We agreed that it wasn’t feasible to be exclusive as I live in London and he lives in Canada
My boyfriend and I have been in an open relationship since we met online 18 months ago. We’re very much in love and see a future once we have our careers and finances sorted, but agreed that it wasn’t feasible to be exclusive as I live in London and he lives in Canada.
However, the week before Christmas he arrived unexpectedly at my flat, saying he’d be planning a surprise as we couldn’t get time off over the festive period to see each other – but I had a date over.
My date was very understanding and left quickly, but my boyfriend was fuming. He said it really hurt seeing me with someone else and wouldn’t touch me for the rest of the night. The visit was very strained and we’ve barely spoken since he went home. I sent him a lovely message for his birthday and he just responded ‘Thanks x’.
I don’t know what to do. We agreed that we could see other people and I know he’s slept with other women. If I’d known he was visiting, of course I wouldn’t have brought another man to my flat, but I can’t understand his anger.
What do you think I should do? I really don’t want to lose him.
Well, this is the problem with open relationships – nine times out of 10 times someone gets jealous or hurt because they can’t handle the reality of their partner being with someone else.
I suppose because you have a very long-distance relationship, it’s been easy to avoid that reality, but when he turned up on your doorstep and was confronted by it, he didn’t like it.
I understand him feeling shocked and hurt – turning up like that was a romantic gesture and it didn’t go to plan. But, you’re correct, he doesn’t have any right to be angry with you.
I think this could be a turning point for your relationship and force you to decide what you each want from it. Clearly, carrying on with the current arrangement simply won’t work in the long term.
Use what happened as a pretext to talk about where you go from here. Do you become exclusive and make plans to see each other more frequently, with a view to one of you relocating? Or do you agree to call it quits?
I’m sure given a bit more time, he’ll realise he can’t blame you for what happened and hopefully he’ll see the sense in having a discussion about your future.