Potential Issues in Open Relationships

A polyamourous relationship, like the one pictured here, is a suitable alternative to monogamy for many people.
A polyamourous relationship, like the one pictured here, is a suitable alternative to monogamy for many people. | Source

Polyamory vs. Monogamy: Which is the Right Choice for You?`

It would seem that the majority of people these days prefer to be in monogamous relationships. These relationships are one-on-one, and don't involve outside individuals. Other people, however, enjoy the fewer boundaries of polyamorous relationships.

Polyamory involves romantic relationships between more than two people. This can happen in a sexual context, a purely emotional context, or a mixture of both.

Are You Ready for an Open Relationship?

The decision to enter an open relationship is not one to be taken lightly. One partner may express an interest to be involved with other people, but if the other partner does not fully embrace that concept, lots of problems can arrive.

You need to ask yourself serious questions like: what happens if your primary partner ends up liking the new person more than you? What happens if you become the secondary partner in this relationship? Will you talk about the secondary relationship, or will it be a secret? My list could go on and on, but the point is that you have to know exactly what you are getting into ahead of time or there are likely to be serious problems with jealousy and resentment.

Your Feelings About Open Relationships

Would You Consider Being a Participant in an Open Relationship?

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Potential Issues that May Arise in an Open Relationship

If you decide to open up your relationship to other people, some issues are bound to arise. One partner may feel jealous that the other one is spending so much time with the new person, or may find it hurtful that the primary partner communicates to the new partner in a similar way.

Something people often have to confront in open relationships is the risk of STDs. If either partner is sleeping with someone else, there is a risk for STDs to be spread between the individuals. Therefore, it is important for all individuals involved in an open relationship to undergo STD testing, and for everyone to protect themselves using proven safe-sex techniques.

The Polyamory Logo, seen here, represents love between more than two people.  The limitless expression of love comes from the infinity sign in the logo.
The Polyamory Logo, seen here, represents love between more than two people. The limitless expression of love comes from the infinity sign in the logo. | Source

Communication: The ONLY Way to Make an Open Relationship Work

The ONLY possible way to make an open relationship work is by very honest communication between the two primary partners. It is important that the primary partners are able to communicate their feelings to one another, especially negative feelings like anger, jealousy, and resentment. It is only by talking about these feelings that we are able to release them.

Partners in open relationships should make rules about what exactly is expected of the other person, especially in terms of behavior and communication about the outside relationship. There may be things you don't want to know, like the specifics of a sexual encounter....but there may also be things you do want to know, such as if feelings start to develop between the two people in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.

If you are going to embark on an open relationship, it is important to have a clear set of ground rules ahead of time so that when issues like jealousy or bitterness do come up, you will have already laid the groundwork for dealing with them and will be in a much better position to overcome these potential pitfalls.

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