7 Things To Talk To Your Partner About If You Are Considering An Open Relationship

7 Things To Talk To Your Partner About If You Are Considering An Open Relationship

Many couples are choosing to have open relationships these days. Some of them call it ethical non-monogamy while others prefer polyamory. Every couple is different though and they create the relationship that best suits their needs.

An open relationship means that a couple who are committed emotionally, either by marriage or by a less formal commitment, agrees that they are allowed to have relationships outside their commitment to each other.

Usually, open relationships are about sex. Some open relationships might allow room for emotional entanglements, too, though.

Open And Honest Conversations First!

If you and your partner are considering having an open relationship, you will need to have some open and honest conversations with each other. This will take time but if you rush into an open relationship without talking about it in great length, there are bound to be misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

Openness and honesty don’t come naturally to everyone. If this is new for your relationship, it is doubly important to give it some time.

Don’t try to hide your feelings or glaze over topics because they are uncomfortable. If you do, it is likely to cause problems later on. Even if talking about a subject causes hurt feelings now, it is better to be truthful and have some hurt now than to mislead your partner unintentionally and have bigger problems later on!

Here are some of the things you need to talk to your partner about if you are considering an open relationship.

#1 What Does An Open Relationship Mean To You?

There are many ways that people can have open relationships. Couples in open relationships usually create their own rules and guidelines to help them understand what is acceptable and what is not when they have sex outside their bond.

Open relationship rules

It is helpful to determine what an open relationship would mean for both of you from the very beginning. The points that follow will help you determine that.

#2 How Often Can You Have Sex With Another Person?

Some couples prefer to keep sex outside their relationship on a single-occurrence basis. That means that they can’t have sex with the same person more than once. They feel that this prevents them from developing feelings and emotions for others and keeps their emotional bond stronger.

Other couples might set different limits. They could decide that you can’t see the same person more than once a month or maybe you can’t have sex with someone else a second time unless you’ve had sex with your committed partner.

#3 What Activities Are Allowed?

Obviously, the concept of an open marriage means that you can have sex with people outside of your relationship but some couples choose to limit the kind of activities that are allowed. Some sexual activities are considered to be more intimate.

For example, kissing is intimate to most people so some couples choose to not kiss other people outside their relationship, even if they can have sex with them. Oral sex is often considered intimate, too; thus, it could be forbidden.

The activities that are considered out of bounds are up to you and your partner. Even though there’s not really any way to determine if you’re participating in those activities, it’s important to talk about limits and stick to them.

#4 What Is The Point Of Being In An Open Relationship?

Many couples who are having difficulties in a marriage begin open relationships with the idea that opening their relationship up to having sex with other people will make it easier. However, an open relationship is not going to fix a partnership that is already troubled.

Some people choose to have an open relationship because one person isn’t interested in sex or can’t have sex for health reasons. For some couples, this is a good reason to open up the relationship to other sexual partners. But remember, just because your partner isn’t interested in sex or can’t have sex, it doesn’t give you any rights to sex outside of the relationship. Putting pressure on your partner to allow this will not strengthen your relationship.

Other reasons to open up a relationship to other sexual partners might include:

  • Different sexual desires
  • A strong belief system in freedom
  • Living apart for extended periods of time

#5 Will You Have Veto Power?

Veto power in an open relationship means that one partner can veto another’s choice of sexual partners outside their marriage. If one partner says they don’t like your choice of sex partners, they can tell you that you can’t have sex with them.

For example, if you and your partner have an open marriage and you’re interested in having sex with someone else you both know, your partner may be able to forbid it. It might be because they simply don’t like that person or it could be because that person is a friend and they are worried that if you have sex with them it could ruin their friendship.

A couple who has veto power might feel more secure in their choice to have an open relationship. However, it could also cause problems and make one partner feel like they have no control over their life. Consider the option of veto power carefully!

#6 Transparent or Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?

Couples who are transparent about the status of their relationship talk to each other about their sexual encounters. They may even go into detail, talking about who they are having sex with, what activities they are participating in, and how much they enjoyed it. As with hotwifing, this might be part of the pleasure of an open relationship.

This works for many couples and some of them even find it arousing and a kind of warm-up to their own sexual activities.

If you choose to have a transparent open relationship, you should be clear with your sexual partners about it. Make sure that they know you will be talking to your partner about who they are and what happens between you.

Other people in an open relationship prefer to have a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy. This happens most often when one partner is not interested in sex but wants their mate to be sexually satisfied. They just don’t want the details of it. 

Someone in a DADT relationship might not want to know who their partner is seeing or when. They definitely don’t want to know the details of their partner’s encounters. And they don’t want to meet their partner’s sexual partners.

#7 What If One Of You Wants To End It?

Not all open relationships last. You need to be prepared for the possibility that either you or your partner will decide that an open relationship is not working for you.

If that happens, how do you proceed? 

If one person wants it to end and the other wants the open relationship to continue, what will you do? 

This may be one of the most difficult conversations to have with your partner but it is also important because it is a possibility. The answer might mean the end of your current relationship. It might also involve some very creative thinking!

Written by Autumn Seave

Email: inkyblueallusions@shaw.ca