When we say a couple, we always picture two individuals who are deeply in love with each other and are in a committed relationship.
It’s quite difficult to imagine more than two people in a relationship. When we think of more than two people in a relationship, we term it infidelity. However, it’s not right. Infidelity means having an extra marital affair outside of a relationship without keeping your partner informed. The relationship which we are talking right now is called an open relationship.
What is an open relationship?
Now, what does open relationship mean? To define open relationship in simple words, it is a relationship status where both partners have mutually agreed to share a non-monogamous relationship.
This implies that either one of them or both would have sexual or romantic or both types of relationship with people beyond their partner. In an open relationship, both parties are well aware and agree to such arrangements. This, separates this relationship from infidelity.
Now, as we know open relationship meaning, let’s dive deep into it and find out more about open relationship.
How to have an open relationship?
Technically, the word ‘open relationship’ is quite broad.
It’s an umbrella term that has various sub-categories, from swinging to polyamory. The open relationship definition might sound interesting and may present that it’s easy to be in an open relationship, but it’s entirely not.
Foremost, you need to make sure that you’re ready to be in an open relationship. It just doesn’t revolve around sexual excitement, but will have proper bifurcation of the responsibilities and things any other couples go through. So, it is important that you’re aware of some open relationship rules that will help you make this relationship work and successful in longer run.
Let’s have a look at these rules
1. Setting up sex boundaries
Do you want to have sexual relationship with others or just emotional bonding?
It is important that your partner and you have discussed this before entering to open relationship. If you’re going to get involved with someone sexually, then you need to set sex boundaries and get into the specifics like kissing, oral, penetration or even BDSM.
In excitement one might move forward which eventually might lead to problems. So, it’s utmost essential to discuss these things in advance to keep any problems away in an open relationship.
2. Sort the open relationship
As mentioned above, open relationship is an umbrella term with a lot of sub-categories.
Like, either of the individuals may be involved in a relationship with one or many. Or there could be a chance wherein both of them are involved with another two who are not at all related.
Or there could be a triangle to it where all there are somewhat involved. So, it is essential that before getting into open relationship, you sort these things out.
The best way is to meet people who are in such a relationship. They will make you understand about various arrangements and possibilities of what might work and what won’t.
3. Don’t rush into things
The entire idea of open relationship might excite you, but your partner may be a bit skeptical about it. It’s imperative to say that rushing into things will only lead to additional problems later on. So, give it some time.
Meet people who are in an open relationship for quite a long time, join groups and try to understand their discussions, and give time to your partner to settle with the idea.
They might not be as enthusiastic as you are or may not welcome the idea at all. So, before you go open in your relationship, give it some time to settle up.
4. Setting up emotional boundaries
Like sexual boundaries, you would need to attentively set up emotional boundaries.
When in open relationship, you both should be welcoming to the idea of your partner hooking up with someone from dating platforms. It shouldn’t happen that you are doing this with no regret and get jealous when your partner does.
Set some emotional boundaries. See if you can have sex without getting emotional with someone or not. If so, then how are you going to handle the situation? These minute details are essentials.
5. What are you comfortable with
As discussed, open relationship is an umbrella term.
There are various situations and sub-categories under it. Once you’ve decided with the kind of open relationship you’re going to have, and have defined sexual and emotional boundaries, it’s time you define some other aspects as well.
Like, would you be comfortable with having a boyfriend or want to have another long-term relationship? Would you be okay with getting your partner home? Would you be okay with other partners having sex in your bed? Are you comfortable with your partner’s partner having sex in your house and in your bed?
Setting up these boundaries will help you to keep things sorted and clear.
6. Opening up about open relationship
It’s essential to discuss whether you’re going to talk about your relationship or encounters with your partner or not.
Some couples follow a strict ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell policy’. You can agree upon two different things: either to share the details about hookups or to simply not share the details at all.
You both must stick to the decision, whatsoever, and must agree to it as well. Don’t let anything come in between you and hamper the bonding between the two of you.