My boyfriend says he’s not done experimenting with men – Ask Evie

Hi Evie,

I’ve been with my partner for 6 years. We met in our last year of highschool and things got serious pretty quickly. I was fairly adventurous myself before we made things exclusive, and they did get serious pretty quickly.

Our relationship has always been pretty great and we don’t argue or disagree often.

This is why it was a bit of a surprise when my boyfriend confessed that he wasn’t done experimenting with his sexuality. I know that he has experimented in the past and considers himself bisexual but I also haven’t ever thought that this would affect our relationship. Although I’m open to trying new things, I don’t think I’m polyamorous. I do love him so much and see a future with him so maybe I should try an open relationship for him? I don’t want to hold him back or for him to resent me for preventing him from doing these things either.

At the same time, by saying he wants to experiment more with other guys, I’m worried he’s hiding the fact that he’s not attracted to me (or women) anymore and is losing interest. What do I do?

Well, love is sure throwing you a curveball, isn’t it? 

It can’t be easy – suddenly finding out that your partner isn’t as invested in just the two of you riding off into the sunset, without someone else tagging along in a sidecar.

On to the advice; first off, major kudos for your openness and willingness to consider options. Many people would shirk at that possibility and shut it down immediately, and they certainly wouldn’t have considered their partner’s feelings or how they might be restricting their partner’s experiences either.

But let’s not jump into the open relationship pathway without a game plan. 

It sounds like you’ve already initiated some discussions about how you’re both feeling in light of this news, but it will likely take a great deal more openness and communication to find a compromise that suits you both.

Be bold and lay your cards on the table, including any doubts about whether he’s losing interest, whether he suspects he might prefer men, and where he sees your shared future headed. Make sure you take the time to first reflect on what your limits and dealbreakers are before this discussion.

Before signing up for the ‘Let’s See Other People’ marathon, make sure you’re actually cool with it. If you’re not polyamorous (which is what I’m hearing), that’s fine! Just make sure you’re not allowing your fear of losing him to dictate your actions and pressure you into a situation you’re uncomfortable with. 

Just as you’re willing to consider sacrificing your own desires (monogamy) for him, so he could even consider sacrificing his desires (experimentation) for you. It’s a two-way street.

Relationships are never as simple as we’re led to believe, and we’re all adults here. Dynamics between two consenting adults can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, sometimes taking a bit of trial and error to figure out.

Plus, people’s views and choices change with time, so what worked for you in the past might not be the same as what works in the future.

Nonetheless, compromises for you both might look something like:

  • A limited time period of open relationship (with a good number of clearly defined boundaries which set out what is and isn’t okay).
  • No open relationship and staying together.
  • You deciding to walk away (even if only for the time being) to allow him to make his own choices/experiment. The key here is that you won’t be waiting around for him to finish experimenting; if you find someone else in the meantime, so be it.

In the grand scheme of love, the key is in honesty and understanding. 

He obviously trusts you a great deal – enough to confide this sensitive topic with you, and whilst it’s a tricky situation to handle, try to set out your boundaries and keep faith. 

With all that love after 6 years, I’m sure you can work something out!

Do you have a question for Evie? If you would like advice from Evie, fill out the form here or send your problem to askevie@ideapod.com.

Ask Evie

Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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