Our female writer was left blindsided and heartbroken on holiday when her boyfriend suddenly declared he wanted an open relationship. Here, she shares her story.
When I was 20, I was thrilled to be going away with my boyfriend of six months – our first ever holiday together. Our plan was to escape the cold and head to Mexico for a romantic getaway.
It was my first serious relationship outside of teenage flings. He was a few years older than me, the 'cool guy' who lived on his own and seemed to know everyone in my small town.
We met on a random night out in July, immediately hit it off, and went on our first official date the next day. I remember thinking that it was fate that my friends and I skipped our usual bar and tried somewhere new the night we met.
He was the 'cool guy' who lived on his own.
Our fateful holiday
Fast forward six months and it was the dead of winter. He had time off from work (and me from university) and we had just celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together. We found a last-minute deal and decided that Mexico would be a great idea. It wasn’t.
Three days into our week-long trip, we were lying on the beach when he turned to me and declared, "I think we should see other people." I laughed, thinking it was some sort of strange joke.
"I’m serious," he added. "I really don’t think this is working out." We sat in silence for what felt like ages.
“Aren't you going to say something?” he asked. I had a million thoughts and questions running through my mind, but no idea where to start.
Read more: Open relationships
My open relationship is making him happier but I’m miserable. What do I do? (Evening Standard, 2-min read)
My open marriage destroyed me - I don't trust anyone anymore (Yahoo Life UK, 10-min read)
Husband gives wife his blessing - and just one rule - to find other men on dating apps (Yahoo Life UK, 4-min read)
Up until that moment everything felt right. Our relationship was easy. We never fought, and he truly was my best friend. Then – just like that – it felt like a rug had been swept from under my feet. I was completely blindsided.
It felt like a rug had been swept from under my feet.
"What am I supposed to say? You’re doing this on our holiday? Without even having a conversation? I thought everything was fine," I stammered.
"It is fine. But I’m not looking for ‘fine’,” he replied. “I’m not even sure what I’m looking for to be honest. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. It’s just not going to work.”
He strode off. I thought maybe he needed some time to cool off, but by the time I got back to our hotel room, he had checked into another room. We never spoke again.
I got back to our hotel room to find he had checked into another room.
I did all I could to avoid him on holiday, locking myself in my hotel room on some days or forcing myself to leave the resort and explore. We ran into each other once in the lobby and acted as if we were complete strangers, barely acknowledging one another. He even changed his seat on the flight home so we were nowhere near each other.
What was meant to be a fun week away ended up with me heartbroken, thousands of miles away from my friends and family who I’d normally lean on. I initially didn’t tell my friends what had happened, instead fired off a simple text: "Anyone free to pick me up from the airport on Tuesday? It will just be me, and I don’t want to talk about it."
I felt shocked and embarrassed that I didn’t see the break-up coming.
I knew my friends would have just as many questions as I did, and I didn’t have the answers. I felt shocked and embarrassed that I didn’t see the break-up coming.
By the time I got home from my holiday, I felt like I had gone through just about all the stages of grief. I spent a little extra time in the anger phase this time around, and my friends were there ready to support.
They picked me up from the airport with a break-up care package in hand, held me tight, and said nothing. Instead, they planned a weekend of Mexican-themed activities, including a pirate piñata which looked oddly similar to my ex.
It was exactly what I needed to get out of my rut, let out some rage and start making memories with the other loves of my life.