Have you ever wondered what an open relationship would feel like? While most people are indoctrinated from a young age to maintain monogamy in relationships, a monogamous dynamic is not for everyone. Some people are not meant to be in monogamous relationships, and society shouldn’t judge them for their predispositions. In this article, we will explain what an open relationship is and give you tips on how to make it work.
What is an open relationship?
While monogamy has many benefits, it has one inadvertent disadvantage; it limits people’s ability to experience intimacy with other partners. From the moment you say I do or confirm that you are in an exclusive relationship, there is a mental disclaimer that prevents you from pursuing other partners. So, what do you do if your partner can’t meet all your sexual and emotional needs? You can either dump your partner or make compromises that will leave you feeling unfulfilled. Alternatively, you can choose to have an open relationship, which creates room for more than one sexual partner.
An open relationship allows you to experience more intimacy with different people within the same timeline. The open dynamic enables couples to pursue casual sexual relationships with other people with the caveat that the primary partner remains a priority.
Opening up your relationship can be a way to spice your relationship by allowing you to explore more sexual experiences with multiple partners. New sexual partners can challenge you to be creative in the bedroom, exercise to keep in shape, and enhance your sexual appeal by changing your appearance, which can positively impact your relationship.
Knowing that your partner is having sex with other desirable people can be a way to remind yourself that you are with a desirable person. Sometimes too much familiarity with your partner can create disinterest, killing the sexual connection you have as a couple. Opening up your relationship can be a way to get out of each other faces or pants so that you can have an explosive sexual reunion.
10 Tips to make an open relationships work
Are you hesitant to open your relationship because you are scared it might mess up your dynamics as a couple? Your fear is not only reasonable, but it’s also understandable. It takes a special person to have an open relationship without feeling insecure. Contrary to popular belief, an open dynamic is not a band-aid for a dying relationship or a last-ditch effort to save your relationship. Don’t let the excitement of having multiple sexual partners cloud your judgment that you overlook essential factors that can help you have a healthy open relationship.
Here are 10 essential tips to help you have a healthy open relationship:
· Work on your insecurities
Do you have self-esteem issues, are insecure about your body, or worry that you don’t have what it takes to keep your man happy? You might be ready for an open relationship. Being insecure will destroy your self-worth and ruin your relationship in the long run. It takes a strong, confident, and self-aware man to watch a guy he is in love with have sexual relationships with other people. If you have body insecurities, consider working on yourself before exploring what is out there.
· Have the right motivation
A common mistake some gay men make is agreeing to an open relationship to make their partners happy. Just because your partner wants casual sex doesn’t mean it’s right for you. If you agree to an open relationship to make your partner happy, you will end up disgusted with yourself, heartbroken, and miserable. You can only derive pleasure from an open relationship if you are doing it for the right thing.
· Set sexual and emotional boundaries
Having an open relationship doesn’t necessarily mean everything goes regarding sex and emotional intimacy. Set boundaries to counter jealousy, hurt feelings, health concerns, or any other sexual and intimacy concerns that might come up once you open the relationship. Can either of you have unprotected sex? How often should you get tested? Can you sleep over at a potential partner’s house after sex? Finding answers to some of these questions can help you set healthy boundaries that protect your primary relationship.
Ideally, create a comprehensive list of what sexual acts you can perform with sexual partners and what is forbidden. Have open discussions about what is acceptable, and don’t be afraid to cross off something if you are uncomfortable with it. Setting sexual boundaries ensures you both engage in safe sex and experiment sexually within agreed parameters and help you protect a degree of intimacy you can only share with your partner.
· Have a conversation about who you can or can’t hook up with
How will you feel if your partner hooks up with his ex just because you have an open relationship? What if he strikes up a casual sexual relationship with your best friend or supervisor? Having a genuine dynamic doesn’t mean you can hook up with every good-looking man with a pulse.
Have an honest conversation about the people you don’t want your man to have sex with. As a couple, you can create a list of people you can’t pursue to get sex or emotional intimacy. For instance, you can agree not to hook up with relatives, friends, exes, or people you work with. Having a conversation about who you can or can’t hook up with prevents awkward runnings with people you have had sex with while you are with your partner.
It’s normal to wonder about the kind of sex your partner when you are in an open relationship. Rather than snooping on his phone or following around when he goes on dates, you can just ask him. Have a discussion about what you can share about other sexual partners. You can talk about how many sexual experiences you can have within a week, month or year. If your partner gets off listening to you talk about your sexual escapades, you relive the whole experience with words or actions, using the kink to have more sex. Alternatively, you can practice the don’t ask, don’t tell rule, where you don’t talk about whatever happens when you are with other people.
Some couples prefer to tell each other before a hookup happens so that the other partner knows when, where, and with whom you are having sex. You can also decide to tell each other about a sexual experience after the event.
· Manage your expectations
What’s your expectation of having an open relationship? Do you want to have lots of sex? Is your goal to learn new tricks from strangers you can bring to your relationship? Or do you simply want to have fun meeting new people? Whatever your goal is, learn to keep your expectations in check so that the actual experience doesn’t feel underwhelming. Avoid setting your expectations so high that the actual experience feels like a letdown. If it’s your first time in an open relationship, have fun but don’t forget to cater to your partner.
· Be honest
Your open relationship will only work if you are honest about what you want. If you are uncomfortable about something in your open dynamic, face those concerns head-on. Tell your partner everything that makes you feel self-conscious, and together, devise a solution that makes you feel good. Suppose you are unable to overcome your concerns in the immediate future. In that case, you can hit your pause button on the open relationship dynamic until you are both in a healthy mental place to enjoy the experience.
· Define cheating parameters
Is it possible to cheat while in an open relationship? Certainly! Cheating in an open relationship occurs when one partner disregards the rules and boundaries that guide the open dynamic. For instance, if you have agreed not to have sex with friends, colleagues, or relatives and you do it behind your partner’s back, that’s cheating.
· Don’t neglect your partner
While an open relationship allows you to pursue multiple people, that doesn’t mean you should neglect your partner. Don’t let the excitement of meeting new sex partners make you lose interest in your relationship. Find time to take your man out for dates, surprise him with candlelit dinners, and buy him meaningful presents to show you appreciate him. You can increase intimacy in your relationship by spending time together, sending flirty texts while you are apart, and making future plans, creating strong bonds that can withstand the pressures of an open relationship.
· It’s not a competition
Turning your open relationship into a competition about who can have more sexual partners defeats the purpose of an open dynamic. The goal of an open relationship is to strengthen your union, not tear each other apart with the meaningless competition. If your open relationship brings you more pain than pleasure, it might be better to end it.
Being a part of an open relationship can expose you to amazing sexual experiences you would otherwise find in a monogamous relationship. An open relationship can help you confront your insecurities, expand your carnal knowledge, and strengthen your primary relationship with your partner.