7 Open Relationship Rules To Make It Work For You

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An open relationship is a type of relationship where both partners agree to have a romantic or sexual relationship with other people. Open relationship rules are certain mutually agreed-upon guidelines essential for the relationship. These rules help the partners manage the relationship better while remaining in a consensually non-monogamous relationship.

Here we have listed down several open relationship rules and answered your questions regarding open relationships and their practicality.

Can Open Relationships Work?

An open relationship is being successfully practiced by couples across the world, irrespective of demographic peculiarities. The key to an open relationship is honesty, communication, and transparency. A person should have a broad mind and unwavering trust in their partner. Hence, if you and your partner understand each other, an open relationship can be seamless.

How To Deal With An Open Relationship?

Managing an open relationship can be tricky. That is why preset boundaries are important in an open relationship. Have an honest conversation with your partner about what you look for in an open relationship and the rules to keep your relationship intact. So whatever a couple agrees to do, they should stand firm by that.

Once in an open relationship, there is no going back anytime soon, and you should be prepared to handle all situations. Otherwise, you will lose your partner’s trust, which will lead to rifts in your relationship. It’s important to consider everything before getting into an open relationship.

Seven Open Relationship Rules

Just like any other relationship, proper communication and understanding of boundaries are the founding stones of an open relationship.

1. Sex boundaries

Before getting into an open relationship, the couple should thoroughly deliberate on how many partners they can have sex with at a time, what types of sex are acceptable, and how often they can have sex. Both the partners should clarify these things before opting for an open relationship.

2. Emotional boundaries

Emotional boundaries in an open relationship can be tricky. One of the major issues a couple confronts in an open relationship is jealousy. Although both may think they won’t get jealous of their partner’s affair with another, things may worsen later on. It is also important to discuss whether they can have sex without developing feelings for their partner or if it will affect their primary relationship.

3. Have open communication

Communication is an integral part of any relationship. Partners should make sure there is no communication gap, and they are on the same page. An open relationship brings significant changes in the lifestyle and relationship of the couple, and it is through interminable communication they can stabilize their relationship. Similarly, being transparent and open also makes things easy for the couple.

4. Determine how to talk about relationships with each other

Talking about the progress of the affair with the new person or persons is crucial for your primary relationship. So deciding what to talk about and what not to talk about in the various relationships you get into is essential for keeping the primary relationship stable.

5. Practice safe sex

When both partners indulge in sex with multiple people, there is a chance of contracting sexually transmitted infections. Unprotected sex also increases the risk of unwanted pregnancies. Hence, the couple should make safe sex their priority.

6. Be honest

Honesty can go a long way in a relationship. Nevertheless, it becomes even more important in an open relationship. An open relationship is built on trust, transparency, and honesty, and when the partners start hiding things from each other and lying about their affairs, things may get complicated. However, they can decide what to share to curb miscommunication.

7. Invest in your primary relationship

Whatever happens, your primary relationship should be your priority, and both partners should put in individual and deliberate efforts to improve your relationship. Hence, agree upon the time you both should spend together and make guidelines or activities to keep the spark alive. Also, make sure you put your partner first when planning anything exciting- be it a dinner date or other fun activities.

Benefits Of Open Relationships

Are the emotional and physical risks of an open relationship worth it? Some couples may find it worthy. Opening yourself to new experiences may increase the intimacy between you and your partner. You will get a better idea of your partner, their likes, dislikes, fantasies, and vulnerabilities. You will be more aware of the emotional and physical needs of each other, and ultimately your bond will get stronger over time.

Moreover, you can explore each other more. When you both indulge in sex with others, you will be introduced to new sexual activities and will be able to identify your fantasies. Subsequently, you both can bring new varieties into the bed and spice up your sex life.

Similarly, open relationships bring down resentments as both partners have options to make up for what is missing and meet their expectations. Hence, you are not likely to feel resentment easily, and your life, in general, will be more content and fulfilling.

Drawbacks Of Open Relationships

When multiple partners are involved, an open relationship can trigger jealousy in the partners. There is also the looming risk of contracting sexually transmittable diseases and accidental pregnancy. Moreover, being in an open relationship is still largely unacceptable in society, and you may have a hard time justifying your choices.

An open relationship can be tricky if there are no boundaries or a mutually agreed set of guidelines. Open relationship rules bring a balance to all your relationships and make the experience worthwhile while keeping the foundations of your primary relationship intact.

Key Pointers

  • Open relationship rules help set a common ground for partners who want to explore intimate relationships with others.
  • Defining boundaries of sexual intimacy and emotional involvement with others is one of the aspects of open relationship rules.
  • The lack of rules may make it difficult to manage the primary relationship.


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Akshay Nair

Akshay is an associate editor and former journalist with over three years of experience. A post graduate in Mass Communication and Journalism, he has strong professional and academic background in the field of content writing and editing. He is also a Certified Relationship Workshop Facilitator for Life Coaches. Akshay interned and worked with various newspapers and the Public Relations Department... more