An open relationship has been becoming an increasingly popular option for people who are looking to expand their horizons about what a relationship should and could be between two people.
It is not a new concept, but people are more openly discussing their decisions to be in open relationships. This could be thanks to the rise of the internet age and the more loose approach to sex, romance and love; and rightly or wrongly, people are looking beyond the old ways. In the following article though, we will look at the what they actually are and the kind of things you can only relate to, both good and bad if you are in an open relationship.
What Is An Open Relationship?
In case you didn’t know, an open relationship is essentially a relationship where both parties are permitted to pursue sexual relationships with other people, while still remaining together with their significant other, with no consequences.
The Things Only People In Open Relationships Can Relate To
It is likely that you will only relate to the following if you have experienced or are currently in an open relationship. If you aren’t though, then these points will serve as a good introduction to what it’s actually like in an open relationship.
Communication Is Crucial
This is a standard for the success of any couple, both monogamous and non-monogamous. However, when you decide to have an open relationship, it becomes even more crucial to the success of everything. Both you and your partner need to operate on a full disclosure basis, or whatever works for you.
This will help you both to understand how you are feeling. Emotions and what we can cope with changes with time, so even if you both started your open relationship adventure raring to go and open-minded, things may be different now.
Jealousy Still Exists
One of the myths about open relationships is that both halves of an open couple don’t get jealous. While it is best for you and your partner to keep your jealousy in check, it is a very natural feeling to have if someone you care about is getting and giving attention elsewhere, even if you have agreed to it.
Agreeing To An Open Relationship Isn’t A Good Stop Gap
Some people get involved in an open relationship because they really want to just be with their other half and because they want one, they agree. They hope that in the long run, their other half will change their mind and want to have a closed relationship. While it is possible this may happen, it is not the best foundation for a successful relationship.
It also means, if you are putting your life on hold while your partner explores their open relationship desires, that you could miss the boat on other relationships that give you exactly what you want and need.
Casual Sex Is Not For Everyone
It becomes quite clear quickly for people who try open relationships, whether or not they are actually well suited to this kind of relationship. If you don’t get turned on or enjoy casual sex with no commitment in place, you should probably avoid open relationships.
There Is Always A Chance It Leads To Heartache
Although we are not condemning or condoning what you choose to do in your life that’s your decision after all; we still think it’s worth talking about the possibilities. The possibilities that an open relationship, for all the transparency and freedom they offer can still cause you heartache. It may be that over time you stop enjoying that kind of lifestyle, while your partner continues to or one of you falls for one of your lovers and wants to commit to them.
With any relationship there is obviously a chance of it failing, for a multitude of reasons, even those you can’t plan for. With an open relationship, there are even more variables, which can make it even more likely.
The bottom line with open relationships is that if you are comfortable not sleeping and spending time intimately with just one partner and your partner doing the same, then an open relationship might be right for you.
Might be. However, open relationships are not for everyone, and actually only work for a relatively small number of people. As with any important decision in life that has life-changing implications, you need to give careful consideration and deep thought to whether you want an open relationship.
Ask yourself if you will be able to keep jealousy in check if you will be able to cope with not being the number one person in your partner’s life, if you will be able to enjoy casual sex and if you are worried about what other people think. Depending on how you answer these, if you are not in an open relationship yet and are considering it, will determine whether one is right for you.
By Valerie S.