Nov 7, 2022 in Counseling

Are you considering an open relationship?

Is this type of relationship for you?

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When the concepts of disloyalty and cheating are such frequent tropes in today’s media as fuel for drama and conflict, considering an open relationship may seem out of the question. However, many couples find open relationships to be fulfilling or even strengthening!

Generally, on the other hand, open relationships are not necessarily more sexually satisfying. In one European survey, 71% of people in open or polyamorous relationships reported sexual satisfaction, compared to roughly 80% amongst other married couples.

Defining an Open Relationship

What is an open relationship or an open marriage? Putting open relationships in a box can be tricky, because open relationship rules may vary broadly. In general terms, an open relationship is when a couple chooses together to pursue relationships with more than one individual at a time.

Still, an open relationship meaning can be different for everyone! Which is why it is difficult to define what an open relationship is. Some couples may set boundaries on what is discussed about relationships outside their marriage. 

For example, one couple in an open relationship may set open relationship rules so that they are consulted prior to each romantic or sexual encounter outside of the relationship. Another couple in an open relationship may give their consent to pursue these relationships without express permission.

The most critical parts of an open relationship are communication and consent. If your partner knows about your relationships or sexual experiences with other people and approves of your freedom to pursue those relationships, that is what we would call an open relationship (also sometimes called a poly relationship).

Pros and Cons of Open Relationships

Open relationships can be beautiful. Because every relationship between two people is different, pursuing romance or sexual experiences with more than one partner can be an incredibly enriching experience. You may find that one partner satisfies you emotionally in a way that another partner cannot, leaving you more fulfilled if you are allowed the opportunity to pursue more than one relationship at a time.

On the other hand, open relationships do introduce complexity that can lead to jealousy, insecurity, imbalanced attention, and the potential for devastating miscommunication. It also increases the risk of STDs and HIV. 

Do Open Relationships Work and Should You Go for it?

Maybe you’re not sure if pursuing an open relationship is right for you and your partner. If this is the case and you are curious if you can make it work, we recommend speaking to an Online Counselor, Therapist, or Relationship Coach about your options. 

You might choose to attend online counseling sessions alone or together with your partner. Either way, one of these relationship Experts can help you both to determine whether or not an open relationship may be right for you. They can also act as a professional, neutral third party to help you resolve any issues you have with one another (related to the possibility of an open relationship or not). You can also read articles authored by these professionals and follow this topic to stay updated on the latest. 

There is also a discussion on this topic in our "Discuss with Experts". See what others are saying and how the professionals are responding to this matter. 

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