If you could choose, would you rather your partner was intimate with someone you know or someone you don’t? I like playing matchmaker between my partner and my friends.
I think it’s fun to see two people I love and trust enjoying each other. I love looking at my partner through my friends’ eyes and being reminded of how amazing he is. My fashionista friend joked, “Oh...so it’s like having a nice purse and letting your girlfriend try it on for a while, then happily taking it back!”
What’s harder is when my partner goes on dates with people I don’t know. (He and I encourage each other to do that because we want to lead rich, free lives...but it isn’t always easy.) Sometimes I fear the women’s intentions or imagine that they are smarter, funnier or hotter than me. So what I generally do after my partner has gone on a couple of dates with a woman I don’t know is...I ask her to lunch. Suddenly, a potential threat is now a normal human and a budding friend who cares about someone I care about. And this generally makes his and her relationship more sustainable, too, because the solidarity helps everyone feel good about the situation. For me, this is a vital experience of community-building. Why wouldn’t I like and be curious about someone who my partner likes and is curious about? He has good taste! Some people don’t want to know a person their partner is connecting with and vice versa. They have a “don’t ask, don’t tell“ policy. They hook up with people while traveling, maybe, or at friends-of-friends’ parties where they don’t know anyone. If this is your agreement with your partner and it’s working for y’all, great. You get to do whatever you want as long as everyone involved is on board.
But what if you’re missing out on an opportunity for building community with people who share your values? You and your partner’s partner have something you care about in common: your partner.
So...aren’t you on the same team? Our competition-based society pits us against each other, making us suspicious and afraid. It’s time to examine that within ourselves and choose community and love.