Amelia was overall happy with her life - she had an interesting job, a loving partner, she was well off and she traveled around the world. But she was now approaching her 40s and something did not
quite feel right. Amelia would wake up in the early hours of the morning with an anxious thought that her life has reached a plateau. Was this all there was in life and love? And what if she wanted
The conversation happened in late December, the time of the year when Paris lost all its glamour to greyness and there was nothing one could do about it.
Amelia and Jack were having drinks in their Paris apartment facing Jardin de Luxembourg. Jack was cutting cheese for a fondue – one third of Comté, one third of Emmental and one
third of Beaufort. The small cubes of cheese would be then melted in Apremont white wine. He poured a glass for Amelia and got himself a beer.
Amelia and Jack initially met during their undergraduate years at MIT in Boston and their love story was not a straight line. They were together for a bit but rarely exclusively together. They were
made from the same cloth – both independent achievers, both intensely engaged into meeting their career objectives in the corporate world and both introverts who learnt to be extroverts.
Amelia moved to London after her studies and surprisingly Jack did too. They stayed in touch and kept seeing each other. They enjoyed being together and sex was great too. They experimented living
apart and being together, living together and being apart. It was only in their 30s that they committed to each other. And, against all odds, it worked for some years well at least until that
Amelia was a strong and determined woman who figured out what she wanted and went go to great lengths to get it. However, this time it was a bit of an unorthodox request that would take some time
to process. She had mentioned it to Jack before – the seed had been planted and nourished, it was now time to harvest. Two glasses of wine later Amelia finally popped the question.
“Jack, what do you think about starting an open marriage?”
Jack choked and paused for a bit. “I think it sounds like a déjà vu. Why do you want this again?”
Amelia knew she could ask Jack anything. They had trust and communication and furthermore, Jack was advanced in grasping relationship complexities, as he grew up with a mother who was a marriage
“Jack we have been monogamous for quite a while now. Don’t you miss the chase? We were so good in the chase,” Amelia replied in a nostalgic voice.
“Correction. You were so good in the chase,” Jack said smiling “You chased me about a million times and made it look like I chased you.”
That may have been accurate. For Amelia, the chase was an adventure - it excited the senses. For someone who was so much in control of her life, the chase was about letting go, stepping into the
unknown and letting the story unfold. So yes, Amelia loved the chase. She was the archer and men were game. Was the chase about sex? Sometimes. But sometimes the chase was just for the fun of it.
Sometimes it was just about hitting the target and letting him bleed to death.
“Jack, I love you and the relationship we have together is amazing. But aren’t we a little bored together? Don’t we want some sort of newness, adventure and excitement? Do we really want to stay in
a monogamous relationship until the death do us part?”
“I know I promised that I will not hold you back from anything you wanted to do. But what if you fall for someone else?” Jack asked.
“And what if I don’t? And what if I get dressed up, go flirt with a guy at the bar, and come back home to you?”
“Well now that you present it like this ce n’est pas degueullas, it’s not such a bad idea. But what if you cannot stop?”
“I am not a man - I can stop any time I want,” Amelia said “And Jack – we’ve been there, we’ve done this, remember? And here we are still together a decade years later.”
“But you are aware that something would change between us?”
“Yes, but maybe it could also transform and renew our relationship?” Amelia said and they both knew what she was talking about. They have had this conversation before. They were still having
sex and it was still good. But sex became somehow a superb flawless performance, stocked somewhere in their super charged minds as a memory on which trajectory gave the most pleasure. And they were
both guilty as charged. No matter how much they tried to re ignite the fire they would just continue having more of the same. Sex was not the strongest point of their marriage and no sex toys or
couple retreats could improve that.
“Ok. Let’s assume we did this, how would this actually work? What would be the boundaries?” Jack asked.
“I would say we give ourselves permission to chase, kiss, make out and have sex with other men and women. One offs. No strings attached. Safe sex only,“ Amelia said in a matter of fact way.
“Amelia, this is crazy – this is too much, I just cannot keep up with you.”
“You did enjoy this last time?” Amelia asked laughing.
“That was many years ago. That was before the ring. And for the record, you ended up with 10 lovers whereas I had only 2.”
“Jack, we’re not keeping scores,” Amelia said. “Relationship are complex - and anyone who says they’re simple are just selling fiction.”
Against all odds this conversation was not an easy win and Amelia was growing restless. “Ok –if it really bothers you let’s not do it, forget it.”
“Babe, give me a couple more minutes to process,” Jack stopped cutting the cheese and looked at her for a moment. “I was very well aware what I signed up for with you. But you’re slightly forcing
my hand here. So I will say ok, but on one condition. I need more boundaries. Something needs to stay exclusive between us. I propose we give each other the list of ‘Yes’, ‘No’ and ‘Maybe’.”
“Ok then,” Amelia replied and rolled her eyes to the sky.
“Ok, then,” Jack answered and finished preparing fondue.
© Copyright 2021 Pia Sparrow. All rights reserved.