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Of all the couples out there, the one that is met with the most confusion is the open relationship. Open relationship rules can be a tricky subject, so to cut through the noise, we are here to offer some insights and rules for your new open relationship to help educate.
As marriage is not to be entered into lightly, neither is the conversation about having an open marriage. And if you aren’t married, just madly in love, it is still a tricky subject to broach. Feelings of inadequacy, broken trust and a general sense of jealousy are usually the first thoughts that race through the mind of someone who had never previously considered it.
And these are normal thoughts. The majority of people are comfortable with the monogamous relationship, and never consider deviating from the comfort of its simplicity. Therefore, when the conversation about an open relationship or non-monogamy pops up, it’s as if the speaker is explaining it in a different language. It isn’t wrong to want an exclusive relationship. Just like it isn’t wrong to an open relationship. It is simply different.
| Guidelines for you and your partner
If you are thinking about a conversation on the topic with your partner, you must set some tried and true rules, so no one gets hurt.
| Open relationship rules – Limitations are key
And we don’t mean limitations on partners, or what type of person your partner can engage in bedroom activities with but limiting how much sex is had outside of your relationship. To maintain the bond with your original partner, limiting sex with an outside person should be no more than one time a week. Any more and trust issues will arise in your original relationship.
- No sleepovers
There is something special about waking up next to your partner. However, if you accidentally fall asleep after a night with your “sex-buddy,” feelings can blossom that add emotion to what was supposed to be just sex. Never sleepover, and if you do, do NOT have sex the next morning.
- No holidays
Your extra partner is not for anything but sex, and maybe the odd dinner. Don’t plan weekend trips, vacations, or long out-of-town events with them. Those need to remain with your original partner. Feelings shift if you spend too much time with another person.
- Limit contact
One of the biggest ways to violate open marriage rules is to spend so much time texting with your out-of-relationship companion, that you ignore your spouse. Keep contact to a minimum, don’t make any extended text conversations, and if you have to text, show some respect and decorum and don’t seem overly giddy. Non-monogamous relationship or not, if you laugh a different way for a different person, your spouse will resent you.
- Never let it fester
It is crucial to let your partner know if something isn’t working. Being open and honest is the best way to keep those feelings that turn to dread or resentment at bay. If you don’t know how to get someone to open up with their concerns, start the conversation yourself. Dialogue is important. But don’t forget to share what is working well, too. Conversations don’t only have to cover the bad parts.
- Wrap your meat
For polygamous relationship rules, safe sex is the top of the list. When there are multiple partners, there are also multiple fluids that can be transferred. Even if you shower after every time you have sex, it can still be a dangerous possibility. And if you don’t intend to procreate, it is even more crucial that safe sex practices be followed.
- Gratitude is ok
While it may seem funny, of what to say during sex, there are a few items to avoid, like saying thank you, for instance. However, it is okay to thank your partner after. In fact, it maintains the bond and makes you feel less like a piece of meat if gratitude is shown within a day of the act.
- No mutual friends
If you really want this to blow up in your face, tell your partner you want to engage in activities with an ex, or their sister, or a friend you share. Trust broken, lawyers called, and things thrown at your head, are the most likely outcomes. Never do anything outside your relationship that is in any way sexual with someone you both know. It will lead to an emotional collapse and the dissolution of your original coupling.
| Open relationship rules – Does it work?
The simple answer is not so simple. If a person was to ask what is an open relationship, the average joe or jane would say it is a chance to cheat. That is an opportunity for their life-partner to screw around. And those are often the words of someone who has issues with trust and is insecure in their relationship.
The reason that many outside-of-couple relationships work is because of the first word: open. There is an odd sense of freedom in it, not to hump anything with a pulse, but to open yourself up to new parts of your emotions, your truth, and the freedom to bare your soul without judgment or blame.
To endeavor into this type of situation requires you to be honest at all times, which can be hard in many monogamous relationships. It can allow you to feel new things without feeling like a freak. And it can open new lines of communication with your partner that have never been considered. Until now.
Conclusion: Know the relationship rules, and if you want this to work, adhere to them. They aren’t strict, but they are designed to protect you, and your partner, and your other partner. Do open relationships work? It depends on the people inside it. Have you ever considered adding a new partner to your sexual roster?