When the day comes for you to be honest with yourself, you cannot pretend that you did not see it coming. That day, you will be lying in bed, watching her; she is seated naked at the edge of her bed lighting a ciggie. The light coming from the window washes her into a silhouette. You watch as she pulls in the bush, the end of the stick glows and then she exhales. The string of smoke disappears into the light, and when she turns and catches you staring, she asks, “What’s on your mind?”
“Nothing,” you lie.
“Oh come on, be honest.”
And you wished she hadn’t done that – asked you to be honest. Because that is exactly what is bothering you. Honesty. The entire concept of it.
“Listen, Emma,” you begin. And she puts out the half smoked cigarette because nothing good has ever followed you calling her by her full name. “I do not think this is going to work.”
You see, all this time, you have been thinking about how to explain to her that you want to open up this relationship. All your dating life you have dogged out on most of the girls you were pushing with. And for those that you didn’t cheat on, it wasn’t because of love. Rather, the desire to keep a promise you made. You tell her that faithfulness – to you – has little to do with not having sex with someone else.
Of course she will not understand. Not at first. Most likely, she will hate you because why did you have to bring it up just after you’d made love, just a few minutes before, even though she is the one who asked you to be honest. She will ask you something along the lines of, “Is that what you were thinking about? Were you thinking about another woman when you were inside me?”
If you are an idiot, you will say, “You are missing the point, Emma.” Then after that, the conversation will not go anywhere else other than south.
But let’s think about it for a second. This whole concept of having an open relationship. The whole idea behind it is that instead of skanking around – seeing other girls in secret – why not just put your cards on the table and say, “I’d rather be honest here. I can stand on top of the world and tell the whole world that I love you from the poetry of my heart, and I will mean it. But I cannot insult this special thing we have and lie to you that you are the only woman I will ever find attractive. So can we talk about it?”
I can bet you all of my inheritance that the first thing your girl will think of when she hears those words is am I not enough? Even if they do not voice it, they are thinking it. And who can blame her? Surely, you switch on your TV, or internet, or radio, or open a book and all you see, hear and read is the idea of one man and one woman.
Ati she is the one. Never they are the ones.
She completes me. Never they complete me.
Ati she is my better half. Halves can only be a pair, fam. It is a relationship, not high school bread that is split into quarters.
This kind of arrangement is nothing strange, at least not these days. I know the geezers reading this are half trying not to drop their dentures in absolute shock. Rich coming from people who are about to shock their wives on their burial day, when another woman comes from the woods with a child demanding inheritance. Same thing, just more ethical.
There are rules to this one though. They are not biblical rules, so every couple makes one for themselves. The ones I have heard are; open relationships are not open to all. You will be told, no hooking up with exes, or friends of the girlfriend. No sleeping with other people in our bed. Always use a condom (as if you needed to be reminded). No spending the night, always come back home. Remember, you are not dating them, just sleeping with them; you have one girlfriend. And for the love of Akuku Danger, do not moan Sharon’s name when you’re with Emma. That is just rude.
Many of us have tried this open relationship thing, and it fell flat like the shape of the earth before Pythagoras. Let us be honest, this whole concept of polyamory is just like the concept of adulthood or democracy – works better in theory than in real life.
The decision to be open is not mutual; the other spouse only said yes because she did not want to lose you. Terrible mistake. Then it is all fun and games until you remember that opening it up opens it both ways and all of a sudden the idea of your woman being with someone else pours sulphuric acid on your chest.
Halafu one day when Emma is driving her phone rings and she asks you to reach into her bag to see who is calling, and as you do, you run into some Magnums. First comes comparison. Then comes jealousy. Then comes the realization that what is good for the gander is good for the goose, in a baby basket.
There are people out here, however, who have managed to crack this open relationship thing. The ones who decided that, indeed, they go well together like gin and tonic, but once in a while, they will add strawberries and sparkling wine to make a spritz of their union. People like Will Smith and Jada Pinket.
Those lucky bastards should share the cheat code. Even us, we want to have our cake and eat it too.