So, what is an open relationship?
They are relationships that which you and your partner can pursue a sexual and (not necessarily) emotional attachment with other people. In other words, an open relationship is a mutual non-monogamous relationship between you and your partner. I want to reiterate the word “mutual” because It is not something that everyone can handle because of jealousy. You and your partner are free to love many.
You and your partner would have to be secure enough in yourselves and each other to have an open relationship for it to be successful. An open relationship is not the same thing as swinging and should not be confused. Swinging is purely sexual and kept within the realm of sex only with other couples. Polyamory is multiple committed partners. An open relationship would be like polyamory, except that it may or may not have full commitment.
You may choose an open relationship if you know you cannot fully commit to your partner. However, you want to stay together and pursue other options at the same time. Since there is a lot of stigma around non-monogamy, not everyone will admit that they enjoy and participate in it. Although, a small percentage of men and women prefer this type of relationship. The question is if this type of thing is right for you? Some partners have given into trying an open relationship because of a mutual desire and enjoyed it.
Others, not so much. Are you built for fidelity or do you need wiggle room? Some people need the freedom to pursue what they like. It doesn’t mean that you or your partner don’t love each other. You and your partner may value each other. It’s just you wouldn’t want to leave it or have a secret relationship outside of it that can cause hurt and pain if found out. Communicating honestly takes a lot of courage.
There is some stigma attached to having an open relationship. Why? I would those who think more traditionally might consider it to be taboo. Those who are for it believe it is impossible to love just one and are capable of loving multiple people. Some might engage in it because they believe it enhances their relationship from boredom. It can also happen because of other circumstances that are making it hard for them to be monogamous. This is something more common among those who are young than older adults.
Is an open relationship right for you and your partner?
There are things to consider when discussing this with your partner to see if this is right for your relationship. If you are not sure, then perhaps the two of you may need to wait until your relationship is on a firmer foundation. If you are not into it, then let your partner know you want pure monogamy. Should this be difficult for your partner to accept, then maybe this relationship is not right for you.
If this is something you can do, then more power to you. Having an open relationship may give variety. Remember that the two of you should maintain open communication and honesty. Having an open relationship does not always allow for both parties to enjoy love, trust, and commitment. Take some time out to see if this is right for you and your partner. Do your research and remember to be safe.
There are risks associated with having an open relationship like increasing your risk of sexually transmitted diseases, decreased libido for having multiple partners, insecurity, and jealousy.
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