What you need know when you enter an open relationship
Over the years open relationships have become more accepted and mainstream. However, it takes work, respect, honest communication, and compromise to navigate an open relationship successfully. It is far from easy. What are the things to consider when entering an open relationship? Below is a list of a few things to consider.
Open relationships – what are they
It describes all forms of non-monogamous relationships. This can include swinging, which could mean casual sex or swapping, attending parties, or dating outside the primary relationship, either together or separately. Often swingers establish boundaries around being sexually intimate with others but not emotionally close. However, for those who align themselves with polyamory, it could mean having consensual relationships with more than one person that are both sexual and emotional.
The success of an open relationship lies in honest communication and constantly checking on each other.
Opening your relationship to new ways of exploring intimacy is exciting. Before you approach your partner, it might be helpful to think about what an open relationship means to you.
Once you understand what it means to you then you can start a dialogue with your partner. Give them an opportunity to think about what an open relationship means to them. At a later stage have an open conversation about your boundaries.
Set boundaries that are flexible
Nothing is set in stone and allowing room for change is a great idea. Talk about your deal-breakers, discuss what you’d like to try and what type of fantasies you like to try out. Will you date together or separately? While you may not know how you feel about being open until you try it, it is a good idea to say how you feel early on. Honest communication is the only way being open is going to work.
Where to begin
Once you spoke to your partner about opening your relationship in a way that is comfortable and feels right for both of you; how do you start an open relationship.
First, it is normal to feel excited and nervous at the same time. Be open and flexible and take your time to understand this new dynamic in your relationship. One approach to gaining more knowledge about open relationships is to read books about them. Books like Opening Up, The Ethical Slut, More Than Two, and Sex and Dawn all explore how non-monogamy can be different; they provide more information and different perspectives than your own.
Ultimately, there is no one way to conduct an open relationship. Each and every open relationship is unique and catered for two individuals. It must suit both your desires and your comfort zone. Take time and communicate with your partner and build an open relationship that works for both of you.