Can Open Relationships Actually Work?

Some people dream of eventually settling down with that one person and making a life with them. Others may dream of this but leave a little bit blank for experimentation.

Monogamy isn’t for everyone in the modern day, and it isn’t seen as the only option anymore either. A committed relationship is most people’s ideal, but can you be committed and keep the relationship open?

If you are unfamiliar with what an open relationship is, essentially it is being in a happy, devoted relationship with one partner, while still having the freedom to sleep with other men or women occasionally. Needless to say that this dynamic can’t and won’t work for all couples, but it does for many.

For some couples they may have the happiest of relationships going, but they aren’t quite being fully satisfied and they still have that need for freedom, experimentation and meaningless sex. A lot of couples who opt for an open relationship view it as an empowering way of saving a struggling relationship because they wouldn’t want to break up the relationship, and it’s not classed as cheating. So no harm done, right?

Scrapping monogamy can vary from one couple to another, but one element that remains constant is honesty. In order for an open relationship to work, both people have to be totally honest and frank when it comes to laying out the rules. Full disclosure about the boundaries is necessary so that both parties are clear on what is allowed and what isn’t. After that, some couples may find it helps them to talk about every encounter, for others they wouldn’t want to know any details because what they don’t know can’t hurt them.

Another important fundamental for a happy open relationship is that both parties actually want the same thing. If your partner suggests having an open relationship and you just say yes so you don’t lose him then it is never going to work. It is vital that both want to open up the relationship and are happy for the other to sleep with other people before making it official.

Other rules are dependent on the couple. Some couples promise to not sleep with friends or people that the other person knows, to keep it out of the family home, and a time limit for the encounters with lovers. An open relationship isn’t conventional so the rules aren’t a matter of convention either. The rules should be what you want as an individual and as a couple and what you think will help make it work for the both of you.

There are lots of people who see an open relationship as the stop before Splitsville because you can’t be in a committed relationship and still sleep around. Is there such a thing as being committed only to a certain extent? Loyalty is the main key for most people, and an open relationship is not loyal in their eyes. Coming home to your partner after sleeping with another woman is not loyalty, it’s cheating. The traditional view of love is loving one person more than you can love anyone else, and only sharing your love with that one person. So maybe you can’t love that person if you have lust for other people?

For others, it’s the option that allows them complete happiness. Relationship models have changed in time and unconventional is often the way forward. This isn’t an easy decision to make and it has to be thoroughly considered before acted upon, but for those who need a little more variety then it can work. So is this the definition of having it all…or nothing at all?