On steps you can’t skip

I am a university student, and am in a relationship formed around mixed signals. This is mainly my fault. It started with a drunken one-night stand, and for a while we were both acting pretty tough and like there weren’t any feelings involved. I care for the guy and am crazy about him etc etc, but we both are keeping one eye on the door, just in case. I mean, “i love you” gets tossed around with wild abandon from both parties, and we spend every night together, and underneath the sex are just really good friends. But it’s only been 6 months and we are still pretty young so there’s no future talk or anything.

My problem is that I have told him several times that I believe he should be able to hook up with people. I feel like hookups and general high-spirited physicality are both pretty important experiences, and don’t have a lot of importance to any relationship. It’s been my policy in relationships for a while, and it has never given me a problem until now. You see, intellectually I still believe that people should have sexual freedom, but even though I don’t want to retract my position, all of the sudden I am reacting emotionally just to the idea that he might have sex with someone else. The thought makes me pretty sad and a little bit sick. How do I kill these feelings of proto-jealousy before they completely take over?

Proto-jealousy? Interesting concept, but there’s really nothing proto about it. You’re dealing with good old fashioned regular unleaded grocery store brand jealousy. That’s fine. Just acknowledge it, determine its source, and eliminate whatever insecurity is causing it.

In your case, the underlying insecurity is that you haven’t established a foundation of mutual trust upon which you can form an open relationship. You’re building a house on sand, babe.

If you guys are gonna keep it open, mixed signals are a no-no. You need an explicit mutual agreement that regardless of any intimate acts outside of your relationship, the two of you are still each others’ number one. That hasn’t been communicated yet. It’s all still a bunch of too-cool-for-school innuendo and flirtatious posturing because neither of you is willing to be the first to admit vulnerability.

It has to be clear. You’re his queen. He’s your king. Feel free to hold court, but no one else can be your romantic equals. Once he makes you feel comfortable on your throne, it won’t matter to you nearly as much who he decides to fuck on the side.

You’re on track for a fantastic open relationship. Just make it an actual relationship before rushing to make it an open one. Can’t skip that step, sweetie.

Good luck!


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