There was a time when the idea of moving away from a traditional monogamous relationship was a taboo issue. Traditionally, marriage meant quite literally “til death do us part.” However, in modern society, open relationships are becoming ever more common. It can be hard to make this kind of relationship work, and it requires both people to be fully on board with what it entails. If it is something that you and your partner are considering, you should consider a few things.

Communicate

Without a doubt, the single most crucial aspect of any polyamorous relationship is to talk with your partner and the people you meet. Everybody involved needs to be on the same wavelength, and the moment anybody has reservations, it is time to back off. Your lover’s needs come before anybody else, so if they say they are not comfortable, you need to take this on board. Discussing things before every hook-up, and making sure everybody is happy, is essential if you are going to make it work.

Add Limitations

Animated GIF of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj talking about the limitations in his relationship
Open relationships work better when everyone knows what their limitations are | Making An Open Relationship Work

Open relationships will never work if you and your partner spent too much time apart. Particularly early on, restrict your polyamorous activity to at most once a month. With sex comes emotion, but it is tough to get attached to somebody if you don’t see them all that often. Make sure there are no sleepovers and don’t consider going away for breaks with anybody other than your partner. It is a recipe for disaster! Also, make sure you are not in regular contact with anyone you meet.  If you text or call hook-ups other than to arrange meetings, you may drift apart from your partner.

Always Practice Safe Sex

It should go without saying, but if you are in an open relationship and sleeping around with other people, play it safe! It is essential to use condoms and get yourself tested regularly for any sexually transmitted diseases. Talk about this with anyone you may hook-up with before you get into the bedroom, to avoid any mistakes. If they do not follow this practice, you want to think twice about whether it is a good idea to proceed.

Keep Things Private
Keep things private and don’t go around gossiping | Making An Open Relationship Work

Whoever it is you sleep with, it is essential that you respect their privacy and don’t go around gossiping or bragging about your exploits. For a start, most people probably couldn’t care less about what you do in your private life! However, more importantly, the other person has the right to their privacy. If you really can’t stop yourself from sharing, speak to your partner and your hook-up to make sure that they are ok with it. If anybody says no, leave it at that.

Your Lover Comes First

No matter what happens, or who you or your partner get together with, your lover will always come first. If for any reason they don’t want to go ahead with a meeting, then you have to respect their wishes. If either of you become uncomfortable in a situation, this also needs resolving before you proceed any further. Looking after each other is essential, as you are doing this to strengthen your relationship, not weaken it.

Open relationships can be a real challenge, although, for many, they are a way to explore their sexual fantasies. If you think it would suit you and your partner to look away from each other, you need to discuss it before taking any action. If you are both comfortable with the idea, only then is it time to proceed. Remember, your relationship with your lover comes first, and adding fun outside of this should only be considered if it will strengthen your relationship.

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