You’d know your relationship is strong when you’re okay with the mundane, the ordinary, the basic. But like anything else today, relationships need spice and creativity so couples don’t become too bored with each other. And people nowadays have been thinking of ingenious ways to manage this; among the most famous are open relationships.
In open relationships, couples give each other a hall pass to date other people. That is considering they follow each other’s rules.
The Bliss and Miseries of Open Relationships
Opening up the subject of open relationships can be a hit-and-miss affair. You could either excite or disappoint your partner merely for asking them about it.
Each relationship has its own unique set of ground rules that couples need to follow to keep things in order—making sure hearts and thoughts are worry-free. Couples must also be a hundred percent in before starting the whole shebang.
Are you inherently new to the entire situation? Still apprehensive about whether or not this will save your relationship? We prepared the bliss and miseries of open relationships to help you decide.
Bliss of Open Relationships
Are you ready to discover why open relationships might be perfect for you and your partner? Here they go:
1. There is emotional freedom
It’s challenging to rely on one person to satisfy all of your emotional requirements, especially since they have different demands from you.
Open relationships can benefit couples, or at least one-half of the couple, who frequently find themselves quenching for emotional fulfillment. And it is not because they aren’t a great fit with each other but simply because couples typically have different demands from one another.
Perhaps, one-half of the couple enjoys different adventures from their partner, and having just one tiny bit of that, at least for a while, can help. Having just a few moments to themselves, thinking about nothing but individual well-being can be freeing.
2. It satiates your sexual whims
Open relationships imply that you don’t feel bound by your romantic relationship. It also suggests that you are free to enjoy thrilling, guilt-free sex elsewhere. And sometimes, casual sex is all you need to reawaken a part of you that you let sleep for some time—the carefree and youthful side of you, perhaps?
However, all that doesn’t imply that intimacy is absent. It just means that couples need to settle sexual fantasies that their partners typically are unable—or unwilling—to meet. With this in mind, how do romantic pairs ensure they don’t misconstrue intimacy and sex?
Intimacy and sex are two notions that people typically use interchangeably. But if we’re to talk about semantics, intimacy is all about emotional connection, while sex is simply physical. If you don’t feel like you can’t distinguish the two without feeling mad, then an open relationship may not be for you.
3. Strengthen your relationship
Open relationships are off the table for other couples who don’t think they can manage it and a lifesaver for some who decide to risk on it. Hence, are they inherently healthy? Depending on how a romantic pair approaches the idea, they can easily be beneficial or toxic.
Nevertheless, open relationships usually were beneficial to those who were willing to bet on them. They helped strengthen a connection in that couples can honestly express their views and feelings. They are also more open to possibilities concerning their relationship.
4. You discover or rediscover a part of you
These are one of the main perks to open relationships. You get to meet a whole new side of you that you didn’t know even existed. Or reacquaint that part of yourself you decided to hide for some time.
True, it requires time and hard work from both partners to establish the rules that will keep an open relationship in check. But once you do, you will understand your needs, wants, and boundaries deeper.
Miseries of Open Relationships
Here are the cons to open relationships:
1. You struggle with time management
Many contemporary couples with a career to think about usually fight about not having enough time with each other. They have to deal with work stress, bonding time with their family and friends, and quality time with you. And having more than one partner could add to the struggle.
Imagine having to go to work from 8-5 daily, go out with friends for a couple of hours twice a week, meet your parents on Sundays, and go on an out-of-town trip with your main partner on Saturdays, all the while planning to hang out with your lover? Isn’t it all toooo much?
While others could manage it for a while, it would be impossible to do it long-term without going mad. Or if they really did, it typically is because they sacrificed quality time with someone to fulfill the other.
2. The emotional whirlwind is real
The emotional maelstrom you could experience in an open relationship can be a huge pain. There will always be tension and stress caused by it can even make or break you—especially if half of the couple isn’t truly prepared.
Of course, there’s the case of jealousy where you get envious of the connection your partner and his lover share. This is why many couples agree never to be friends with their lovers to avoid developing feelings for the other.
Additionally, open relationships could lower your or your partner’s self-esteem. You may get anxious and think that you can’t fulfill your partner’s needs or they on yours. Which, in turn, may damage your relationship.
3. You may get STD (or catch diseases)
You risk bringing diseases home, or worse, STDs, when you have sex with different people.
Before going further, getting your lover or alternate dating partner tested for STDs is a good idea.
You may also find this interesting: 7 Warning Cues of Gaslighting in a Relationship
Do you think you can do it?
Relationships aren’t always sunshine and butterflies. Along the way, there will be muddy roads or ugly vistas. When you feel like your relationship is having a hard time crossing it, you’ll have to ask for external help to get you across.
When you do, be ready for the possibilities. Prep your heart that external help may also be your relationship’s downfall besides the metaphorical terrain. On the flip side, it could be your best savior, ultimately helping make your connection much healthier and better.