A Complete Guide to Open Relationships: Everything You Need to Know


The Concept of an Open Relationship Among Other Types of Relationships

A lot of people consider open relationship something inevitably linked with promiscuity and degrading morality. But those who think this way don't seem to have the slightest idea of what is an open relationship.

Open relationships are a very complicated topic, which might be caused by more factors aside from you feeling bored in bed with your steady partner. It does count as a reason too, though, as this kind of relationships may be used for spicing up your sex life. Sometimes open relationships may start when you both were too young when you chose each other as your lifelong partners.

having an open relationship

Another common belief is that open relationships can be only between people who really don't love each other. Actually, this belief is totally wrong, because love may be the very reason for an open relationship.

Having an open relationship requires deep love as well as deep trust, because how otherwise can you let each other have sex with someone else? A lot of people deny the very possibility of open relationships, because they think that it will ruin the love. But what if love doesn't parish but only grows when you have an open relationship? Let's have a more detailed look at reasons for an open relationship.

Early Start

Marriage in late teens and early twenties is quite uncommon in western world nowadays, still it happens from time to time. But why going that far with marriage? Some teens manage to have a steady relationship up to the proper marrying age. What are the results? Right, they grow to love each other even more, and it is great. At the same time, because of starting so early, they literally have no chance to know somebody else. And there are two possible ways of the continuation of this story.

The first, let's call it a traditional variant (a quite sad one), has a growing hatred paired with a growing desire to cheat. Partners start to blame each other for starting that early. As a result, they start cheating on each other, the love dies, they separate and go their own ways. Traditional? Yes! Good? Maybe. Weren’t there any other variants? No, there were.

The second, let's call it unconventional variant, has a growing desire to cheat, a discussion regarding the issue and the solution. When you love and trust each other, you won't have a problem of letting each other have some sugar on the side from time to time. Thus, you're having a happy couple with all of your sexual desires and curiosity satisfied.

do open relationships workSex Boredrom

Probably, there's nothing worse in relationships than when you have to force yourself in bed with your partner. The reason is that you got used to each other, and even your attempts to spice up your sex life, without bringing in the third parties, have failed terribly. This situation is common for long-term relationships, and as the first case, it has two solutions.

The first one is being full of shame cheating on your partner. You need someone else to satisfy your sexual needs and desires, but you feel ashamed, because you love your partner. But you don't want to have a straight talk with him or her about the issue. You prefer cheating under cover. Of course, it makes you kinkier, still it may spice up the process, but the consequences can be sad, if not tragic. You are full of guilt, and consequently, you start to hate your partner believing that he or she is to blame for it. As a result, you'll break up.

The second variant, which is unconventional, has the same start as the more typical full-of-shame-variant. After all of these years, you are unable to turn on each other properly, but you still love each other. You discuss the issue and agree that both of you are free to have sex with someone else thus spicing up your sex life and saving your relationships.

Both of these cases clearly show that open relationships help save love. Of course, it doesn't always work, mainly because you need to learn a few things to make your open relationship function properly.

How to Make Your Open Relationship Work

So, after figuring out what does it mean to be in an open relationship, you may start counting times you felt bored in bed with your partner or start thinking that your relationship started too early. Yep, you are definitely thinking about an open relationship if you made it here. And you may wonder ‘Do open relationships really work?’ Yes, they do! The Huffington Post 2015 survey showed that about 13% of Americans engage into open relationships. Moreover, 14% state that they would consider having an open relationship. Open relationships work and they are no longer a taboo. But you need to learn a few things to make an open relationship work. If you are that interested, we offer you to check out the open relationship rules that help a lot of couples and can help you if you consider experimenting.

Right Reasons

You must make sure that you are having the right reasons for your open relationship. If you are just into having sex with a lot of different partners, probably you’ve understood the whole open relationship idea wrong. You are closer to the truth if you want physical experiences with others while staying committed to one person. In real open relationships, your primal partnership is with your love partner, the one with whom you share your emotional and spiritual aspects of yourself, while with others you have only physical relationships. Your open relationship is screwed if you start being romantically and emotionally linked with other partners.

Set the Boundaries

Although it may seem ridiculous, open relationships are impossible without setting the boundaries. And you need to discuss the boundaries with your partner. It doesn’t sound so kinky now, right? A discussion – are you making a deal? Well, only sort of, because otherwise, you may just go cheating on your partner.

So, talk all the important questions through. Do you need to tell your love partner the details about your physical partners? Do you want to know anything about sexual partners of your love partner? Is it okay to have physical partners of both genders or not? There are a lot of things to talk about before starting an open relationship. And everything must be settled before making the very first step.

open relationship rulesYour Other Partners Must Know

Besides informing your love partner about your having physical partners, you need to inform them too. This will settle everything and prevent a lot of broken hearts. You must understand that keeping their actual roles secret from them may lead to them falling in love with you. We know what you think, but that’s kinky and flattering only at first glance. After feeling flattered, you are more likely to find yourself cornered, so better take care of it beforehand.

Keep it Healthy

You didn’t see it coming? It is strange, but we are living in the age of the HIV epidemic since 1980s and until someone finds a cure we’ll continue onwards. Okay, no need to be that tragic, but there are a lot of other STDs, which are not deadly, but far from being pleasant. So, don’t forget to use condoms and keep it healthy and clean. Both, you and your partner must be conscious about being safe with each other and with other partners.

Now you can clearly see that being in an open relationship is a painstaking work for not faint hearted people. You won’t be able to handle this type of relationship if you are weak and can’t be sure about your own desires. As it’s not as romantic as it may seem, think twice before engaging in it.

Polyamory vs Open Relationship: The Basic Difference

Now, after learning everything about open relationships, there is one more myth that needs to be busted. There is certain confusion between open relationships and a phenomenon known as polyamory. Once again, confusion occurs because of those who weren’t engaged in any of the mentioned relationship types or who are just too lazy to dig some information on it. So, let’s set this polyamory vs. open relationship case straight. It is way easier than you may think, as we can do it simply by providing the polyamory and open relationship definition.

Polyamory Definition

Polyamory is a fusion of Greek word πολύ (poly), which means “many” or “several”, and the latin word amor, which means “love”. We had it in the word itself all along. If you are into polyamory, it means that you have many lovers, in other words, you have a lot of partners with whom you are involved both sexually and emotionally. It has nothing to do with open relationship dating, as you are actually dating several partners simultaneously.

Open Relationship Definition

An open relationship is an interpersonal cluster where both partners love each other but agree to have sexual, flirting, or intimate relationships with other people. The main difference from the polyamory is that an open relationship has only two partners in love having multiple physical partners. Moreover, in an open relationship all partners know their roles, while in the case of polyamory, each partner may think that he is the love interest of the another.

Summing up, we can assume that open relationships require hard work and strong nerves, and that they are way more honest than polyamory.