GBA Lifestyle News
By Lulu Jeh | September 28th, 2015

Dear Lulu Jeh: Out of the blue, my boyfriend proposes an open relationship. What do I do? — Closed for Business

Ahhh, COU, the old “open relationship” line. In a committed and loving, long term relationship, a sudden proposal to go open like this would definitely throw anyone off. The first thing that might come to mind would be, “Why?” or “What’s wrong with me?” and almost definitely “Is this just a lazy coward-ass way to break up?”

There are a couple directions you can go from here and it all depends on your comfort level and you relationship’s idiosyncrasies. Being in a healthy relationship means communicating your wants and desires, but also making sure you’re on the same page when it comes to expectations.

You also have to look at his reasons too. Does he want to just sleep with other people? Are you okay with that? Do you want to sleep with other people? Are you freaked out by the idea… or the way he asked you? If it’s out of the blue, like you say, then I’m prone to think that what he really wants is to break up. Hate to say it, but if he wanted to move forward, then he likely would have approached it in a more sensitive and considerate way.

Open relationships do work for some couples: it just depends on good communication and, ultimately, trust that you remain emotionally devoted to each other. If you’re not comfortable with any of this, maybe it’s time to reevaluate the foundation of your relationship — and open yourself up to something new.