Is An ‘Open Relationship’ Right For You?
Couples embark on open relationships for many reasons, most are personal to them, but sometimes they just want to spice things up in the bedroom as well as in their relationship. The main premise behind an open relationship is that you and your partner agree to have sexual relations with others, outside of your relationship.
An open relationship isn’t for everyone though, and here’s some questions to bear in mind if you and your partner are considering opening up your relationship and experimenting outside of the “norm”… just bear in mind that just because you may be agreeing to an open relationship, doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy and/or the right decision for you in the long term.
What is your reason for wanting to try an open relationship?
It always starts with a conversation – you and your partner need to sit down and determine why you want to do this and if it’s right for you.
Does your partner want to do this, and you want to keep them happy? If you’re only thinking of doing it to keep them happy, don’t do it. You won’t be happy and chances are you’re going to resent knowing they’re with others.
Similarly, are you thinking of doing it in order to fix your relationship, or likewise delay an inevitable break up? Again, don’t it. You’ll be doing it for all the wrong reasons. If you’re trying to fix a relationship, you need to do it just the two of you. If you’re wanting to end the relationship, end the relationship before jumping into bed with someone else.
That being said, if you’re looking to add a little spice into the relationship, or if this is something you’re both interested to try, then by all means. There are tonnes of couples of have open relationships, who like to swing and wife swap, you just don’t know they do it.
Do you and your partner get jealous/possessive?
If you don’t like the thought of your partner talking to another person, or even flirting with them, there’s a 99.9% chance you’re not going to be happy with them having sexual relations with someone else. You might be keen to go down this road because you’re OK sleeping with others yourself, but you have to be OK with your partner doing the same. It can’t be one rule for you but another for them.
Can you be completely honest with your partner?
An open relationship won’t work unless there’s 100% honesty between the two of you; if you have plans to go and hook up with someone, who you’re hooking up with, where you’re hooking up with them and so on. The minute you start hiding things is the moment that the open relationship will begin to break down. Similarly, you need to be honest about your feelings too; if you thought you were OK with it but having tried it you’re no longer comfortable with it, or maybe you’ve realised it’s not for you, then tell your partner and discuss it.
What are your ground rules?
You and your partner need to set ground rules before embarking on an open relationship so that everything is clear, and then there should be no arguments. If you don’t want them sleeping with your friends or friends of friends, make it a ground rule. If you don’t want them sleeping with others in your home/bed, making it a ground rule. If you don’t want the open relationship to be public, make it a ground rule. Don’t rush into making a list of rules to stick to in one conversation; you may well think of more things to add or discuss over the following weeks, so allow plenty of time to talk through all of your concerns and get a concrete list set down.
Have you considered a tester before agreeing to it full time?
Before agreeing to a full-term open relationship, there’s no rule to say you can’t try it out first to see if it’s for you – you may find that you thought it was for you but it isn’t, but similarly you may not think it’s for you but realise that it it’s a lot more fun and exciting that you thought. Whether you both agree to go out and sleep with one or two people, or you allow a time period of a week or a month, you need to find a way that works best for you and your relationship.
Open relationships aren’t for everyone though, and you should only do it if you’re completely happy; don’t do it just to keep the other person in the relationship happy. You may find that it’s the best thing you ever did, but at the same time you find that it isn’t for you but you’re glad you tried it out.
Found in Sexual Health