Doing a quick search on the Internet on open relationships, most of the articles I found pretty much summarized them as ‘bullshit’ and that they could never work. Not many articles keep an open mind about whether it might work for some and not for others. Many just outright stated open relationships were just for sex and were for selfish, fickle-minded people. This is a lot of negativity for something that is a personal decision, belief and lifestyle choice.
And if you’re someone that is perhaps toying with the idea, I’m sure all these articles will make sure you never experiment again. Now, I’m here to say, “Hold up.” We here at BaDoink are open minded. Open relationships aren’t just for the horny, fickle-minded.
Sure, many people wouldn’t be able to handle an open relationship. That said, however, there are many couples out there that are successfully navigating this experience.
What is an Open Relationship?
When a couple agrees to consensually see other people romantically and/or intimately they are agreeing to be non-monogamous. To generalize that an open relationship is just about fucking other people would do a great disservice to those who are creating and defining their own relationship paradigms. Open relationships can be anything from casual sex to swinging right up to polyamory and polyfidelity.
The basic thing to remember is that labels aren’t set in stone but are general guidelines because each open relationship is different and is built around what each partner has agreed upon.
Yeah… but the sex?
Sure, there is sex. But it isn’t only about sex. And it doesn’t mean that just because these couples are out having sex with other people – whether they’re doing it together (swinging), or decide to take on another partner (poly) or need to find someone to play with because their current partner doesn’t want or can’t play with them the way they find satisfying – it doesn’t mean that they love their current partner any less.
This is all well and good but do they work?
Sure they do! As much as any normal monogamous relationship works.
Culturally we have been brought up to believe in the fairy tale of The One. This magical person is going to save you and fulfill you like no one else. This person will be everything your heart desires. This is also bullshit. No one can do that. Of course some people are cool with that, and some people aren’t.
Any open relationship comes with a healthy dose of communication, honesty, and trust.
It could be the best thing to happen to your relationship
Because you have to be clear about what you want, what you need, who you are not to mention you will also have to deal with you issues around possessiveness, jealousy and security.
Before opening up my relationship, my partner and I had long chats about what our boundaries were, what we needed in our relationship and from each other. We had to set down agreements and dos and don’ts so we didn’t break the trust we have in each other. It was (and still is) the most connected I’ve ever felt to my partner.
We can literally talk about anything. Nothing is taboo. I’ve grown so much as a person, especially since I was faced with feelings of jealousy and had to deal with them. It was a slow and sometimes painful process but it was worth it.
We read a lot of books and talked to other non-monogamous couples and had a lot of help. You can read my recommendations on which open relationship books are worth reading. And you don’t have to jump right in. It is always best to start slow. One step forward, two steps back. Read more about how to navigate an open relationship here.
Are you a non-believer? Or are you looking to test the waters? Would love to hear from you!