Open Relationships, You Game?

Most people in the West think of monogamous relationships as the norm, with two people committed to each other until death do they part – or at least for as long as they stay together. This might have been realistic when our lifespan was 35 years, but with people living well into their 80s now, it may not be a question of if a person has an affair in their relationship, but rather when.

heart hand on shallow focus lens
Open Relationships…You Game?

This has led couples to consider what are termed “open relationships”. The core relationship is still the main one, but the couple gives permission for each other to try something new.

It may seem too threatening to the core relationship — what if they meet someone they like better? In other cases, it might actually save the relationship, giving the couple the chance to explore fantasies without sneaking around or feeling guilty. It can give a whole new spice to things at home and avoids one of the main issues of infidelity: lying to your partner repeatedly.

Monogamy versus Polygamy

About 70% of societies around the world are polygamous. In the US, up to 50% of marriages end in divorce, with 30% citing infidelity as the reason. Having an open relationship decreases the risk of losing a committed relationship because of what might be just a fun fling, engaged in once and quickly forgotten. Flirtation and experimentation don’t have to be deal breakers, but ways of ensuring each person is getting what they need so that they are much more likely to stay together.

Setting Boundaries

In order to make an open relationship work, there will need to be very clearly set boundaries. In an age of AIDS and various sexually transmitted diseases, safety has to come first. Imagine the nightmare of not knowing which partner gave you an STD. Birth control should be another must.

Then there is the issue of not “doing it on your own doorstep”. Work colleagues and neighbors should generally be considered off limits so that nothing gets messy when things end. We’ve all heard of wife swapping parties, but there are clear reasons why this might cause a lot of awkwardness and even bad feeling.

To Share or Not to Share

Then there is the question of sharing, such as in a threesome or more, with the couple and a third party invited to spice things up. There is also the question of how much you tell each other about your activities. If one person starts to act secretive about what they are doing, this could be a red flag that something serious is going on. At the same time, you don’t want to flaunt things because it could make your partner feel resentful or jealous.

Every Couple Is Different

We’ve heard in the gossip columns recently about Hollywood couples who have open relationships. In most cases, we think it would never be for us and can’t imagine living that way. But many people do. While it is true that fear and jealousy can still arise even in a consensual open relationship, it is also true that not making it about you, but about your partner’s fulfillment can offset these feelings. And of course, you have the freedom to indulge as well.

People in open relationships usually have enough confidence not to compare themselves to other people or panic at the thought that the “other” might be prettier, fitter, or better in bed than they are. It is a case of understanding life is a journey, and that the core relationship is built on a lot more than just sex.

So I guess its all up to you and what you prefer in your relationship. I feel any match up can work as long as both parties are in sync, open and honest about their expectations. I mean everything is not for everyone and what works for you may not work for the next person.

-Coach Dey

Tell Us Your Thoughts!