Smells Like Libertine Spirit
I got involved with my co-host on my Web show -- a woman in an "open relationship" with her live-in boyfriend of two years. Things were light and fun between us until we developed actual feelings for each other and he got jealous and she became guilty and torn. Two weeks ago, after we had an amazing date, she texted to say she was "falling apart" and quitting our show. She's since made our friendship conditional on our not being involved anymore and my not questioning her quitting or discussing what happened. I either abide by these rules or "watch (her) walk away." I said she was being emotionally manipulative, and she got really angry. She knows I care about her and want her in my life, but it seems unfair that I have to constantly worry about saying the wrong thing and having her cut and run.
Some people in open relationships can come off a little smug about how cool, modern, and progressive they are -- that is, until they write that first check to the private detective to make sure you and their girlfriend are only getting your freak on, not holding hands.
Monogamy might not be "natural," but neither is watching your partner run around on you and being all "no problemo!" about it. A couple who decide to have an open relationship may tell themselves they can intellectualize their way around jealousy (and insecurity, possessiveness, and other such fun) without really working through how, exactly, they'll manage that. This guy, for example, maybe got so excited about "having his cake" that he neglected to consider what would happen if his girlfriend really, really liked her cake.
These two had a responsibility to anybody they got involved with to do their open relationship homework and figure out that they could only manage "happily ever afternoon," not "after." It would be nice if she took responsibility now for failing to take responsibility then, maybe with an "I'm really sorry" and a "We probably shouldn't see each other," but she prefers to extend her history of denial with the notion that you can be "friends." Oh, and P.S., feel free to ask her anything, as long as it's about nothing more emotionally sensitive than the time.
As for whether you should stick around and meet her terms, well, with friends like her, who needs bar fights? Also, it's hard to stop wanting somebody when you don't stop seeing them, at least for a while. It seems your time would be better spent pursuing a woman who doesn't already have a boyfriend. You and she can try the sort of open relationship you're looking for now -- one sans conversational restrictions -- as opposed to the sort that, for a good many people, works out like the hen becoming BFFs with the coyote. (Eventually, somebody's going to end up a pile of feathers.)