After we healed from our experience with Brad and Amy, we did some soul searching about how to continue. We realized that the highlights were the solo portions – the separate dates and overnights. We knew that we wanted to pursue that again but also knew that the likelihood of finding a couple where all four people connected at the same level would be impossible. This meant we were faced with opening up our relationship to separate dating which was much scarier to us. Putting up separate dating profiles and doing it with a stranger came with a different set of emotional hurdles.
We felt like we could handle it and took it very slowly. My husband was the more fearful one so he went on several dates first. I spent a month emailing and texting my first person before I met him. Then we went on several platonic dates and let my husband give his approval before attempting a physical relationship.
Our strategy was successful. Unlike the break-neck speed race into the swinging world, we approached separate dating with caution and made sure everyone felt safe at all times. The only times we didn’t feel safe is when we jumped ahead too quickly without realizing it or didn’t calibrate our expectations for communication correctly. However, because our communication skills had been honed and strengthened through our experiences, these small issues created manageable ripples in our life instead of tidal waves of fear and anger.
Relatively quickly, we blossomed into a full poly and open lifestyle. We maintain the primacy of our relationship but many rules have been changed and updated. We’ve traveled with partners, have routine overnights with them, and can fall in love with them too, should we desire it.
It’s been liberating and has fostered an incredible amount growth. For me, I have learned to give myself freely and to experience the full spectrum of human emotion. I can be vulnerable and safe with others and feel the beauty of the human connection. In many ways, opening up healed many deep wounds which were limiting my ability to truly connect with others. I experience life in its vast richness and don’t hide my inner light.
We both are incredibly happy. Can everybody successfully open a relationship? Probably not. Are there some lessons we learned that we can share for those interested? Definitely.