Consenting Adultery: How To Maintain An Open Relationship
Updated May 20, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Natalie Feinblatt
As monogamy continues to share the spotlight with other relationship dynamics in our society, open relationships continue to become the norm for some people. However, with this type of relationship dynamic comes issues of its very own. Maintaining a relationship can be hard, and maintaining an open romantic relationship, even harder. If you and your partner have decided to make things more interesting in your relationship, here are some tips that will help you to maintain an open romantic relationship successfully.
- Create A List Of Rules That Both Of You Are Expected To Follow In Your Other Relationships
Here's the truth about open relationships: feelings will be hurt, and you will get jealous at times. Even though you are in a consenting open romantic relationship, these things are bound to happen. However, you can ease these feelings slightly and avoid disaster by communicating with your partner what you want out of this open romantic relationship.
Sit down with your significant other and come up with a list of rules for maintaining other relationships. What does your partner want out of their external relationships? What do you want out of your external relationships? What are some things that you don't want your significant other doing, and what are some things they don't want you doing?
More importantly, what is this open romantic relationship going to do for your relationship with your partner? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when you first begin an open romantic relationship with your partner.
- Remember That Your Initial Partner Is Your Top Priority
Your open romantic relationship might become a monogamous relationship if you ignore your partner and only spend time with your other significant other. The point of an open romantic relationship is usually to improve the quality of your current relationship and give both parties more freedom and excitement in their lives. The end goal is not to build a new relationship that takes precedence over your current one. Remember that you were in a relationship with your new one and make a conscious effort to keep that original relationship alive.
- Create A Powerful Support System Before Starting Another Relationship
As was stated above, open relationships can be difficult even when both parties have consented to see people besides themselves. There will be times where you will feel angry and jealous of your partner despite your agreement.
During these times, you will need a powerful support system that will help you pull through and take your mind off these negative feelings. This support system may consist of close friends, relatives, and even therapists. No matter who you add to this support system, make sure that they are invested in your well-being and supportive of all of your choices.
- Only Start When You And Your Partner Are Both Ready
Some people consider starting an open romantic relationship because they are not satisfied with their current one. Before you consider an open romantic relationship as a solution for you and your partner, see if you can fix the relationship to become satisfied. Give yourself some time to figure out what isn't working in the relationship and work hard to fix it. If it is fixed, maybe your relationship needed care and not more partners. If it didn't get fixed, you can then both comfortably move into the stage of seeing more people.
- Comparisons Are Your Worst Enemy
When your partner begins seeing someone or when you begin seeing someone new, it can be easy to compare yourself with your partner's new significant other. It can be easy to compare your partner to your new significant other. While this is completely natural, try not to let these thoughts dictate how you treat yourself and others. These comparisons can ruin your relationship with others and with yourself if you allow it to. When these thoughts come around, remind yourself of what you love about yourself and your partner to get back on track.
- Be Honest With The People In Your Other Relationships
While you and your partner are both well-aware that you are in an open romantic relationship, the people you are seeing may not be. The worst thing that you can do to a person expecting you to be seeing them exclusively is to keep them in the dark about your relationship situation. When you first begin a new relationship outside your current one, make sure that your new partner is aware that you are still with someone else. Not everyone will be fine with this, so don't be discouraged if you have to spend some time searching for someone who is.
- Consider Creating A List Of People Who Are "Off-Limits"
There are some people who your partner may choose to pursue that would tear apart your relationship. Some people would probably make your partner want to scrap your relationship as well. To avoid making a mistake that will end your relationship, consider making a list of all the people that your partner cannot date. Your partner can make a similar list. Once you have made this list, you should only pursue people that will be okay for the two of you.
- Don't Take Everything So Seriously.
An open relationship is an opportunity for you to determine what you want out of relationships and sex. If there is something that you can't do with your partner, feel free to explore that with your other partners. If your new partner can't provide you with what you want, seek out someone who can. Not everything has to be serious when you're in these relationships. Feel free to have fun and figure out who you are on the way.
- If Things Come Apart, Let Them
Sometimes, the decision to start an open relationship may be a major sign that your relationship is falling apart, but the two of you are unwilling to let go. If you begin a new relationship and find that your partner's feelings have faded, don't be afraid to let go. Staying in a relationship that no longer provides you with any value will only create more problems for you and your partner. Know when your time is up and respect it.
- Uncertainty Calls For A Trial Run
People often approach the idea of an open relationship with hesitation. After all, this type of relationship is looked down upon by society. If you are not completely comfortable with the idea but want to make both you and your partner happy, test out the idea first. An open relationship does not come with any rules, and you can both choose to close it at any time.
Give yourself a month or a couple of months to date other people while still seeing your partner. If it feels wrong for the two of you, you can always choose to go back to your monogamous relationship and work on the problems that are going on within that relationship.
- Keep Things Under Wraps If Necessary
It is vital that you and your partner agree on what is happening within your open relationship and that you both communicate. However, it is not necessary to share all the details of your external relationships with your partner. These details can make your partner feel jealous and may cause your initial relationship to crumble. Talk to your partner about the idea of sharing everything. If it makes you uncomfortable thinking about the other relationships, keep it under wraps and only share the bare minimum.
- Practice Safe Sex
Not every relationship means sex. You can have other relationships and keep sex, something that happens only between you and your partner. However, if you two decide that you do want to have sex with other people, make sure that you are safe while you are doing it.
Sexually transmitted diseases are something that you need to take seriously. Failure to use protection and engaging in risky sex can seriously damage you and your partner. No matter who you choose to have sex with, bring a condom and other safety precautions to decrease your chances of contracting anything from these sexual encounters.
The thought of an open relationship can be a lot for some people to take. Some people are prepared to take this step, and other people may not know what an open relationship entails. If you are scared, interested, or unsure about starting an open relationship with your partner and require some advice, visit https://www.regain.us/start/. Regain is a company that offers online relationship counseling for both individuals and partners. The link above will direct you to a page that will help you connect with the right online counselor for your relationship needs!
13. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
This may be the most important tool of all in maintaining a healthy, open relationship. Be sure to check in with your partner and talk about everything in this article, including boundaries that you both agree on. Periodically check in with each other and make sure you're both still on the same page. With healthy communication, thriving in an open relationship is possible. A licensed counselor can help you develop communication tactics and methods if needed.
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