Dating in the twenty-first century can be a nightmare. There are so many complicating factors to contend with – factors that simply weren’t common issues for singles in generations before. Besides just contending with the age old dating matters, one must also consider the dating ethics of their partner as well as the status of their relationship. These days the status of a relationship could be the one biggest grey area to contend with in dating. Sexuality and instant gratification have moved to the forefront in every aspect of our lives, and dating has certainly been affected. It is rare for someone to hold out until the boundaries have been set within the parameters of a closed relationship status. In fact, it is common these days to be dating several people at a time, and possibly playing around sexually with more than a few people within the mix. Moreover, in the majority of cases, these aspects are not disclosed to any of the parties within a person’s dating scope. Thus, it is a gamble often times with your sexual health, as well as your heart because you do not know if the person you are dating is just dating you or a slew of others. Is he or she just having sex with you, or are there more? It is a big risk you are taking in the hopes of gaining love, but often times it ends in heartache, heartbreak, and feeling as though you were cheated and lied to somehow. The solution to this dilemma is open-relationships and dating.
While the words “open relationship” or “open dating” send connotations of swinging, swapping, and “slutting it up”, that is NOT what an open relationship and dating truly is. Sure, some of the individuals who are in such relationships may do the above mentioned things; however a more appropriate term for open relationships or dating would be this: ETHICAL DATING.
Ethical dating is one that deals with the issues plaguing the modern dater. It requires honesty as its foundation, thus each party involved understands where the relationship is, the status, and the risk factors. Ethical dating overcomes the issue involved with “playing the field”. Instead of wondering where you are at in a relationship, the parameters are set up front. There are no surprises, and while this method of dating may not fully overcome the risks, it at least addresses the risk factors up front and allows for all parties involved to know what they are getting into. Of course, as the relationship progresses, having started out with the basis of communication and honesty (as one should do with respect to “playing the field”), it is much easier to negotiate different terms moving towards a more closed dating situation if that is truly where the heart wants to go.
Ethical dating takes the poker game aspect out of the modern dating experience. There is no longer the need to hold all your cards away where the other players cannot see them. Instead, the cards are laid out on the table and the other players involved can choose to fold or choose to continue to play, knowing full-well what they are getting themselves into. While the players are still taking a chance on winning the heart of their beloved, now it is a calculated risk instead of a shot in the dark. When your heart is on the line, which would option would you prefer? A calculated risk or a risky bet with unknown factors…most people prefer to know their odds of winning. Speaking of knowing your odds, it may also interest you to know that The Daily Beast ranked Oklahoma City the 39th best city to live in when you are looking for love.
So when you hear the words “open dating” or “open relationship”, instead of closing off your mind to the idea because of the negative connotations, open up your mind to the possibilities of ethics in dating. To be open requires honesty and communication, which are the foundations of any great and lasting relationship. When the need to lie or hide things is removed from the dating scenario, it allows for a more honest flow between the individuals involved. In this way, being ethical in how you approach dating is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself, as well as for your partner (or partners).
So go out there Oklahomans, play the field all you want, just remember to do it ethically because ethically means healthily. Who knows, maybe we can get Oklahoma City added to the list for the happiest and healthiest cities in the U.S. too, simply by changing our closed minded dating tactics to a more open option!