Let’s talk about exploring open relationships today. Open relationships started gaining popularity around a decade ago when people openly began to acknowledge and accept that monogamy isn’t the only way to enjoy a relationship. So, what are open relationships? Essentially, open relationships mean having intimate as well as emotional connections with more than one partner with the consent of all partners. Before civilization was established and man formed society, polygamy was a common way of life. Modernization and civilization brought about laws and ethical teachings that a monogamous relationship is better for the society as a whole. However, few people chose to differ. From the early 2000’s these people started voicing their opinions and a new way of life started gaining acceptance in society again.
Let’s be honest here first, open relationships aren’t for everyone. They need mutual understanding, respect, and an unsaid treaty between the partners to share their love, physical pleasures and emotional connection with other partners and accept them as a respectful member of the relationship. Needless to say, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. But for those who are keen on exploring open relationships, need a few guidelines. So here are a few tips that you need to keep in mind when exploring open relationships.
The first and probably the most important tip is honesty. Most people think of open relationships as just a fun and easy way to cheat. But that is far from the truth. The relationship and connection you share with every single partner needs to be based on the foundation of honesty. You simply cannot let them believe you are only with them, while in your head it is part of an open relationship. That’s just called cheating. Talk to your partner openly about it, discuss the possibilities, the risks, the problems and finally, consider getting into this only after both the parties have consented for it.
– Set boundaries for sex and emotional connections
You need to set boundaries. Giving every single partner all of you, both physically and emotionally can be exhausting. Set boundaries and timelines to manage your relationship with each partner. Understand that you have a life apart from the relationships, and so they cannot consume all your energy. For most people, having one partner itself is a full-time task as they require regular attention, affection, love, sex, and quality time. Now imagine having to do that with multiple people. Remember to not lose yourself in the process and respect your own self to prioritize who gets what from you.
– Prioritize protection
Being with multiple sex partners amounts to more risk of sexually transferred infections and diseases. Prioritize and discuss safe sex methods with your partners. Will you be using condoms? Are you both comfortable with dental damns? Are the female partners taking contraceptives to avoid pregnancy? These are questions that need to be addressed before you jump in the sack with them.
– Avoid negative feelings like jealousy and insecurity
Our final tips for an open relationship is to avoid negative feelings. It is natural to experience feelings of jealousy, possessiveness, and insecurity at the beginning of your open relationship journey. However, you need to routinely identify and evaluate your emotions to realize that the only way this will successfully work is if you keep jealousy out of the picture. Just as you are allowed to be with multiple partners, so is your primary partner. The sooner you accept it and let them enjoy their space in the relationship, the happier you will be to enjoy your own.
The Bottom Line
When done right, studies have proven that open relationships can strengthen the bond between the primary partners. Since they require a higher degree of trust, communication, understanding and acceptance, people often tend to develop better individually too by investing in these skills while trying to make their relationships work.