“I’m someone who has experienced both an open relationship and a deeply monogamous relationship in my life, and I think we’re in a day and age where there should be no rules except for the ones designed by two people in a partnership—or three people, whatever floats your boat!” -Shailene Woodley.
Throughout our lives, we have grown up hearing fairy tales of prince charming and have waited for “the one” to sweep us off our feet. In today’s era, the idea of “the one” may not be our happily ever after.
You need to ask yourself, is being with the “the one” something you really want, or is it something that our monogamous society expects from you? Talk about Shailene Woodley, Megan Fox, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ethan Hawke, and so many more celebrities; they’ve all been in open relationships. Monogamy has become too mainstream!
A study conducted on non-monogamous relationships revealed that about 4% of heterosexual couples agreed to open relationships, the 4% being equivalent to 2.8 million U. S. couples.
Open Relationships vs. Polyamory
Open relationships work differently from polyamory. In polyamory, you fall in love with multiple people and indulge in relationships with them.
Open relationships are more about broadening your sexual horizons. You are in a serious relationship with one person and indulge in guilty pleasures with the others. The other affairs aren’t meant to be intimate or meaningful.
8 Dos and Don’ts of an Open Relationship
When seeking open relationship advice, you ask yourself, do open relationships work? What are the open relationship pros and cons? What are the open relationship rules? Well, no relationship is perfect; all come with strings attached.
Whether or not a successful relationship depends on how much effort you and your partner are willing to put in for it to work. Here are 8 dos and don’ts of an open relationship.
1. Do- Be Honest With Your Partner
Honesty is the key to a successful relationship, especially an open relationship. You need to be honest with your attitude and feelings for it to work. If you have any suppressed issues, you should resolve them with your partner rather than wait for it to resolve. Honesty also acts as a medium to build trust with your partner.
Related: 20 Must-Follow Relationship Rules
2. Don’t- Take Your Partner For Granted.
Being in an open relationship isn’t your free pass to cheat on your partner, nor is it a ticket to freedom. Many times couples begin to enjoy their newfound freedom to such an extent that they take their partner for granted. Sleeping around becomes a recurring habit, and they tend to side-line their partners without even realizing it. Remember to give your partner the same love and attention that you would give before.
3. Do- Check-In With Your Partner
You can check in with your partner to ask him/her how their dating experience is going. Your partner might not be as good as you in the dating game, which could be bothering them. You both can help each other by sharing your dating experiences. It will also help you both in having a healthy flow of communication.
4. Don’t- Skip The Rules.
If you’re in an open relationship, both you and your partner may have made a list of do’s and don’ts. While you might think that the rules are just for namesake, your partner may refer to it like the Holy Grail. The fact that you’re in an open relationship means that your partner trusts you enough to allow you to date someone else. Don’t break their trust. If you haven’t made a list of rules and think and that there’s no need to do so, make them now. An open relationship without ground rules is an open gateway for miscommunication, jealousy, and trust issues.
Related: How to Solve Communication Gap In A Relationship
5. Do- Make Sure You Both Are Okay With The Situation
It’s not easy to see your partner dating someone else, especially in the initial days. Expect a bit of insecurity at first, but it’s just the transition that will feel a bit uncomfortable. Once it wears off, your relationship will seem like any other. Ensure that you both are okay with the change. The key to this is to continuously check in with your partner and be open about your feelings.
6. Don’t- Keep Secrets From Your Partner.
Imagine this; you go on a date that has gone better than you expected. The date has kept you smiling all day. But when your partner asks you the reason behind your smile, you lie. You might think that you are doing it to protect your partner, but if your partner catches you in a lie, it will hurt him/her even more. Jealousy and insecurity begin to crop up when you hide things from each other. Don’t let that happen to you.
7. Do- Keep The Spark In Your Relationship Going
Just because you both are dating other people, it doesn’t mean that your relationship needs to become mundane like old married couples. Make sure that you both keep the sexy train going in your relationship. You can even use the things you learned from your new dating experience to spice things up with your partner.
8. Don’t Expect Your Partner to be Okay with Everything.
There could be days when your partner wants to spend more time with you and asks you to reschedule your date. He/she may not even be okay with some of the people you are dating. When such situations arise, you need to understand your partner’s perspective and deal with the situation calmly instead of lashing out or picking up a fight with your partner. After all, all your partner is doing is being open and honest about his/her feelings.
You will find many open relationship stories online with people sharing their relationship experiences. Some may be positive, while others may demotivate you from getting into one. Open relationship problems aren’t that different from monogamous relationships.
In the end, it’s about how you drive the relationship. If an open relationship is what you want, go ahead and experience it rather than regretting later that you didn’t. You never know; you may get what you had always wanted.