With the world becoming more accepting and numerous sexualities and gender identities coming to the forefront, it’s no wonder more and more people are entering into an open or polyamorous relationship.
Every relationship is different, and therefore every open relationship requires a different set of ground rules to make sure both partners are on the same page (and prevent any jealousy!)
Experts agree open relationships can be just as strong as monogamous ones, if done correctly! Here are a few tips on how to have a healthy open relationship.
1. Make Sure This Is Really The Sort Of Setup For You
Though the idea of having multiple romantic or sexual partners can seem exciting, there are a lot of other factors to consider when deciding if an open relationship is right for you. Are you a very jealous person naturally? Even if you’re happy with the idea of sleeping with other people as well as your partner, would you be okay with them doing the same? There are a lot of things to think about and discuss with your partner before entering into an open relationship. Make sure you do your research on the topics of an open relationship and polyamory before rushing into anything.
2. Establish A Firm Set Of Ground Rules
This is probably the most important step in having a healthy open relationship. Because every couple is different, it’s crucial to find out where each person’s boundaries are set and what they’re comfortable with.
Establishing ground rules needs to be specific too, make sure to discuss with your partner what each of you is allowed to do separately from them. Whether that be dating, sex, or even hanging out with other people.
Making sure there are rules that you both stick to and remain faithful to in an open relationship will help to prevent jealousy and nip any nasty surprises in the bud.
3. Keep Each Other Updated Frequently
As with most things, feelings can change and adapt over time, so it is essential to keep each other up to date with each other’s feelings and relationships.
Make sure your partner is aware of anyone you’re seeing and what their level of involvement is. No one wants to have any unpleasant surprises along the way, as that can lead to a lot of unnecessary jealousy and bitterness. If any untoward feelings come up, like you or partner feeling jealous, or a slight overstepping of boundaries, make sure you talk your way through the issue, and air out all your metaphorical dirty laundry. The last thing you want is problems being caused because of a lack of communication or secrets being kept.
4. Make Sure To Dedicate Plenty Of Time To Your Primary Partner
Despite open relationships meaning you can explore sex and relationships with other people, it is still very important to spend plenty of time with your primary partner. Make sure you still have a fun and thriving relationship, try having a scheduled date night, spend time with friends as a couple and if you can, try and get some time alone together. It’s still a relationship, after all, so dedicate enough time together to make sure you still feel close.
5. Be Extra Careful Regarding Your Sexual Health
Entering into any relationships requires discussion with your partner/s about safe sex. If in an open relationship you’ll be entering into sex with multiple partners, you should be even more careful regarding sexual health. Get tested before engaging with any new partners, use some form of protection to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STIs. Make sure to talk to any new partners about protection too, as anything overlooked would affect your primary partner too.
Those were our tips on how to have a healthy open relationship, with communication, honesty and patience, it can be done. Stay safe and stay happy!