Open relationship dating

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They regularly go out on "dates," although Block's daughter knows only that Jemma is a family friend. Limiting love, she says, doesn't seem normal to her.

The term "open marriage," coined by the late George and Nena O'Neill in their 1972 book of the same name, has been expanded as more couples choose to follow the concept without getting married.

He sometimes has had to assure partners that his interest in others does not mean his interest in them has changed or waned. Because of that, it means my partners can never be replaced." Things can also get dicey when a partner considered "secondary" wants to become a primary, Veaux says.

"I've also had my own feelings of envy and jealousy," he says, "particularly when I feel that a partner is giving more time and energy to another than they are to me." "Where it becomes threatening is when [partners] think love implies exclusivity," says Veaux. That is, if you love two, each gets half of the love. Sometimes Veaux invites most of his partners -- and their partners -- to go out socially.

The number of adults with open relationships -- be they formal marriages or more informal arrangements -- is small. Others, including Steve Brody, Ph D, a psychologist based in Cambria, Calif., put the number much lower. He has counseled thousands of couples in the past 30 years and has encountered very few instances of open relationships among his patients.

"There is a kind of idealism around these folks," he says.

"They want to be completely open and honest about it." Louanne Cole Weston, Ph D, MFT, a Fair Oaks, Calif., marriage and family therapist and Web MD's sex and relationships expert, agrees that the concept of open relationships has evolved to become more idealistic.

"In the '70s, there was the playing loose around the edges idea," she says.

"Poly is trying to come across as thoughtful and considerate." An obvious benefit, Weston says, is that sexual monotony seldom sets in.

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