Monogamy is the ‘status quo’ these days.
Whether you’re straight, gay, pansexual, queer, or something else, society expects you to bond with one person for the rest of your life. Typically, this satisfies most people – we get married (or cohabitate), and we stick to that relationship. At the same time, divorce has proliferated, and a lot of relationships fail because one person or the other isn’t having all their needs fulfilled.

Some feel that having an open relationship – or a polyamorous relationship – can actually bring two people closer together. Less resentment arises when there is something one partner can’t do for the other because it can be sought outside the two-party relationship. In a poly situation, the two people typically have additional, permanent relationships with other individuals who can help supplement where one person may lack, while in an open relationship, those other people may provide more temporary relief.

The question most commonly asked about an open relationship is, how can either party ever feel secure? That brings up a good point, worth exploring. Are open relationships really a good idea, or are they just a nice way to excuse affairs?

In essence, an open relationship should not be used as a way to sleep around with permission. There should be a valid reason to enter into this sort of agreement. But if both partners set expectations that allow them to ease into the situation – and agree that it’s an evolutionary process that changes with both parties’ needs – it can work out to everyone’s advantage. In fact, those who are wholeheartedly dedicated to their partners and maintain open relationships are often incredibly happy.

Probably the most important part of maintaining a healthy open relationship is communication.
You have to keep the lines open both ways. That means not only communicating your needs, insecurities, and hard limits, but also listening and digesting the same from your partner.

Jealousy can run rampant if you don’t work hard to remind yourself that your partner loves you and simply needs something more. If you really dig deep, you may find areas in which your partner doesn’t quite fulfill you and decide to look elsewhere, too. Fending off that green monster involves setting aside specific time to spend with your partner, a time that never changes or gets interrupted. This should be about quality, not quantity.

Open relationships don’t work for everyone, and that does cause problems for some couples. If your partner requires an open relationship and you can’t reconcile the idea in your mind, you may not be compatible and need to move on. And if your partner is adamantly against an open relationship, you shouldn’t continue to pressure them because you’ll both end up miserable.

Reach deep and decide what you’re comfortable with. If you feel you need something more out of a relationship than monogamy offers, consider entering into an open relationship. Just make sure expectations and rules are set to keep all parties safe and happy for the long run.

 

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