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Are you thinking about having an open relationship with your partner? Or are you simply wondering what an open relationship truly means? In order to determine if an open relationship is the right choice for you, it’s important to not only understand what an open relationship entails, but the various pros and cons of this type of connection as well.
Definition of an Open Relationship
An open relationship is one in which two people in an ongoing relationship aren’t exclusive with one another. In other words, both parties in the relationship are openly allowed and able to have other sexual and/or romantic partners. And while non-monogamy is a fundamental characteristic, there are different types of open relationships, such as those in which both you and your partner engage in physical and/or romantic relationships with other people or just one of you does.
Pros of an Open Relationship
If you’re considering having an open relationship, it’s important to keep in mind the different positive aspects of this kind of connection.
You Don't Have to be Monogamous
Being in an open relationship is a terrific option for people who don’t believe in monogamy, have failed at it in the past, and/or simply don’t want to be monogamous, yet still want to have a meaningful and long-lasting connection with a significant other. By choosing to have an open relationship, they’re able to combine the best of both worlds.
You're Honest About Your Romantic Pursuits
Another appealing characteristic of this kind of relationship is that it grants you and your partner the freedom to pursue other people in a way that’s based on mutual respect, open communication, and total honesty. While you still have strong feelings for your mate, you’re able to have different needs met with different people, all while being completely truthful and open with one another.
You Won't Suffer From FOMO
Another intriguing component of an open relationship is simply the excitement, thrill, and sense of adventure that it can bring. For instance, if your partner can’t fulfill all of your needs and/or your intimacy levels have dwindled, an open relationship allows you to pursue other options while continuing to have the deep bond that you’ve created with one another.
That said, in order to determine if an open relationship is the right choice for you and your mate, it’s also important to understand the downsides of this kind of connection.
You Might Become Jealous
While an open relationship is based on honesty, candor, and respect, it may be hard for you not to develop feelings of jealousy. In fact, it’s not uncommon for those in an open relationship to feel a bit threatened or intimidated by the different people their partner may pursue. And while jealous feelings can certainly develop in a monogamous commitment, they're likely to be more prevalent in an open relationship simply due to its very nature.
It Isn't a Quick-Fix For a Failing Relationship
Some people choose to have an open relationship in the hopes that it’ll save a failing connection. However, this is the wrong approach, as opening up a weak relationship is likely going to destroy it. In fact, if you want an open relationship to have any chance of succeeding, there has to be a strong and sturdy foundation in place. Otherwise, opening up your relationship will inevitably bring you one step closer toward breaking up.
You Might Feel Physically or Emotionally Vulnerable
For those in an open relationship, there are times when you may feel that your physical and/or emotional health and well-being are at risk. For instance, while you’re certainly relying on your partner to make good choices and be physically safe, there’s also a lingering chance that he or she may develop serious feelings for someone else, leaving you feeling emotionally unsupported and hurt.
Keep in mind that no two relationships are alike, and in order for any type of relationship to have long-lasting potential, you have to be completely open and honest with your partner today about what you truly want.