8 Ways to Decide if an Open Relationship is Right for You

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Have you ever considered the idea of being in an open relationship? Well, you’re not alone.
Research shows that approximately 1/3 of all American adults would consider a non-monogamous relationship to be ideal.

And, it only makes sense.
In today’s day and age, it’s becoming almost a rarity to meet someone in a social setting and then start dating. Instead, swiping right on love interests and texting with multiple people at the same time is becoming the norm. It seems that the vast majority of the population simply can’t get behind the idea of committing to just one person at a time. And, this isn’t some bold assumption – the facts are out there: traditional monogamous relationships are decreasing by the day, while the number of non-committal relationships is skyrocketing.

It seems that – as an alternative to a monogamous relationship – many couples are opting to be in an open relationship for more reasons than ever. And, with this in mind, I couldn’t help but wonder…

How do You Know if an Open Relationship is Right for You?

two women in an open relationship laying in bed together

An open relationship, by definition, is a relationship opposite to a closed, monogamous one. The exact terms of the relationship (ie: how open it really is) can look different depending on the people involved. Like any relationship, it’s not black-and-white. In fact, it’s about as grey as it gets. All relationships are different because all people are different. We have different needs and emotions, unique experiences, and distinctive experiences.

Before you jump right into the deep end, perhaps consider these 8 ways to decide whether you and your partner are ready for an open relationship.

Am I Ready to Open my Relationship?

  1. Are my partner and I on the same page?

    It takes two to tango in any way in any relationship, and in order to have a happy, healthy open relationship, you’ve both got to be on the same wavelength. If your partner has suggested it and it’s not really your thing, don’t just agree and go ahead with it to be a people pleaser. Trust me, you’ll only be doing yourself an injustice and end up getting hurt. As long as it’s something you both want, go for it, and if not, be honest about you feelings.

  2. Are my partner and I stable enough?

    Opening up your relationship takes a hell of a lot of trust and communication, so you and your partner have got to be solid as a rock for it to work. You can’t shy away from talking about your experiences outside your relationship – things have got to be crystal clear and this sort of care and communication comes from couples who totally put each other first.

  3. Am I prepared to be jealous?

    We’re human, which means that jealousy comes very naturally to us when we’re protective over something or someone we love. Regardless of whether or not you’re totally fine with your open relationship, you will undoubtedly have to work through feelings of jealousy when it comes to what your partner’s getting up to. And, believe it or not, it’s only normal. But what you’ve got to understand is how to control those emotions and make peace with them. If you’ve agreed to open things up, you’re accepting that your feelings are your own and your responsibility to work through them.

  4. Am I willing to talk with everyone involved?

    Open relationships must be exactly that – entirely open. Everyone needs to know who, what, where, and why to ensure that the trust remains to form a strong foundation. Even the others involved must know that you’re one-half of a couple. Talking everything out will make sure that everyone’s at ease and knows what they’re getting themselves into.

  5. Do I have any no-gos?

    Just because you agree to open your relationship doesn’t mean you have to agree to any and everything. Naturally, although you’ll both have free rein to explore and experiment outside of your relationship, there will be certain individuals who you wouldn’t want your partner going anywhere near and vice versa too. If you find yourself with strong feelings about a particular situation, make sure you have that conversation about who’s a “no go” in your books.

  6. Am I willing to be reciprocal?

    Open relationships are a bit of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of setup. If your partner does one thing, then you should have the option to do the same. For instance, if you’re partner is having sex with others, but you’re only to kiss someone else, does this seem fair? I’ll let you decide.

  7. Am I dedicated to honesty?

    The biggest, most important, factor to a successful open relationship is TOTAL honesty. The more honest you are, the more trust you have, the stronger you become. It’s that simple. Without honesty, there is no trust. Without trust, there is no love. Go figure.

  8. Am I doing it for the right reasons?

    If you think that opening up your relationship will right some wrongs within your relationship, tread very carefully. Don’t think that being open will necessarily save a failing marriage or fix what has already been broken. An open relationship is about understanding the needs of your partner and them understanding yours, so before you make any rash decisions, figure out why you want to do it.

woman and two men in an open relationship

Final Thoughts

It’s true that open relationships are not for everyone. But, it could be right for you and your partner if you’re willing to open up, have difficult conversations, and get to the bottom of what actually makes you happy. For more tips on managing a healthy, open relationship, visit the SwingTowns open lifestyle blog today.

Members of the SwingTowns Community can discuss this article and its implications on the lifestyle community forum. If you’re not a member, you can sign up today and see what you’re missing.

Naomi Lewis
Naomi Lewis, aka Naomi Narrative, is an Award Winning Dating, Sex & Relationships Writer. Visit her at www.thenaominarrative.com.

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