What is an Open Relationship? Advantages & Disadvantages

What is an Open Relationship? Advantages & Disadvantages. A permanent partner that allows you to change. Absurd? No, open relationship. What are they and is everything so simple? How to start an open relationship? We will talk about the disadvantages and advantages, myths and what may be hidden behind the craving for “freedom” in reality.

What is an open relationship?

An open relationship is a personal relationship between two people, the essence of which is the ability to have a connection “on the side”, while the boundaries of each other are clearly outlined and the rules are stipulated. The couple mutually decides that they are ready to spend time together, make love, conduct common affairs with the condition that jealousy, lies, and unreasonable demands be excluded. At the same time, everyone has the right to intimacy with others.

Society still condemns such a union, starting from traditional beliefs that fidelity and interdependence are the basis of a lasting marriage. Open relationships don’t usually last long. – they either end or develop into a partnership, where two people live by the same principles, but have more stringent obligations to each other.

Usually relationships without obligations are chosen by those who have a need for thrills, treat personal boundaries with respect and understanding, and have high self-esteem.

The principles on which an open relationship is built:

  • autonomy – everyone makes a choice to join them or not;
  • equality – no one constrains anyone either physically or financially, duties are distributed at will. So, a woman is not obliged to cook food, and a man is not obliged to provide for two. They pay the “communal” equally, and wash the bathroom in turn;
  • truthfulness – there is no need to lie or hide something, partners speak “frankly”;
  • cooperation – no competition. Forces are aimed at achieving comfort;
  • love – Feelings as the basis for living together.

What is an Open Relationship? Advantages & Disadvantages.

How to start a relationship without obligations?

1. Discuss.

To make everyone comfortable, it is better to immediately talk with the partner about the principles, behavior patterns, budget, household duties, personal boundaries. It is important that the decision is conscious.

Here are some questions for discussion:

  • how much time you can spend with other partners;
  • how often cheating is acceptable;
  • methods of protection with others;
  • whether it is possible to invite “the other” to the common housing.

2. Take time to adapt.

“Agree not to be jealous” and “not to be jealous” are actually two different things. If at the mere thought that the parterre is now spending time “on the side”, jitters begin, and the stomach is overcome by cramps, you should not tell him that everything is fine. You can get used to this lifestyle by learning to calmly respond to the free behavior of the partner. But if the feeling of jealousy or pain is unbearable, is it worth it to torture yourself?

3. Set boundaries.

To avoid unnecessary explanations or conflicts with friends, it is better to immediately warn that personal life is in the “taboo” topic, is not subject to discussion, and even more so – moralizing. When we define clear boundaries, we keep ourselves and our friend safe.

4. Be honest.

It is important to determine the reasons, motives and expectations from such a relationship. If the goal is to avoid loneliness or keep at any cost, then the idea is likely to fail.

In addition, the “third” person must know about your status even before he wakes up next. Not everyone is ready to share their “love” with someone else, even for short-term meetings.

What is an Open Relationship? Advantages & Disadvantages.

5. Prioritize.

It is important for one that joint dinners become a tradition, for another it may not be pleasant. By determining who comes first – “others” or a permanent partner, you can avoid omissions or resentment.

6. Find psychological support.

In order to better understand yourself and your needs, to track the connection between your general condition and what is happening around you, it is advisable to have an objective mentor, ideally a psychologist. Several conversations a week are enough to learn how to overcome psychological difficulties and internal conflicts, to resist pressure from outside.

Open relationship: advantages and disadvantages


  • boredom and monotony will not approach your relationship;
  • lack of constant control and checks;
  • liabilities are significantly reduced;
  • “live” sǝxual life, mutual learning in the intimate sphere;
  • inner freedom.


  • bouts of jealousy;
  • lack of stability and certainty;
  • short duration (usually one of the couple decides to start a serious traditional relationship);
  • constant pressure from others;
  • there is a risk of unwanted pregnancy or STDs.

What is an Open Relationship? Advantages & Disadvantages.

Relations without obligations: what is sometimes hidden behind them?

1. Uncertainty.

Perhaps a person is afraid of the responsibility that must be borne for their actions and partly for a partner. Especially if you’re not sure about your feelings. When there are doubts and hesitations, there is a desire to take a break without making any commitments.

2. Psychological trauma.

If in the past there was a loss or betrayal of a dear person, the fear of becoming attached again may haunt. Then a relationship without commitment is a hiding place, a place of escape. It is dangerous that a person does not really want them, but cannot overcome the fear of being weak or abandoned.

3. Tribute to fashion.

There is a type of people for whom it is important to match the invented image. If, for example, a man wants to be seen as a “bad guy”, he must have several mistresses. A constant girl with claims and requests to fix something is not quite from this role. In such circumstances, people do not ask themselves what they really want, but blindly follow the trends.

What can’t be done?

It is very dangerous to start a “free” life after a traditional relationship. Often the initiative comes from women who find out that their man has connections on the side. In order not to lose it and not spoil the status in society, women offer to “legalize treason.”

But if a man had felt so good before, now he is generally given the green light. But a woman will have a hard time, because it’s hard to rebuild, but she needs to catch up with her partner. Then, most likely, she will go to bed not at will, but out of spite. The result is a feeling of emptiness and lack of understanding of what to do next.

6 Myths About Open Relationships (CO).

  1. SO will keep the old love. No, on the contrary, there is a danger of going into a deeper trauma, becoming dependent on the second half.
  2. Couples who support “freedom” encourage others to do the same. No, this is the choice of each person. There is no separate movement promoting SO.
  3. open relationship – it’s just sǝx. No, a couple is connected by life, emotional attachment, friendship, feelings, mutual understanding.
  4. In SO, everyone does what they want. No, people make rules and strictly adhere to them.
  5. Such a couple will never have a traditional family. No. SO may be just one of the stages of a relationship that will develop into a traditional union in the future.
  6. SO is for everyone. No, the person who decides to join them must be mature and self-sufficient.

Everyone decides for himself whether an open relationship suits him or not. They have many disadvantages, but exactly the same number of advantages. One way or another, interaction with a partner should bring joy or other pleasant sensations, but not pain, resentment or jealousy.

What is an Open Relationship? Advantages & Disadvantages.

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