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As open relationships are becoming more mainstream, many couples are becoming curious if this arrangement could be right for them. Almost any time is an appropriate time to consider an open relationship, whether you are newly dating or have been together for decades!

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In practice, open relationships can involve casual sexual relationships in addition to your primary relationship, or long-term, more romantic sexual relationships. Honesty is the single most important part of any open relationship.

In order to settle into a relationship that you and your partner are comfortable with, you must be honest about your emotional and sexual needs. You also must be honest about the boundaries you need to set in order to feel safe and secure. Being this honest can be scary, but it is absolutely necessary in order for an open relationship to work.

Learn to embrace your vulnerability, and to tune into and articulate your wants and needs. Before approaching the concept of an open relationship with your partner, you should evaluate why exactly you want an open relationship see below for appropriate reasons to be open.

If you feel comfortable with your reasoning, schedule or choose a time when you have a considerable amount of time to talk things over. You should start by explaining to your partner that opening your relationship has been on your mind, but that you HAVE NOT acted on these ideas. Explain your argument for being open, while reassuring them that it is not due to a shortcoming on their behalf. The most important part of this conversation is giving your partner time and space to process this proposition and to respond.

It is also important that your partner feels comfortable saying no.

You shouldn't pose opening your relationship as an ultimatum! If your partner is not comfortable with the idea, you need to respect their decision and move forward, monogamously. Get step-by-step guides to navigating tough convos, unlimited 1-on-1 coaching and more open relationship help with our award winning relationship training app.

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Open relationships are the perfect solution for people who feel that they want something more or something different from their monogamous relationship. Some people are not fully satisfied in monogamous relationships, and instead need the emotional or physical intimacy of more than one person to feel complete.

Other people look for open relationships, because they want to supplement their current relationship with something different. Perhaps you are not fully satisfied in a straight or gay relationship for example. If this is the case, opening your relationship will offer different ways to meet your sexual and emotional needs.

These are both great reasons to look outside of a monogamous relationship, as long as both parties are excited about the prospect of sleeping with other people. Okay so now the bad reasons for openness. You should not start an open relationship to solve the problems of your current relationship, these problems will not go away, and will likely be magnified if you add more people to the mix.

More specifically, open relationships are not the solution to infidelity! Open relationships require a huge amount of trust. If your relationship is suffering due to infidelity, there is probably a lack of trust that will be the downfall of your relationship if you transition to openness. If you and your partner decide that an open relationship is right for you, make sure to create sexual boundaries from the outset. Are you comfortable with penetrative sex? Oral sex? Talking through these boundaries will also help you to hone in on what you want from this sexual exploration.

Also, this should go without saying As we discussed, open relationships require a HUGE amount of trust. A key part of maintaining that trust is to act according to the boundaries you created as a couple. Creating safe sex guidelines is a very important part of any discussion about open relationships.

Make sure that you and your partner discuss how you will protect yourself and each other in your open relationships. Are condoms required? What about dental dams? Will you both be routinely screening for STIs?

A few considerations for those who have typically been monogamous.

Will you require your sexual partners to screen for STIs? Discussing protection will make sure that you and your partner both feel safe about exploring your sexuality. When you increase the of people in your sexual circle you are statistically more likely to encounter STIs, counteract this fact by practicing safe sex with all your patners!

For many people it can be very hard to completely separate physical intimacy from emotional intimacy. When you have your discussion about sexual boundaries, make sure you discuss what emotional boundaries you need to set as well. Are you comfortable with your partner sleeping with the same person for an extended period of time?

Are you comfortable with your partner going on dates with other people? Are you comfortable with your partner sleeping with people in your social circle? All open relationships look different and you and your partner may have different ideas about what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Be honest about your emotional needs from the start, and create boundaries that respect those needs. Starting a difficult conversation and feeling vulnerable is never easy. Our relationship coaches can give you the tools you need to help you set emotional boundaries. Start your 7-day trial today. How many partners can you have outside of your primary relationship? Does your partner have veto power over your partners? How much time will you allocate to your open relationship activities for example, are Friday nights reserved for you as a couple?

Should you actively or passively explore new relationships? Is this an indefinite change to your relationship? Or is it a trial run? If you discuss the nitty gritty stuff at the beginning of the relationship, you ensure that you and your partner are on the samewhich is really important!

These parameters can of course change over time, but starting off with some ground rules is always a good idea. Establishing a game plan for how you and your partner talk about the open aspect of your relationship is a delicate and important part of the arrangement.

Some people are completely comfortable being left in the dark about the details. Other people might rather know all the details to Dating someone in a open relationship paranoia, or to prevent their imaginations from running wild If you decide that you will discuss your hook-ups with your partner, make sure to establish the appropriate amount of detail to convey. Finding a happy medium might take some trial and error, but you will eventually get the hang of it, and this type of communication will become natural.

After you nail down how you and your partner will discuss the arrangement, figure out how you plan to talk about your relationship to other people. Are you and your partner comfortable sharing your open status with friends?

Many couples choose to keep their open relationships discrete, while others are A-OK with talking openly about it. Make sure that you and your partner are on the same no matter what route you choose to take. Disclaimer: It can sometimes be hard to share your decision or your experiences as an open couple with your monogamous friends. If you find this to be the case, it can be helpful to seek out friends that are also not monogamous. Creating a support system with like minded people can always help you navigate new situations. Ask around, or turn to the internet to find ways to meet other people in open relationships.

Let us create a customized lesson plan unique to your relationship.

What is an open relationship?

Install now. Jealousy can be common at the beginning stages of any open relationship, after all, these types of relationships can often bring to light insecurities, and possessiveness that we may not have initially been aware of. But, it is important to evaluate these feelings over time. Lasting feelings of jealousy will outweigh any potential benefit that comes from an open arrangement.

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In an ideal situation, initial jealousy will evolve into a feeling of security as you become more comfortable and confident in the relationship. Okay so you might be thinking, why would anyone put themselves through all the emotional risk involved in opening your relationship? Afterall, it can seem like a big risk to take if things are going just fine between you and your partner.

But, believe it or not, opening your relationship can actually help you stay more committed to your partner. According to Chanta Blue, LCSWa sexuality and relationship therapist, couples in an open relationship tend to have more sex with their primary partner as well as with other people, which can strengthen your connection to one another. Open relationships require a ificant amount of trust, honesty, vulnerability and communication to work. All these things are also important in monogamous relationships, so investing in these skills as a partnership will improve your relationship.

Luckily, our relationships coaches are just a click away. Get started for free.