Open relationship: what is it, recommendations, facts

6 min

Open Relationship

An open relationship is relations between a man and a woman who consider themselves to be a couple but are not limited to sexual relationships exclusively with each other.

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Most people loose relationship was seen as a strange phenomenon, while having the opposite point of view is able to discern in this social phenomenon of positive aspects, which, in their opinion, may lead to greater freedom and self-expression partners in the relationship.

The concept of open relationship

Concept Of Open Relationship

The lack of a single definition

As already mentioned, in an open relationship, both partners are usually unable to have sexual relations with other people.

Each pair is characterized by individual characteristics that arise from reached between the partners of the agreement, which are, most often, a verbal agreement, governing the behavior of men and women.

There may be different variations of agreements, and the specifics of the relationship may have characteristics inherent to each specific couple.

The bounds are in an open relationship

Established by the partners of the border can relate to emotional, physical or sexual aspects.

For example, a couple may allow others (emotional boundary), but kissing (physical border) and sex (sexual border) to endure beyond what is permitted.

In addition, if sex with other people does not fall under the ban, which usually happens, partners can discuss how many such attachments can be, and also provide for the need to agree on a specific candidate.

The distinctive features of open relations

An open relationship is not the equivalent of casual or social sex.

And although these types of relationships may seem similar, between them there are still differences:

  1. Relationships without commitment do not imply any level of accountability and responsibility. In an open relationship, on the contrary, both partners reach a mutual agreement, the terms of which are binding on each of them.
  2. Friendly sex does not include a romantic component. In contrast, an open relationship tends to develop a deeper level of intimacy and understanding, not just limited to the feeling of sympathy and the desire for sexual pleasure.

The advantages and disadvantages of an open relationship


  1. New experiences and new interests due to a large number of partners.
  2. Sex life is not boring, due to a variety of sexual experiences.
  3. Freedom to express yourself from new perspectives with another partner.


  1. Possible infliction of emotional pain from the realization that the partner is the closeness and experiencing the pleasure of communicating with someone else.
  2. The increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
  3. Unwanted pregnancy.
  4. The development of sexual addiction as a way to escape from personal problems.
  5. Decrease in the level of sexual desire as a result of attempts to please multiple partners.

Is it possible to open relationships in practice?

Open relationships, like any other social relations, can be sustainable development, but for many couples, they are doomed to failure.

In developed countries, the proportion of couples whose relationships cannot be described as monogamous, and less than 5% of the total.

An open relationship can have a right to life if the partners are not interested in the maintenance of monogamy, and they tend to be honest with each other, and each of them expressed their agreement about the specifics of their affair.

If one or both partners secretly cling to the image of romantic or sexual exclusivity, in this case, jealousy and resentment will destroy any prisoners between them of agreements.

Open relationship: recommendations

Open Relationship Recommendations

1. Make sure that you both want

In order for an open relationship has got the right to life, the partners should Express their 100 percent consent.

Quite often, the attachment of one of the partners is much stronger than the emotions that he feels in his address, which increases the probability of conflict that could arise in the future.

Partner may desire a free relationship from the perspective of their own variety of sexual relationships, but not willing to share your other half with someone else.

In addition, for couples, it is very important to understand what an open relationship, and he expects each of them if they take this path.

It is very important to decide what fits you and what you consider unacceptable in a relationship.

You just want to have parallel sexual experiences or want to support other long-term relationships? Are you comfortable with understanding that you have to share your partner with someone else? And many other similar questions are best resolved at an early stage.

2. Determine what is the cause of the desire for open relationship

If you want to start an open relationship, to fix the problems of the existing Union, you may get confused even more.

You should solve the problems of the current relationship and not expect that their new form will correct the situation.

3. Set the rules

Best of all, if you are staying in a quiet environment, please record your wishes and requirements.

For example, you can make three lists:

  1. What is mandatory.
  2. That it is desirable.
  3. And that is unacceptable.

It should provide everything from the coordination of other partners, as well as the frequency, duration and nature of contact with them, to respect safe sex and action in case of an unexpected pregnancy.

4. Be prepared for the unexpected

If you are sure that, all foreseeing and planning, you will get a perfect relationship, which for so long was, in fact, circumstances can intervene and make its own adjustments to your plans.

You can encounter problems, the occurrence of which will be for you a sincere surprise.

5. Rules are rarely static

Human values and views on the same things over time can change.

So the rules for your relationship, most likely, also will undergo changes.

6. Sanctions for violating the terms of an open relationship

It is early to identify what actions will follow if one or both partners violate the terms of this agreement.

For example, you set a rule that you don’t have to deal with other partners of your spouse, but how to behave if you accidentally bump into them?

7. Do not hide negative emotions

It may seem that it is better to conceal from a partner’s negative emotions, but this strategy can cause serious problems.

Be sure to discuss the feelings associated with jealousy, resentment or envy. Talk about what you like and what causes discomfort and why.

Be prepared to see both the pros and cons of free relations.

8. Don’t expect it to be easy

Deep down, most people are more inclined to want to be the only many, you play the role of one of the many.

Much easier mentally to see yourself with others than to imagine how your loved one is in a similar situation.

So keep in mind that you may have to compromise their beliefs, of course, if they are available.

12 facts about an open relationship

Facts About An Open Relationship

Fact 1. Couples in an open relationship, not trying to force anyone to believe that monogamy is an old-fashioned habit.

Fact 2. An open relationship is not only the features associated with sex. It is rather a lifestyle choice philosophy in terms of how a person wants to live with his partner.

Fact3. The best relationships do not exist, because the best of them are those that are most suitable for you. In some monogamous couples, love is less true than in a free relationship.

Fact 4. Open relationships are not a way to save shattered love from a possible breakup. On the contrary, the motivation of such a pair, the partners of which are experiencing happiness and satisfaction with each other, consists in the liberation from the concept of possession and transfer to another level of freedom.

Fact 5. An open relationship does not mean that partners start to sleep with others left and right. Life of some couples in such a relationship can be pretty monotonous. In addition, in the search for other partners, a prerequisite is mutual interest.

Fact 6. An open relationship does not exclude the existence of jealousy. The difference is in how the partners cope with the emergence of this emotion because jealousy is not a reason for claims.

Fact 7. Open relations do not exclude the possibility of betrayal. Each couple has its own idea of betrayal, which in this case is different from the most common, consisting in treason. To betray a partner in a free relationship is to be dishonest.

Fact 8. An open relationship should be equal for both partners, who equally want to become parties to them. Should not agree to an open relationship to satisfy the desire of a loved one.

Fact 9. An open relationship does not exclude the creation of family and the birth of children.

Fact 10. Couples in open relationships are usually very mature mentally, and also have a high level of trust and emotional closeness, due to which their union continues to develop. The decisions made by the couple should be mutual, well thought out and always based on respect. If any of the partners feel discomfort, it is necessary to revise the terms of existing agreements.

Fact 11. An open relationship does not mean that the love faded, and the sexual attraction has faded. All a bit different: for these couples, it is a way to improve the already great.

Fact 12. Relationships are more important than rules. Partners appreciate and love each other, and most importantly, and the rules can always change, until the establishment of the usual monogamy.


Open relationships are a fairly controversial phenomenon, clearly not supported and not taken seriously by most people.

Some practitioners psychologists came to the conclusion that a happy and harmonious developing an open relationship – it is rather a rare exception than the rule because one of the partners typically acts as an emotional victim of such a Union.

Couples who are just thinking about the possibility to choose the path of free relations should clearly realize that they will not be able to predict in advance the final result, which will result in their decision.

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