Firstly what is an open relationship? It is important to understand what this means before questioning if your partner in fact wants one. An open relationship involves having one romantic partner who wants to have more than one sexual partner. In an open relationship you are completely committed to one person but you also have the freedom to sleep with other people. If you want to have more than one romantic partner that is different, that would be polyamory.
Now we have established what an open relationship is, here are 10 signs your partner may want to change to rules of your relationship and engage in something more open.
1. Your Partner Has Asked Directly
This might seem obvious but your partner asking you about open relationships or expressing a desire to try one is one sure sign they want to have an open relationship. Approaching your partner with this question can be intimidating, and you or your partner may require time to process it. That is all perfectly fine. There is no wrong way to approach an open relationship as long as you are both on the same page – consent and respect is key.
If your partner is afraid to ask the question to you, these are some other signs they may want an open relationship.
2. Want To Try New Things
If your partner is constantly asking to try new things this may signal they want an open relationship. Whether it be trying new clothes, a new hair style, new restaurants or experimenting with you – these all point to a new found curiosity that may lead to broaching an open relationship with you. Wanting to do things differently is not a bad sign, it just shows your relationship is changing direction and sometimes that can be the best thing for you both!
A threesome can in some cases be the first step to entering into an open relationship. If your partner has asked if you’d be comfortable with having a threesome this is one sign they are looking to expand their contact with people. Threesomes can be great fun! If you and your partner can agree and threesome can be a good way to test the waters and see if you are both prepared to have multiple sexual partners outside of your current commitment.
4. Seems Unsatisfied In Bed
Sex is a lot more complicated than they lead on in the movies. People will have different likes and dislikes and this will not always align with your partner. Your partner feeling dissatisfied in bed is not a sign that you are a bad lover, it just means your partner requires more to feel fulfilled. If your partner likes a particular sexual act but you don’t enjoy giving it, this could lead to some sexual tension that isn’t relieved and vice versa. Neither your fault or your duty to provide, an open relationship can allow for the room for your partner to seek this satisfaction without you having to betray your own boundaries when it comes to sex. Don’t be afraid of an unsatisfying sex life, often it leads to much better love making when you address and work through it together!
5. Wants You To Sleep With Other People
Allowing your partner to sleep with someone who isn’t you can be a turn on for some people. Because of this, an open relationship can make your committed relationship stronger and much healthier. If your partner has asked you if you’d like to sleep with someone else or has said they would be turned on if you did that is another sign that your partner may want an open relationship.
6. Monogamy Isn’t Working
Monogamy will not work for all couples, again this isn’t a sign that either of you have failed but it is a sign that your partner may want an open relationship because they may benefit from it. Having only one sexual partner can be frightening to some people who are especially empowered through sex with another person. If you and your partner are both happily committed but find there is something missing this could relate to a lack of sexual partners.
7. Bending The Rules Of Your Relationship
“Can we try this instead?”, “why don’t we stop doing that?”, “will we start doing this?”. All relationships will have some rules whether they are explicit or unspoken. Your partner wanting to change these or modify them can be a sign they want an open relationship. There is nothing wrong with having rules in a relationship, they are often very helpful but if your partner wants to rebel then rules may not work and you may need to bend, often into better shape.
8. Unhappy With Your Communication
If your partner is having trouble communicating or you feel as though you can’t talk to your partner, this can be a problem. Wanting to improve your communication can also be a sign your partner wants an open relationship as interacting or having sex with others can often make your partner more open to you.
9. Needs A Stronger Sense Of Self
When you commit to someone completely some people can lose their sense of self. If your partner has told you that they need to find themselves outside of your relationship or just needs to indulge their own desires more this could signify they wan’t an open relationship. This gives you and your partner the freedom to be individuals but to always come back to one another.
10. Doesn’t Want To Rely On You For Everything
Relationships can be hard to balance and in some cases this can lead to neglecting other aspects of your life. Your partner not wanting to rely on you for every aspect of their wellbeing is not a bad sign, but it could be a sign they want an open relationship. This allows your partner to learn from other people but remain committed to you. A win-win, it also allows you to rely on other people too!
Do you think your partner want’s an open relationship? And are you open to it? Remember communication is key and let us know in the comments below if any of these signs made sense to you and your relationship!
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A poet, INFP and an empath who is never without a book, and thoroughly enjoys a soy latte. Based in Melbourne, Australia.