5 Steps that You Should Take Before Starting an Open Relationship

Have you and your partner thought about an open relationship? Could you actually have this type of relationship in your life or do you think that it would cause too many complications?
5 Steps that You Should Take Before Starting an Open Relationship

Last update: 30 November, 2018

Have you and your partner talked about the possibility of having an open relationship?

It’s currently becoming more and more common to find partners that choose to have more flexibility in their relationships. This type of relationship is common in both younger couples who want to experiment without complications as well as partners who have been together for years and have become bored with the same routine.

In any case, there are some steps that you should take in order to have an open relationship that makes everyone happy and that will not cause any problems.

1. Define what it means to have an open relationship and what each person wants from it

It may seem simple, but each person has limits and expectations that should be made very clear from the start.

Even if you think that your ideas and values are the same as your partner’s, take the time to talk about everything that each person wants and will allow. 

For example, you could think that your partner only wants the opportunity to talk to other women, without any sex or with only occasional sex.

However, he could be looking to start a relatively serious relationship with another person that includes relatively frequent sexual relations.

When it comes to topics as sensitive as sex, it is important that everything is made very clear:

  • The number of partners,
  • If it will be a casual relationship or a long lasting one,
  • How long the open relationship will last,
  • If you’ll be the priority or just another girl in your partner’s life.

We know that putting all of these things on the table isn’t easy. So, you shouldn’t try to force the conversation or make any immediate decisions. 

It’s best that you take at least a month to think and talk these things over.

2. Analyze if you’re actually willing to share you partner

open relationship

After understanding what it is that your partner wants, take your time to figure out if it is okay with you.

  • Some people have no problem with their partner talking to other people. However, they will never be okay with them having sex with others.
  • Meanwhile, other people are excited by the idea of an open relationship. They can explore new things, games, and sex without limits.

When it comes to this point, it’s important that you think about yourself. How far can you let your partner go without feeling that he is hurting you and without your self-esteem being affected?

Imagine all of the possible scenarios and understand that emotions that they could cause. Overall, it’s important that you don’t accept any conditions that you don’ agree with, even if it seems fine to your partner.

3. Establish the limits with a lot of detail

Even though it isn’t necessary, it might be a good idea to write down the rules that are to be followed. Make these rules while considering the expectations and limits that both people have established in the previous steps.

It may seem pointless, but at any point one person might feel unsure or in doubt about how far they can go.

As time passes, you can make changes based on your experiences. With time, you’ll discover new things that you want to try and limits that you don’t want to pass.

The most important thing is that, no matter what, you’re both respecting these limits. This keeps the trust intact after having an open relationship.

4. Talk about your open relationship often and discuss any necessary changes

talk about your open relationship

The rules that you have should be changed every so often.

To do this successfully, it’s important that you regularly talk about how you both feel. Determine if there are any changes that would make you more comfortable.

Every conversation should be focused on the first step. It isn’t uncommon to find couples that, once they’ve experimented with an open relationship, realize they want to make substantial changes.

Again, remember that neither you nor your partner should accept situations that you are not comfortable with. 

5. Accept that your relationship will change

Accept that your relationship will change

If you;ve had a stable relationship for many years, you’ll notice a lot of changes if you choose to have an open relationship. Typically, it’s common that at the beginning there will be a lot of emotions, adrenaline and excitement about meeting new people.

As the relationship continues, you’ll surely feel doubt, insecurity and jealousy. In addition, it will also change the relationship that you had with this person, depending on your personalities.

Some couples’ relationships will greatly improve and, after a few months, they won’t have the same problems that they had. In other cases, the relationship will get to a point in which the couple realizes that there is no longer a reason to continue it.

What is certain is that the relationship with go through considerable changes and that you will both see life differently. The way in which this changes your relationship depends on the strength that you both have and the love that brings you together.

Have you and your partner thought about an open relationship? Could you actually have this type of relationship in your life or do you think that it would cause too many complications?

What has been your experience if you’ve already had one?

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  • Vecina Jiménez, M. (2006). Emociones positivas. Papeles Del Psicólogo.
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  • Ramírez García, V. H., Chirié, F., Góngora García, K., & Moya, F. C. (2013). Sexo casual entre jóvenes. Percepciones sobre las prácticas sexuales entre universitarios/as. Debate Feminista. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0188-9478(16)30091-3