Open relationships: we’ve all heard of the concept before, but are these types of relationships sustainable? These types of arrangements occur among marriages and regular couples alike. Don’t be shocked, we’ve all been exposed to the term “swingers” for quite some time now.
You’re in a relationship with someone whom you love and can’t see yourself being without him or her, but sometimes your eye tends to wander. You come to the realization that your mundane routine needs a little spicing up. How do you approach this difficult topic? You can’t just blatantly ask your partner for this type of arrangement; it’s all in the presentation and delivery. You need to gauge your relationship and figure out the best way to broach the topic.
“The best time to bring up the subject is after you realize you want to and before you’ve broken the rules. Not only does that avoid the extra drama created by the deception and revelation, it also makes it much easier to craft new structures. It’s rather like avoiding going grocery shopping when you’re hungry — if you’ve ever done it, you know how the immediate desire affects your decisions. It’s much easier to make good choices when they’re part of planning for the future rather than in response to an immediate urge.”
An open relationship needs to be mutual, meaning each person has the ability to engage in mental and/or physical affairs with another person. You can’t declare an open relationship without discussing it with your partner — that is called cheating. There is no black and white when it comes to this arrangement. There are many things that need to be discussed before it can actually begin.
Are there certain nights of the week reserved for your sidepiece? Are weekends off limits? Is it kiss and tell or don’t ask don’t tell? How much time can you spend with the other people? How many other partners can you have at once? As you can see, this agreement brings along a lot of uncertainty.
“Open Relationship: Two people who love each other above anything and anybody else. They may have a need they cannot scratch when it comes to sex and may have a few outside partners, but they can’t imagine life without each other. They want to get married, have babies, and grow old together. To keep the relationship interesting, they sleep with other people, but are honest about it and honest to themselves.”
The pitfall of this type of arrangement is the jealousy factor. It does not matter that both people are allowed to see other people; jealousy sometimes can be unavoidable. It’s natural to become jealous of another person who has your partner’s attention.
Long distance couples are more prone to have this discussion than other types of couples. The distance between two people can and most often does create sexual frustration. To solve this problem, these people may look to other options, which include hooking up with other people, in hopes of preventing a breakup.
“It prevents betrayal and heartache. When it’s open you communicate all wants and desires without judgment. There is no need to cheat when your spouse knows and is supportive. There is no worse feeling then being cheated on and for that reason I will never be in a traditional marriage again.”- Huffington Post
So many romances end because one partner cheats, so wouldn’t an open relationship be a smart idea? Of course there will always be those who are 100% monogamous and have no issue staying faithful, but for the rest of the people out there, what’s left for them?
Of course, the argument is if you don’t want to be in a relationship, then don’t be in one. Nothing is black and white and neither is this discussion. Sometimes you will have someone you love and want to be with, but then there are those instances where you need a little variety. If you are upfront and honest with your partner, then are you really doing anything wrong? And, honestly, who cares about anyone’s opinions outside of yours and your partner’s?
“In the course of being together forever, especially if you’re out in the world meeting new people, it happens. One of the challenges in a marriage, in addition to deciding whose job it is to do the dishes and how to balance the budget, is to figure out how to deal with lust or love for other people.”
Your relationship should be gone about in a manner that satisfies you and if this is what it takes to have a great relationship, then more power to you. When you behave in a way that contradicts tradition, people will always have something to say. It’s important to ignore petty judgments because you don’t need others’ opinions to make you happy.
Everyone is different and therefore has different wants that need to be fulfilled. Through connecting with your sexuality, you discover a sense of self. From there, your awareness can grow. Enlightenment comes through practicing self-awareness. Intimate relationships, regardless if they are monogamous or not, are fueled by a desire to feel complete, alive and sexual.
“Some people may prefer not to sleep with someone unless they really like them — that sex and emotions are not all that separate. On the other hand, sex may be purely physical with little or no emotional ties. It’s helpful to determine if this is the case for you or not. Please keep in mind that this may change over time and by the partner. An initially no-strings-attached f*ck buddy may spark up more feelings over time, or an interesting hook up may become an in-bed work out buddy only. Try to stay cognizant of your emotions towards your partners over time.”
Be considerate of your partners and always use protection. As we all know, the more partners you have, the higher your risk for contracting an STD is. Safe sex is a requirement, not an option in this situation. It is disrespectful to your partners not to have safe sex and it’s risky for your own health. Condoms reduce the spread of STDs, but only if they are used correctly. Remember these aren’t the only items needed for safe sex.
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