Our contributor Kristine deGuzman, a junior at UC Berkeley, has a confession to make:
I’m studying abroad in Spain over the summer, and my boyfriend and I have decided to go on a break, because, as he puts it, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. When else are you going to get to hook-up with a Spanish guy?” Yeah, he knows what’s up.
I know this may seem strange to most people, just as openly discussing crushes while in a relationship may seem strange, but here’s the thing: my boyfriend and I have only ever hooked up with each other. We met when we were freshmen at a frat party, hooked up once, kept hooking up, and then eventually realized that our hobbies and interests were actually really compatible. Now, two years later, we’re still together, still virgin to anyone else’s bodies other than our own.
Being the sexually adventurous people that we are, we know we would be unhappy if we spent the rest of our lives having only had sex with each other. If we end up staying together for the long haul, I don’t want my boyfriend to be the only person I’ve ever slept with — and I don’t want to be the only person that he’s ever slept with, either. So after much discussion, we’ve come to the decision that we need to sleep with at least one other person before “forever” potentially comes along. And, well, this summer seems as good a time as any to get through the inevitable.
A few of my friends think this is weird, since they can’t imagine letting their significant others hook up with someone else. Many of them have said, “I just feel like I would think about them together and see them having sex in my head. How can you be okay with that?” To be honest, no, I’m not comfortable with the image of my boyfriend hooking up with some other girl, but I’m also not comfortable with the idea of him regretting not having sex with another girl. I don’t want him to ever wonder what it would feel like with someone else. It just seems very limiting — and he feels the same way about guys and me.
This is not to say that I’m planning on flying off to Spain with a quota of Spanish men that I need to hit up, and this is not to say that my boyfriend is counting down the days until my departure and his newfound freedom to scam on new chicks. But I am looking forward to being able to party all night in Spanish clubs and making out with whomever I want, if the occasion so arises. And it’ll be even better knowing that my boyfriend is okay with this. Likewise, he told me that it’ll be nice to get his flirt on like old times, but he’s not exactly planning on bedding the first girl who flirts back. We’re just keeping our options open and seeing what happens from there.
We have discussed getting back together after I get back, but nothing is set in stone. We know that we’re young and that we have a long way to go before either of us considers settling, so, to be a little cliche about it, whatever happens, happens. We haven’t discussed what will happen if we do get back together and can’t block out the mental image of other people bedding our partner, but I imagine we’ll discuss and deal with it together, much how we discuss and deal with our crushes on other people. Neither of us has jealous tendencies, so — though I can’t be entirely sure about this — I’d like to think that we’d be able to work through it together.
Ideally, I’d like our relationship to turn out the way it did for one of our couple-friends. They broke up at the beginning of last year because she was going to study in Australia for the school year, and they wanted to avoid anything complicated and long-distance. They spent the whole year “keeping their options open,” which involved, yes, hooking up with other people. However, when she came back they decided that they preferred being with each other, so after a year of being apart and in other people’s beds, they got back together.
Maybe my boyfriend and I will bounce back from this and maybe we won’t. If we hook up with other people and decide to stay apart, then maybe it was for the best. But if we go through the experience and discover that staying together was exactly what we both wanted, then we’ll always be able to say that we put our relationship to the test, and it survived.