Is Having an ‘Open Relationship’ as Simple as it Sounds?

Third Party Involvement

In the light of revelations that celeb super couple (or so we were hoodwinked into believing they were!) actually weren’t quite so as together and committed to each other as they liked to portray to the rest of the world, and more specifically, in light of the aftermath of their ‘conscious uncoupling’ that they have faced much speculation they had in fact been practicing an ‘open relationship’ during recent years we thought it worth exploring this alternative kind of relationship ……………. that is the ‘open relationship

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We thought we would consider if the ‘open’ part could ever make a relationship successful, or does the presence of third parties spell disaster for such couples.

Given the unfortunate demise of Gwynnie and Chris’s marriage, we suspect that opening your relationship up is never going to bring the magical solution for partners that may be struggling with one and other, and nor is it likely to offer comfort to the more insecure and needy among us.

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However, as crazy as an idea it may seem to the conventional one woman man/one man woman types out there, coasting through a loving monogamous relationship, the ‘open’ version is actually more prevalent than one might imagine and is yet another example of how modern day couplings have, and continue to adapt and evolve with the times.

Non monogamous relationships are surprisingly common and the numbers are increasing. Many couples are looking for that something extra to kick start or spice up their relationship, and if these same couples are capable of separating their emotions from sex then an open relationship might seem the answer to their prayers. But, could it be too good to be true?

One might argue for example that at least having an open relationship eliminates the need for a partner seeking more ‘variety’ to have to go behind their partners back and become a cheat. So, in such an instance, as ironic as it seems, an open relationship can actually bring HONESTY to a partnership.

Of course, however we are all human and a person considering entering into an open relationship must think long and hard about if they are emotionally prepared (capable even) of knowing their partner may well be sleeping with some other glamorous and sexy girl but they are not allowed to feel/express any JEALOUSY on the matter.

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A means of getting around the jealousy factor, and indeed several other tricky areas of the ‘open relationship’ is to establish some ground RULES right from the word go.  After all, where would any relationship be without rules! Although there are no rules set in stone for an open relationship, what works for one couple might not work for another. Some couples might need only a few basic guidelines to adhere to whereas others might need a much more comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts before they feel comfortable committing to such a relationship. The rules need to be drawn up by both parties and established to ensure both parties are able to stay within their comfort zone. The RULES will set some boundaries in order to keep the open behaviour confined to within mutually acceptable parameters.

Both parties need to TRUST one and other implicitly or else this unconventional relationship will stand no chance of success. If you are undergoing an open relationship the key is to be, well, OPEN! Obviously don’t flaunt your extra curricula activities (you can only ask a person to hold their jealousy so far!), keep all intricate details to a minimum but remember it is important to let your partner know when such relations are actually taking place. This helps maintain HONESTY, and as such, TRUST in the relationship.

It is also essential to remember that just because you are both happy to see other people that is no excuse for your relationship to lose RESPECT. Another key component to all happy relationships.  In fact, you should go to extra lengths to ensure that your partner doesn’t feel any negative effects from the open relationship. Work harder to make your partner feel loved and appreciated and extra special. Equally, you must still have an equal amount of respect for yourself! There is no point entering into such an arrangement if it leaves you feeling guilty and shameful.  Take the view that there is nothing dirty about what you are doing and remind yourself that it doesn’t make you a bad person to want to explore a different path than the conventional.

The rules and boundaries drawn up between consenting couples all help towards keeping the mutual respect but only so long as they are strictly adhered to.  Rules also serve another essential purpose in these open relationship situations and that is SAFETY.  When both parties are having relations with possible several other partners, practicing safe sex is a must. Always use protection and avoid lovers who may have a very amorous and sexual past. If something goes wrong somewhere, your mistakes could affect your partner’s life forever and that is never part of the deal.

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Another big no no, common to most open relationships, is indulging in relations with mutual FRIENDS. Couples should always seek out third parties that are not involved in their daily lives in any other way. By having an actual friend with benefits, you run the risk that if things turn sour they may try to get revenge or make your open relationship public, which is probably not something you would want.  It is advisable that any third parties to the relationship should not be made aware that your partner knows of their existence.