You have surrendered to the dating apps and are unstoppable. The messages are flying around your ears, and your reactions are sharper than ever. Things are looking good. You, therefore, do not feel the need to label your relationships with all your crushes. And why would you? What’s wrong with an open relationship?
How can you make an open relationship work?
You long for one on Monday and the other on Tuesday. Making choices is not your forte, especially when it comes to the loves of your life. Take a step back; we live in the 21st century, monogamy is no longer self-evident and being in an open relationship is more and more accepted.
So carefully consider all your options and check in advance whether a relationship is right for you:
Don’t force it
Although it may sound like music to your ears, it doesn’t mean your crush or partner is like you. Getting the other person to eat burgers for dinner or a Sunday morning run is fine. But entering into an open relationship is something you should both feel 100% comfortable with.
So think about how you bring up the topic, which means don’t force it. Whether it’s a fling, twirl or quail with whom you’ve been dating for a long time or a partner you’ve been with for years, it’s important that you put the idea on the table but don’t push it into the other person’s hands without letting them calm down first and can think about.
Make clear agreements
It is a common mistake made by people who are new to the concept of open relationships. It may sound like a perfect solution when you both continue to feel the need to date or get into bed with others, but it can also cause confusion and miscommunication.
You can prevent this by sitting around the table with a glass of wine before you start and discussing what you expect from each other.
Do you want to know everything about each other that you do with others? What do you call each other? And do you want to know that in advance or afterwards? Are you only allowed to meet with others outside the home, and how often is this permitted, or is there no limit? Does this have to be for strangers, or is it also allowed with friends? Can you also enter into emotional relationships with others or only sexual ones? Should that be safe, and do you have threes0mes? And how much about your relationships with others will you share?
Adjust appointments where necessary
Just as you continue to communicate openly in a monogamous relationship, so do you in an open relationship. Only in an open relationship are the rules and boundaries less obvious, and you have not prepared everything that comes your way.
For example, one of your other partners asks if you want a weekend away. Nice, do you think! But then you realize that you haven’t discussed this with your regular partner yet. That means: share the proposal with your partner and ask how he or she feels about it.
As with all other agreements, both of you must also come to terms with this one. Does your partner indicate that he or she would rather not have this? Then it’s up to you to respect that decision. Does it appear after a few weeks that your agreement not to share details does not suit you? Indicate that and adjust your appointment because only then will you both remain in the relationship with a good feeling.
Realize that open relationships are not for everyone
In a monogamous relationship, you don’t know what you’re getting into, whether you’ll like someone just as much a year later and whether rules are broken, trust is broken. That also applies to an open relationship, but there are just a few more hooks to it.
You can love someone very much and (for the first time) have entered into an open relationship with them, but you did not know beforehand what you were getting into. If you or the other person are too jealous, it’s too difficult for one of you to follow the rules, or you don’t love each other enough, then this (open) relationship may not be made for you.
Be open about that and then discuss with each other whether you will continue in a monogamous relationship or whether you decide not to stay together at all. But do realize you can’t force someone to be in a monogamous relationship who desires an open relationship and vice versa. So be both honest about that.