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Breaking Upwards: Is an Open Relationship Better Than a Bored Relationship?

Is an Open Relationship Better Than a Bored Relationship?

After two postcollege years together, Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein were like a lot of couples. Bored. But instead of breaking up, they had an open relationship and made Breaking Upwards, a movie (watch its trailer) about their experiment.

I admit the making-a-movie-together part is more intriguing than sleeping around, but if art is going to imitate life then life best not be dull. They do, however, admit the film is a dramatized version of real life. But if nothing else, it's an insightful look into an open relationship. They break the relationship into on and off days for logistical purposes, which sounds a little like being a polygamist but a lot better.

On "on days," they are in a committed relationship and on "off days" they commit to being single. That works in the movie, but in real life it was not that simple. At one point, they told Woman's Wear Daily, stress forced Zoe to choose the relationship over the film, and she removed herself from the project while continuing their on-off relationship. A year later she rejoined the film and suggested they return to monogamy. They did.

Now, three years later, they have a movie and an intact relationship, but they have to live with that, too. “Even though we’ve made a film about our relationship and talk about it incessantly," Zoe said, "there are still painful elements that we don’t feel like rehashing all the time."

Join The Conversation
GregS GregS 7 years
I don't think I could deal with my SO with another man, though I guess as a typical man thing, I could see myself with 2 SO's IF it was done right. It would take a hell of a lot of work to keep things on an even keel. Frankly, I'm not sure I could do it. Having 1 SO is hard enough.
amybdk amybdk 7 years
Not for me, but I certainly think there are people this works for. More power to 'em.
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
Wouldn't work for me.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
I'm not judgmental toward people who do participate in open relationships, but I could never do it. And I just don't really understand it. Healthy commitment to me means monogamy, and if I could not be monogamous, I just wouldn't be in a relationship at all. But I guess it just depends on what you personally feel about what "commitment" means and whether or not sex can be "just sex" to you. If it really works for you and everyone involved is on the same page, more power to ya!
Pistil Pistil 7 years
If you're in an "on again/off again" relationship, obviously something isn't working. Why not just put the relationship out of it's misery and end it? Then you can see all the new people you want, without the complications of keeping an open relationship.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
i also can't grasp why you would want to do this - if you want to sleep around, don't be in a relationship a relationship, to me, is monogamous, the same as KadBunny and others said... if you're bored, do something to spice it up, but i don't think sleeping with other people is going to strengthen your will only tear it apart
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
I don't really understand open relationships. How is it different from having like, a main f*ck buddy? Is it? Are they boyfriend/girlfriend? I don't know... when I hear the word "relationship" I just associate it with monogamy so it just baffles me. With that said, it obviously works for some people so. :) Whatever floats your boat. IMO, if you're bored you're probably not trying hard enough to spice it up anyway, or you're just with the wrong person... but I can see how two people might feel compelled to stay "together" anyway. I guess this is the answer.
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
Wow. No thanks. Why be in a relationship if you want to sleep with others. There's no challenge in hooking up with anyone you want to. The challenge is picking one person, and making that work, no matter what.
amandachalynn amandachalynn 7 years
I prefer monogamy for myself, but if that's what works for someone else that's cool.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
I like being committed to one person, so I don't think it would work for me.
mix-tape mix-tape 7 years
I'm too jealous even though I think it would be cool for me to explore some more, but that would hurt my partner and it would kill me if he was with someone else. It would take a toll on your mind being single one day and taken the next, continuing the cycle over and over again. UGH not for me!
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
I don't think that open relationships work, at least it will not work for me. I think that if you cannot commit to one person, then you shouldn't be in a relationship. I would never be able to share my partner with somebody else, its just not who I am.
KateAthens KateAthens 7 years
Any kind of relationship -even an open one- is better than a fake relationship. Mean a relationship based on lie. Many couples give vows of eternal love to each other the same time they keep their options open and have each other as an "inbetweener". I dont know if it could work irl, never had an "open relationship", but i would take honesty over lies anytime.
xgreenfairyx xgreenfairyx 7 years
Meh, I do it. It's cool. I wouldn't be silly enough to 'experiment' just because I was 'bored', though. Its a lifestyle, not a toy.
sourcherry sourcherry 7 years
"they" probably" can't deal, not "it", sorry
sourcherry sourcherry 7 years
It would never work for me, and honestly, I don't think it would work for the majority of the population. The thrill of being with new people sounds tempting and all, but jealousy tears apart the relationship eventually. Even if the people involved can deal with the partner having a physical relationship with someone else, it probably can't deal with if it's an emotional one. And the line between the two is too thin and too ambiguous to allow a steady relationship, in my opinion. A bored relationship is either not meant to be or can be fixed with far less extreme things. Some time apart is preferable.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Yes, I think so. If it's done right, obviously.
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