Open relationship are an anomaly from the usual monogamous relationships. It involves two people who agree to be together but accept other partners.
Sometimes in a relationship you crave something different, not because you love your partner any less, but because variety can be fun and let’s face it, monogamy isn’t natural or easy to adapt to. Varying sex drive, relationship of convenience, and distance are other reasons for entering the maze called ‘open relationships’. It works for some people so if you can’t understand it, so don’t criticize it.
The thing about open relationships is that it has an expiry date because as humans we are subject to emotions like jealousy and possessiveness. Venturing into this kind of relationship is a tricky adventure which can only happen between people who know exactly what they want from the relationship and can separate sex from emotions, if you can work with that, why not give it a shot.
Here are some guiding tips concerning open relationships.
- Lay down rules: Right from the beginning let it be known that it’s an open relationship, state personal limits so no boundaries are crossed. These rules are more flexible than monogamous relationships. Negotiate the terms of the relationship. Allow vetos on emotional and physical boundaries.
- Honesty: Just like in a monogamous relationship, honesty is also important. Let your lover know that you’ll be off with your other lover. They need to know. If not, technically it’s cheating because they (your lover) have a say.
- Less pressure: There is less pressure to perform in a polyamorous relationship, if you can’t be available; your lover has an alternative which works well to prevent disappointment or sexual dissatisfaction.
- Freedom: Unlike in monogamy where you’re checking out someone else can stir up a fight, polyamorous relationships allow you to go after whosoever catches your eyes, and perhaps invite them into your relationship.
- Antidote to cheating: Monogamous relationships end more often than not because someone cheated; this is less frequently the case in open relationships where multiple partners are the norm.
- Test the waters: Before you commit to an open relationship, test the waters. You don’t want to delve into it and find out your lover is a jealous control freak, it just won’t work.
- Avoid mutual friends: Make sure the choice of a third party is not a mutual friend. Avoid this at all costs.
- Your partner gets preference: The third party shouldn’t get preference over your initial lover; it defeats the purpose of being together.
- Keep it private: You’re in an open relationship and you’re happy, however it isn’t something that should be shouted on roof tops, keep it private.