Are you in an Open Relationship? Here are some mistakes to avoid

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Welcome to the era of open relationships

I’m not saying monogamy is dead but over the years more and more people are becoming ever curious and bold to try open relationships.

Monogamy may be an idealized version of love, but is not practical in a world where couples marry later, live longer and find themselves outside of the historical/social constructs that don’t align with their values.

A YouGov poll in April 2021 found that a quarter of Americans would consider a non-monogamous relationship—while a 2021 study published in the journal Psychology & Sexuality suggested that people in open relationships were 20 percent happier than more traditional pairings.

What does it mean to be in an “open relationship”?

An open relationship is a form of non-monogamy, which is an umbrella term for any physical or romantic partnership that is not predicated on exclusivity. 

So if you are curious to try out an Open Relationship, here are some mistakes to avoid

I spoke to a few non-monogamous people to know  the common mistakes people make when opening up their relationship for the first time

These include:

Failing to communicate

Honesty is crucial for a successful open relationship. If you want to open your arrangement, are you ready to be that honest and transparent?

Being inconsiderate of your partner’s feelings

It’s important for your original partner to be on the same page, which includes a willingness to end any additional relationships if your significant other requests it.

A strong foundation Is important for an open relationship to last.

Expecting too much

Open relationships are great because other people have a life to go back to and you don’t have to put your life on hold so it is good to be realistic.

If for example you are in an open relationship with a married woman you can’t expect her to be with you every time you are horny. She has a husband to take care of too so expecting too much in an open relationship is detrimental.

Not setting boundaries

One of the first rules you should agree on as a couple is what types of sex are okay to have with other people (if sex is okay at all) and what you consider to be out of bounds.

Don’t shy away from getting specific here: Is penetrative sex okay? Oral? Kissing? Are you allowed to explore things like BDSM that you don’t do with your partner?

Shortly after James and Mary got married, they started sleeping with another couple, who were close friends.

“One night, we all ended up getting together and having a great time. Next thing you know, they were having sex next to us and we were having sex [side-by-side],” he said. 

After that, the two couples started getting together on a regular basis and having sex but for it to work they had to set rules.

Things like use of condoms, whether you can swap partners etc. need to be clear from the word go.

Set emotional boundaries

It’s also important to define what social and emotional behaviors are okay. For example, maybe you’re totally cool with your partner having random Tinder hookups but you’re not comfortable with them going on dates or seeing other partners in a social context.

Navigating the emotional guidelines can be even trickier than the physical ones.

Figure out how much time you’ll spend with other partners

Once you’ve established boundaries, One key thing to agree on is whether you’ll each be actively or passively exploring other relationships.

Whichever you agree upon, you should also set some rules around how much time you’re allowed to spend with other partners.

For example, decide how much time each week you’re allowed to spend with other partners

Failing to keep jealousy in check

It’s important to work on yourself and your insecurities if you want the relationship to succeed.

Choosing the wrong people

Discretion is important in an open relationship so choosing the wrong people can be disastrous.

There are two schools of thought; there are people who only sleep with strangers while they are people who only sleep with people they know in their social circle they know they can trust.

“Some people even agree to only date partners of one or another gender outside the relationship,”

Bottom Line:

Always wear a condom every-time you have sex.

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