Drama: You Don’t Need It – Part 2

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Drama: You Don’t Need It – Part 2

A few days ago I explained why drama is a bad thing you don't need, at all, for a healthy, human, close relationship. The information in that article covered all relationships, whether casual, semi-serious, or very serious. It also covered traditional monogamous relationships as well as open/poly relationships.

-By Caleb Jones

Today I'm going to be a little more specific and cover drama within open/poly nonmonogamous relationships. Like last time, I hope to get you thinking about this very significant topic in a one or two ways you probably haven't considered before.

MORE Drama?

Years ago, I read in one of Neil Strauss's books (Rules of the Game, I think) a chapter where he lamented monogamy. He was talking about how it was very clear to him that monogamy simply did not work, and that men were never cut out for it, and that it was always a recipe for disaster once you came down off the high of the relationship's honeymoon period.

He was right of course. It's Blackdragon 101.
However, he went on to say that monogamy was the only option men had for anything serious or long term. Because, he said, "people with open relationships had a lot of drama". He practices what he preaches. If you know Neil Strauss, you know he is a hardcore monogamy addict and serial monogamist. He constantly leapfrogs from mono-GF to the next, his typical relationship lasting about 2-3 years.

In his very next book, Emergency, he related all kinds arguments and bitch sessions he had with his latest high-drama monogamous girlfriend. It was painful to read. (I generally like Neil Strauss.)

Imagine my reaction at reading Neil's pronouncement that open relationships had "a lot of drama". This was several years ago, when my open relationship skills weren't anywhere near where they are now. But even back then, I was in the middle of multiple FB and MLTR relationships with several women, having a fantastic time, without even one tiny drip of drama. Indeed it was this lack of drama that was one of the compelling reasons for me to adopt an open/poly lifestyle instead of a monogamous one.

After thinking about what he said, I finally realized what he was referring to. Many "old school" open relationships (usually swinger relationships) were indeed a bucket full of drama. During the younger phases of the seduction community, guys really knew how to get laid, but their relationship management skills were still quite terrible.

If you establish an open relationship, but use the same basic rules, structures, and expectations of the old monogamy model, then hell yeah, you're in for some serious, non-stop drama. That's what Neil was referring to.

Thankfully, we've come a long way since then. Pioneers such as Zan Perrion, improvers on the model such as Franco and our very own Tubarao at the forums, as well as loudmouths like myself, have all improved upon the open/poly model to a point where we can accurately say that properly managed open/poly relationships have far, far less drama than even relatively harmonious monogamous ones.

The usual drama/bitching that accompanies a relationship with a woman is something I experience maybe two or three times a year. That's a pretty big deal considering that you need to multiply this by the fact I'm dating at least 3 women at any given point in time.

Compare this to the typical long term monogamous relationship where bitching and drama is a regular weekly, sometimes even daily event. Even those men who brag that they have "good" monogamous relationships/marriages still often have to admit that woman-drama is a regular thing they have to put up with.

It's pretty nice living in the poly world where drama is almost nonexistent. But there's a catch.
Screwing Up Drama Prevention In Nonmonogamous Relationships
Not only is there less drama in nonmonogamous relationships, in a way, there must be. Why?
In a monogamous relationship, if there ends up being shitload of serious drama, one of the partners eventually leaves. For example, guy cheats on girl, girl finds out, girl explodes, girl leaves. Happens all the time.

But in a poorly structured nonmonogamous relationship, if there's an explosion of drama, the woman stays, and the drama just keeps right on going. For example, guy dates girl A, guy fucks girl B, girl A discovers details about girl B, girl A explodes, but does not leave. The relationship endures, and girl A just keeps regularly exploding at the guy with jealous drama.

I think this is an example of what Neil was talking about. A poorly managed open/poly relationship where drama and jealousy just go on and on.
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Years ago when I first started experimenting with this stuff, I encountered similar problems. I became adroit at maintaining open relationships, but because of my inexperience, I was not as good at managing drama, jealousy, discretion, or expectations.

The main culprits of drama in nonmonogamous relationships are the following, in order of commonality:

1. The man screwing up the woman's category. There are FBs, WDs, MLTRs, and OLTR. The most common problem with guys new at this stuff is they mentally place a woman in one category while treating her like a different one, or worse, like a monogamous girlfriend. I've discussed this before.

2. The man refuses to soft next. Soft nexting is the greatest, most powerful weapon in a man's arsenal when it comes to relationship management. The utter tragedy is that way too many men out there simply refuse to try it.
The first time a man does do it, he is amazed at how well it works. (I just talked to a guy last week who used the words "night and day" to describe his MLTRs behavior before and after the soft next. He was amazed at how "easy" it was.)

3. The man brings his own monogamy expectations to the relationship, and/or allows the woman to do the same. Under a typical monogamous relationship, if a guy's girlfriend goes out with a bunch of friends without the boyfriend, then goes to a bar and has a little to drink and starts grinding-dancing on other dudes, this is "grounds" for the boyfriend to have an absolute freak-out attack the next day when he finds out. Stupid, but that's how most monogamous relationships are.

In an FB, WD, MLTR, or even serious MLTR relationship, this is completely acceptable behavior. (Even in certain OLTRs this kind of behavior would be allowed!) The problem is the guy enters into an MLTR (or similar) relationship, but still pulls his own needy, societally programmed monogamy-biases into the relationship where they do not belong.

The opposite variation of this is when the woman brings her Disney mono-biases, and the man doesn't educate her as to the differences (both through his words and actions, mostly actions).
Either way, drama then ensues.

4. The man mismanages discretion. Discretion in open relationships is a huge topic and I've written about it extensively in my ebooks. The point here is that just because you are completely honest and up-front about the fact you are having sex with other women does not mean you're giving your special gal details about how tight that medical student's pussy was last Wednesday.

Nor does it mean you carry on very public, flirty conversations on your Facebook page with one MLTR while your other MLTR watches from her laptop and flys into a rage.
Honesty is one thing. Details are another. One does not require the other, nor should it (unless you like drama).

In an FB or MLTR relationship, you need to be very clear and honest about the fact you are having sex with and/or dating other women, but you do not want to provide details of these other women and your sexual activities with them, nor do you want to be flaunting these other women in her face. This is exactly the kind of thing that brought down Gene Simmons, (formerly) an open relationships icon.

This kind of thing can be done in a more evolved OLTR relationship, maybe, but beyond that, you need to be reasonably discreet.

The Difference
The great news is that none of these four things are particularly complicated or difficult. Once I got a handle on those things, I was able to very quickly stabilize my open relationship life (not that it was bad to begin with), and it's been 100% smooth sailing since.

Drama is more endemic to monogamy because a woman believes, rightly or wrongly, that she's got her hooks into you and you have to stay with her whether she bitches at you or not. The very act of promising a woman monogamy, promising her that she's the only woman you will be sexual with, instantly makes it "okay" for her to start throwing shit at you.

Have a baby with her, or move in with her, or marry her, especially without signing a prenup, and this becomes doubly true. Everyone knows this and even monogamy defenders have to admit this. Regular drama is part of monogamy. It can't be avoided.
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In a poly relationship, none of this is accurate. She knows that at any time you can snap your fingers and go have sex with someone else...even perhaps go have a relationship with someone else. This makes her more nice to you.  It also makes you more nice to her (because she could do the same). There is little or no betaization in poly relationships, thus she never reaches the point where she feels it's now "okay" for her to start screaming at you whenever she has a bad day.

If she does have a bad day and needs to scream at someone, she'll scream at someone else. Which, as I described in the last post, is what she should do.

It occasionally happens in my life. I'll be talking to an MLTR and it's clear she's had a bad day or is in a bad mood. I'll say something that pisses her off (that normally would not piss her off, but it does because she's in a bitchy mood), and she'll get an angry look on her face, then immediately leave the room, whip out her cell phone, call one of her friends, and start screaming at them. I nod approvingly and get back to work. This is exactly what I've trained my women to do.

Hey, drama is fine. You're a woman, you need to be a screaming bitch sometimes. It's normal and natural and I have no problem with it. However, drama pointed in my direction is not fine. Do it all you want, just point it somewhere else.

Of course she's still a woman and a human being, so if the relationship is serious enough and lasts long enough, there will be a little drama thrown your way eventually. But again, we're talking once or twice a year instead of every week. It's...night and day.

Now I know the question that's festering in your mind so let's deal with it right now:
Well what if you really are an asshole and she really does need to call you out on it? Is she never allowed to do that???
I've answered that question many times before. Every woman in my life knows if they have a legitimate problem with me, they can bring it to my attention whenever they want, as long as they remain in a calm, relaxed, adult tone.

If she comes to me and says in a normal tone of voice something like "You know BD, it really bothered me the other day when you said my sister was as a dumbass. That's really not cool and it hurt my feelings," that's completely fine, and if she has a good point, and sometimes she might, I'll sincerely apologize.

But if she starts screaming at me and yells something like "God dammit BD why the fuck do you always do that!?! You're such an asshole!!!", that's drama and not allowed. She has 20 seconds to calm down or it's instant soft next, then I go have sex with someone else. See the difference?

Because of all of this, drama is very, very rare in my life, even with years-long relationships I have. I see all the monogamous people fight and argue and bitch, and I just shake my head. Drama. You don't need it. You don't have to have it. You deserve better.

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This article was originally published on August 15, 2013
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  • Diggy 2013-08-15 20:46:53

    Good stuff BD. Three years ago I had three women I was dating call me with thier drama filled days with in hours. I started applying a three strike rule. At strike two almost always two things would happen: They would playfully claim that they weren't following that system and then turn around and behave like little angels. Im wondering if the strike two was similar to the soft next. Can you link to a post that explains the soft next, please? Thanks man.

  • Jon 2013-08-16 08:30:46

    I seem to remember hearing a quote from Neil Strauss that "Pick-up ruins you for relationships." If he has high drama relationships, I guess that would explain why he said it...

  • Korg 2013-08-16 09:05:44

  • Blackdragon 2013-08-16 11:37:12

    Im wondering if the strike two was similar to the soft next.
    If you actually do it, yes. The problem is men threaten to do stuff like this all the time, but never do it.

  • Lee 2013-08-17 06:12:13

    What is interesting,when a man gets just a bit clued up about life,women and sex he can watch even rich and famous men getting nuked by women.

  • Diggy 2013-08-17 12:10:31

    Thanks Korg... I think this is way more effective than the three strikes. Strike two was more of a gentle next and strike three was a hard next. I do follow thru tho... I like this way better because it gives a chance to get back (if desired) as oppose to just running thru the system.

  • Jack 2013-08-18 19:35:41

    BD, Could you write a post describing the relationship arc that many / most of your fbs or mltrs take? What I'm getting at is that there is a pattern that these things take from meet to sex to lock-in to indeterminate period to some type of relationship announcement to poly type arrangement to female pressuring for monogamy to female dissatisfaction to ultimatum to break up, etc. I'm curious as to what your experiences have been overall with the poly relationships

  • Blackdragon 2013-08-19 12:11:39

    What a great question. Okay, I'll do it.

  • Korg 2013-09-02 09:36:29

    BD is there a reason you do not link to the forum post about soft nexting in the glossary? Tried it last week. Probably going to end up with point 12. Which is fine.

  • Blackdragon 2013-09-02 10:37:08

    Good idea. When we get done with the blog revamp I'll do that.