With the divorce rate skyrocketing and so many people unhappy in their marriages, open relationships have become the next big thing. Sometimes a couple chooses to have an open relationship simply because they love the idea of it — perhaps they are turned on by the thought of someone else sleeping with their significant other, or maybe they don’t think they can give their lover all the things they need.
If someone in an open relationship says there are no rules, don’t believe them. That’s not true! But the rules that are in place are very clear, and that’s one of the thrills of an open relationship — it can lead to much more intimacy between you and your partner.
If you do decide to give it a go, consider these ground rules to keep everyone happy:
Stay honest. Your level of honesty should be worked out before anything ever happens outside of your relationship. You partner might want to know beforehand if you intend to sleep with someone else, or they might want to know the details when it’s over. Others might not want to know anything, as long as they have your word that you will be utterly discreet. Determine what honesty level works for the two of you.
Always have safe sex. Don’t put your significant other in a bad situation by having condom-free sex with anyone else. Keep everyone safe by making sure that it’s always wrapped up, period. Women should also consider staying on some form of birth control, because you never know when a condom could break. It’s rare, but it happens.
Be willing to meet. If you are going to have sex with someone else, be willing to introduce them to your partner, and vice versa. Be prepared for the moment of realization when your partner introduces you to someone who will be a potential lover. After that meeting, be sure to talk about your feelings in depth, because you never know what might have changed when the reality of the situation is standing right in front of you.
Finally, remember that an open relationship is not an excuse to sleep around. Sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? But an open relationship, by its very nature, is a protection against infidelity, because everyone involved knows the score. So when you’ve got a good thing going, don’t look elsewhere for your kicks. Stay open and honest, and you will spare hurt feelings on the part of everyone involved.