Open relationships can be incredibly rewarding; after all, you get to play the field and experience new people, all with the permission of your partner. That being said, an open relationship takes a little bit of extra work to make sure there are no hurt feelings while you are out with another person. These tips will allow for smooth sailing while you navigate an open relationship with your partner.
The biggest mistake people make in an open relationship is hiding details or hookups with their partner. This teeters on the line between cheating and ethical non-monogamy. No matter what, it will come out and your partner will be hurt in the long run, because secrets will mean needing more secrets and, eventually, you won’t be able to keep up. Be prepared to tell and receive harsh truths, but it will make you freer.
Establish Ground Rules
Before you enter the world of open relationships, you need to sit down and have a serious conversation with your partner. Actually, be prepared to have multiple conversations while the both of you figure out what works for you and for him. Some of the more common ground rules include:
- Veto Power: Do you want to be able to say “no” to who your partner wants to date or hookup with? Or are you comfortable letting them have their fun? There’s no right or wrong answer to this. Sometimes, people have a limited number of vetoes; other times, the partner makes it a requirement that there has to be a solid reason. It’s ultimately up to you and your boyfriend. Also, to go along with this one, do you want to meet the guys your partner dates?
- Sexual Acts Allowed: You and your partner need to decide if there are any acts that should stay between the two of you. For example, if you’re consistently the top are you okay with your partner bottoming to someone else? Some people like to make “no kissing” a rule, because they see that as something special to be reserved for the boyfriend.
- Full Disclosure: This one is highly individualized and may take some trial and error. How much do you want to know after your partner sees someone else? Some people just want to know if he had a good time and stayed safe. Other people, for example, want to know everything down to the type of drink they had at dinner. Odds are you’ll find yourself somewhere in the middle.
Realize Jealousy Will Happen
Jealousy is inevitable when you choose to see other people during the course of your relationship. The key to success is how you handle it. Don’t get upset if you or your boyfriend feel jealousy. Instead, talk through it. Figure out where the feelings are coming from. Maybe you just need to dedicate more time to your primary partner, or maybe it’s just a matter of him feeling left out and needing more information. Just sitting down and talking it out will do wonders for your relationship.
For more information on how to make your open relationship a success, be sure to contact us. We’re here and happy to help!