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Is an Open Relationship Right for You?

Is an Open Relationship Right for You?

Having a core partnership with a single partner but indulging in physical and/or romantic activities with other people defines an open relationship. Whether it will work for you is a question for you and your partner. However, there are some things to consider if you want to transition to an open relationship.

They say you can’t be happy alone. It would be best if you had someone to share feelings, emotions, finances, thoughts, and some quality time together. A partner that makes you feel complete to share your life experiences and connect on an intimate level is what makes up for a relationship. However, there are different types of relationships. A unique relationship is an open one that is not that common but is getting popularity over time. It is described as diverse and open-minded, where certain boundaries don't necessarily apply. What is an open relationship? This is a relationship where both parties aren't solely dating each other. Partners are openly allowed to have other sexual or romantic partners. This means that whatever they do outside the relationship won't necessarily be cheating on their partners. Does this relationship suit everyone?

Pros And Cons of an Open Relationship

Consider all the Pros and cons first before you decide to be part of an open relationship, Also, when hooking up with anyone in an open relationship, ensure you are in another relationship because things will be different in the other relationship. Consider some things before sitting your partner down to indulge in an open relationship.

Benefits Of An Open Relationship

Deeper Intimacy

Open-mindedness will bring out new forms of communication that didn't exist before. The beauty of this type of relationship is that you are both up-fronts about everything, including desires outside the relationship. This is opposed to a closed relationship where one is repressed to any attractions outside the relationship. According to Zhao et al. (2008), an open relationship will help you know the distinct prospects of your partner when they explore outside the relationship.

Fresh Experiences

Being with other people will give you new experiences that you wouldn't have necessarily found with one partner. You will discover new lifestyles, new bedroom experiences, and techniques that you wouldn't with your partner in an open relationship. This is the perfect way to explore without necessarily hurting your partner if you are adventurous when it comes to sex. It won't be cheating.

Reduced Pressure

According to Sutcliffe et al. (2012), being in a relationship requires emotional and time investment, meaning that you are always pressured to give your partner the best., You ease off the pressure to attend to your partner's needs and wants by including other people in your relationship. This will be highly beneficial, especially when you and your partner don't have the same sex drive.

New Relationships

You are bound to meet new people you wouldn't have necessarily met when in a monogamous relationship. It is also a way to improve your relationship with the people you already know and enrich both your lives on a more intimate level. It will help you also discover some aspects of yourself and your partner’s that maybe you or they didn’t have any idea existed.

Problems With Open Relationships

Exposure To Insecurity And Jealousy

Your partner may be into the idea of an open relationship, but the problem is that you are risking jealousy and insecurity from both sides. You have built trust in each other in the relationship, but bringing in new people can be intimidating to a partner. In an open relationship, you need to be upfront about your emotions and feelings, but you are also risking the lifespan of your relationship because of trust.

Narrow-Minded People

The trick of an open relationship is to play it safe, but eventually, someone else will find out that you and your other half have sprees with other people. You have to understand that there are still many prepossessions among those who aren't solely monogamous. You and your partner decide what kind of open relationship you want with your partner and the significance of the foreigner's opinion. It is also of grave importance to be keen on who exactly you want to bring into your relationship.

Risk Of Stis And Unexpected Pregnancies

This is another reason why you need to be vigilant about whom you want to bring into your bedroom. There is the risk of STIs and unexpected pregnancies that may come about from new partners, as Standerwick et al. (2007) noted. The best way to minimize these risks is to play safe. You need to know the health status of the new partners you are bringing into play and practicing safe sex. Regular check-ups with you and your partner should also be a norm. It is also important that you stay completely open and honest with your partner, considering that their health is your responsibility.

Rules For Open Relationships

The way to make an open relationship work after careful consideration of the pros and cons is to set out guidelines or rules that will ensure not hurting your partner. Consider having an open and honest conversation with your partner to set out boundaries, some include:

Emotional Intimacy Boundaries

Masuku & Kirsten (2004) showed that relationships are founded on trust and intimacy. In an open relationship, some people may be okay with their partners hooking up and solely having sexual encounters with other people but would feel hurt if they had any romantic relationships. Otherwise, some people may be okay with their partners having romantic relationships with other people but would not like them having any physical or sexual encounters. Everybody is different, and the key here is being open and honest with each other.

Physical Sex Boundaries

It is important to discuss this in detail on the topic of sex boundaries. You, of course, want your partner to practice safe sex if they are to, not to risk getting STIs. Otherwise, you also want to make sure that you are reading from the same page about what sexual practices you and your partner are to practice outside the relationship. You must respect each other's boundaries in an open relationship.

Partners and Friends

Another thing to consider is who exactly you want to welcome into your relationship. Consider the people you want to know about this and who you want your partner to fling with. Remember that some people want their open relationship to be private while others don't mind it being public.

Actual Boundaries

The aspect of time and resources is very important in any relationship. You have to discuss the time you spend with each other and the time allocated to other partners. This will help avoid one partner or both from feeling neglected or disadvantaged. You should also discuss the money to be spent on other dates, especially if you have a joint account.

You also have to remember that nothing is intransigent and that you will have these conversations time and again. Humans are bound to change as time goes by, and maybe in the future, one might feel like readjusting the boundaries of the relationship. Keep in mind that this is an open relationship, and you are allowed to bring up any opinions on the relationship anytime you want.

How to make it work

Understand that the road of an open relationship is bumpy and not as easy as it looks. Partners have to put in a lot of work in being honest and opening up to make this work. There is also the issue of trust and jealousy that will be a major hindrance to a happy open relationship. The answer to a good open relationship means having those uncomfortable, awkward conversations and being transparent about everything with your partner. You won't have any assumptions about your partner and won't risk being insecure with them.


You can consider whether it will work for you or not after looking at the pros and cons of an open relationship. Keep in mind that people are different, and not everyone will buy into that idea. Consider talking to your partner first and having a conclusive honest conversation if you want to transition into an open relationship. The general idea of an open relationship has an open heart and mind.


Masuku, M. B., & Kirsten, J. F. (2004). The Role Of Trust In The Performance Of Supply Chains: A Dyad Analysis Of Smallholder Farmers And Processing Firms In The Sugar Industry In Swaziland. Aggreko, 43(2), 147-161.

Standerwick, K., Davies, C., Tucker, L., & Sheron, N. (2007). Binge Drinking, Sexual Behavior, And Sexually Transmitted Infection In The Uk. International Journal Of Std & Aids, 18(12), 810-813.

Sutcliffe, A., Dunbar, R., Binder, J., & Arrow, H. (2012). Relationships And The Social Brain: Integrating Psychological And Evolutionary Perspectives. British Journal Of Psychology, 103(2), 149-168.

Zhao, S., Grasmuck, S., & Martin, J. (2008). Identity Construction On Facebook: Digital Empowerment In Anchored Relationships. Computers In Human Behavior, 24(5), 1816-1836.