Be Prepared to Negotiate

I’m going to kinda tell you something that I recently told a bi guy who is trying to figure out how to be bi and be married. It’s not an unusual question to ask but one I sometimes answer with a question:  What are you willing to do to get what you want?

That’s when things tend to get interesting and many people are of a mind that they’re not all that willing to do certain things in order to get what they want.  If you’re not ready to negotiate or, as I say, play “Let’s Make A Deal” and prepared to offer anything in exchange for getting the permission you need, well, that’s a problem on top of the one you already have.

A lot of women might think that there’s no negotiating with their straight-laced partner… but the truth is that everyone has a price that will “buy” them – you just have to be able to find it.  Some women have asked for permission and have had their man come back with the two things that will make her take this off the table in a hurry:  Threesome and “Can I watch?”  Some women will take their request off the table when their man gets it in his head that, sure, baby, you can do this… but you’re gonna do it my way or not at all and now he wants to impose his will upon you and in an area that’s, um, not really man-friendly if you know what I mean.

The reason negotiating usually doesn’t work for men in this situation is, first, men tend to argue logically while women do it emotionally.  This is not to say that women aren’t smart and don’t use their brains so put away the knives, ladies!  You can tell when this is in play because to everything the guy will logically put out there, she will say, “Yeah, but…”  The “yeah” is her intelligently understand what was said; the “but” is her emotion-driven response as to why the intelligently understood thing ain’t ever gonna happen.

I’m telling you this so that if you gird your loins enough to have this conversation with your partner, give a lot of thought about how you’re going to present your argument to him; think about as many of the possible questions he’s gonna ask you and have an answer prepared in your mind.  Be 100% honest with him – hold nothing back – I know women love their air of mystery but that’s not gonna help you in this and more so when – not if – he asks if you’ve ever been with a woman before.  There’s a sales trick the best salespersons have learned when trying to sell a customer something:  Be able to remove all of their excuses/reasons for not buying.  My favorite and one I used is when the customer says they need to ask their partner and the counter to this is, “Okay – let’s go over here and call him/her!”

You’re gonna have to do your version of this and counter every objection including the most important and difficult one:  Being monogamous.  I will tell you and in no uncertain terms that this is going to be a fight – and if you really want to do this, you’ll roll up your sleeves and “duke it out” with him.  The “key” to countering this one is to point out that your relationship is only going to be as good as the two of you are willing to make it – and allowing this will make your end of this easier for you to hold up.  You can, um, kinda “low blow” him by reminding him of all the times he said that he’d do anything for you and now you’re asking him to be true to what he said.

Yeah… this can get down and dirty… and if you’re not willing to get down and dirty, you’re just defeating your own cause.  Hopefully, it won’t get to this level… but you gotta be willing to do whatever is necessary if you really want and need to do this.  Another “sales trick:”  “What will it take for you to do this for me?”  And you have to let him know – and be 100% willing – that you’re willing to offer whatever he wants in return and no matter how ridiculous it might sound – but breaking up isn’t an option.

You have to do everything in your power to convince him that this is going to be a good thing for you and, specifically, your sense of self and mental/emotional well-being; you have to convince him that this will be a good thing for him even though, to his ears, nah, not even close.  You have to convince him that what you want to do in this does not have anything to do with your love and desire for him.  And trust me – he’s gonna think that it does… and men do not like to be under the impression that they ain’t all that where it matters.  How is this gonna benefit him?  Well, you’ll be a much better person, which’ll make you a better partner who won’t be moping around, being bitchy, stuff like that and, yeah, things in the bedroom are going to be better because you won’t have all this frustration getting in the way of things.  To this end – and just between me and you – be prepared to let your inner freak out and if you don’t have one, find one.  If you have a list of things you’re not gonna do, get rid of it.  This might be upsetting but it’s a necessary evil; do not let any fears you have in this stop you from getting what you want – and getting rid of that list before you talk to him would be a good thing.

If he asks, “What’s in it for me?” it goes back to the asking him what it’s gonna take thing.  The thing here is that however you answer this question, be prepared to never, ever renege on it; do not ever promise him something that you’re not going to deliver.  If he brings up the dreaded threesome thing, ask him what he has in mind about that instead of just saying, “Deal!” or saying, “Oh, hell no!”  From your point of view, everything is negotiable and you have to believe this and be prepared to negotiate.  You say no a lot and you’ve pretty much ruined your chances for success.  Yes, this is about you and all of that… but ladies, there really is no such thing as a free lunch and if you’re not willing to “pay for lunch,” you’re gonna be hungry,

What if he says he doesn’t want to talk about this?  Another sales trick:  When would be a good time for you to talk about this with me?  You ask this question while letting him know that having this conversation is very damned important to you; you can let him know that he doesn’t have to make a snap decision right then and there… but right now, you need him to listen to what you have to say and that ignoring it isn’t going to be a good thing for you.  You have to be prepared to stay calm in the face of any negative reactions on his part; no crying, no looking defeated; just cool, calm but determined to be heard.

We live in a world where women are being more empowered and flexing their muscles and working toward getting permission to, at the least, have a girlfriend you can talk to is part of this empowered muscle flexing.  You have to be able to present your argument logically; be prepared to answer any question he has, allay any fears that he might have and negotiate with him in good faith.  And if he rejects your proposal, do not give up and you can even ask him, “Can we talk about this, say, in a month, when we’ve both had time to do more thinking about this?”  And if he continues to say no, well, bring it up in a month anyway – freedom of speech and all that.

Why must you be this persistent?  Because the alternatives might not be all that attractive to you.  The first alternative is to just give up all your hopes, dreams, and desires in this and suffer with your frustration and adding to whatever depression you may be feeling over this and I’ll point out that if you’re thinking about having this conversation with him, you’re already feeling all of this stuff and maybe more.  The other alternative is to invoke Rule Number One – look after your own ass first – and go down the road of infidelity.  Sadly and truly, many find that it’s better to beg forgiveness than it is to ask permission and get it.

When my first wife laid this on me she asked for permission… but let me know that if she didn’t get it, she was invoking Rule Number One.  No one likes being handed an ultimatum and it might be in your best interest not to utter this particular ultimatum… but it’s one you will have to consider – but also keep in mind that thinking and doing are not always the same thing (and I don’t care what you’ve been told about this); you have to keep all of your options firmly in mind and even the ones you might not want to do.

How badly do you want and need this?  What are you willing to do in order to have it?  Before you even approach him and say, “Honey, there’s something I need to talk to you about…” have several plans in mind and be ready to switch gears faster than you can blink.  There is no guarantee that any of this will work – chances are you will fail to get permission… but as odd as this may sound, failure is a good thing – it gives you clues to how to succeed.  The biggest failure is not saying anything about it.  Do not assume that his answer is going to be “Hell no!” before you ask; sure, you know this guy… but do you really?  A lot of women do find out that they don’t and get blindsided when he says, “Okay – how do you wanna do this?”

If you do not stand up for that which you need in order to be the best person and partner you can be, no one is going to do it for you.  This won’t be easy and you should do any planning with the understanding that it’s going to be harder than you think it is.  And negotiate in a way that you’re not totally giving away the farm.  He wants to be in charge of what you do and who you do anything with?  Negotiate this!  You’ll tell him who and even tell him what if he really wants to know but giving him the “right” to choose your partner?  Not negotiable and you tell him that anyone he might choose may not be someone you’d choose – you need the freedom to choose.  What if he doesn’t like who you’ve chosen?  That’s negotiable, too… but you let him know that things will be smoother if everyone can get along.

It’s a hard sell and will probably be the hardest thing you’ve ever done… but it can be done.  Just a question of how badly you need and want this and what you’re willing to do to get it.  I will caution you to not to throw your relationship away; some women are kinda “all or nothing” about this and that might not be a smart move.  You want to preserve, improve, and continue your relationship with him… you just need some changes made if you both are willing to negotiate.  Oh, one final warning, if I may:  Do not make any rules that cannot be changed if/when needed.  Many couples who roll with this lay down some very strict rules and no changes are allowed – and that’s a mistake because people change their minds all of the time.  The thing to do is when a change occurs, it’s time to talk about the change and do some more negotiating if needed.  I get it:  You want to put rules in place to prevent the relationship falling apart and all that but making the rules too rigid and wholly non-negotiable is still a mistake you do not want to make.  Once you get permission, do not stop communicating – that’s another big mistake people make in this; they got permission and there’s nothing else to talk about.

And to anyone willing to take this very big step, I wish you the best of luck in this; stay strong!  I’ve gone through this “process” and I know a whole lot of other people who have as well.  Some have been successful (I was or, really she was) and some have failed – c’est la vie.


KDaddy23, Contributing Author