Open Relationship: 38 Rules, Questions & Advice to Talk About It as a Couple

Most people practice monogamy in relationships and sex, but some don’t. If you’re considering it, learn more about open relationships, and start the discussion.

open relationship rules

An open relationship is a tricky maze. It can seem like a lot of fun, but as with anything that seems too good to be true at first, it’s better to be prepared with the knowledge of the most important open relationship rules than to be sorry.

Many couples enjoy a perfect open relationship with their partners. And they’re happy with their lives.

If you and your partner believe in the logic that sexual infatuation and love are two different emotions, well, an open relationship may work out just fine for you. [Read: What is an open relationship and why do so many couples find it to be a better alternative?]

Changing the rules of the game

There are a lot of reasons for failing romances, but we won’t get into them here. However, we’ll talk about something most people are doing to save their marriage.

Somewhere along the path of wedlock, a few clever sexual exploiters came up with a fancy way to twist the sacraments of matrimony. And with that, hopefully, reduce the wailing divorce rate again.

In comes the new relationship to save the day: open relationships. [Read: Guys and casual relationships – why they like it and what they want from it]

But is it the best way to keep a relationship going? So, the next time we find our husbands or wives boring, all we need to do is hop, skip and jump into another bed and bang another hottie. Is that the answer?

Perhaps it is. A lot of couples are actually opting for an open relationship over the traditional one. And for many of them, it seems to be working.

What is an open relationship?

An open relationship can be defined as any relationship in which the emotional connection is exclusive, but the physical intimacy isn’t.

Both partners love each other, but they also have sex with other people outside the marriage. [Read: 23 reasons why good relationships end even if there are no red flags]

Now, this can seem really disturbing, but to several couples, this seems to be working just fine.

Surprisingly, couples in open relationships aren’t horny perverts who hate their own lovers. In most cases, the couples are college sweethearts or lovers who have been together for a very long time. And in almost all cases, it starts with true love.

The world is a bigger place today than it was a couple of decades ago. Men and women meet new associates at work or friends almost every day. And when you’re constantly meeting new people, it’s only human to find someone you meet attractive. [Read: Sexy types of sex]

And when you start to meet attractive people who think you’re attractive too, you are bound to start wondering if you got the short end of the stick by getting into wedlock without really looking around enough.

The reality of many relationships

No one looks forward to cheating when they enter into a relationship. But sometimes, it’s irresistible or inevitable. 

Lovers start to take each other for granted as the relationship gets older. And at the same time, sparks can ignite outside your relationship when you’re having a great time with someone else. [Read: Top 30 reasons for divorce most couples ignore until it’s too late]

You obviously wouldn’t want to cheat, and this whole confusing mess of a steady relationship at home and a happy, fun, and sexy relationship outside can be very frustrating. 

Many people walk out of their marriage at times like these because they feel they aren’t experiencing the happiness they truly deserve in a relationship.

And a few months later, after experiencing a lot of happiness *having sex with anything that walks* outside the relationship, they realize that their own partner was the nicest person in the world and try pleading their way back into old love. [Read: How to start swinging]

Open relationship – the better alternative?

While walking down a busy street or while shopping in a mall, you’re bound to see a lot of attractive lookers. And there you are, “stuck” in a relationship and destined to have sex with just one person for the rest of your life.

To many, that idea is painful to visualize. It’s easier to cheat and break a heart instead of having to stare at the same package every single day.

At other times, the urge to experience what the world has to offer sexually can be so intense that it could end the relationship. If both partners are likely to cheat or want to experience new interests in bed, then perhaps, a sexually open relationship is the best way forward. [Read: Threesome sex for you?]

Both of you love each other, and one or both partners want to experience new sexual partners, and you get to do both in an open relationship. So, if this is you, then considering an open relationship may be the perfect remedy for a broken marriage.

At the same time, people engage in open relationships to reduce infidelity over time. In life, we crave something we just can’t have.

Sex outside wedlock is so arousing and exciting because it’s taboo, and you just want to explore it. But if you’re having a multi-partner relationship structure, sex outside the relationship isn’t taboo and so, it loses its charm!

Many people in an open relationship say they’re happier in their relationship style and love their partner a lot more because they get the best of both worlds, emotional security, and new sexual experiences outside of the relationship. [Story: Having an affair with a married man]

Should you have an open relationship with your partner?

Is participating in open relationships really better than a divorce? Is it better to be stuck in a relationship and look outside the relationship for sexual ecstasy and happiness? It’s actually better to just walk out and start something fresh, isn’t it?

We don’t want to be judgmental here, but at least for some Americans, open relationships do work. And it works well.

As surprising as this may seem, love and sex are two completely different things. Most people think otherwise, but that’s not true. You can be completely in love with someone and sexually desire someone else. [Read: Why is sex important in a relationship?]

It’s natural to find someone else sexually attractive. As humans, we’re selfish and ambitious whether it’s about money or sex. We all want what we can’t have and that increases sexual tension and desire.

Instead of living in frustration and sexual neglect, you could love your partner and yet, have the best sex in the world with other people.

If you and your partner love each other, but the sexual frustration is tearing the relationship apart, then perhaps an open relationship is just for you. Although this is not the only way to a successful relationship or marriage if things are not going well between married couples.

Leap of faith

In a committed relationship, most people don’t want to see others intimately during the initial newly-in-love stage. During that time, you’re usually so smitten that you don’t want or need to look elsewhere to meet any emotional and sexual needs.

It’s the longer term where couples might want to think about opening up the relationship. [Read: Don’t want to have sex with your partner?]

But just because you won’t want to start an open relationship in the early days, doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to discuss it. If you’re someone who thinks opening up will strengthen your relationship, it’s better to bring it up early. 

People already in long-term relationships can still approach their partner about it, but it’s easier in the beginning as it’s not such a shock.

Many people won’t take the idea well at first, or possibly at all. But open relationships are something that millions of people have done successfully. [Read: Tinder fuck – how to find the hottest hookup with this dating app]

You may even know some of them, you just don’t know their secret. There are numerous books and articles about the topic now as it begins to go mainstream.

If you approach your partner about opening up your relationship, it can be a good idea to arm yourself with a few of these books or articles, as most people don’t realize how “normal” it can actually be.

Open relationship rules for beginners

There are no rules written in stone for anything we experience in life. You need to know that everything that’s been “set in stone” has been created for the masses. What works for one person may not work for another. [Read: Steps to discuss the option of an open relationship with your partner]

But through the experiences of other couples who indulge in an open relationship, there are many things we can learn in order to avoid those pitfalls and enjoy those sexual highs.

You should remember that these open relationship rules aren’t created to restrict you. It’s only a guide to help you enjoy the benefits of an open relationship and keep your love life happy.

Rules for successful open relationships

If you want to sink your feet into the unique world of open relationships, here are all the rules you need to remember to ensure it’s a smooth and rewarding transition. [Read: Do you ever fantasize about someone else with your partner?]

1. Be prepared

When both of you have been in a relationship for a while, the prospect of having sex outside the relationship could seem like a heady rush. 

But are both of you psychologically ready for it? If you jump into an open relationship when one of you isn’t prepared, your romantic relationship could only lead to a breakup.

2. Test the waters first

This is one of the big open relationship rules. Party with your own friends one night, or meet someone on a dating app, and hook up with someone you fancy. [Read: Soft swapping and how to ease your partner into the experience]

The next morning, approach the topic by talking about your experiences with each other. How do both of you feel in the morning? Are there feelings of jealousy or insecurity in the air, or are both of you happy and excited for each other?

3. Is it lust or a lifestyle change?

Sometimes, it could just be a buildup of sexual lust over the years that may lead to both of you believing that an open relationship is the best choice ahead. But at times, it takes a few anonymous shagathons to realize that you don’t like what you’re doing.

Try this test. Does the thought of an open relationship excite you both a few minutes after having sex with each other, even after both of you have climaxed? [Read: How to fantasize about someone else with your partner and satisfy yourself sexually]

Sometimes, a horny rush makes you believe an open relationship is the answer to your sexual boredom. But if you don’t feel excited by the thought when you’re not horny, that’s something to consider.

If you don’t feel enthusiastic about sleeping with someone else when you’re not horny, you just have an imaginative mind that goes haywire only when you’re horny.

4. Avoid mutual friends

If you’re still convinced that you’re ready for an open relationship, here’s a good rule to start with.

Always try to look for partners or sleep buddies who aren’t involved with your life in any way beyond sex. And keep it that way. [Read: Tinder hookup – 24 rules and photo secrets to get lucky and laid on Tinder]

Make it seem like you’re having an affair with the person you’re sleeping with, but let your partner know the real truth.

By telling your friend with benefits that your partner knows about the relationship, they may try to get revenge or publicize your open relationship status to the world to get back at you at some point in the future. 

Or worse, they may try to cozy up or intrude into your relationship or marriage in front of your partner, which just makes everything complicated. [Read: Casual sex – how to prepare for it and have a hookup with no regrets]

The fact that you’re having an open relationship should be a well-guarded secret that stays between the two of you. To any other lover either of you is sleeping with, always make it seem like an affair. Remember this as one of the most important open relationship rules.

5. Hide the details, don’t hide the people

An open relationship, just like any other relationship, is a delicate balance between love, lust, and a lot of trust. By hushing things, you’ll end up making your partner feel insecure which could damage the trust in the relationship. 

It’s a sexual agreement between both of you, so don’t ever hide the people you’re involved with. [Read: The most important open relationship questions to know if you’re ready for it]

6. Have sex, but don’t fall in love

This is hard, but it’s something you always need to remember. An open relationship is not a hall pass to falling in love with other people when you’re already committed to a relationship. Don’t stay over or get cuddly with your buddy. 

Falling in love with someone else because you’re sexually infatuated with them will only complicate things further. Always remember that it’s sex and nothing but sexual satisfaction.

7. Jealousy

This is one of the most difficult open relationship rules. You may get jealous of your partner, especially if you aren’t getting as much attention as your partner is. [Read: How to deal with jealousy in a relationship and learn to overcome it together]

Remember, it’s easy for a girl to get attention when she wants it. Most of the time, a guy has to work for attention. Don’t let jealousy come in the way of this sexual arrangement.

8. Don’t share your secret with the world

One of the major reasons most people are initially so put off by the idea of open relationships is that we, as humans, are always worried about what others will think about us.

Telling everyone that you enjoy a perfectly happy open relationship may take the guilt or fear off your shoulders, but it can be embarrassing to both of you if others are not as understanding. [Read: Sexual foreplay – 26 lusty secrets to do it well and make them hot and horny]

It’s entirely up to you, but it’s probably best to tell only your closest open-minded friends if you tell anyone at all.

The bottom line is if you think an open relationship could work for you, don’t worry about what other people will think. It’s your happiness, not theirs.

9. Nothing changes in the relationship

Just because you’re having sex now and then with someone else doesn’t mean your relationship should change overnight. Don’t let it change and don’t let sex get in the way. 

Work harder to let your partner know that there’s still a lot of love and sexual attraction in the air. [Read: 30 of the sweetest romantic gestures for everyday life]

10. Communicate

Without communicating, you might as well not even have any other open relationship rules. Don’t exchange all the horny details, but be aware of each other’s interests and partners. Tell your partner about all the people you’re sleeping with, and your partner should do the same.

And if some sexual partner of your partner bothers you, voice your thoughts. Honesty and open communication are key if you want to enjoy this happy sexual arrangement with no hitches.

11. Stay protected outside the romance

Get checked for any sexual diseases now and then to reassure your partner. Always use protection and avoid lovers who may have a very amorous and sexual past. [Read: STDs 101 – the most common types and their earliest symptoms]

If you go wrong somewhere, your mistakes could affect your partner’s life forever as well. Would you ever want that?

12. Set clear boundaries

Define the things that bother you and the things that don’t. So, what’s cheating and what’s not in an open relationship according to you? What’s allowed and what’s not? Talk frankly with each other and discuss every detail until both of you are satisfied with each other’s answers.

And while setting boundaries, always respect yourself and your partner. Just because you’re sleeping with someone else doesn’t mean you’re a bad or immoral person. [Read: Does everyone get sexually attracted to someone else – is it normal?]

You’re just being truthful to yourself and your partner about the fact that you do get sexually attracted to other people. And quite frankly, don’t we all?

13. Don’t bring a lover home under any circumstance

This is an absolute no-no. Your partner may know you’re sleeping with others, but bringing the other person into your own home can destabilize the fragile balance.

Your home is your love nest, where nothing comes in between both of you, well, unless you’re bringing another couple to bed! [Read: The guide to start swinging with your partner]

14. Your partner gets first preference

No matter what, always give your partner the first preference over any plans or events you may have with your other lovers. 

Always plan ahead and let your partner know about it so your partner doesn’t start to feel like a second fiddle while trying to get your attention. Don’t forget that this is one of the very important open relationship rules.

15. Set a time frame

There are two time frames to think about here. Firstly, how often are either of you allowed to meet and interact with other sexual interests? [Read: Things to know when your partner has sex with someone else]

For some, once a month may seem like too much, while for others, meeting another lover once a week or fortnight for a hookup may seem perfect.

Choose what works for you, and always have enough time to be with each other so both of you can live like a perfect couple with no distractions.

Secondly, how long do both of you want to enjoy having a sexual relationship outside your intimate relationship? Have a plan or an understanding to go back to monogamy if the open type of relationship isn’t working out to your expectations. [Read: Top 50 kinky ideas to keep sex exciting]

16. Don’t undermine feelings

Even though an open relationship might sound like a great idea to both of you, it may be something that you’ve never done before. And when something is new, it can be a bit uncomfortable, especially in the beginning.

Because of this, you might have a lot of feelings that you never expected. You might be nervous, scared, excited, jealous, and confused all at the same time. So, don’t dismiss your feelings or your partners. Talk about them all and work through them.

Because if you don’t, then an open relationship won’t work out very well. [Read: How to talk about your feelings in a relationship and grow closer]

17. Reassure your partner of your love for them

This is also one of the most important open relationship rules. Most outsiders would probably say that both of you don’t love each other anymore if you want to sleep with other people.

They might question your commitment and not understand why you are having an open relationship if you truly love someone. Heck, one or both of you might even be feeling the same way!

So, it’s important to reassure your partner that you still love them, regardless of who else you are sleeping with. We’re all human, and we don’t like rejection.

So, both of you will have to be extra sensitive and show your love to your partner like never before. [Read: Three-way relationship – what it is and why it isn’t an open invite]

18. Have check-in points

Just because you decided to have an open relationship doesn’t mean that it needs to last forever. Maybe, in the beginning, it was a lot of fun and you both enjoyed it. But as time goes on, maybe one or both of you have changed your mind. 

That’s why it’s important to have check-in points along the way. You want to make sure that both of you are still on the same page and want to continue with an open relationship.

If one of you does, and the other one doesn’t, then you will have a lot of negotiating to do. [Read: The threesome invite – how to ask someone to join you in bed]

19. Explain the situation to other lovers

Listen, you and your partner are not the only ones exploring an open relationship situation. Your lovers are too! 

So, it’s really important to be honest and upfront with everyone else you sleep with. You want to make sure that they are all okay with what is happening.

Think about it. If the situation was reversed, wouldn’t you want to know? Maybe the lovers think you are single or they might fall in love with you.

But you are unavailable to have a relationship with the lovers, so they need to know this before you start sleeping with them. [Read: First-time threesome – my sexy accidental threesome while on holiday]

It’s only fair. Maybe they will be fine with it, but maybe they won’t. You have to let them make the best decision for them and not hide it.

20. Only continue it if you’re happy

Many times in life, we start doing something that we want to do, but then we change our minds. If you find that you are unhappy with the open relationship situation, then you need to stop doing it. More importantly, both of you need to feel the same way.

If one of you is happy, and the other one isn’t, then maybe it’s time that you go your separate ways. That’s the risk of moving from monogamy to a consensual non-monogamy or polyamory. [Read: What’s the real definition of an open relationship?]

Sometimes, there is no going back once you’ve taken that path, especially if one of you is happy to sleep around and the other isn’t.

Important questions to ask before getting into an open relationship

Here are the top things to ponder before getting into an open relationship.

1. Why are we doing this? 

Before even talking about being in an open relationship, find out why this is even coming up. [Read: 50 kinky sex ideas to keep your sex life interesting]

Is it because you are bored? Or is it because you want to spice things up? Maybe it is because you have been with your spouse for longer than you can remember and want to try something new even when your relationship is healthy and fulfilling.

No matter your reasons for it, think long and hard before even deciding to talk about it.

2. Should we start with a trial period? 

One of the first things you need to ask before getting into an open relationship is whether you can start off with a trial period.

Just like taking a car out for a test drive before putting money down for it, you need to try it out before completely agreeing to it. [Read: The do’s and don’ts of swinging you HAVE to follow]

The last thing you want is to be stuck in an unhappy situation. Give it a go for a couple of months before sitting down with your partner and discussing whether you want to continue with the open relationship for the long haul.

3. How much should we share? 

Before you settle into being in an open relationship, you may want to discuss with your partner how much you should share with one another. Should you tell each other every time you head out with other people? 

Do you need to share the sordid details of whether any sexual relations took place that evening? Figure out what your threshold is for graphic details before committing to an open relationship. [Read: How to fantasize with someone other than your partner]

4. Do we need labels? 

Ask your partner if they’re comfortable with labeling your relationship as an open one. Forget about publicizing things on Facebook and other forms of social media as that is the least of your concerns. 

Instead, figure out the labels for when family members and friends ask about your relationship status. Come to an agreement on whether you even want to share with others the fact that you are in an open relationship.

5. Will you practice safe sex? 

This is perhaps one of the most important open relationship rules to ask your partner. Find out if he or she will be practicing safe sex and insist upon it. [Read: How to have safe sex in every single way it is possible to]

The last thing you want to worry about is an STD or unwanted pregnancy. So lay down the law when it comes to safe sex. Remember to abide by the rules as well and do not let lust get the better of you.

6. Are partners from the same zip code OK? 

Some people think that it is a silly question to ask but in reality, it’s very important. Find out if third parties from the same zip code are acceptable or if it’s only something that both of you indulge in when you are out of town.

You have to understand that as populated as the city you are living in is, people talk and the world is in fact a lot smaller than you realize. [Read: The ultimate guide to swinging with your partner]

If you don’t want people gossiping about your open relationship or if you don’t want friends and family in the vicinity to find out about it, then be smart and only meet partners outside of your comfort zone.

7. What are the boundaries? 

Being in a non-monogamous relationship is not easy. There are many things to figure out, issues to discuss, emotions to rein in, and so on. Discuss what the boundaries are before both of you hook up with other people. 

Although it doesn’t make the situation easier, it will certainly keep it less complicated when you know where the line is.

Ask questions like whether it is only sleeping with other people that is permitted or whether you are allowed to go on dates with them. Do you get a say in who your partner sees? Set boundaries together and respect them. [Read: How to set boundaries in a relationship – 19 rules for a healthy love]

8. What are the rules? 

Similar to setting boundaries, both of you need to be very clear on the rules. All open relationships are different, so there is no one rulebook to follow.

Just do what seems right for you and remember that the most important thing here is that you both feel comfortable. Review what the rules are.

Is sex on the first date allowed? Is sex allowed at all? Can you sleep with mutual friends? Can you date more than one person at a time? Can you break pre-made plans to meet a date? Discuss everything and anything that comes to mind and agree on all of it before embarking on an open relationship. [Read: The rules of swinging]

9. What if you develop feelings? 

The problem with dating and sleeping with other people aside from your spouse is the danger of falling for someone else. You need to talk about what to do next should you develop feelings.

Do you end things with this person? Do you keep at it? As premature as it may seem, you need to figure out what the next step is before you even start your open relationship. [Read: 18 dangerous signs of an emotional affair]

10. How long should this last? 

Is this something that you are going to do forever? Do you stop when you decide to have kids? Figure out a tentative timeline and go with the flow. 

Many non-monogamous couples are perfectly happy with keeping their open relationship alive forever, but there are others who only want to experiment with it for a short time.

If you can’t decide how long to carry on at the beginning, then set a date several months after starting the open relationship before discussing it again.

By then, you would both be set in your roles and know whether it is something you want to keep doing long term. [Read: 15 reasons you’re starting to get bored in your relationship]

11. What do you want? 

This is the most important question of all. Ask yourself if being in an open relationship is something that you even want to do. Do not get into it to please your partner. 

Do not get into it because you are afraid of being alone if you say no. Do not get into it because you are apathetic.

You need to be 100% on board with this before agreeing to it. Anything less will be a massive step down for your dignity and self-worth. Respect yourself first and you will know in your gut if it is something that you want to do. [Read: 15 open relationship rules for a better love life]

How to ask your partner for an open relationship

Here are the simple things that you can say and do to get the conversation flowing.

1. Casually mention it

The first step is to bring up the subject in an elusive manner. Try not to come right out and say it, and do not make it obvious at first that you want an open relationship. Many people do not even know what an open relationship is, and your partner may be one of them.

You should watch a movie together or recommend to your partner that he or she read a book or an article that touches on the topic of open relationships. Plant the seed in your partner’s mind and wait for the magic to happen. [Read: How to open up about sex and get your partner to share their desires]

2. Bring up a success story

The next time you talk about open relationships, whether seriously or just in passing, bring up a success story or two.

If you know couples who are happy in their open relationships, point out that they are happy, and that it is something worth trying. You can even refer to celebrities who have open relationships. [Read: Non-monogamy – how to know if you and your partner are ready for it]

At the end of the day, the goal is to help your partner see that open relationships are not such a big, bad, and scary thing and that society is changing its stuffy views on conventional partnerships. [Read: The sexy swinging lifestyle – how to make it work for you]

3. Hang out with like-minded couples

Another way to ask your partner for an open relationship is to spend time with like-minded people in open relationships. An example is gently urging your loved one to head to a swingers club without going home with anyone. 

It is simply a matter of exposing your partner to this alternative lifestyle. And what better place to get a taste of it than at a sexy swinger’s club or bar?

Let your partner flirt with someone else and get them excited about the myriad opportunities out there. [Read: A guide to swinging with your partner]

4. It’s only for sex

When you speak about having an open relationship, be sure to clarify the rules. The last thing you want to worry about is your partner agreeing to this, then falling for someone else. 

Make it clear that your open relationship will only be about sex, and emotional infidelity will not be tolerated. Of course, this all depends on the two of you and what types of rules you wish to set in place. 

Make sure that you discuss this important bit together and not shove it down your partner’s throat, and expect them to kowtow to you. [Read: What should you do when your partner has sex with someone else?]

5. Explain why it works

Just like any salesman, you have to explain what the benefits are. Sell the whole idea of an open relationship to your partner and focus on why it works and why it is better than what you currently have. 

Whether the two of you should sexually explore what is out there or if you simply want to spice it up a couple of times, share all the pros of an open relationship and hold nothing back. You will be surprised at the lengths your loved one will go to just to see you happy.

6. Be honest

You also have to remember to be honest. Springing the idea of an open relationship with your partner is hard enough for anyone to swallow. [Read: How to deal with jealousy in a relationship]

They will probably experience every negative feeling in the book: sadness that you want this, disappointment that they are not enough, anger that you would do this to them, and they may become jealous because you want to be with someone else.

The only way to dull the negativity is to be honest. It may not work right away, but it will eventually get through to your partner. Honestly explain to them why this is important to you, and they may just see the light sooner than you think.

7. Take your time

The final thing that you have to do when asking your partner for an open relationship is to take your time. Patience is certainly a virtue when it comes to this. [Read: Rules of a casual relationship]

Do not expect a breakthrough right away. As mentioned, this may take days, weeks, months, or in some cases, even years to sink in. You have to wait until your partner warms up to the idea before embarking on sexual escapades.

If you truly love them, you will wait for them to be ready. Making a lifestyle change is not a piece of cake. 

Imagine how much discipline it takes to go to the gym three times a week or to be a vegetarian. Agreeing to let your spouse go out and sleep with other people takes time and plenty of thinking, so just be patient. [Read: Dating facts

Always remember that there is a chance things may not go your way. There are cases where people have been known to walk out on their partners because they asked for an open relationship.

Some non-monogamous people are just not programmed to be accepting of this novel relationship idea so do not be surprised if your spouse is one of them.

When open relationships fail

An open relationship may be successful for some couples, but it’s roadkill for all other couples. In most cases, only one partner wants to have sex outside the relationship. 

And they try to convince their lover that an open relationship is the best way forward. But it doesn’t work. You can’t just convince your partner to get into an open relationship. [Read: Keeping secrets in a relationship – 42 must-know rules and exceptions]

An open relationship can be more painful than a cheating partner if you’re not ready for it. The thought of a partner meeting new people just to have sex while you’re sitting at home can be excruciating. And let’s not even get started with jealousy!

Unless you really want it, or both of you catch each other cheating behind your backs, an open relationship may not be the best remedy for you.

Is an open relationship right for you?

Let’s face it, open relationships seem like a very exciting and tempting idea. But every time you’re having sex with someone else, your primary relationship partner is doing the same too. Can you handle that? [Read: How to better a relationship]

Most lovers want to have sex outside the relationship but can’t imagine their own partner with someone else. If you’re one of them, an open relationship isn’t for you.

Open relationships are for couples who love each other and understand that an open relationship can actually help their marriage in the long run. They’re not looking for an excuse to have sex with someone else, nor are they coercing their partner to jump into it.

You need to remember that a transition from a monogamous relationship to an open relationship is not an easy thing for most people. So, you should only do it if it makes you happy. Not to please your partner, but to please yourself. [Read: Unicorn hunting – how to find a sexual third partner and do it right

And now that you know the most important rules, if you still find yourself thinking twice about the idea, wade into it slowly with your partner and test how you both feel.

Final thoughts

If you decide to try it, you’ll bring it up, you’ll discuss it, and you’ll set the ground rules. However, you won’t really know if it’s something that can work for you until you try it. Dealing with imaginary jealousy is very different from feeling the searing pain and anger that can come with actually feeling it. 

But if you really love each other, and are truly committed to one another, then an open relationship can absolutely work. [Read: How to fantasize about someone else with your partner]

You’ve got to be honest no matter what else happens. You might know your partner is fulfilling some need with someone else, but when they say that they love you, you know they mean it. What constitutes cheating is all the lying. 

Stop lying, and you’re not cheating. The world is changing, and more and more people are finding love and happiness in open relationships. If you think it’s right for you, why not join them?

[Read: 15 open relationship rules for a better love life]

If you’ve been contemplating an open relationship, consider these open relationship rules seriously. They really can be the difference between a happy open relationship and a failing and confused romance.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...