster told us) catering for people in such arrangements. I would suggest it might be a better idea for you to post your question on such a site as members there will have had first hand experience (good and bad) of such arrangements and can give you much more useful advice and insight than most on here will be able to do. All I would say, from reading your post, is that it appears your boyfriend is NOT keen on this idea. Push him into it and he may resent you and it may break up your relationship anyway. I am of the firm belief that relationships which are for keeps are all about timing. The timing is, perhaps, just not right for YOU to settle down. You are not ready. Or perhaps you have actually outgrown the relationship but are simply afraid to admit it. If it IS the wrong time for you to settle down, my advice would be to let your boyfriend go so he can find someone who wants just him, not anyone else. Perhaps you need to explore your own sexuality a bit more before settling down.
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