The word “dating” is a broad term — every couple has their own definition of what their relationship is like. One of its many types is an open relationship. Not everyone is on board with the idea of a non-monogamous relationship but it works for some.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Open Relationship
Just like with most types of relationships, it could either work for you and your partner or not. An open relationship comes with its benefits but there are obvious downsides to it. Here are some pros and cons of an open relationship.
- Better and more open communication
Having excellent communication with your partner is one sign that you have a healthy relationship with them. Telling them early on that you don’t plan on settling with just them (yet — or at all) and them agreeing with that eliminates the “cheating” subject or situation. Moreover, discussing these matters can make it easier for you and your partner to talk about pretty much anything under the sun — after all, you’re already past that part.
- You can have guilt-free sex
You can see other people and your partner can do the same. Sex can be casual and there doesn’t have to be any emotional attachments involved — this should leave no room for jealousy. That said, you can still have an emotional relationship with your partner but the sexual aspect toward other people is still present.
- You don’t need to give up on your other SOs
If you like more than one person, you can still continue seeing them. You don’t have to give up communication with others. You’re free to talk to who you want to talk to, you’re free to be in other casual relationships with others.
- Contracting STDs and other diseases
Sex is always fun. But if you or your partner — whom you have an open relationship with — have other multiple sexual partners, you run the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases; this is not to say that STDs are more common in open relationships. (It’s said that the risk of contracting STD in open relationships is the same as monogamous ones — some say it’s even lower.) Even if you can guarantee that you won’t get STD, you can never be too sure about your partner and their other lovers.
- You or your partner might develop feelings
Most of the time, open relationships are casual but sometimes it can get intimate. If you and your open relationship buddy always run back to each other despite consensually seeing other people, there’s always a chance you or they can develop intimate feelings towards each other — falling in love with your partner can possibly ruin the idea of an open relationship. They may not be willing to be exclusive or romantic with you. As such, they might end things with you if you no longer see the relationship as casual intimacy.
Non-monogamous and polyamorous relationships are still pretty much taboo — monogamous relationships have long been deemed the “ideal” type by society and most religions’ standards. If you’re currently in an open relationship and you don’t fully like the idea of your partner having multiple others, you may find yourself getting jealous and insecure about the whole idea that you’re not their “only one.” Your partner may also feel the same way about this if casual sex was your idea.
Other people might also talk about open relationships negatively — because, as stated, it’s not the ideal or traditional type of relationship. People in open relationships often receive insults, they’re always subjected to hearing expressions of disgust, and they’re constantly given unwanted “preaching” from people who don’t like the idea of open relationships.
Having an open relationship with a person (or more) is still a fairly difficult concept to grasp — but many couples find that it’s what works best for them. Sure, there are pros and cons of an open relationship — but having an open mind can help you find out if it can be for you and your SO.
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