Is an Open Relationship Right for You?March 19, 2021
Love has been an endearing subject of our favorite songs and novels for centuries. No matter how much we sing and write about love, we all have vastly different ideas about what it should look like in real-time. With modern dating culture giving us more ways to love and meet one another, new trends are popping up seemingly overnight.
Open relationship models are not the newest of all relationship trends, but the resurgence of non-monogamous arrangements is hard not to notice. So, are these models just far-fetched ideals, or is long-term success as an open partner possible? Consider these three things before you give one a shot!
You Must Understand the Differences Between Rules and Boundaries
One of the essential components of an open relationship is that healthy boundaries replace rigid rules. A large part of the open philosophy is maintaining an individuality outside of each relationship. Each individual has unique wants and needs that are not identical from person to person.
Rules that don't shift or change have a means of maintaining specific power structures that can become imbalanced. This is where boundaries come in. The boundaries are not automatically accepted rules; however, limitations that are agreed upon with everyone involved. These will change as the structure of your relationships change—always with direct and honest communication leading the way.
Speaking of Communication, You Must Become a Communication Guru
It's no surprise that communication is an integral part of any relationship model; however, with an open arrangement, this might be the most vital part of your success. Communication takes on a whole new meaning when you are considering relationships with multiple people. Instead of focusing on demanding what other people do in your relationships, shift the communication to being honest about your wants, needs, and desires.
By communicating clearly about what you need to feel loved and supported, you are creating a more realistic foundation for your relationships. The focus is not expectations that carry a failure rate, but rather a clear set of boundaries your partners can interact with concerning their own. You have much less of a chance of manipulating others if you come from a place of understanding yourself first and foremost.
You Must Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
If you thought monogamous relationships were no cakewalk, don't expect opening one up is going to be easy! An open relationship comes in all shapes and sizes—it is not a one-size-fits-all model with a definitive rulebook. You will experience situations and emotions that you and your partners will have to forge together. Just remember to set reasonable and agreed-upon boundaries and communicate your wants and needs clearly and often.
Do you have a sense of adventure about love and dating? Perhaps it is time to give open relationships a try. Just like any relationship, there is no guarantee of success, but keeping the above in mind, you will undoubtedly learn more about yourself and the way you love in the process!