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Setting Love Free in an Open Relationship

By February 16, 2016 August 14th, 2017 Swing Lifestyle Articles

One of the most frequent questions I get about being in an open/swinger relationship has to do with love.

“If you play apart aren’t you afraid your partner might fall in love with someone else?”

“What if someone else falls in love with your partner?”

Well, I have the perfect story to relate my response.

Recently John had to travel out of town on business. He was traveling back to a city where he used to live, so he had several friends in the area. We discussed before he even left town about any opportunities he would have to meet up with any of his old girl friends.

There were a couple of women he said he would be interested in seeing while he was in town. I had met both of these women in the past, so I was familiar with who they were. I like both of these women. They seem to be very sweet and kind women. I encouraged John to yes, by all means, make contact with them, even if it is just for dinner.

Why didn’t this bother me?

Because I trust John.

Everything about his behavior towards me shows his trustworthiness. He calls when he says he will. He discusses with me beforehand about possibilities he may have or want to have with others, and his actions show his love and devotion to me and our relationship. I saw no reason to believe this situation would be any different.

So John left for his trip. It wasn’t long before I received a text from him saying he would be joining a female friend of his later in the evening. She had always been a dear friend of John’s and needed some advice.

What I love about this story is my husband gets to put his strengths (his ability to give sound advice) to others without me being afraid. How much the world would miss if I tried to keep him all to myself.

As I laid in my bed at home reading, John was hundreds of miles away with a woman in his hotel room. He called me several hours later to tell me the evening went well. They spent those hours talking. In that moment I loved my husband with just a little more gusto.

I was so proud of him, not because he hadn’t had sex with her, but because he is so loving. Loving enough to share with others what he has learned in life. I allowed myself to be filled with gratitude for this amazing man. A man, who not only loves me, but strives to be loving to everyone. I love him even more because of this.

But the story doesn’t end here. The very next evening, John had another opportunity to visit with a female friend. This visit was different. It was the same in the sense that I knew it was going to take place. John told me she had asked him to dinner and that he wasn’t sure how the evening would end. It was different in what happened.

John arrives at her home. She has prepared a scrumptious home cooked meal for them to share. To make a long story short, they ended up having sex. While they were having sex, she told John she still loved and cared about him.

Okay, so this is the dreaded scenario most people fear and will attempt to control from happening with their partner. Like I said earlier it’s that fear of, “but what if your partner or the person they are playing with, fall in love?”

What if they do?

This is what I thought about this woman loving my husband. First, I was touched and honored because she see’s the same great qualities in John that I do. It made me like her even more. I mean of course she would love him, what’s not to love?!

Besides, just because she loves him, doesn’t mean John’s and my love for each other diminishes in any way. This woman simply adds another layer to our life. What’s not to love about that?

Can you imagine the stress and anger and fear and jealousy the evening could have had, especially using the traditional viewpoint?

First of all, John wouldn’t have even been “allowed” to go over to her home to begin with. My adult husband would not have been “allowed.” Even typing this makes me shake my head. John definitely wouldn’t have been able to share how wonderful the meal was, because I might be threatened by her ability to cook and I would probably lose John over her culinary skills! Instead of being threatened I instead have 3 new amazing recipes to try!

John returned home from his trip in great spirits and was eager and excited to see me. He told me over and over how much he loved me and how grateful he is to have such an amazing relationship.

My point is, we don’t have control over who we end up having feelings for, regardless of whether or not we think we can control it. I am so glad that John and I don’t try to control it. We embrace the love we have for those we come in contact with and relish in the goodness of this love.

John and I became a couple so we could add to each others life, not take things away.

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  • Trish says:

    I love your attitude and do understand where u r coming from… i feel the same way but im not so easy going with it.. i find jealously does creep in and i do feel a little deflated but i also trust my partner… as well… and its not the sex i get jealous about its the intimacy. . That hurts me…

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      Yes, intimacy can be a big fear! We grow up (most of us) being taught that intimacy is some special bond between a couple that is exclusive…something to be shared only between the two of you. This, we believe is what makes for the strength of the relationship…this intimacy with each other. This is why it can be so difficult once you are a couple to “allow” our partner any kind of time with others of the opposite sex. For fear of something “intimate” happening. If we can keep this intimacy from happening we don’t have to feel our relationship is in danger. Not, because it is in danger, but because we have been taught to believe that it is! But, what if instead of viewing it as a potential danger zone, we viewed it as a way in which to create deeper bonds with others and in turn create stronger, deeper bonds with each other. This is exactly what happened with John and I. The more we let go of this fear of intimacy the more intimate we became. And not just with others, but with each other. Sometimes the issue is more about redefining our own views about what is happening, or not happening. About giving ourselves permission to try something outside the box! Jackie

  • Adriana says:

    Can you teach how to became like you?
    I admire your posture towards all, but just by reading and imagining with me I got jealous, insecure and hurled.

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      Hi Adriana,

      When I was first experiencing opening up our relationship, I definitely went through some moments of fear. Fear that maybe John would like someone better then me or maybe she would be more carefree or better in bed. Lots of different “what ifs” running rampant in my mind. I did have moments when I broke down and felt unsure. These are those moments most people will stop and think, “see, this behavior is making me feel a certain way, so we should stop!” We allow our fear to dictate how we view the situation, instead of testing our fears to see if they are in fact real! What worked for me was walking and talking my way through what was bothering me. I have several blogs in which I touch on the topic or fear (jealousy) and how I was able to overcome my old thought patterns to make way for a more loving way in which to see life and the other people within my life. When I finally realized I wasn’t in some type of competition for John’s love (which I believe is how most of us are raised. We are taught to believe we are supposed to be someones favorite, instead of simply being happy and satisfied in being able to share in each others lives and relish in the fact that love should be given, not confined.) and just let myself love him in all loves glory and to be happy in each others happiness, did I finally learn to let go of trying to control what was happening. So, don’t be too hard on yourself, I didn’t reach this way of thinking overnight, it was with patience and love on the part of myself and John and lots of hugging and talking and trust that we were able to make our relationship one in which we are both able to breathe and grow and learn. Jackie

  • Thank you so much for posting this. I believe love and intimacy grows stronger and sweeter as it is shared with close friends. ?

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      Hi Sally,

      Just like with any energy, what we feed, grows! When we fill our days with thoughts and actions in a loving and intimate way, we can really begin to feel the energy of those thoughts and beliefs. Jackie

  • Rocket says:

    Thanks Jackie for sharing this story. My wife and I have had the exact same experiences. We both travel frequently with our jobs but always keep each other informed when there is a potential that we may meet up with someone for dinner, drinks or whatever happens.

    We don’t bring people into our lives on just a casual basis. In most cases, I have met or know the men she spends time with…and vice versa. If they are not the quality of people that are comfortable meeting or being around both of us…then they probably don’t belong I our life anyway.

    We have been preparing our selves for a true Polyamorous situation where one or both of us develop true loving feelings for another person. We haven’t found that person yet…but believe we will at some point.

    I completely agree with your perspective that loving another person in no way diminishes the love we have for each other.

    Because of our openness and honesty with each other. We have yet to have an experience with other people that did not bring us even closer together.

    Thanks again to you and John for living your life in the open and sharing your experiences. I met John at the club in Dallas the other night and thanked him as well.

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      How wonderful, you and your partner are able to experience love on so many levels. I believe one of the biggest misconceptions about living within a more open relationship is the union is somehow in trouble or unsatisfying emotionally and sexually. What I have learned by experiencing this lifestyle is absolutely the opposite…we encourage each other in all relationships we come in contact with. Your letter shows how with an open heart and open arms, a relationship can be taken to a much deeper space, one in which we are allowed to stretch and expand our love for each other in all directions, enveloping those who we come in contact with along the way. What a much more peaceful way in which to live life! Thanks again for taking the time to share-Jackie

  • Lynn says:

    I have often had the discussion or conversations about Love, and how loving one person doesn’t diminish, or take away love from another. Love isn’t a finite “thing” like water in a bucket, where if you take some out, it leaves less in the bucket. Love is an infinite thing that can’t be quantified as if there is only “x” amount of it.
    I think this world would be a better place, if more people loved more people, and allowed for love to exist for the sake of love, and not treating it like limited resource that could be all used up and lost.

    Thanks for yet another great story and post.
    Lynn and Cindy

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      Hello Lynn & Cindy,

      Thank you so much for your take on love, and I agree wholeheartedly! We are not given a finite amount of love, I believe love is constantly created in the way we respond and interact with those around us…an energy so to speak. Thanks again for sharing, Jackie

  • el says:

    What a great example of how two loving human beings can be. It is our nature to love to expand. I believe as more and more people break the boundaries the limitations the restrictive fear based conventions. The conversation can move to the recognition, that giving someone you love this kind of trust is to cultivate something much greater between two people then we currently allow for. You guys rock!

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I agree, when we learn to let go of the antiquated view and embrace a more loving and trusting attitude towards each other, I believe we will find the things we worried about will instead be things we can talk about.

  • Stacey urban says:

    How I wish we lived closer to one another…. I miss your radiant light & beautiful soul….

  • Kittenlsdaddy says:

    Hi Jackie! I love reading your blogs. My husband and I are new to the lifestyle and exploring. I really appreciate your honesty in these blogs! I did find myself feeling a pit in my stomach while reading it though. I have always been curious about this lifestyle and my husband is open to it as well, but tells me I am all he needs. I want to share him with others (I am not particularly interested in another male partner), but I tend to get frustrated with certain females in general because I get an icky feeling from them. I have 0 problems with him taking friends out or having conversations with and heck we even check out other women together,, but I feel like i have a hard time sometimes . Both of us left our previous marriages due to abuse and I think some of that has stayed with me unfortunately. If you do not like a particular female friend of John’s, does he still interact and play? I have never told my husband that he cannot do x, y or z but have voiced my opinion on how it would make me feel. Is that wrong? Help :/

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      I have yet to come across one of John’s female friends that I felt such negativity as to require any comment. I trust John’s judgement when it comes to his interactions and besides it’s not so much whether I like them or not, but whether he likes them or finds them interesting. I mean, after all, he is the one on the date, not me.

  • JB says:

    Hi Jackie
    Thanks so much for writing this- much appreciated. Where does a couple start to move down this path. My wife and I are interested, but their is that hesitation due to fear- as you mention. Thanks again.

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