Being in a romantic relationship can be hard work.
You're constantly navigating highs and lows.
There is so much compromise involved it can feel like political warfare.
And one of the main factors that keeps romance alive is the spice up.
You want to try to keep things from getting stale.
So that is when new sexual ideas emerge.
Often this is when secret fantasies come to light.
And a lot of the time... the requests don't go over so well.
Redditor MuchLoveWaffleGirlwanted to hear about how to navigate romantic requests of a partner. So they asked:
"What would you do if your SO asked you to have an open relationship?"
I tried open. Didn't really. Could be because I'm a jealous loon. Maybe.
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"I was asked. I said no. Things carried on as normal for a few months. Then I found out that the reason she asked was because she was cheating on me. Bye *itch."
Not for everyone...
"Related to someone that has been married for like 18 years now with an open marriage. Not for everyone, but they seemed to have found some way to balance it that works for them. I don’t have details on how they made it work, because I don’t really want to know, but it seemed to be from the start more or less."
"My ex brought it up once, we were a bit wine drunk so I thought it was just a one off fun chat. A while later she mentions how we’re still very young and she’s not sure what comes next, getting married and then that’s it? But life rolled on and we moved and lived together etc."
"In January she tells me she wants to break up. At the time I was blindsided, but looking back now it’s so clear what she was hinting at. I don’t have a problem, I get it, I wish her well, but I sure wish I hadn’t been strung along for two years before that point."
"I actually said yes, and it killed the relationship very quickly. It was not that much of a stretch for us. We would participate in group scenes but we always came as a pair. There were never any issues, and it even brought us closer together. We were able to flirt as a team and explore our sexualities."
"There was never any jealousy. But when she requested we open it up, she also started ignoring our explicit, agreed-upon terms. More than any physical act, that felt like cheating. And when I spoke up about it, I got dumped."
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"Mine asked me 7 months ago and I stupidly accepted (I’m monogamous still) and it hurts, even on the best days I think about it. I’ve told him how I felt about it, but he said he loves the other person too much to end it. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 years, and it hit like a rock."
"Edit: I’ve discussed with my boyfriend again how awful it feels and what you guys have said and I am happy to say that he is going to break up with the other person. He said it’s going to take sometime but as soon as he can he will! Thank you all so very much for your input and helping me get this sorted:))."
Trust in this issue is paramount and it feels like it's always the one thing lacking most.
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"Say its not for me and if they want to go ahead then we have to end things. I was briefly the other person in an open marriage, after a few months it was difficult to know if the husband or myself was more miserable. Might work for some people but not for me."
"I’d say no, but I would want to sit and have several conversations about why they wanted that and how we can retool our relationship if that’s what’s needed. It could ultimately lead to an ending, but he’s my person - I’m not throwing that away when it could be salvaged."
Happy with Me
"I would ask them why they suddenly want an open relationship after dating me for so long, and be honest with them. I would tell them that open relationships aren't something I'm comfortable with because I like monogamy. If they can't be happy with me in a monogamous relationship, then it would be over."
It broke me.
"Well I agreed, but only out of fear of losing her. It broke me. And I lost her anyway to a guy she met in a swinger club and who basically could be her father. Never again. Also everyone I know who did it learned the hard way shi* like this doesn’t work out in like 99 percent of cases."
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"If that's what they want and nothing else would make them happy, break up. I don't have the mental health fortitude to deal with the anxiety and insecurity I know I would feel for not being enough."
"I had been in this situation two times. First time I was young and had no experience it was my first boyfriend and I had a lot of family problems so I was afraid of being alone. I accepted it and was a mistake. We broke up six months in to the 'Open relationship' deal and I was left feeling really empty. Funny how he got married with one of the girls he met in that period. He now is recently single after a nasty divorce. Domestic abuse, cheating, etc."
"About five years later a boyfriend tried to pull l the same one on me. I just ended things right away and saved myself from the pain. This guy is still single to date, and older than 40. So, I would stay away from any guy who wants an open relationship, especially if it started as monogamy and he wants to change the rules of game."
"I've wondered if it would work for my partner and I at some different points, but obviously we'd need to work on fixing any serious issues in the relationship before really considering that. If we were in a healthy place in our relationship, we'd discuss the idea and what sort of boundaries we'd have, sit on it for a while to make sure it's something we wanted, and then proceed as we've decided after a particular amount of time. I've got some poly friends that have done it successfully for years, so I don't think it's impossible if you're going about it in a healthy way."
"Tell her to take her stuff and go. She can open up her sex life in her own space and without pretending that she's in a committed relationship. An 'open relationship' is a dealbreaker, and I won't have a relationship with a woman who indicates that might something she wants."
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"Break up, I’m a monogamous person, and the thought of anyone else sleeping with my SO turns my stomach. Nothing wrong with people who like open relationships, but it isn’t for me."
"Have a long, serious talk with them about why they want it, and what their plans for our future include. I'm actually all for polyamory so long as everyone involved is there for the right reasons and is being completely open and honest about it. Do keep in mind though that the vast majority of relationships that 'become' open, usually fail. It really is the type of thing you have to enter into from day one with everybody on the same page. Regardless of what you decide, I wish you the best of luck and hope you both end up happy."
"I agreed, tried it out but realized that 1). it wasn't for me and 2). I was secretly just hoping he'd f**k off and leave me for someone else. So eventually I worked up to breaking up with him and life's been great since. I had pretty much zero respect left for that guy by the time the relationship breathed its last."
"I've been in one before. Another man and a woman. So long as all parties are honest, have their boundaries set and respected, and we're participating clean and safe, it's a good time. Communication is key."
"It's a good time. Is it sustainable? Is it like, if you want to have lots of sex in your life you maybe do poly. If you want to be career/family focused, you have finite resources you're working with?"
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"If it’s an open relationship or nothing at all, I’d bail. After establishing the communication, trust, and loyalty for all these years I just couldn’t switch to being open. Another reason - I don’t have the energy to be dating all over again. I wouldn’t even get the benefits of being open. I’d just rather be alone for a while."
"I'd agree and see what happened. We haven't had sex in close to a year now anyway. Maybe id be able to find some idiot who might enjoy my company. The problem is we have discussed it and discussed it. I'm just not the kind of person who is going to be like 'we are married and I want sex so you have to do it even if you don't want to.'"
"After so long I've just gotten used to the idea that I take care of myself when she's not home and wait for the rare chance she's in the mood. I've given up on trying after being shut down so much and perhaps thats my fault as well. Meh. Enough complaints to the void today. Thanks."
Don't do it if you're not 100% sure everyone can handle it. Otherwise it's just a mess.
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The US is represented in the majority of some of the biggest films recognized worldwide–from iconic movies like American Grafitti to The Color Purple, to recent critically-acclaimed films like Minari and Moonlight.
Even classic American sitcoms like Friends are known the world over as the ultimate example of American comedy.
But there are plenty of misconceptions about American culture seen in some of these entertainment offerings that foreign audiences seem to miss, and it's time to set the record straight.
For starters, an apartment in New York City is not at all spacious like the one that was inhabited by Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, and Chandler. So there's that.
Curious to hear more examples of what our friends across the Atlantic could stand to learn, Redditor Jazzlike_Fondant_518 asked:
"Americans, what’s something Europeans need to hear?"
American Redditors had a thing or two to say about how we roll here in the States.
"Free, clean, omnipresent public restrooms are indeed possible."
Vouching For The Myth
"As a British person who now lives in the US I would say public toilets is something the US does really well. They are everywhere, accessible and usually very clean. Europe definitely needs to catch up on this."
Driving In Circles
"We have roundabouts here. They exist. Stop claiming we don't."
Preconceived notions can be bye-bye.
Nothing Cool About This
"The flavor of America is not cool ranch."
Maintaining Best Indoor Air Quality
"Invest in hvac and soon cause it won't get cheaper or cooler."
"A large portion of Americans are rational and moderate people, and what you see on the television isn't indicative of every American you meet."
"America isn't the only country with racial issues."
Europeans, take note.
"It’s past time you take James Corden back."
It's A Big Problem
"Europe is getting fat too."
Kernel Of Truth
"Putting corn on pizza doesn't make it 'American pizza'. It just makes it disgusting."
"A good looking guy smoking a cigarette is not a movie."
Despite everything in the news happening in the States creating division and leaving people feeling dejected, a good majority of US citizens are not jerks.
There are loads of kind, considerate, empathetic, and well-behaved people living here.
Europeans often don't get to hear this since much of the media focuses on iniquitous behavior.
Humanity is still intact here.
At least that's what I still believe.
I admit, and this might as well be heresy to lots of people, that I just don't like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
I know ya'll love it, but there's very little about it that I feel accurately captures the feeling of magic and whimsy that I experienced while I read Road Dahl's stellar book.
Before you get on my case, I'll emphatically deny liking Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... because it's also terrible.
You just can't please some people (namely me), right?
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor Dame87 asked the online community,
"What is a film that gets a huge amount of praise but you think is awful?"
Paranormal Activity (2007)
"Paranormal Activity. I've seen scarier crap in a public toilet."
When it came out it was pretty freaky and I still wasn't in love with it. It's the definition of average.
The Notebook (2004)
"The Notebook. Both leads are so unlikeable and horrible to each other it's not even enjoyable in a 'so bad it's good' way."
"Especially when she actually breaks up with him, gets in a stable relationship with another guy who's not awful...and then ditches that guy to get back with the main love interest because respectful relationships are sooo boring, everyone real love requires being unable to be in the same room without coming to literal screaming matches."
Honestly, aside from some very good acting, the script of this film is pretty terrible.
But it's Nicholas Sparks, we're talking about.
The Blind Side (2009)
"The Blind Side. They turned an interesting real life story into Hollywood crap."
Even the film's subject dislikes it.
Sandra Bullock beating her competition for THAT? She was much better in Gravity.
"Frozen. I hate it too much, but I can’t help it. People kept saying how it was the best Disney movie ever and it wasn’t even top ten."
Disney really did this film a disservice by shoving it down everyone's throats for much of the last decade.
Les Miserables (2012)
"I know Les Misérables was super acclaimed and all that, but it was really nothing like the book. It made me sad."
It wasn't meant to be an adaptation of the book, it was meant to be an adaptation of the musical (which a lot of people don't like because it condenses many of the elements from the book).
That said, I can't stand this film either. It's horribly directed.
"Crash won Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing awards. Received six Academy Award nominations. I thought it sucked."
You mean the film in which Sandra Bullock is cured of her racism after she falls down the stairs?
"Grease. I HATED it. I can appreciate the choreography, but the storyline is awful, cheesy (not to mention misogynistic, which at my first viewing I didn’t know what that was). Couldn’t stand Stockard Channing’s character. Really bad acting too."
It's just a bit too hokey for my taste – it makes it difficult to enjoy.
I did see a stage production years ago that was a lot more fun.
Black Panther (2018)
"It has a nice looking setting, and it was good to see a movie featuring a majority black cast with a positive/comic book storyline rather than the stereotypical urban/hang setting. So to that end it read a good movie."
"At the same time, it was also just yet another unmemorable marvel movie - I know I have seen it, but I have no memory of what actually happened in it. Remove the political/seeing element of it and it gets completely lost in the crowd."
Considering that Marvel films do absolutely nothing for me, I was not surprised by Black Panther or the fact that it was more of the same.
Meet the Parents (2000)
"Meet the Parents. It’s just two hours of being vicariously stressed out and embarrassed for Ben Stiller."
Something tells me this movie likely has not aged well. It would not surprise me at all if this turned out to be the case.
"Avatar. It's just Pocahontas in space, God dammit."
I prefer Dances with Wolves in space myself.
I rewatched this earlier during lockdown and dropped my DVD off at a local community center afterward. And who the hell asked for three more sequels?
We all have our tastes, sorry to disappoint. Besides, we're certain that you have a film or two you dislike in your arsenal.
Have thoughts about other films that are not included here? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
Even though many of us have interesting events in our lives to share at a get-together, there is always someone who can top your story with a life event that can be a little too zany to be believed.
"What’s your wildest story that sounds too far-fetched to be true?"
Redditors' interactions with animals were either empowering or terrifying.
A Chihuahua's Hero
"Mine is when I was in high school I lived out in the countryside of Central Texas. I was just kind of bumbling around on the property and my mom's little chihuahua was tagging along. I heard a bird, saw a fast moving shadow, and threw my arm out, slapping a hawk out of the sky as it tried to get my mom's chihuahua."
"Cut my arm pretty good, but saved that little rat of a dog. The chihuahua went on to pass away at a smooth 19 years old."
Brush With An Owl
"I worked nights in college. I'd always take my two dogs out to pee when I got home and one late night an owl tried to snatch my Chihuahua but thankfully missed. My golden retriever ran back inside like the owl was going to somehow take his 60lb a** but my chi stood his ground like he could take it on. I got him inside and was much more careful after that. He, too, passed at 19. I miss him."
"I was almost drowned by a pod of dolphins while surfing at Salt Creek, Orange County, CA. I got up on a wave and one of them knocked me over, 2 wave pin down on a 5-7 ft day."
These could be plot points in a movie.
"I was surfing in Santa Barbara County when I was a kid, maybe 14 or 15. When I would come in from a surf, I had the habit of undoing my leash from my leg while I was walking in the shallow water. Unbeknownst to me, the other side of the leash that connects to the board had come off. I lost my leash. I searched around the tidal zone but no luck. I was bummed but I just moved on."
"Three weeks later, I was surfing in Ventura county, and as I was walking in from the surf, a piece of kelp wrapped around my leg. I reached down to pull it off. It wasn’t kelp, it was my leash I’d lost a dozen miles north a few weeks back. It had algae and stuff growing on it, but no mistaking it was absolutely my leash."
The Origin Of Love
"When my dad and step-mom met, my dad swore he’d met her before, but couldn’t remember when or where. Eventually, he decided he’d seen her in Cody, Wyoming, the town where he grew up. She swore she’d never even been to Wyoming (she’s from Oregon and that’s where they met)."
"Several years later, after they’d been married a while, step-mom mentions to her mom that my dad swears he met her in Cody, but she’s never been there. Her mom says 'Yes, you have,' and pulls out a photograph from 1956 of her, age 9, riding on a mechanical horse (a kid one) and in the background, standing around in the crowd, is my dad and his two brothers, ages 8, 10, and 11."
"She submitted the story to a local magazine for a Valentine’s Day contest one year and won a trip to a resort."
"Some honorable mentions: By the time I was 20, I was 1 degree of separation away from 5 different people who’d been murdered by 3 different serial killers (gotta love the PNW), and I almost hit Bob Dylan with my car once."
"First time I ever smoked pot a police helicopter hovered above me and my friend and hit us with the spotlight. They were looking for someone else apparently because they immediately moved on. Nonetheless…"
"I took my VW to the dealer to get some work done. The service rep at the counter was so hung over (possibly still intoxicated) that he couldn’t handle completing the paper work. He told the tech that I was a VIP, specifically 'Britni Spears’s brother' and that he owed me a favor, so the work was on the house and they just never did any paperwork, didn’t charge me a dime, did the work, handed me the keys, and away I drove."
These Redditors couldn't believe their luck.
"I won a two week cruise vacation for two in a contest."
"I never entered the contest."
"I was convinced I was being scammed."
"Even from the beaches of the Caribbean, I still wasn't convinced."
The Generous Friend
"Was in Vegas for a work thing. I was not happy about being there because it was a tough time in my life, money was really tight and Vegas is the last place you want to be when money is tight."
"I was telling my buddy about it and he says, 'Im going to pay pal you $150. Go play the poker tournament at the Venetian at night. You can drink for free and hopefully you last long. If you win anything, pay me back, if not, no worries.'"
"So I did. Won the tournament! $3200."
"The second night, I went off to play some craps alone one night because I did not like the work people and did not want to hang with them."
"Started with $200. 45 minuted later I 7’d out and had $37,000. Cashed out and told no one!"
"On the drive back (I lived in Phoenix) I called my buddy and told him (only) about it. I sent him $2500."
"The one time I went to Vegas at the proper age of 21, I won $2000 on my first spin on the 25c slot machine. I didn't gamble the rest of the time and enjoyed the fact that my trip paid for itself. Came home with all the money I left with and an extra $800. Didn't tell my bf I was with at the time either; he would have tried to spend my money."
Given A Second Chance
"I went jogging one night and came across a lady laid out face first. No heart beat. Started doing cpr. Never saw another person was able to call 911 while doing cpr. Kept at it twenty Minutes till FD got there. She made a full recovery. They said cpr that long has a 95% fail rate."
A friend back in high school told me he was a vampire when he dropped me off from band practice.
This was at a time when Anne Rice was super popular and everyone was reading the Lestat books.
Being an impressionable 15-year-old at the time, I believed him, because he warned me that if I ever revealed his identity to anyone, "I will find you."
A couple of years ago, I reunited with a mutual friend and I joked about how I believed so-and-so was a creature of the night. We nervously laughed.
Whether my blood-thirsty friend was weighing on my conscience or not, I've been visited by him in COUNTLESS dreams ever since I told my friend about him.
Call it what you want–paranoia or self-fulfilling prophecy–but there are some things in this realm I will never be able to explain.
I'm just glad I'm still here to talk about it now that I let the proverbial cat out of the bag.
When you're younger, you might think you come from a great family. But as a kid, you miss out on a lot of nuance. You do not see all the drama the adults around you are involved in. And when you do eventually notice it, you start to realize that maybe few—if any—of your family members actually like each other. So why put up with all those tense family holiday dinners?
This isn't to say that all families are like this. Absolutely not. There are some very happy and wonderful families out there. But seeing families hurt each other is enough to teach you that maybe that age old tradition of getting together for Christmas dinner might not be in everyone's best interest.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor captrober157 asked the online community,
"What family tradition ends with you?"
"Being an alcoholic."
"Being an alcoholic. My dad is an alcoholic. Both my grandfathers were alcoholics, which is what killed them. One of my grandmothers used to be an alcoholic and the other one still is. I could go on and on."
Be strong and bold man, don't let the family pressure get to you!
"200 years of living in London and my kids will never be able to afford to rent or buy here."
200 years of living anywhere, it seems. It's insane.
"My dad interrupting dinner..."
"My dad interrupting dinner, so we can CALL LONG DISTANCE to relatives who couldn’t travel to the event. Then we’d have to pass the phone around the table for brief, superficial greetings as our food went cold. Yikes."
Ummm... what? No, thank you. There's no way!
"Expecting the oldest child..."
"Expecting the oldest child to parent the younger one and getting pissed off when the oldest ends up acting like a parent. My younger brother is eight years younger than me. I stopped being a kid by the age of 8.5."
Very frustrating and sadly the case for many families out there, especially those of more limited means.
"Expecting my son..."
"Expecting my son to join the military. Almost every male family member on my father's side have fought in every conflict since WW1. I did two tours in Afghanistan and I never want him to experience anything like that."
War is traumatic and ideally, no one should ever have to experience it.
"Being hush hush..."
"Being hush hush about mental health related topics and untrusting of medicine in general."
It's great to see the younger generation be so open about mental health and fighting the stigma!
"Telling the boys..."
"Telling the boys to not cry. To push it down. Going to let my kid cry and talk about his feelings as much as he damn well pleases."
This is so important — young boys need to grow up knowing that their feelings are valid.
"Arranged marriage. Should have ended that tradition myself but was too much of a coward."
The best time was for yourself. The second best will be for your kids.
"Massive extended family gatherings. Not practical. Besides, grandma kicked the bucket 10 years ago."
Often, families splinter once a matriarch or patriarch dies and people realize that they were the glue keeping everyone together.
"I'm the first..."
"Living below the poverty line. I'm the first member of my family to be middle class."
Fantastic! Break the cycle!
It takes a lot of courage to break from your family, especially if they've always done things a certain way. A lot of respect to people who decide to and are able to create new lives for themselves!
What does breaking the cycle mean to you? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!