Living in today’s hookup culture, it seems that now more than ever fewer people are looking to settle down, and more are hoping to have their cake and eat it too. While it sounds disheartening to all of the hopeless romantics out there, some have come up with a solution that maybe sounds crazy to outsiders, but works wonders for them — open relationships.
But, how exactly does an open relationship work? Here’s the low-down:
Honesty is the best policy.
First and foremost: let your partner know what’s up. If you’re venturing out and exploring other people behind their back, you’re not in an open relationship, what you’re doing is just plain cheating. Know the difference.
…But don’t overshare.
No matter how easygoing you are, it’s in every human’s nature to get a little jealous from time to time. Give your significant other the gist of what went down, but you might want to reconsider dishing all of the dirty details.
Obviously having sexual relationships could be one big health hazard waiting to happen, so be smart make sure you’re protecting yourself and others. Condoms=major key!
Your open relationship can’t be a free-for-all. Discuss what you’re comfortable with. Discuss what you’re not comfortable with. Discuss it all. Make sure you’re both on the same page before it turns into a horror story.
Wondering if an open relationship might be the right thing for you? We sought the opinion of a professional, Clinical psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi weighed in on open relationships — here’s his take:
1. Some people know themselves well enough to admit that they will never be monogamous. They feel their personalities are not suited to a single partner. They have a sense of their urges and desires that others often do not look at or deny. But for many the thinking and psychology goes in the direction of a real dynamic relationship with one love partner.
2. This may not be a good idea for most individuals who are looking for a long term relationship with a commitment to each other. The stress related to having relationships with other partners while still living with one person is not only complicated but hard to maintain.
3. Open Marriage often looks good on face value but in reality it is a whole new living experience that most likely will be appropriate for those who look at this with depth and a realization that in this situation you may have more partners but less commitment and perhaps meaning in life.
4. A select number in our society are ok with an open relationship and their expectations in life are modified to accommodate such a situation. Having the ‘right mental set’ is imperative for it to work out over time.
Would you ever give an open relationship a try? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.