How to Have an Open Relationship and Make it Work

open relationship meaning

Whether you’re just beginning to get serious with someone, or you’ve been together for several years, you need to be careful when broaching the subject of open relationships. Even if you’ve done it before, it will be totally different with somebody new. Here’s some tips to make sure an open relationship works for you both.

The best open relationship tips

Agree on sexual boundaries

Sex is never simple, but it can be particularly confusing when you’ll both potentially be sleeping with other people. One thing you need to agree on is what types of sex are OK to have to with others, and what is totally off the table. It’s important to be specific. Is penetrative sex OK? Is kissing allowed? Can you try new things that you haven’t yet explored with your partner? It’s best to talk these through in advance to reduce the likelihood of causing upset or disappointment.

Decide what emotional behaviours are OK

Sex isn’t all you need to think about when it comes to making an open relationship work. You also need to consider the emotional side of things. You might be fine with your partner hooking up with strangers on a dating site, but are you happy with them going on romantic dates or hanging out socially? If not, you need to make sure they’re aware of this. Defining what emotional behaviours are OK is one of the most important open relationship rules.

Work out who it’s OK to hook up with

Many people don’t realise that being in an open relationship usually doesn’t mean they’re free to sleep with anyone they like. Before you begin this type of relationship, it’s important to establish who it’s OK to hook up with. If you know that your partner would feel more threatened by certain people, it may be best to steer clear. A good piece of open relationship advice is to only have sex with strangers, as this removes the risk of awkwardly bumping into them in the street.

Check in with your partner regularly

Whilst guidelines are crucial in all types of open relationships, you need to leave plenty of space for feelings to change. It’s a good idea to check in with your partner regularly to discuss your relationship and find out if it’s still working for you both. The open relationship rules you agreed on at the start may well not apply after a couple of years, so it’s important to check hat you’re both still content.

Can open relationships work?

As long as you and your partner are both open and honest when it comes to your open relationship, there’s no reason why it can’t work. If you’re both happy with the arrangement and you agree on mutually acceptable ground rules, it could work out well for you both. Knowing how to deal with an open relationship can be tough, particularly if neither of you has been in one before, which is why it’s so important that you both keep communicating and let each other know if you’re unhappy at any point.

Hopefully, this guide to open relationships has offered a good insight into how to have a successful open relationship. With plenty of communication, and as long as you keep respecting your partner, there’s little reason why this type of relationship can’t be as rock solid as a monogamous relationship.