If you’re reading this, I think it’s safe to say that you’re at least considering an open relationship. While polyamory, swinging, and other open relationships are still a bit taboo, they’re becoming more and more mainstream, which means more people are looking to take a leap into the lifestyle than ever before.
How do you know when you’re truly ready? Only you can know for sure, but here are five signs that you might be happier in an open relationship.
5 Signs that Monogamy May Not be Right for You
Open Relationship Sign 1: You Experience Attraction to Many Different People
It’s completely normal and healthy to be romantically or sexually intrigued by people who aren’t your partner, even if you’re monogamous. How you act on those desires is up to you and your relationship parameters.
If you naturally find yourself drawn to a number of people, you might love the possibilities that an open relationship provides you. In fact, that intoxicating feeling you get from a new relationship (often called “new relationship energy”, or NRE) can even breathe new life into those that have already been established.
It’s important to note that you don’t necessarily have to be open to both sexual and romantic experiences. You might want to open up your sex life without getting involved romantically, or vice versa. Make sure to explore the possibilities that might be right for you and your partner(s).
Open Relationship Sign 2: You Cherish Your Alone Time
Some people like to have multiple partners — both sexual and romantic — but live or sleep alone. If you’re a very independent person who values time to yourself, this might be a relationship configuration that appeals to you. While it’s not necessarily the societal standard, this dynamic is becoming more and more common, especially as our global economy forces folks to relocate.
Take a little time to look into “solo poly” and see if that’s a label or concept that works for you.
Open Relationship Sign 3: You Don’t Want to be Someone’s “One and Only”
If the idea of being someone else’s one-and-only freaks you out, you might be happier in an open relationship.
It’s true that no one person can meet their partners’ every need, and that’s important for everyone — in any relationship configuration — to accept. For polyamorous folks, or people in open relationships, this tends to be one of the major tenets of their relationship beliefs. It’s expected that no one person will fulfill you completely, which removes some of the pressure that people can feel in romantic relationships.
(It’s important to note here that monogamous people experience this as well. Managing relationship expectations and boundaries is an important exercise for all relationships.)
Open Relationship Sign 4: Your Social Life is Important to You
An open relationship requires sociability and logistics. The more partners you have, the more schedules, preferences, and plans you need to keep straight.
If you’re a whiz at time management or if you’ve always been a social butterfly, these things will probably seem totally natural to you. If not, don’t despair — find a good calendar app (or go old-fashioned with a day planner) and get planning.
Open Relationship Sign 5: You’re Happy with Your Current Partner
Well, here’s the thing: Just as an open relationship presents new opportunities, it also brings new challenges. If your foundation is a happy, healthy relationship, then you’re in good shape. Wanting to open up your relationship isn’t about being unhappy or unfulfilled in the relationship you’re already in. In fact, it should be more focused on expanding your happiness and allowing you to share it with others.
Is an Open Relationship Right for You?
If you find yourself relating to one or more of these signs, then congratulations! You might be a good fit for an open relationship.
The best part about it all is that you’re not alone in this journey. There are loads of valuable resources online that provide quality content aimed at helping you sort through the ups and downs of non-monogamy. People just like you have been opening up their relationships for years. Visit the SwingTowns blog to start your research!