Jul 29, 2020 | Where to Begin

Signs That You Are Not Ready For an Open Relationship

You might think that you are interested in an open relationship. You may find yourself attracted romantically to many different people. However, despite this attraction, you might be prone to feelings and actions that display a lack of readiness for an open relationship. Here are a few tell-tale signs that an open relationship isn’t for you –at least not yet.

1. You’re very susceptible to jealousy

Jealousy is a very human emotion. Indeed, jealousy is one of the primary reasons why relationships dissolve. You can see why this is the case in monogamy quite easily: the rule is that you cannot have other partners. So, even an inkling of the potential for infidelity is enough to cause feelings of jealousy. But, in polyamory, it is a little bit different. Moreso, jealousy occurs when someone thinks polyamory is for them, but emotionally it isn’t. Where, the idea of themselves having multiple partners appeals to them, but the idea of their partners seeing others doesn’t. The latter is usually, in this case, an out-of-sight-out-of-mind issue. Where it feels good for them to of have many partners, but once one of their partners begins to see someone else, they get jealous. Our reasons are often not in line with our emotions. Indeed, many of us have a natural proclivity towards pair bonds, so there is an evolutionary impetus towards jealousy. This makes it extremely challenging for many people to honestly engage in an open relationship. If you cannot get over feelings of jealousy, polyamory is likely not for you.

2. You’re not in it for the right reasons

The right way to approach an open relationship is for the sake of love. It can be seen almost as an expanded version of monogamy. However, there are a number of individuals who approach polyamory with hedonistic intentions: that is, for such folks, polyamory is all about the sex, not so much about the love. Or, many people approach it with the idea of non-commitment –conflating the notion of “no-strings-attached” with polyamory. Many people who search for open-relationships, however, are not doing so out of fear of commitment: rather, it is to commit to many people. Hence, unless it is agreed upon beforehand, going into polyamory with the intent to not commit, runs the risk of wasting the time of many people who are simply looking for committed love with multiple partners. If you’re simply looking to hook up, great. That isn’t the same as polyamory though and it is important not to confuse the two.

3. Time management

Being in a committed relationship is challenging time-wise for many individuals. We are encumbered by work and the burdens of life for hours every single day. Often, we don’t even have time for ourselves. Hence, when entering into an open relationship with multiple partners, you really need to consider whether or not you even have the time for it. To commit to multiple people, you need the time to be able to get to know them and to be able to fulfill their needs and your own. If you do not have enough time to dedicate to this, you really ought to think twice about getting into an open relationship. Say you enter one, and you have the time for one of your multiple partners but not the others, this is bound to create sadness amongst many of the parties involved. We do not want to waste other’s time by unintentionally making them sad.

A few factors fundamentally overarch these above examples: if you are monogamous by temperament/nature, polyamory is not for you, so do not force it. Next: have a great amount of empathy for others and their time. The big issue is differences in feelings and intentions: make these clear from the beginning of any relationship. That will serve as an antidote to any future hurt feelings or time wasted.

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