When it comes to relationships, everyone is different and what works for you may not work for others. Simply put, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to love and to be with someone.

For some people, being monogamous is not only what works for them, but it also makes them happy. Then some people find that being polyamorous is more their speed. Then some people may not want to be in a relationship with more than one person, but who still find the idea of monogamy to be too constricting. For these individuals, perhaps the answer is to be in an open relationship.

While there are probably no right or wrong answers when it comes to being in an open relationship, it is essential to at least have guidelines in place to maintain the relationship you have with your partner. Being in an open relationship will only work if both parties not just agree that this is what is best for you but also remember to respect each other. This means that the best way to be open is to sit down and discuss the important things first.

Open relationships are not meant to be restricting, but there are still some rules that can help to make being in this kind of relationship not only run smoothly but also work in general. Not only will these practices help you to maintain a stable relationship with your partner, but it can help to prevent some of the negative pitfalls that can ruin what you have built.

Rules for an effective open relationship

Discuss what you want with your partner

To be in an open relationship, it is essential to talk to the person you are dating. Tell them what you want and what you are hoping to get out of this arrangement. This is the time to be as honest and open as possible.

Remember that honesty is the best policy

While honesty is vital in any relationship, it is especially important in one where you are looking for something more from a person who is not your partner. Being honest means telling your partner who you were with, where you are going, and not hiding the fact that you have been intimate with another person.

Testing the waters can give you an idea of what you want

Sometimes you need to start slow when you find yourself opening up your relationship. This can mean starting with just kissing someone else and then talking to your partner to get a feel for how you both react to this new development in your relationship. Things are changing, and it is important to make sure you are not moving too fast, for either of you.

Avoid hooking up with friends, especially mutual friends

The last thing you want to do when you open your relationship up is to bring your friends into your sex life. Having sex with someone who is not only your friend but also your partner’s friend can lead to unnecessary drama and potential problems along the way. You do not want there to be any misunderstandings or jealousy when it comes to opening up your relationship, so avoiding friends is critical.

Never hide the person you are with

Much like honesty is critical, it is also important to keep things as transparent as possible. Open relationships are all about finding balance, and that means that if you hide the fact that you are with a person, you could ultimately damage all of the trust you have built up.

Remember that jealousy happens

Even in open relationship jealousy can pop up. There is not anything wrong with being jealous, but it is important to talk to your partner about it and let them know how you are feeling. If they are the one feeling jealous, you have to listen to them when they speak and make sure you are doing what you can to reassure them of how you feel about them.

Never fall in love with the person you are having sex with

You are already in a committed relationship because you love this person. While you may have opened your relationship because you needed something more, that does not give you the freedom to find love outside of your primary relationship. Falling in love complicates what is essentially about sex. Avoid temptation when possible and remember that you already have someone that you love at home.

Even as you open your relationship remember that communication is important. Opening up your relationship with others is already a massive change for some people, and it is crucial to the success of your love life that you remember it is all about talking about things and staying honest. While there are no guarantees that an open relationship will not have problems like any other relationship, it can be something that fills a need that being strictly monogamous may not offer.

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