Open relationships are not for everyone. Some people believe that monogamy is outdated and that humans weren't meant to be with just one person. If you end up with somebody who wants to have an open relationship, there are few things to watch out for. They are totally doable, if you're into them. Having an open relationship is somewhere between friends-with-benefits and a monogamous relationship. As long as you keep boundaries and both want the same things, there's no reason why it can't work. Just make sure you set down some ground rules, so you know what you're getting yourself into.
1) Clarity is Critical
If you want to go from a monogamous situation to something more open, sit down and make sure it's what you both want. As long as you're both on the same page and in agreement about what's involved, you should be fine. Be totally clear because confusion can cause serious problems, like you being under the impression you can sleep with other people while your boyfriend just thinks you want to be more honest with each other. Awkward.
If you're a jealous person, don't enter into an open relationship - you will not have a good time. You'll constantly freak out about whether or not your partner is still interested. You'll compare yourself to everyone they bring home or kiss on a night out. You'll end up resenting your partner and feeling like you're competing with them, which could lead to a disaster. You'll make some bad decision, like sleeping with their friend, and it will cause the whole thing to collapse. Only agree to an open relationship if you have confidence in yourself and in your partner... and don't get jealous!
3) Have a No-Bang List
Sit down with your counterpart and agree to a no-bang list, to avoid fights later on. It's never a great idea to sleep with your partner's ex, best friend, enemy, co-worker or sibling. Once you have a sort of no-fly zone guide, you should be good to go.
4) Be safe
Always use a condom when sleeping with a new person. Mostly for yourself - there are a lot of STDs out there - but you also don't want to give your boy/girlfriend something you picked up from some randomer you hooked up with last night. Being screened is not the most fun activity - believe me.
5) Still Be There For Them
You're still in a relationship, even if it's not exclusive. If your boy/girlfriend is going through a tough time, be there for them. Make tea and watch crap movies. Hang out. You are still involved, so don't ignore their needs just because you can sleep with other people. Don't ditch plans with them when you have a new fuck-buddy, not unless you want out of the relationship.
6) Not A Way To Save A Relationship
Don't use the open relationship option as a way to save a sinking ship. If your relationship isn't on solid ground and you know the other person wants to see other people, don't do it. You won't last a week. It's desperate and pathetic. Let them go.
7) Be Open With Whomever You're Dating
If you start seeing someone else, let them know that they're your bit on the side (maybe don't say it like that). It's not fair to let them think you're on the way to a relationship when you're actually already taken. That being said, have fun.
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