The More The Merrier? How To Have A Successful Open Relationship

July 24, 2013  |  
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Open relationships definitely aren’t for everyone but they also have their perks. While relationships on their own take a lot of work, effort, and energy, open relationships are a bit more complex and require complete compatibility and understanding from everyone involved. If you’re part of an open relationship, here are 14 tips to help it remain as successful and long-lasting as possible.

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Be prepared

If you have never been in an open relationship before, or if you two have just recently decided to turn your relationship into an open one, be prepared. The idea of having sex with someone other than your boyfriend can be exciting and scary all at once. Make sure that you are prepared for these changes before really dedicate yourself to it.

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Have limitations

Before jumping into an open relationship, it’s crucial that limitations and rules have been set. There needs to be clear boundaries set between the two of you. Decide what’s cheating, how often sex outside of the relationship can happen, how much outside contact you can have with an outside partner, and so on. Boundaries are necessary in order for an open relationship to work.

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Test the waters first

Committing to an open relationship without ever deciding if it’s right for you can be a bad mistake. Instead of saying yes to an open relationship, test the waters first. Hook up with someone, with your partner’s permission, and see how you feel the next day. Do you feel okay about it? Is your partner now jealous? All of this needs to be figured out before dedicating to an open relationship.

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Figure out why

If you’re considering getting into an open relationship, think about why you want to do it. Are you lusting after someone? Are you looking to spice up your sex life? Does your partner want to and you’re just following suit? Have a good reason to get into an open relationship before committing to one.

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Get rid of any jealousy

Simply put, if you’re a jealous person, an open relationship is not for you. Before you say yes to an open relationship, you need to let go of any jealousy and jealous antics that you have. The fact is that your man is going to be sleeping with other women. An open relationship won’t work if you’re jealous of every single woman out there. Work on your self-confidence before agreeing to this type of arrangement.

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Boost your self-confidence

In order to become less jealous, you’ll need to work on your self-confidence and the love you have for yourself. Lacking self-esteem and self-confidence will only lead to a lot of hurt and negative emotions once everything is said and done. Write down all of the good things about yourself. Take your man’s compliments to heart. Your self-esteem will build in no time.

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Keep mutual friends out of it

When you’re in an open relationship with your partner, the last thing you want to do is bring a mutual friend into the mix. There is nothing more awkward than sleeping with a friend who the two of you are close with. When it comes time to pick a spontaneous partner, stay far away from mutual friends, or else you may bring a lot of problems into the relationship. You may also lose a friend.

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Don’t hide your relationship

Just because you’re in an open relationship doesn’t mean that you can’t be proud and happy of the bond you have with your partner. Don’t try to shove your relationship under the carpet every time someone asks about you and your partner. Instead, be proud to be in a relationship with your man and celebrate it just as you would any other relationship. Otherwise your partner may begin to feel isolated and unwanted.

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Keep certain things secret

Not everyone needs to know about your open relationship and every little detail that goes along with it. It’s sometimes best to keep the fact that you’re in an open relationship secret, or else you should be prepared to face all sort of judgement and unwanted opinions. Don’t share how many other partners you’ve had and don’t get into detail about what your relationship entails. Some things are best kept between you and your partners.

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Have a steady focus on communication

As with any relationship, communication is extremely important. If you start feeling uncomfortable or unsure about something in your relationship, you have to speak up about it. It’s also important that the two of you continue to ensure that boundaries are set and not crossed, and that you continue to express your emotions for each other.

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Make sure the relationship stays consistent

Just because you’re in an open relationship doesn’t mean that everything has to change. The only huge change that should occur are the partners you sleep with. You two should still be as close as ever. You should still go out to dinner, out to the movies, and other places for date night. Your emotions should stay the same as well, if anything, they should grow stronger.

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Don’t ever compare

Since both you and your partner will be sleeping with others, it’s important that you don’t compare each other to anyone else that you sleep with. Not only will this cause all sorts of arguments, jealousy, and feelings of not being good enough, it’ll be detrimental to your relationship. Remember that the man you’re with is your #1 and it should stay that way. There’s no purpose or reasoning behind comparing your man to someone you slept with last week.

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Stay protected

While it’s not the most glamorous part of being in an open relationship, it’s important that the two of you, and all of your partners, keep yourselves protected. Use protection all of the time. Get yourselves tested monthly for STDs and other infections. Being in an open relationship doesn’t mean that you have to put yourself at risk.

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Honesty comes first

As with any relationship, honesty is the best policy. It’s important that the two of you remain honest with each other. If something doesn’t feel right or if you’re uncomfortable with a certain situation, don’t be afraid to speak up about it. Don’t hide your emotions for fear of your partner not accepting them. Honesty is crucial in an open relationship.

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  • Pivyque

    I don’t see anything wrong with an open relationship if that is what the couple really wants. A friend of mine is actually in an open marriage. She says that the point of it isn’t to encourage outside relations, but that if they do have them, they just need to make sure they tell each other about it. I didn’t click through the list because I don’t feel like it, but I figure that honesty and following the set guidelines would be most important.

  • Danielle

    Wait… What??????? Not to sound like a jerk to MN, but how do y’all come with this topics?! Do ppl actually write in asking advice about crazy ish like this? I know I’m not the only one who wouldn’t wanna share my guy with another chick and be in an open relationship.