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Question: Transitioning into a new relationship arrangement

Dear Lounge Advice,
My girl friend and I are moving form an exclusive arrangement with each other to a non exclusive relationship, she is also moving to her own apartment. However, we are still planning to reamin a couple for Lifestyle purposes. We also plan on dating each other outside of the LS.

Although I haven't discussed this situation with most of our LS friends, my girl has, and many of these couples are basically saying to her well if she wants to join them without me, that would be great. They also mention they like me very much, but I'm not getting the same invitations. Of course I'm not surprised about this, as they see her as a possible single girl and everyone loves her. However, I feel like I'm being disrespected, and that these "friends" are taking advantage of a difficult situation for us (me), for their own benefit.

Now my girl has said she wouldn't feel comfortable in the LS as a single, quite frankly because she feels many women in the LS are kind of jealous of her. She's very sexy, and has a great lifestyle attitude, and she can be forward when she's had a few drinks. I'm not really concerned about her going to parties without me. But, I would be unhappy if she started hanging with our LS friends without me outside of those settings.

What I'd like to know is how you think we should best handle this situation for a smoth transition of our relationship in the LS setting.

Things change



Dear (Anonymous),

So, would that actually make them true friends of yours, or do you use that term too loosely with people?
If they were true friends in every essence of the word, they would not take advantage of this situation.
That being said, I'm going to give you advise similar to that which I give couple encountering the lifestyle for the very first time.
Essentially, many things are changing between you both and going through this metamorphosis of sorts, you will both need to have 'the talk'.
You'll need to readjust your boundaries and talk about every conceivable situation that may arise.
What will she do if she is a approached by a couple she really likes, and she wants to play by herself? How will you feel about that? Will is put a strain on a relationship in transition. What if this happens to you? How will you handle it and how will she react to it?
If you both decide not to swing alone, would temptation be too hard to handle, or would either of you have the strength to say no and inform the other of the occurrence?
Talk about whether people need to know the details of your new situation, or if it's nobody's business.
This is the time to look inside the dynamics of your changing relationship with her and determine: Do we STILL have the essential elements needed to make this viable? What will change, and can we both handle it? This is not a time to rationalize weaknesses by saying that they arenít important; that they will hold up to any challenges your new situation will offer. This is a time to be brutally honest and determine, above all is, if your new arrangement will be sturdy enough to handle any encumbrance that is presented when you or her continue on in the lifestyle together, or potentially apart.
You are still in a relationship together, so communication is still paramount. Have a heart to heart, set up the rules and boundaries and agree to discuss with each other if one of you yearns for something outside the agreed upon parameters.
Just keep your communication lines strong and constant. Continue to extend the same respect to each other that you always have. Just because your situation will be different doesn't mean your respect for each other or communication should diminish. Keep this in mind and you will both find a way through. There will be some growing pains along the path, but they are there to help you...well...grow :)
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