Are Open Relationships The Modern Love?
One of my first nights in New York was pretty memorable. I was standing on the subway platform for what seemed like hours. As I leant against the big steel pillar I felt eyes on me, I looked up to see a very handsome man. He was perfectly imperfect. He had gorgeous big brown eyes, slight stubble and messy hair that had just fallen into the right place. Then he smiled what I now believe is the most perfect smile to exist.
He was reading the New Yorker twirling a pen in his hand, leaning against the opposite pillar with a backpack and head phones around his neck. He was totally “welcome to New York” postcard worthy.
The subway came and I cautiously checked I was on the right train. I sat down and he sat on the seat behind me. As we reached the next stop he spun round and put the paper on my knee. “I’m stumped” he declared loudly as if he was announcing it to the whole carriage.
“3 Across… an African country… beginning with the letter A”
“Angola” I replied, slightly smug at how quickly I’d got it.
“Niiiice.” He responded quickly filling in the blanks. “English?”
I nodded and went on to explain it was my first night in New York. He enthusiastically offered to take me out on the town. His name was Max. We walked through the big wide streets, dwarfed by the big tall buildings. He stopped at an off license or ‘a liquor store’ as he called it in his rather sexy American drawl. Max bought a bottle of red wine.
We walked over the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan holding hands the entire way. After eating pizza and going back to Brooklyn, he walked me back to my apartment through a children’s playground. It was about midnight and we were sat on the swings still talking. It was rare that I could talk to someone I’d just met with so much openness and ease. It was as I told him a silly anecdote about falling off a swing when I was younger that he leant over and kissed me. As he did – as if on cue – it began to rain. Amazing right? Well, not exactly…
It was then he decided to tell me.
He had a girlfriend.
Who he lived with.
She was away.
Staying with her other boyfriend.
Yes – her other boyfriend.
Max was in an open relationship. Not just open to sex with other people, but open to serious relationships with other people. According to Max, we can’t possibly expect to give our heart to one person. He invited me to a party to meet his girlfriend and her other boyfriend the following night.
It all made me feel a bit empty as we ended our date that night. Is this what the future holds? In a modern world where we already spread ourselves so thinly, will this also become the fate for love? I was left still feeling hopeful that there is someone out there, somewhere, who will be willing to give me the whole of his heart. WE SHALL SEE!