Anyone here successfully managed to make an open relationship work?

I am curious to hear for anyone who has managed to make an open relationship work. What rules do you have, and how did you bring up the fact with your partner that you couldn't be monogamous?


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What Guys Said 1

  • Yes, I have. And know quite a few people that also have. It's a pretty complex issue though, maybe more than a few posts on a GaG question could help answer. We made a lot of common mistakes while first opening it up. Didn't realize they were mistakes at the time, though after we did it we found a lot of resources online that basically pointed out a lot of the mistakes we were making, as they are pretty common. That first conversation was... intense, and intimidating. But it had to be done, and had to be done as openly and honestly as possible. Honesty is a pretty vital trait in any relationship, but it is even more important for an open relationship, because it really requires absolute trust, and you can't have that without absolute honesty.

    Jealousy is going to be one of the biggest issues to overcome. People are basically taught to be jealous in relationships, so that switch to compersion can be a difficult one to make - there really are not many examples in day-to-day life for you to lean on for inspiration. It helps to realize that most jealousy is rooted in fear, and that it can partially be offset by dealing with the fear directly. Basically attack the root of the jealousy and the plant will die. But the plant itself is really tough to tackle directly.

    Rules is hard to discuss as a generalization, as almost every couple handles things slightly differently.

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    • Thanks, that's useful. I am in a LTR of 8 years, where I have been prone to straying. I admitted all my infidelities a few months ago and told him we should break up because I was likely to to just do it again, however he begged me to stay and give it another chance. I thought I could change, but a few months on I am still restless, and that I need to explain to him that I am just fundamentally non monogamous and the only way it is going to work is if he is able to accept some degree of opening up, otherwise, for both our sakes, we need to call time on the relationship.

    • You will always struggle with that, if you are wired for non-monogamy. It is good that you have identified the problem - so many people just put their head in the sand and hope the feelings go away, and then have to deal with a life of cheating and temptation and just not feeling emotionally satisfied.

      Opening it up can help, because it is completely possible for a non-monogamous person to be able to love multiple people at once. In fact, they can usually only feel satisfied if they are feeling love from multiple people at once. Much like how a parent can feel like they are pouring all of their love into their child, but still really want a second child to also pour that love into.

      This can be a big discussion though, so feel free to send me a PM if you want to go into a deeper discussion. It is a tricky thing to move towards from a long monogamous relationship.

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