When it comes to love and sex, there are no rules nor is it black and white. It’s a palette of vibrant colours mixed together in a number of different arrangements that stand out beautifully from the crowd. You simply cannot judge one person’s love or sex life, because it’s unique and personal.
Monogamy, for example, maybe more socially acceptable, and many may feel obligated or persuaded to find their forever person, settle down, have children and live happily ever after. But, there are other ways to be genuinely happy and thrive in other kinds of relationships.
Today, we’re going to take a look at open and polyamorous relationships and how you can make it work. If this is something you’re considering, these next few tips will prove invaluable when it comes to researching and finding out if this is the right thing for you. But first…
What is an Open Relationship?
An open relationship is a non-exclusive relationship whereby a couple, married or other, may have sexual relations outside of their primary relationship.
What is a Polyamorous Relationship?
An open relationship need not be confused with a polyamorous relationship, whereby a couple may have sexual and romantical relations outside of their primary relationship.
Making it Work
Whether you’re currently in an open or poly relationship or you’re just starting to consider it, think about the following guidelines. To be in an open or poly relationship, it’s important to…
Love Yourself & Be Secure in Your Primary Relationship
It takes a lot of self-love and security to be able to be in an open or poly relationship. If you are prone to jealousy or being insecure within your relationship, living this lifestyle may only add additional stress and worry. On the other hand, if you have a lot of trust, mutual respect, and love for your partner, and want to experience more while feeling safe and secure within your primary relationship, then an open or poly relationship may just be for you.
Communicate & Be Honest
The key to keeping things in working order is to be able to communicate and be open with one another. One of the leading causes of arguments and divorce in monogamous relationships is cheating and keeping secrets. In an open or poly relationship, you have the ability, to be honest, and open with your partner, which can go a long way. To communicate also means that you feel safe enough to discuss your insecurities, fears, and doubts. In this way, you can work together to tailor your relationships so that it works for all involved.
Have Mutually Agreed-Upon Boundaries
You know the expression, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”? That is very applicable here. When in an open or poly relationship, it’s about figuring out the best way to enjoy life to the fullest, together. And when there are no pre-discussed rules, boundaries, or guidelines, that’s when feelings can get hurt and problems can arise. For many couples, they have boundaries such as not being able to be romantic or sexual with a mutual friend, or they’ve pre-discussed what and what does not get said after a date with another partner.
Do it Only if it Feels Right
This applies in every aspect of life, quite honestly. You should never feel pressured to live an open relationship or poly lifestyle if that’s something you don’t feel right about. Perhaps you prefer the idea of monogamy or a different lifestyle? That’s okay. But be sure to verbalise your feelings, and not to succumb to any relationship changes solely to make your partner happy.
Prioritize Quality Time with Your Primary Partner
Lastly, one of the most important things to do if in an open or poly relationship is to set time aside for your primary partner. They want to feel loved and needed, and perhaps you’re craving that reassurance and comfortability too. Prioritizing quality time means honouring and adoring your primary partner so that all secondary relationships are done so in a trusted and respectful manner.
With that, we wish you all the best on your journey, thoughts, and curiosities surrounding open and poly relationships! There’s no right or wrong way to date, love, and have sex, so do what makes you and your partner happy!
Helena Lorimer at JOUJOU