Open Relationship – How To Open Up Your Relationship And Make It Work – 7 Easy Steps.
I’m sure more than once you’ve heard of polygamy, polyamory, open couples. But are you really sure what they are?
If you are thinking of opening your relationship or want your current open relationship to work, in this article, I offer you the three key steps that can help you clarify your doubts.
WHAT ARE OPEN COUPLES? FIRST STEP: LEARN THE JARGON
Before making any decision, it is crucial that you know the language of open couples and become familiar with the different options to open your relationship.
Open couples are one of those terms that can confuse. The first thing to keep in mind is that it is a global concept and that there are many ways to be an “open couple.”
WHAT ARE OPEN RELATIONSHIPS?
Open relationships fall within “consensual non-monogamous” relationships. These couples, unlike monogamous ones, agree with each other not to have sexual or emotional exclusivity.
The most common construction of an open couple is that of the main couple who are “open” to sexual encounters with third parties.
In these relationships, each can have sexual encounters, separately or together, with third parties, but usually, the leading partner is the one who takes precedence over the rest. Who you snuggle up to at the end of the day, to put it mildly, is the couple you initially engaged to.
But there are many other variants within open relationships, and it is advisable to distinguish them before opting for one of them:
Also known as “couple exchange,” it is one of the most popular. Partners agree to make sexual exchanges with other open partners as well.
Or almost monogamous is a term popularized by Dan Savage. A couple is defined as who is mainly monogamous but who allows occasional sexual contact with ours.
Some couples, for example, enable one-night communications; in other cases, there are limits on the frequency of communications, etc. In this model, emotional (and non-sexual) exclusivity is usually assumed, and a priority role is given to the couple.
In polyamory, people engage in 2 or more love and sexual relationships simultaneously, and none of them necessarily have more priority than the other.
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In this type of relationship, there is an opportunity to bond intimately with several people at the same time, and, ideally, you have full knowledge and consent of all involved.
If you look, the trait common to all of them is sexual and/or emotional non-exclusivity. And, unlike infidelity, everyone involved agrees with the existence of the other relationships.
Honesty and the negotiation of clear rules are therefore essential for open couples to function.
STEP TWO: LEARN ABOUT THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND POTENTIAL CHALLENGES OF OPENING UP YOUR RELATIONSHIP.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF OPEN COUPLES
It’s an excellent opportunity to have more honest and honest conversations about your sexual needs and fantasies.
Increase your chances of negotiating and agreeing with your partner.
It’s an opportunity to pay attention and identify priorities in your relationship.
Opportunity to develop “compassion”(and not understanding): a sense of well-being or positive feeling when you see that your partner is enjoying another relationship.
POSSIBLE CHALLENGES OF OPEN COUPLES
Increased likelihood of experiencing jealousy and emotions that arouse insecurity may arouse fear of loss of a partner.
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Social incomprehension or stigma. Lack of social acceptance sometimes causes your family/social network to disapprove of your relationship and feel judged or criticized for not conforming to the norms of traditional couples.
STEP TWO: LEARN THE 7 KEYS TO MAKE YOUR OPEN RELATIONSHIP WORK
Such relationships require an outstanding commitment to communication and mutual support and are very likely to lead us to anger, jealousy, and insecurity at some point… But which marriage is free of it?
Here are some of the keys to make your open relationship work:
1. MEET YOUR PREFERENCES
Open relationships are not the best alternative for everyone. You must ponder the idea, value the challenges involved, and take into account the different modalities.
There are many options at your fingertips, and not all have to fit in with you. It’s critical that you and your partner feel comfortable with the situation.
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If you’re thinking about opening up your relationship, you might want to ask yourself things like:
Do I want to have sex with other people outside the relationship?
Would I feel comfortable knowing that my partner is sexually or intimately related to other people?
Do I agree to get emotionally involved with other people?
Do I want to maintain engagement with my partner and have occasional sex with other people?
Do I prefer that no relationship be above the other?
2. IF YOU WANT AN OPEN RELATIONSHIP FOR THE WRONG REASONS, IT WON’T WORK
Some couples decide to open up as a way to save the relationship. According to subject matter experts, this is a big mistake. If your current partner’s foundations aren’t solid, you need to work on them.
Don’t expect opening up your relationship to change your situation. Liberating a foundation of trust, honesty and communication are critical elements for the relationship to work. Experts in couples therapy can help you with it.
3. DEFINE AND AGREE ON THE RULES OF THE GAME WITH YOUR PARTNER
Once you are clear that you want an open relationship, you have to design the frame in which you will move. A starting point, according to, is to make three columns and write:
1) What you want
2) What you prefer but it’s not essential and
3) What you disagree with and wouldn’t allow.
Afterward, each member of the couple can compare their limits/desires and agree on a frame to feel comfortable. For example:
Is it permissible to have relationships with people at work?
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And with friends or acquaintances?
Are you allowed to have repeated encounters with the same person?
Will we reveal the details, or would we rather not?
Everyone involved must go in the same boat. No one should feel pressured to open their relationship in a coerced way, please others, avoid conflict, or fear losing their partner. Do it because you really want it, and you know what you’re getting into.
If this is your first time opening up your relationship, new doubts and insecurities will most likely arise as you come into contact with others. You must open the debate whenever you need it, express your feelings and listen to your partner’s.
Although communication is one of the main ingredients of any relationship, open relationships need to function.
6. REVIEW AND RENEGOTIATE THE RULES
The rules should change and evolve. Talking to you from time to time about things you don’t feel comfortable with will allow you to review the limits.
7. DISAGREEMENTS ARE NATURAL
Jealousy, crises, and difficult times will come, as in every relationship. Opening your relationship is a challenge, and you must prepare for moments of uncertainty.
It’s not always easy to give your partner the same leeway or feel safe when your partner enjoys another person(s) emotionally or sexually. That is why honesty and trust must be worked on regularly.
Just because you’re through a pothole doesn’t mean you’ve failed or don’t stand a chance. If you feel overwhelmed and the couple doesn’t know how to get out of the pothole, couples therapy can help you resolve your situation and clarify where you want to walk.
I hope you find this article useful. Please do share if you liked it. Bye for now!