I am sure most of you have heard about the open relationship of this famous Hollywood couple, Will and Jada Smith. Indeed, many couples believe that monogamy is not for them and turn to open or even polyamorous relationships.
What is an open relationship, you may ask? It is a marriage or relationship where both partners agree to have sexual relations with other people.
If you are also thinking of moving into an open relationship but are afraid to ask your partner. This article will help you to set some thumb rules.
First of all, congrats! Because not everyone can identify what will make them happy and stand up for it against societal norms.
Now comes asking your partner for an open relationship; that’s a tricky business. Because if that is not done in the right way, things can get troublesome for both of you.
I have been in an open relationship for the past year, and breaking the news of my desire to my partner was tough.
To avoid a clash, I made sure my timing was perfect. I brought the topic up when everything was going perfectly in our relationship. We felt connected and were ready to explore new things with each other. Had I expressed my desire right after a fight, it would have caused some serious damage to the relationship. So timing is the key.
The next important thing I did was to win my partner’s confidence. Like most other people, he was familiar with only one type of relationship; monogamy. So when I offered him to try something way out of his comfort zone, he had his reasons to get anxious.
He started panicking, thinking that I don’t love him anymore and would flee away with one of the lovers I’ll meet through our open relationship.
Therefore, I proceeded to set the following ground rules:
Honesty is the basis of all types of relationships. In order to settle into an open relationship that my partner and I both were comfortable with, we conveyed our boundaries clearly. It helped us to feel safe and secure.
We also made a pact that we would be honest about who we are dating at the moment. No secrets!
2. Don’t forget this is the primary relationship
To make this open relationship thing work, we agreed that we wouldn’t forget that our priority lies with our primary partners, i.e., each other. It’s easier to drift away and ignore your girlfriend and boyfriend when you are dating so many people at the same time. So, we make a point not to spend too much time with secondary partners.
Sometimes, we become friends with the people we are seeing, but we cut it off if it becomes more than that.
The third most important rule is for lovers we get involved with. We always, always talk about our situation upfront with our potential dates and take their verbal consent to proceed further.
4. Protection is better than cure
I don’t think I should even need to mention it, but we always use protection while getting intimate with other people. I mean, who wants to catch AIDS or herpes?
An open relationship is still a sensitive topic, and you need to be very strategic while bringing it up with your partner. Make sure to assure them that your thinking about this is not because of shortcomings on their behalf.
Start by explaining that it has been on your mind and you have never acted on these ideas. You wanted to discuss this with them before taking any action.
The key to this whole conversation is to give your partner some time and space to digest and understand this entire concept. Once you both get on the same page, you will be ready to enjoy the freedom of an open relationship while still receiving the perks of monogamy.