After struggling with the decision for weeks, Angela finally decided to have a discussion with Dennis. They had been together for three years, and while most of it had been filled with happy moments, the last six months had been a struggle for Angela. She loved Dennis, but she felt their relationship lacked passion.
“Babe, I’m sure you can also feel that something is different between us,” Angela told Dennis.
“Where are you going with this?” Dennis asked her.
“I think we should try having an open relationship for a while to help us rekindle that spark,” Angela said, making it sound more like a statement than a suggestion.
“You want us to see other people?” Dennis asked in disbelief.
“Yes, many couples do it. Go on dates with other people, have new experiences but we would still be together.”
“But we hang out with our friends and colleagues and have experiences with them, doesn’t that count?” Dennis asked.
“This would be different. We’d be going for actual romantic dates with other people.”
“Would that include having physical intimacy?” Dennis asked.
“If we want to,” Angela replied.
“Why not just breakup so that you can have the freedom you clearly desire?”
“I don’t want to be free of you, I love you but I think this would reignite our passion,” said Angela.
After a month of the same discussion, Dennis gave in to Angela’s idea. He loved Angela and wasn’t ready to let go of her yet. He decided he would let her have this experience, but he didn’t intend to see other people. He would soon change his mind.
Angela had a date a couple of days after the agreement. Dennis was in the house when she came back. She was dressed in a sexy small black dress, and she was giddy. It looked as though the date had gone well. Dennis took out his laptop and buried himself in work to avoid the surfacing feelings. He couldn’t remember the last time Angela had dressed up for their dates. She looked happier than he had seen her in a while. He didn’t say a word.
The next two dates Angela went on were no different. She came home looking happy and pushed him. He decided to also go on dates. The first stop was Tinder. He reactivated his profile and went on the hunt. A couple of swipes later, he had a date. He couldn’t stop feeling like he was doing something wrong, even when dressing up to meet his date, but he got ready anyway.
He got to the restaurant twenty minutes earlier. When his date walked in, he could hardly recognize her. She looked different from her pictures. He almost didn’t invite her to join him at the table until she spoke to him, and he knew it was her. The date didn’t get any better. They had so many moments of awkward silence. It turned out the girl had been lying about many of her interests to sound more interesting, so she couldn’t carry a conversation on the things Dennis thought they had bonded over. Dennis had never picked a bill that fast. He just wanted to go home.
The worst part was that he had to pretend that he enjoyed the date in front of Angela. It was obvious he had gone on a date, and he couldn’t tell Angela that he hated the experience. The arrangement wasn’t working out for him. The following Friday, he decided to join his colleagues for drinks. Once a few shots lowered his inhibitions, he confided in a friend about his situation. A female colleague who had been interested in him for a long time happened to hear the conversation.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but it doesn’t as complex as you’re making it out to be,” said Sarah, the female colleague.
“How so?” Dennis asked.
“Sounds like your girlfriend is looking for something that you can’t offer and she also can’t give you what you want.”
“So in a nutshell we’re incompatible?”
“Your words, not mine,” Sarah said, smiling.
They had more drinks as he narrated his horrible date experience to Sarah and his friend. That began a deeper friendship between Dennis and Sarah. Within no time, Dennis started spending nights at Sarah’s place. Angela began to notice the change. She was scared to ask, so she decided to snoop on his phone.
“Dinner tomorrow? I promise I look like my pictures,” read the message from Ms S. The number had been saved with a love heart next to it. Dennis’ reply indicated they had inside jokes. Knowing him, she knew it was a serious relationship because Dennis hardly let people in to that level. Part of her hoped that the love they had shared was stronger than the connection he had made with the new girl. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time because Angela had stopped going on dates and trying to make new connections. Her itch had been scratched, and she had decided the grass was greener where she was.
“Dennis, I would like us to talk,” said Angela.
“I need a word too.”
“Okay, you go first.”
“No, ladies first.”
“I want us back. I don’t want us to have an open relationship anymore,” said Angela.
“Why? What changed?” A confused Dennis asked.
“I discovered all I needed was here all along.”
“You’re a few weeks too late. I needed to hear that before you came home giddy after every date. I felt so inadequate. I thought I was the problem but I found someone who thinks I am enough,” said Dennis.
He left to meet Sarah. Dennis moved out of the house. Angela tried to fight for him, but it was too late. Dennis had made it official with Sarah. He had moved on from Angela.
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