Have you ever come across the subject, but just don’t know what it’s all about…or your in one and don’t know how to make it work? The first thing I must tell you before we go any further on the issue is that it’s definitely not for everyone…cos while it works for some, the reverse is the case for others.
Having clearly stated that, let’s then take a look at what an open relationship is and if it can really work.
What is an open relationship?
An open relationship, put simply, is a non-monogamous relationship. That means that either both or one of the partners has a sexual relationship with someone else, or lots of other people! Swingers, which are couples who have sexual relationships with other people at parties, are also considered to be in an open relationship.
Can it really work?
Personally, I have often asked myself this question: If open relationships do work, but the truth of the matter is that while it works for some, it does the opposite for others and there aren’t any official stats…but it isn’t right for everyone.
Either ways, it is of utmost importance for the people involved in the relationship to genuinely want it, and one person isn’t just saying that they want it to please their partner. They both might be doing it because they want to keep the relationship going, but they end up in a relationship that they’re unhappy with.
This then will take us to how to make an open relationship work.
How can you make an open relationship work?
Here are a few tips from Lucy Beresford, a psycholotherapist and Happy Relationships: At home, work and play.
Firstly, honesty and openness are essential. “You both have to be completely honest about why you want this but also, importantly, how it is going to work,” says Lucy.
“You might need to set ground rules. For example saying you will only have sex with people five times a year, promising that you will tell each other every time you have sex with someone, or saying that you will only have sex with other people, you won’t do anything intimate like going on dates.”
Secondly, Lucy recommends living together if you are going to start an open relationship, and insisting that anything you do outside of the relationship happens outside of the house.
“That means that the open dimension of the relationship is always off site, and it reinforces the idea that this is the core relationship and the other bits are what you do in the open bit of the relationship,” say Lucy.
Why have an open relationship?
Well, the first reason is pretty obvious. It means you can have a boyfriend or girlfriend but still sleep with other people. We should point out, however, that not everyone wants that. Plus, you’ve got to remember that they will be sleeping with other people too, and some people won’t be able to handle that.
Also, your partner might end up finding someone else. If you are relaxed about that it’s fine, but some people might not be able to handle it. “It really is a personality thing,” says Lucy. “I would always want to question someone’s intimacy, connection and abandonment issues if they were in an open relationship. It might be that these are playing out healthily through the open relationships, but not always.”
Lucy also points out that an open relationship might be attractive to people who have been in a very long term relationship and want to experiment with a different type of relationship. Also, Lucy says, it might be tempting if you have felt very controlled or suffocated in a relationship.
There are other positives too. “It encourages greater communication and emotional honesty, you can say what you really want and what you really don’t like,” says Lucy. “You are also forced to question yourself more.”
With all this bee