The Couple Who Opened Their Relationship Up When the Country Opened Up – GQ


Benjamin: I was scared that we would try it out and then it wouldn’t help. I was concerned that I would feel a lot more jealous and that I would find it an excuse to just not be around Dahlia.

Dahlia: There were two things we really needed before we opened our relationship. We needed to be fully vaccinated, which happened at the end of April. Our original couples therapist, while she was very supportive of us, didn’t feel like she could support us professionally. So we found another therapist who is very involved in ethical non-monogamy. She herself is poly, and teaches workshops on this. She knows what she’s doing. I actually found her on TikTok.

I was like, “Okay, we have the therapist, we’re vaccinated, now I feel like we can do this.” I remember it was April 22nd … whatever the Wednesday of that week was. That’s when we both joined OkCupid. Again.

Benjamin: Let’s talk about what happened just before that. Which is we were floating the idea of just doing it and I was like, “I wanna fuck you right now.” And we went upstairs and it had been a long time since we had sex. That’s when I think it really clicked: Not only are we okay with this, this could actually be a positive thing between us. It could create this excitement between us.

Dahlia: Once we started talking about it more seriously, we started having sex more often.

Benjamin: I remember we were talking about “Honey, should we go on the apps?” “It’s a little soon.” We go upstairs, we have great sex, you come out of the bathroom and go, “I think we should go on the apps.”

Dahlia: The parameters have changed since we first opened our relationship .

Benjamin: Dramatically.

Dahlia: There was probably a 3-year period between my last relationship and Benjamin where I was single and dating and I did not hook up with guys just for the hell of it. I was very intentional about who I had sex with, mostly because I just wanted a long-term relationship.

Benjamin: I think I had one like a hookup in college. But, I’d always felt like there were a lot of experiences that I’d never had. I’m, in general, not just with relationships, a guy who feels the need to try everything in the world. And I feel like sexual experience really falls under that umbrella too. There’s so many wonderful people out there, all different shapes and sizes and personalities and things to talk about. I want to try it all.

Dahlia: I was like, “I’m gonna have a lot of casual sex and that’s all I want and it’s gonna be great.” And now, I’ve connected with people.

Benjamin: When Dahlia first said, “I just want to hook up with guys,” I laughed. I was like, “no way, you’re gonna find someone who is friendly and attractive and who you connect with and you’re gonna want to be in a relationship.”

Dahlia: I also didn’t want to know anything about Benjamin’s situation, who he was dating. And now I help him with his profile and look at matches with him.

Benjamin: It is incredible and so ironic how being married makes you better at dating. It’s just hilarious. We should all have that when we’re single. Now that I’m married, I get flirting advice from my wife.

Dahlia: Whenever I had sex when I was dating and wanting a partner, the first time I had sex with someone I saw any kind of future with, I was immediately filled with anxiety. Are they going to dump me now? Do they find me attractive? Do I find them attractive? Was that sex even good? I couldn’t enjoy sex just for sex. The first time I had an ethically non-monogamous experience, the sex was great. It was with a guy who I knew I never wanted to be in a relationship with. When it was over, I could just lay there and be naked and talk about whatever and not care what I was saying and it felt so liberating.