How to Ask Your Partner for an Open Relationship

Open relationships are relationships that have a core partnership – typically, two people who are committed to each other – but will engage in physical and/or romantic encounters with other people as well. Unfortunately, this can also rear up if you’re dating other people — even if you are completely up-front about your committed open relationship. It’s important to practice some vigilance in regards to who you want to enter your dating world and only let in people who respect your choices and your main relationship partner. There may be a time in your dating experience when you consider either hooking up with someone who is a part of an open relationship, or you may want to be a part of an open relationship yourself. Before you make this decision, you may want to consider some pros and cons.

But if you create ‘rules’ that are too restrictive, then breaking them will lead to one or both of you being in a position to be the punisher, and that can lead to shaming.” No bueno. Photo by Jonathan Borba on UnsplashYou want to be with the person you love but also have the option to experience love and/or sex and/or romantic intimacy with other humans in the world besides this one.

You also must be honest about the boundaries you need to set in order to feel safe and secure. Honest and ~ open ~ dialogue will help establish the baseline of trust necessary for any open relationship. Being this honest can be scary, but it is absolutely necessary in order for an open relationship to work.

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  • Her work has been featured in publications like Bustle, Well + Good, and Goalcast, and she currently resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and giant fluffy dog, Remy.
  • But that journey isn’t typically linear, and you don’t necessarily have to “love yourself fully” before you welcome other types of love into your life.
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  • Open relationships don’t necessarily have any negatives, but they aren’t for everyone.

I’m with him for all the other hours, the ones where we’re shopping together, watching TV, cooking, or not doing much of anything at all. And the hours in bed, holding him, are irreplaceable on this earth. They could not be replicated in all the billions of people out there, because there’s only one him. Intimacy is not sex, because you can’t have it with just anyone, and intimacy is what you want to cultivate and tend to in a good love story.

Have some short exploratory ventures out into the world of open relationships. You will make interesting discoveries about yourself and your partner, and you’ll need to make adjustments and review your standards and practices. Ask your mate if they would be willing to discuss the possibility of opening your marriage or relationship. This is much less threatening than jumping directly to “I want to have sex with other people.”

When Your Partner Wants Non-Monogamy and You Don’t

It may help to write it down, then put it aside for a day or so and look at it with fresh eyes to see if this is the right approach. Some people will feel insecure when asked about an open relationship, and others may be willing to explore it, but only under certain conditions.


Images of Queer Joy at The Advocate’s People of the Year Party

“Jealousy, like all emotions, contains valuable information about something we need to heal from or some need that’s not being met,” Dr. Pitagora explains. The reality of a newly open relationship is that it might bring jealousy to the forefront, but ultimately this can give partners an opportunity to reflect.

You may also decide to use a backup form of birth control like the pill if you’re concerned about getting pregnant through an outside relationship. “Many times this is because one partner wants to see other people while keeping the current relationship, and the other partner agrees in order to keep the relationship going,” Leeth says. If you find yourself hiding any information or feelings from your partner, this may be a sign that you need to make changes in the relationship.

What kink can teach us about having fulfilling relationships

In order for an open marriage to be successful, you’ll need to work together to decide the rules you’ll both follow to ensure one another’s emotional and physical safety. Now that you’ve done your research and you’ve both confirmed that opening your marriage feels like the right choice for you, you’ll want to communicate your goals with one another. Sometimes, people who are married consider opening their marriage up. When they do, it’s very important that they follow some simple steps in order to have the best possible chance at keeping their relationship successful once they do open it.

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