So many couples have open relationships which actually do wonders for them as a couple and as individuals. Now that open relationships are more common and out in the open, you and your partner may be toying with the idea of an open relationship. Which is not a bad idea. But before you make it an open relationship, you need to know the ground rules that will help maintain the relationship that you two already have. If you go into this too fast, you’ll end up making a mess and possibly destroy your relationship. So, without further ado, let’s get it to the must-know rules for a successful open relationship.
Be honest with your partner
If you’re already in a relationship, you need to be honest with your partner about what you want. If you want to have sex with other people, it’s completely normal, however, you need to express to your partner why. What you don’t want is to make them feel this is because of them. It’s not, this is because of you.
What are you comfortable with and what is a for sure no-go? These are things you need to know before you bring up the conversation. Do you want to know every time your partner sleeps with someone? If not, then you need to tell them that. You may not think boundaries are necessary, but these boundaries are what’s going to keep your relationship intact.
Don’t do this to save your relationship
If you think having an open relationship will save what you have, it most likely won’t. In fact, you’ll probably just end up with having more sex with other people while neglecting your partner. So, basically, you two will be living separate lives. If your relationship is already going downhill, do yourself a favor and be the one to end it without having to go through this torturing process.
If your partner doesn’t want an open relationship, don’t cheat
You need to figure out what you really want. If your partner doesn’t want to have an open relationship, what are you going to do? This is when you need to look at what you really want. If you value your partner and the relationship then you’ll stay with them, but, don’t stay with them if you feel that you cannot be faithful.
Don’t jump right into it
You need to test the waters before you take a full plunge into an open relationship. Try hooking up with another person and then talk to your partner about how it feels. Maybe you were once apprehensive, however, now you’re more open to the idea, or maybe it’s the opposite. But you should gradually get to the point where you two are in a completely open relationship.
Don’t hook up with mutual friends
This is a common mistake. Many people think that it’s a better idea to hook up with a mutual friend, but it’s not. This could become very messy very quickly since there’s a higher chance of jealousy. You want to look for someone who isn’t already a part of your lives. So, try to meet someone completely new, that way, there’s not past coming in between you two.
Communication is key
If you’re not communicating with your partner, this is when things take a turn for the worst. You need to make sure that you’re talking frequently to your partner about what’s going on and if there are any problems with the open relationship you’re in. That way, it can be easily and quickly fixed.
Know when you’re crossing the line
If you’re starting to have feelings for the person you’re hooking up with on the side, you either need to cut the relationship or reevaluate the current relationship you’re in. Listen, your partner should be aware that by making it an open relationship, you’re increasing the risks of falling for someone else. So, if you two both know that and talked about it, don’t feel bad, these things happen.
Don’t let jealousy overtake you
It’s easy for people to become jealous, especially when it comes to someone else sleeping with our partner. If you’re wanting to have an open relationship, you’re going to have to learn to accept the situation and control your jealousy. If you’re having a hard time with it, well, are you sure this is what you actually wanted to do? To prevent any jealous problems from arising, you need to make sure that you spend a solid amount of time with your partner and don’t decrease the attention you give them. Jealousy arises when they feel that they’re losing you, so, stay balanced.
Understand that your relationship will stay the same
If sleeping with other people is drastically changing your relationship then something isn’t right. If you make it an open relationship, nothing should be changing other than the fact that you sleep with other people. You still spend time with your partner, have sex with your partner, watch Netflix – you know, everything that you were doing before, you’re still doing.
Practice safe sex
If you’re not using protection with your partner, that’s fine. However, you need to be practising safe sex when you’re with other people. It’s your responsibility to keep your body STI free and safe, plus, you need to respect your partner as well. So, when it comes to sleeping with other people, you must wear protection and get tested regularly.
Don’t bring your hookups home
Don’t have sex with your hookup in the house where you and your partner live. There’s a clear line that shouldn’t be crossed and this is it. Your hookups should never enter the area where you and your partner call home. How would you like it if your partner was having sex with someone in your bed? Unless it turns you on, many people wouldn’t appreciate it. So, go to their house, rent a hotel – however you choose to do it, just keep it out of your home.
Make sure your partner is still #1
If you arranged to hook up with someone but your partner then asks you to dinner, you pick your partner. You always want to keep your partner as your number one priority. Why would your hookup come first? They’re only for sex, your partner is someone you connect with. If you start to put them in second place, this relationship isn’t going to last much longer. If you don’t want any double bookings, make sure you tell your partner ahead of time about your plans so that they’re aware. That way, they don’t feel like you’re pushing them away.
Make a plan
You two need to sit down and talk about how many times you can hook up with other people. Some do it more often while others only do it once a month. Also, is this open relationship going to be a long-term thing or just a short fling? These are questions that you two need to discuss. Of course, the answers can always change, but having a plan is a great start and will make both of you more comfortable.
Open relationships are not unhealthy. Sure, for some people it may not work out but for many couples, open relationships are great. You need to be able to relax and let go of any prejudgments that you have in your head. Of course, it’s normal to think that open relationships are bad, but this is just your ego talking. If you express your boundaries and follow them, you shouldn’t have any problems.
If you two are going into an open relationship, just enjoy the experience. If you’re totally convinced by the idea, just take it slow and see how it goes. Your partner may jump in it faster than you and that’s okay. This isn’t a race or competition, go at your own speed and just test it out. If it’s starting to feel uncomfortable, you don’t have to do it. But, you need to express this to your partner.
Your business if your business. You don’t need to tell everyone that you’re in an open relationship. Though, you should tell the person that you’re hooking up with that you’re involved in one, that way they won’t become emotionally invested in you. This is simply out of respect for them. But, you’re under no pressure to have to tell your friends and family, this is your private business.
Now that you know the rules for open relationships, it’s time you and your partner sat down and talked about it. Open relationships can be a very fun and interesting experience for both partners!