Are you in a monogamous relationship, dreaming of opening things up? Have you heard stories of that friend of a friend who tried it and got everything they ever wanted?
Open relationships sound super appealing as a concept, but it’s not something that should be entered into lightly, or on a whim. Making the shift from two to more than two takes time and a great deal of communication.
How to Ask Your Partner for an Open Relationship
Here are four things you should consider when you ask for an open relationship for the first time.
1. Know What you Want
The term “open relationship” is ambiguous. Are you looking for another partner to commit to on a deep, lasting level? Or do you want to fuck a bunch of people, no strings attached? To reduce the risk of misunderstanding, have some idea of your relationship goals before approaching the subject with your significant other.
If you’re not sure what you want, or you would prefer to explore the options as a couple, say so! Just be sure to tread lightly and leave room for self-exploration along the way.
2. Know Why You Want It
Ask yourself what you’re hoping to gain by opening things up. Do you feel dissatisfied sexually, yet powerless to improve things with your existing partner? Do you think that adding new partners to the mix will breathe life into your dying relationship? That’s the reason a lot of people choose to open their relationships, but that’s also why a lot of open relationships fail.
Non-monogamy works best when it’s anchored in a mindset of abundance. It’s designed to enhance healthy relationships, not fix broken ones. Sometimes it’s best to skip the conversation altogether and just go your separate ways.
3. Choose Your Timing
Set aside dedicated time to talk things out, free of stressors and other distractions.
Don’t broach the subject in a moment of frustration, or during a fight. Wait until you are both level-headed.
Avoid bringing it up if there’s a chance you’ll be interrupted. Wait until there’s an open-ended stretch of time, as you don’t know how deep the conversation is going to get.
Don’t talk about it before or after sex, otherwise you could give your partner the impression that they are lacking in that department.
In short, bide your time and be thoughtful in your approach.
4. Be Prepared to Revisit the Conversation
No matter how clearly and respectfully you communicate your desire for an open relationship, it’s a heavy request. Give your partner the chance to unpack things and to ask a lot of questions. Reassure them that there is no set timeframe for changes to take place, but that you will figure it out together. Have patience and don’t blame them for not jumping on board right away.
When you ask for an open relationship, be ready to revisit the conversation many times, and to potentially hear the word no. Not all relationships are meant to be open, and it’s best to accept that. Exerting any pressure in this situation will only lead to disastrous results.
Want to look directly for partners already interested in open relationships? Read:
Have you asked for an open relationship? How did it work out?