Openlove101 turns 6 years old this month! Woo hoo!
As John and I continue to spread our message in 2021 and beyond, we can’t help but look back at how far we’ve come.
I mean it seems like only yesterday, the two of us were embarking on this wild and crazy journey together. We were going to take our new relationship into new territory. We hitched up our wagon to this thing called consensual non monogamy and headed out into unchartered lands like settlers moving west. We just knew our future lay in those unseen fields. With no map to guide us, other than our own determination, the two of us set out. We had each other right? We could do this!
We did it alright. We got our wagon wheels stuck more than once. We endured nasty weather, we got lost a time or two and even wondered if our venture was worth it. We suffered from high emotions and jealous fears. This is when most people will chime in with something along the lines of, “then why do it?” “Why even step one foot in that direction if it’s only going to be difficult?”
Yes, I suppose, John and I could have retreated at the first sign of difficulty. We could have thrown in the towel or turned the wagon around claiming the trek was just too hard. But something else was happening while we were dealing with stuck wheels and broken wagons. There was all this newness around us. A beauty we could feel, if not see right away. The conversations steeped in truth, the loving embraces, the patience and teamwork began to show itself.
We might be up against some tests, but by golly we were working together! Soon the journey began to ease as we learned to watch for the ruts in the earth. Our wagon weathered the journey because we were proactive in its care. We made sure the nuts and bolts were well oiled and the canvas was repaired and tied securely. We began to see the benefit of prepping and preparing. We began to cover more and more ground each day as our trust in each other and our abilities grew.
What seemed insurmountable before was now routine. We covered massive distances and made notes all along the way. We knew that someday there would be others that would want to make this trek. If we could map the route then maybe others could avoid the ruts and instead walk the green meadows.
You see, the unmarked trail we began down all those years ago, is now a clearer path for those who want to travel towards their own authenticity.
The path has become Openlove101 and anyone and everyone is welcome to stroll, run, wander, or purposefully stride it’s route. You will find forks on the road and signs clearly marking destinations. You can spend a day visiting the well worn trail or you can set up camp, we don’t mind. We want those who visit Openlove101.com to find a connection. We hope our journey through consensual non monogamy will in some way help you find your own path. We will share with you our struggles and triumphs, our tears and our laughter. John and I hope you will find answers to your questions within the blogs, videos and podcasts, and if you don’t we hope you’ll ask.
We understand that everyone’s journey is unique, that no two people will absorb information the same. This is why John and I won’t tell you what to do, we can only share what worked for us. To tell you the story of our expedition into consensual non monogamy. I can tell you how I overcame jealousy or fear. I can tell you of the time I felt moments of sheer gratitude for my husband. We can share with you our tactics and our patience with each other. We can volunteer our experiences as base lines for those needing a place to start their journey.
I remember those days when I was new to CNM, when every thought and every movement was awkward yet exhilarating. Gawd, how I remember all the times I stumbled. How many times I pulled myself up and pushed forward. Something deep inside said I was on the right path. I knew an open relationship was what I wanted. I just had to be willing to charter the course and make the trek. I was not afraid of the journey, of the roadblocks, or other people’s opinions.
As I sit at my desk almost 9 years into a marriage I adore and 6 years deep in a passion for helping others, I knew I’d made the right decision. What began as a way for us to pay forward what we’d learned in our journey through CNM, has now become a voice for millions. When John and I launched Openlove101.com 6 years ago, we celebrated in astonishment when 25 people chose to follow our site. Today we send out over 73,000 emails each week reaching hundreds of countries. Over 3.5 million people have viewed our Openlove101 videos and we continue to receive hundreds of emails weekly from folks all over the globe.
John and I believe in what we do. We believe in consensual non monogamy. We believe in a couples right to choose a relationship model that brings out the best in both individuals and their families. We believe no one has the right to force feed you a relationship model that doesn’t nurture or feed who you are. We believe everyone should be able to enter into a consensual adult relationship free from judgement or condemnation.
If that means speaking up then that’s what we’ll do. If that means being on the radio or guests on a podcast, a newspaper article, or even a television program, John and I will step forward. You see, for me this isn’t just a relationship model, but something that saved my life. Saved my life in the sense that I was given my life in all it’s beauty.
Through CNM I learned to love who I am. That it was okay to be different. I learned it was okay that I loved just a little shy of center from the traditional format. My new angle gave me a view of love I’d never allowed myself to see before.
As a result I have grown up. I am purposeful in my actions, I am conscious of my gratitude and grateful every day for the partnership I have with John. I have a relationship and marriage steeped in honesty, trust, compassion, compersion, empathy, desire, commitment, hard work, laughter, truth, understanding, independence, connection, and love. John and I have worked hard for the relationship we have today. We choose to enter into each day with determination and a mission of excellence. We worked as a team, remembering to lean into each other. We support each other and celebrate our successes.
We hope all of you who visit Openlove101 will also feel the vibration of authenticity. We hope you will come away having learned something about yourself, your relationship, and what it is you want from life. We hope you will experience the joy of learning, the beauty in freedom, and the independence that sits deep within love.
Hugs and kisses,
John & Jackie
John and Jackie Melfi are in a consensually non monogamous marriage. They have been featured in ABC News Nightline Special Report “Getting Naughty In N’awlins”, Inside a New Orleans Swingers Convention, and CNN “This Is Life” with Lisa Ling. The Melfis are the force behind the industry famous colette swingers clubs in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, and Austin. With over 20 years of combined experience, this powerhouse couple coaches thousands of singles and couples through their award winning blog Openlove101.com.