"...around four percent of adults are in an open relationship. To put this in perspective, that’s roughly one couple out of twenty-five or 2.8 million couples in the United States"
An open relationship is defined as an intimate relationship that is explicitly non-monogamous. While the topic is often considered taboo, the reality is, open relationships are much more common than you would be led to believe. A recent study suggests that around four percent of adults are in an open relationship. To put this in perspective, that’s roughly one couple out of twenty-five or 2.8 million couples in the United States.
However, while the practice is fairly common, many can still feel nervous or skeptical about trying it. When Googling open relationships, the first suggestion to pop up is “Do open relationships work”. The most important thing to know from the start is, being in an open relationship is in no way an easy task and comes along with its own set of problems and challenges. With each relationship being different, communication with your partner becomes imperative. Open relationships can be very effective so long as all members of the relationship are comfortable and willing to make it work.
Should I seek counseling?
When considering an open relationship, it would be best to contact a couple counselor. This way both members of the relationship are able to express their emotions and attitudes effectively and maturely towards the subject of an open relationship. It is important to know and respect the boundaries which are set by you and your partner as each open relationship differs from another.
Is it possible to cheat in an open relationship?
A common misconception about open relationships is the idea that it is impossible to cheat once in an open relationship. This could not be further from the truth as each person’s definition of “cheating” differs. This is why it is important to establish boundaries and discuss what you and your partner are comfortable with. It is important to know that any limitations you wish to set upon you and your partner are perfectly normal. Setting up certain restrictions in no way invalidates your open relationship and feeling comfortable with what you and your partner do is one of the most important parts of any effective open relationship.
Once in an open relationship, it is important to establish this with external dates before pursuing anything as some people are less comfortable with the idea of an open relationship than others. Another thing you will eventually have to discuss with your partner(s) is just how much you are willing to discuss your respective extended relationships with each other. Some couples prefer to tell each other everything about their external endeavors while other couples seemingly want nothing to do with their external partners.
An open relationship can be a very effective way to tackle your insecurities when it comes to intimacy. At the end of the day, it all comes down to experimentation and seeing what works for you and your partner. Each relationship will be different and there is no right or wrong way to engage in an open relationship so long as you and your partner(s) are effective in communicating your desires and feelings.