Open Relationships: Transitioning a Relationship to Meet Your Desires

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So you’ve decided you’d like to redefine your relationship.
You’re interested in transitioning a once closed, monogamous relationship into an open relationship.

But can you achieve this with ease?
The answer is: yes! With open communication, honesty, and patience, any relationship can be transformed into an open relationship. There are three main steps to getting there.

  1. Recognize the required permissions, and then give them to yourself.
    You have the right to create a relationship that suits you. Allow yourself to pursue it.
  2. Communicate with your partner(s).
    Help yourself by helping your partners understand what you need and want from the relationship. Vulnerability is required if you want to move forward.
  3. Free yourself from expectations.
    No relationship is one-size-fits-all, and each one requires persistence and resilience. Accept the fact that each relationship is different, and that the conventional idea of ‘the one’ doesn’t necessarily hold up. Free yourself from society’s strict definitions of a romantic relationship.

In this article, we’re unpacking each of these three steps, and how they can help you navigate your way to an open relationship.

strained couple facing opposite direction while starting a discussion on an open relationship

Giving Yourself Permission to Have an Open Relationship

There’s no excuse to remain in a relationship that leaves you feeling unfulfilled. There are so many people on this planet and so many opportunities for connection.
It may seem like the easy option to stay where you’re at, even if it means remaining unhappy. But, that’s not a healthy decision for you or your partner(s). You all deserve more. The mature thing to do is to take responsibility for your own happiness and pleasure. You can do this by seeking out partners who help you reach your highest potential. This includes sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual potential.
But, unfortunately, comprehensive sex education is lacking, support services are not receiving enough funding, and, there is still a strong social stigma attached to sexual freedom. Each one of these setbacks can make it difficult to advocate for your needs in a relationship. It’s just not something we all learn to do.
But, we can start.
It begins by recognizing our own feelings and desires and being honest with ourselves. Then, give yourself permission to be happy. The decision to change and transition your relationships must be a secure one. It needs to come from a place of awareness, not insecurity. This means that you will have to do a lot of reflecting within yourself before you can ever communicate with a partner.

Communicate with Your Partner(s)

Regardless of the type of relationship that you choose, you still need to consider your partner. Their feelings and desires matter too, which is why communication is vital. Intimate relationships are vulnerable, which is why vulnerability is so important. Make sure to speak to your partner in a manner that’s compassionate and understanding.
Remember, if you want others to understand you, it is crucial that you remain willing to listen, too. Relationships should be based on reciprocity. Even open relationships should have a strong foundation of love, respect, and companionship. Give your partner(s) time to explore themselves and their wishes for the relationship.
Opening your relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re changing the terms of it. You aren’t being granted a free pass to be selfish or inconsiderate. Open relationships aren’t a license to treat someone poorly. This is especially true if you’re doing it only because you’re afraid to let them go.
An open relationship should be based on solid communication and mutual understanding. It requires open communication from the start, and in every step thereafter. Each party must want to be in an open relationship. It’s not enough to be there to please a partner or seek approval. Instead, the relationship must be a true desire for everyone involved.
This is why open communication is so vital. You will need to know yourself and remain inquisitive with your own thoughts. You must also be willing to share these thoughts and feelings with your partner(s). Many people assume that, in an open relationship, you get less of your partner. But, couples in these dynamics know the degree of honesty and investment required to maintain them.

Free Yourself from Relationship Expectations

It can still be difficult to move forward in an unconventional relationship. This is even true for those who have a supportive partner, and understand their own desires. This is because today’s society hasn’t yet caught up with these relationship styles. Some of the most common non-conventional relationships include:
  • Non-monogamy
  • Open relationships
To create a relationship that serves you best, it is vital that you scrap the idea of a “normal relationship.” Instead, start thinking about what suits you. There is no need to squeeze yourself into a label or relationship style that someone else has made up. This is especially true when there are so many options out there. Did you know? Approximately 33% of all Americans have expressed some sort of interest in an open relationship.
Do some research to help you discover new labels, boundaries, and experiences that interest you. You’ll find yourself feeling a whole lot more satisfied! The idea of “one-size-fits-all” is too redundant when it comes to relationships. These partnerships are ever-evolving and need constant communication and evaluation. By increasing the freedom that you have in the world, you give yourself permission to be happier. The word “open” brings many ideas to many different minds. But, it really means anything you want it to; “open” is an opportunity.

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Helen Alison on WordPress
Helen Alison
Helen Alison is a huge sex geek and the founder of The Good Sex where women create tools and have open conversations about sex. She believes every woman has the power to tailor her sex and relationships to fit her and that female sexuality needs to be brought out of the shadows and spoken about with zero shame and zero limitations! Writing for The Good Sex blog and a regular on The Good Sex podcast, Helen uses her own experiences to increase sexual empowerment and knowledge for the women following along.

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