Schrodinger’s Boyfriend

Mister B’s resident advice columnist, Bryan has an opinion about everything. He is a Chinese-Canadian gay man living in Canada. By day he works in healthcare, and in his spare time, he enjoys video games, scuba diving, and Dungeons and Dragons…and dungeons. 

For issue 11 of WINGS, we received a letter from Schrodinger’s boyfriend, check out Bryan’s answer below.

Hey Bryan, 

My boyfriend of three years has asked me about opening up our relationship. I’ve dated lots of guys but have always been monogamous, so I don’t really know how to deal with the question. My boyfriend says he’s happy with the sex we have but wants to play with other guys. Meanwhile, I’m happy with the sex we have and don’t have the desire to open things up. I love my boyfriend and want him to be happy, but I’m not sure what to do.  

Schrodinger’s Boyfriend  

Relationships change over time, and it sounds like yours is taking an unexpected turn. Is it enough of a benefit to you that your boyfriend is happy to allow him to play with other guys even if you don’t? And has your boyfriend considered the potential risks of opening your relationship, both physically (sexually transmitted infections, for example) and emotionally (will there be rules around emotional involvement? Are mutual friends off-limits?) What are the reassurances you need to feel physically and emotionally safe if you agree to this? Will the two of you have “braking rules” if one (or both) of you feels unsafe or neglected?  

When relationships change, it’s important to consider both risks and benefits. It’s clear from your question that your boyfriend would benefit from playing with other guys, but how does this change benefit you? This isn’t to say that for every change a partner wants there should be a tit-for-tat exchange of benefits, but a partnership that requires more sacrifice(s) from one person than the other can be more difficult to navigate. 

Opening a relationship can be worth the work it takes to make it happen, but the benefits for both people should outweigh any risks.  Staying the same might not be an option for your relationship, but instead of ending it just like that because of an incompatibility of ideas on monogamy, it pays off to find out (together) if and how this change will bring happiness to you, just as much as it does to him. 

Keep us posted


What kind of issues are you experiencing in your relationship?
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