An Unchained Heart

loveL. captivated me this week, sharing the journey of her and her…boyfriend?  bestie?  boy she loves but isn’t officially ‘with’?  In Facebook terminology, it’s complicated.

L. and her beloved live far apart, making choices over the last few years to maintain an ‘open’ relationship, rooted in the ideas of the old-school military: don’t ask, don’t tell.  With sincerity, L. explained to me her love for this human being, her sense that the chemistry between them is REAL and that in order to maintain hope for a future, they both want to give one another the freedom to experiment and explore while in college.  In L’s mind, it’s the ideal arrangement for this stage of life.

With an open heart (harping back to my earlier coffee date a few weeks ago on cheating), I really tried to HEAR what L. was saying.  She is approaching this relationship from a place of love, clearly wanting to give – to her boy and to herself – the gifts of freedom and experimentation.  She truly believes that only if this openness exists NOW might the relationship have a chance to work LATER.  And yet I shared with L., my open ear also battled with my own lessons learned from marriage & its accompanying commitment (for better and for worse…).

What are your personal consequences of SO MUCH CHOICE?  As a college student, in which spaces in your life should you be open & free?  And in which spaces do boundaries and limitations actually help you to learn and to grow?

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