I got to thinking about open relationships when a friend mentioned that he and his girl had agreed not to practice monogamy. They had come up with a way where they could each go out with other people but still remain as a couple. I wondered at the practicality of this and even asked if that defeated the point of being together. He said, “Not really. We like to be committed to each other, but we also understand that there’s no harm in making connections with other people.”
I was flabbergasted.
With time, and after a lot of research, I realized that, should a couple wish to, they can have a successful open relationship. But how do you know this is for you?
1. You both want it
Like my friend and his girlfriend, both partners need to be on the same page about an open relationship. Neither partner should have to convince the other that this is a road they should go down.
Bring it up and watch for your partner’s reaction. If they seem uncomfortable about it, don’t insist. If they are open to it, well and good. Should they show some interest but are a bit hesitant, give them time and answer any questions they might have as you wait for their response. Be open to either a yes or a no.
2. You don’t get jealous
It’s normal to get jealous, that’s just how we’re wired as human beings. However, for an open relationship to thrive, jealousy needs to be at the minimum. You shouldn’t mind your partner chatting to or even flirting with other people. And they shouldn’t mind you doing the same. And should you feel a tinge of jealousy, you should be able to shake it off as soon as it starts.
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3. You’re good at communicating
For any relationship to thrive, the couple needs to communicate well. Partners need to talk things out when they’re venturing into an open relationship. You need to discuss your boundaries and come up with a set of rules. Is it just about sex or can you also form emotional connections? What about sleepovers? Can you bring your dates home?
There will be times when you or your partner needs reassurance about your relationship and you should be able to give or receive it.
Communication is key in an open relationship and you should never tire of it.
4. You don’t worry what others say about you
Open relationships, though more and more common these days, still raise eyebrows. Society understands that a relationship should be exclusively two people so how can it work when there are other people in the mix?
Should people find out that you’re in an open relationship, be ready to answer numerous questions. People will judge you but don’t let this get to you.
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