How to Ask Your Partner for an Open Relationship

You can choose to seek professional legal advice to know about the rules and regulations in your state regarding polyamory. Explore one aspect of polyamory at a time and give your partner some time to discover. This will eventually throw out the fear that you’re seeking out an open relationship because of their faults, and you could build trust eventually. If you’re the one who brought up the subject of wanting polyamory, encourage your partner to try it out first. You and your partner must be on the same team when it comes to how you’ll each conduct yourselves in the relationship. If your partner is all in and has given the green light for an open relationship, it doesn’t mean that you should throw all caution to the wind and stop working on your main union.

The first thing you need to know when talking about an open relationship is that it may take time to come to an agreement. Since this is an important decision, your partner may want to consider all aspects involved or have some time alone to think about it. So, don’t expect it to be something that gets settled after the first conversation. In most cases, couples need time and multiple chats before deciding to go for an open relationship.

Badgering leads to false consent and, very soon after, relationship meltdown. Because polyamory is built on a foundation of mutual trust, respect, honesty, and communication, it is important to implement those relationship strategies right away. Hearing “Honey, I started seeing someone else and want to open our relationship” can throw even the most self-assured person for a loop. Transitioning to an open relationship from a monogamous one is tricky at best, and attempting to start out with cheating makes it even more difficult.

  • "Rather, the person finds his or herself stifled and frustrated, while also wanting to be in the relationship," Leeth says.
  • We both expressed that we’d have a hard time coming home to each other and looking each other in the eye and kissing each other after one of us hooked up with someone else.
  • An open relationship is a test of communication and trust within a relationship—if these fundamentals aren’t already solid, an open relationship likely won’t work.
  • When you tell a partner you feel jealous, you'll find that the jealousy becomes disarmed -- it no longer has teeth in it and will immediately feel less burdensome.
  • First of all, you’ll want to make a difference between a definite “no” and “I’m not ready” or “I don’t think it’s a good idea”.

I'm with him for all the other hours, the ones where we're shopping together, watching TV, cooking, more on danish brides at or not doing much of anything at all. And the hours in bed, holding him, are irreplaceable on this earth. They could not be replicated in all the billions of people out there, because there's only one him. Intimacy is not sex, because you can't have it with just anyone, and intimacy is what you want to cultivate and tend to in a good love story.


Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy. "There are as many possible outcomes to an open/closed relationship as there are rules and agreements around one," points out Alman. Isadora Alman, MFT, CST, is a relationship therapist and sexologist with over 35 years in the industry.

Some advice from a person with experience doing it all wrong

For example, one couple may decide that outside relationships should only be sexual, while others may be open to emotional connections. Despite the prevalence of non-monogamous relationships, many people in monogamous ones wonder how to navigate jealousy. You might think that non-monogamous people don’t get jealous, but this isn’t true. I've heard some people say that they don't have the confidence for non-monogamy.

Ease into the conversation

Other people look for open relationships, because they want to supplement their current relationship with something different. Perhaps you are not fully satisfied in a straight or gay relationship for example. If this is the case, opening your relationship will offer different ways to meet your sexual and emotional needs. These are both great reasons to look outside of a monogamous relationship, as long as both parties are excited about the prospect of sleeping with other people. You should not start an open relationship to solve the problems of your current relationship, these problems will not go away, and will likely be magnified if you add more people to the mix. More specifically, open relationships are not the solution to infidelity!

In some cases, you may be convinced that you won't mind if your partner interacts with other people, Leeth says, but when it actually happens, you can find yourself heart-broken. "What is important to remember is that there is no concrete, right-and-wrong, set of boundaries," Leeth says. Each couple may have different boundaries that work best for them.

Some people in open relationships regale one another with stories of their sexual exploits, while others have rules against revealing specifics like names or when an encounter took place. After you’ve weighed the risks of losing or embarrassing your partner, if you still want to ask them about opening the relationship and they agree, you’ll have plenty of time to act on your fantasies and impulses.