Most of us grew up with the idea that a relationship is between two people and them alone. But many people are finding that they feel more comfortable in an open relationship, with your partners’ knowledge of course!
Open relationships are breaking the barrier to the ideal monogamous relationship. For most people, it’s not that they aren’t happy with their partner, but they feel just one person isn’t meeting their sexual needs.
Either partner in the relationship is allowed to seek out sexual relationships outside of their relationship, which should abide by the agreed-upon terms. There are some things to consider before opening up your relationship and deciding if it’s for you.
Be honest with yourself
What is your reason for opening your relationship? Opening your relationship should be a decision that you make in your interest and not out of fear of having no other choice.
Being honest with yourself means that if something bothers you, you can voice it with your partner. Honesty makes it easier to set your boundaries and expectations in your relationships.
Setting your boundaries
Before venturing out, you and your partner need to agree to a set of rules. The rules should be respectful to your partner, and you should be able to follow them without feeling as if you’ve compromised too much.
An example of a boundary could be not spending the night in the external relationship or not falling in love. The rules need to make both you and your partner feel that your relationship is still a safe and secure space they can turn to.
It’s all about consent.
Everyone involved in the open relationship needs to consent to it. You can’t coerce a partner into opening the relationship because then the trust might fall through.
In the same way, you should inform any other person being included in the open relationship about what they’re getting themselves into. That way, they can respect your rules and let you know if their feelings toward the relationship change.
Be wary of the green monster.
There’s no way of escaping jealousy, even when it’s consensual on both ends, but it’s an emotion you can learn to cope with. An open relationship isn’t a space for jealousy as it can leave you stressed out and anxious in your relationship.
Being stressed or anxious can put a strain on your relationship with your partner. Not to mention the effects overwhelming amounts of stress and anxiety has on your body.
Prioritize your relationship
When you’re in an open relationship, you’ll have to show your partner that your relationship is your priority. Your partners’ security and trust are important for success in an open relationship.
You can communicate their importance through their love language and giving them your full attention when you’re with them. Making compromises here and there in a relationship is healthy and normal as long as they don’t cross your boundaries.
Dr Saadiqah Hajat