The concept of an open relationship dates back to 1970. The new minds prefer to be in such relationships which are free from any commitments. It gives them the liberty to be with someone, spends time, knows each other and if required, they are free to move on.
An open relationship is also known as a non-exclusive relationship. This includes any type of romantic relationship like dating, marriage, etc. that are open. In an open relationship, an established couple mutually agrees to share non-monogamous lifestyles. This relationship is carried out with the consent of both the individual involved.
It is seen that people opt for open relationships for several reasons. Few of them are mentioned below:
- Liking another person, but not ready to end the old relationship.
- Differences of thoughts emerging between two people in a relationship.
- Varying sex drive between partners.
- The desire for freedom. Maybe for a variety of sexual partners or getting ahead in the career.
- When partners live in separate parts of the world and are not in touch always.
- Experiencing something new with others.
- Fulfills the sexual needs which one of the partners may be incapable of.
The open relationship has different types. Let check out some of them:
- Polygamy– Where a man is allowed to keep multiple wives and share an emotional and physical relationship with them is called Polygyny. And when a woman has multiple husbands is called Polyandry. The term Polygamy is used collectively irrespective of the sex. When one person has married multiple partners, it is called polygamy. This type of relationship is backed by religious sanction and socially accepted in certain places.
- Polyamory– When a person has multiple romantic/ sexual partners, but is not married to any of them, they are said to be in a polyamory relationship. There is no marital and social obligation in this type of relationship and has a flexible approach to love and lovemaking. Sometimes, a married couple who has been on a monogamous life path has their dating partners about whom they are very serious. They also fall under this category of relationship.
- Open marriage– Open marriage refers to marriages where the two people involved agree to the deal that each may have extra-marital affair or sexual relationship outside their marriage. And that the extramarital relation would not be regarded as a betrayal. When the couples are in this relationship, they have to make efforts to maintain the health of both the relationships, avoid neglect in household maintenances and handle jealous and rivalry. Most of the open marriages lack social acceptance.
- Group marriage– When several people form a single-family unit with all considered to be married to one another is called group marriage. They intend to outlive its original members by adding new spouses. Group marriages are also known as ‘polygynandry’.
- Ménage trios– The phrase means “house of three” in French. It refers to any living relationship between three people where sex may or may not be involved. It is usually observed that in such relationship, a married couple and the lover of one them share the same roof. They are also identified as ‘throuple.’
- Swinging– Swinging is more of an action of the moment than a relationship. It refers to the practice where both partners in a committed relationship agree to be engaged in sexual activity with other couples as a social activity. This happens generally at social gatherings where likeminded couples get hooked. There are clubs and websites also, where you can search for people who are ready to practice swinging.
- Casual relationship– This is the most common and least complicated among all. Though in a casual relationship people share an emotional and sexual bond without commitment, still is not confined to a single sexual encounter, unlike a one-night stand. It is also called casual fling. Sometimes, a casual relationship also includes mutual support and affection. However, participants do not expect an exclusive commitment from each other.
Nowadays it is difficult to maintain the bond of any relationship even where there is a commitment involved from both the individuals and their families. So you can imagine how tough it must be to maintain the one without any commitments. Today we are going to share a few tips on how you can survive through a healthy open relationship.
- Give up on expectations:When people start sharing their life, it is normal for the expectation to grow. One individual may expect a helping hand in work, financial support, emotional bonding, complete sexual pleasure or commitment from the other person. However, the thumb rule of a successful open relationship is to let go of expectations. It is said, expectation leads to misery. And you wouldn’t want any misery to crawl into your relationship and make it an ugly one. Don’t expect, give your 100 percent effort and let the other person also live peacefully.
- Go for the type of relationship which you can value: We have explained various types of open relationship above, you may choose to go on for anyone of those. And this requires lots of thinking. Analyze the circumstances you are in and which of the relationships would work for you. Go for the one which you would be able to continue keeping your other duties in place.
- Analyze the reason why you want an open relationship: Not everyone goes for an open relationship for the same reason. A married person’s reason might be different from the unmarried. Go to the root cause and check whether you want to go in for the relationship. The decision should not be taken hastily. Just because you merely like someone apart from your wife, may not be the reason you should go for an open relationship with that girl. You have to invest time and energy both. So think twice before going into an open relationship with someone.
- Be flexible with the rules of the relationship:Some couples follow rules like, not to share bedrooms with their other partners or maybe not to bring them home. And when one of them breaks the rules, it creates a conflict. Therefore, it’s better to flexible with the rules that you have set as a couple. Maybe doing something with the consent should be okay with both the individuals as a couple. Remember disagreements would happen and those are normal. Try to handle them with a cool mind. Or else you would most likely mess up your life.
- Maintain mutual respect: Respect is necessary for all relationships. And in a relationship without any bindings, it is all the more required. In this relationship nothing is expected from you, however, if you show respect to the other person involved, that would even improve your relationship. You will get a peace of mind and the reason for which you are in the open relationship would be successful.
- Stay protected– In an open relationship, people tend to have sexual relations with more than one person. In that case, you need to take proper protection so that you don’t get infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Both the partners while having sex with an outsider must use protection. That way, both the individual as a couple would be safe from STD and the trust factor would be well maintained.
- Keep your primary relation on priority: Your primary relation is that relation which you share with the partner you stay and have children. One of the key tips is to keep maintain your primary relation healthy. It’s because, in that relation, you have social commitments and expectations. The primary relationship is the relation that you show to the society and that needs to be taken care of first. Don’t lack any of the responsibilities of your primary relationship. When that is in place, the other relationship automatically will fall into place.
- Communicate transparently:Keep your communications clear with both your partners. The one with whom you share the primary relationship and the one with whom you share an open relationship. Through proper communication, you can decide on the terms of the relationship and also get to know what is expected from you. You can act in a manner that is expected. And both your relationships would work smoothly. Nobody should be interfering in each other’s relationships.
- Don’t let jealousy damage your relationship:One of the characteristics of an open relationship is that you shouldn’t be jealous of your partner’s relationship with an outsider. You shouldn’t feel insecure as well. In the beginning, everything seems to be okay, however, with time some people start feeling jealous or insecure. And this makes their life like hell. All the time, thinking and pondering what your partner must be up to can lead you into depression. Hence, try not falling prey and being well prepared before going into an open relationship.
More and more people are opting for an open relationship. It gives them the freedom to choose whoever they want to as well as not miss on the other opportunities. An open relationship can be successful and work well if followed with proper rule and mindset.