1. The Concept of an Open Relationship Among Other Types of Relationships
  2. How to Make Your Open Relationship Work
  3. The obvious drawbacks include
  4. Polyamory vs. Open Relationships: the Basic Difference
  5. What psychologists think about it

Open relations ... how many emotions this simple phrase evokes. Hypocrites disdainfully croak, young people dreamily smile, and married couples pretend that there is no open relationship at all. However, this is true, there are people who practice this kind of relationship and at the same time, they are absolutely happy. But there are also those who are disappointed with this concept and never would like to return to it. If you are reading this article, then something has happened either in your life or in your value system. Surely you are thinking about breaking off the fetters of traditional intimate and romantic relationships and gaining freedom. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with our guide before making any decisions.

Let's make an exchange: a little of your attention to our objective for a detailed analysis of such phenomenon as open relationships. By the end of the article, you will most likely have a ready answer whether it suits you. If yes - well, we will teach you to build an open relationship, even if your romantic experience is limited to a couple of visits and sex in a missionary position with a former classmate who never managed to win a local beauty contest.

open relationship definition

The Concept of an Open Relationship Among Other Types of Relationships

Ask yourself, what is an open relationship? “Oh, it is so easy!” - you will joyfully answer. And this is not surprising, because the absolute majority of people will answer like that. For some reason, it seems to us that it is so elementary - to love another person, to enjoy the relationship and not to burden yourself with jealousy and not to argue with the notorious polygamous nature of a person that for some reason is recognized as something of a proven scientific fact. However, in practice, everything is much more complicated. Having an open relationship suits only people of a rare mind and soul structure. Do you not believe us? Then let's compare the idea of free love with more familiar types of relationships. You do not need to go too deep into psychology to understand: this world exists due to the mutual attraction of the opposite sexes. Of course, in the process of communication and establishing contacts between women and men arise some situations that imply different styles of behavior. So forms of interaction are formed. Psychologists and sociologists distinguish the following main types of relationship between a man and a woman:

1. Platonic friendship. To describe this type scientifically, friendship between "boys and girls" is an interaction based on common interests and values without sexual overtones. If you want to say simpler, in everyday language, it's when instead of John, you call Mary, she is your support, a shoulder to cry on during crises, the best partner on weekdays and weekends. She, just like you, likes to read Marquez, you can argue over a new Tykwer film all day long, sometimes you discuss gossip about a common acquaintance, from time to time you even want to kill him or her for another delay, but you will not, because you can't imagine life without him or her and this person is your best friend ... But you do not want to put each other into bed. Most people do not believe in the possibility of such relations. They say, either it is not so pure or one is friendly, but the other loves waiting for an opportunity to say it and to present the "claims". But leave doubts to the skeptics. It happens, but for this it is necessary that two persons reach equal moral development heights, therefore the platonic friendship between a man and a woman is a rare case.

what is an open relationship2. Friends with Benefits. Sometimes, on the basis of platonic friendship, in the absence of regular partners (and sometimes with their presence), a man and a woman add sex to communication. This is not the bright fireworks that happen between lovers, but the contact by agreement. Just two adults who trust each other want sexual satisfaction without fuss and commitment. Nevertheless, in these relations the mechanism of deeper experiences is often triggered, and, in the end, romantic feelings are formed. The first sign that sex by friendship has grown into something more is jealousy of partners. To do this, you do not even need any effort - regular sex with one and the same partner will a priori cause a strong emotional attachment, and in some cases - emotional addiction.

3. Romantic type. This type of relationship between a man and a woman is by definition built on an intimate platform. Partners feel love and tenderness, experience passion and sexual desire for each other. A woman thinks how to intrigue a man, and a representative of the stronger sex devises pleasant surprises and in every possible way protects his passion. However, psychologists emphasize: healthy romantic relations can be called only in the case when partners in close interaction preserve individuality and respect the personal space of the loved ones. In a favorable combination of circumstances and full mutual understanding, lovers stay together all their life. In some pairs, the emotional, physical or mental attraction for a number of reasons weakens or disappears altogether, not infrequently men begin to cheat, and women leave. In this case, relations, unfortunately, most often fail.

4. Professional relationship. When women began to work in factories, offices and other places on a par with men, they began to identify a new type of interaction between a man and a woman. Now it's hard to believe it, and there were times when a male employee could take rough and disrespectful comments about the appearance and abilities of a female colleague, and she resignedly remained silent, being practically slavish. The word in return - and she was left without a job. Today the situation has radically changed. Both women and men make the same contribution to the development of companies, take part in meetings together, go on business trips, attend refresher courses, etc. At the same time, they know that success depends not only on their personal ambitions and experience, but also on the ability to interact, communicate with colleagues without binding to the gender. Professional relations should be based on mutual respect.

Open relations have almost nothing to do with the types of relationships that we listed above. There are some similarities only with Friends with Benefits, and even in this case, sex out of friendship implies an intimate relationship not with a person whom you are in love with, but with someone close in spirit, but without an emotional, sensual component. Which conclusion follows from this? Free relations - this is very unusual phenomenon, which cannot be controlled by everyone. But if you have tried everything from the list above and have not found satisfaction - well, perhaps the open relationships will be a real discovery for you. Is your decision final? Then let's move on: we will teach you how to build an open relationship.

How to Make Your Open Relationship Work

Having finally decided upon this form of union, it is worthwhile to discuss more mundane issues and open relationship rules together. This is the organization of meetings and cleanliness. Fidelity in a couple suggests that a man and a woman are protected from sexually transmitted diseases and extramarital pregnancies, and also take care of peace and comfort for the spouse or mate. Do open relationships work? Yes, if you will correctly answer the following important questions:

  1. Can I have sex with the same lover?
  2. How often can you go on dates?
  3. Should I allow a friend or girlfriend to visit our place?
  4. Is cheating only in sex or in communicating, calling and writing to your mistress?
  5. How to protect yourself from sexual diseases?
  6. How to protect yourself from the claims that a lover or mistress can assert?

If you let the situation run amok in these matters, then a riot in a pair cannot be avoided. In addition, discussing such details, the couple can come to the conclusion that all this is too difficult for them and abandon the idea. If you want to know how to make an open relationship work, you should be aware of the pros and cons that will necessarily appear on your romantic path. First, let's look at the advantages:

how to make an open relationship work 1. Disinterest disappears - both man and woman continue to feel welcome for others, have the opportunity to enjoy flirting and intimate relationships on the side.

2. The fear for personal freedom disappears - often the partners seek not to have sex with strangers, but simply spend their free time which can be similarly spent in the company of friends.

3. A ban is lifted - temptation disappears, so that freedom can become a smart move to prevent a catastrophe.

4. A new experience in sex can beautify an intimate relationship in a pair, and if one of the partners has unusual predilections, then sex with other partners can be the only way out.

5. Free relationships can teach people not to become attached to each other excessively and maintain the necessary distance - when there is no other way to get out of the state of "fixation".

The obvious drawbacks include:

1. Despite the agreement, the partner is openly jealous or hides his or her emotional pain, while recouping in other areas of life - simply avenges.

2. Having received an official permission for cheating, the partner can forget about caution, as a result - there comes illness, pregnancy or even blackmail from a third party.

3. Free relationships are a radical way to reduce the degree of experience in a couple that teaches you to avoid problems and contradictions, and not solve them with love.

4. In fact, this freedom can mean that a man does not take on the material care of a woman, and a woman does not want to take care of him every day.

5. At a difficult moment a beloved person may be unavailable, and even worse - morally far from the problems of his partner, as a result, unrelated emotions - fear and distrust of life in such an alliance - grow in the pair.

Now you know what does it mean to be in an open relationship in theory. If you are ready, do it in practice.

Polyamory vs. Open Relationships: the Basic Difference

Now let's talk about polyamory vs open relationship. Polyamory is a relatively new term that has become popular in mass culture recently. Nevertheless, it attracts great interest among those who follow any new trends in all spheres of human life and those who are disillusioned with traditional forms of love. So, let's begin our comparative analysis of free relations and polyamory with open relationship definition and polyamory definition:

  • Open relationship dating is a form of relationships in which partners agree that intimate relationships with other people are acceptable.
  • Polyamory is a system of ethical views of love, which allows the possibility of multiple love relationships of one person with several people at the same time, with the consent and approval of all participants in this relationship.

They describe related things, but one is not a subset of the other, and accents are placed in different ways. "Open relationship" - as it turns out, is not a very good term, because it includes a lot of practical options, and polyamory does not. How is it different? We thought a lot about how to formulate the essence briefly and concisely to include all the good options and we got the following:

Polyamory is when it is considered normal for all partners to love more than one person at the same time, and at the same time openly show this love.

To love, but not to show, or to show covertly - these are the options of monogamy when a person is rushing between two partners, there are a lot of films and books about it, and that's not it. Even the classic love triangle "husband + wife + lover" is very far from polyamory. First, it is secretive, secondly, the man demands monogamy from both women; thirdly, there are no fundamental freedoms in the relationship, for example, one cannot choose an arbitrary number of mistresses - traditionally it should be only one, and this is a fixed role. Thus, it becomes clear that the main difference between polyamory and open relationships is the acceptability of the third (fourth, fifth - on how much you have enough vitality) person.

What psychologists think about it

The topic of open relationships occupies an important place in psychology. There are a number of reasons why people crave such love:

  • Fear of a serious relationship.
  • The rejection of the traditional family model.
  • Psychological immaturity.
  • Fear of commitment.

Psychologists believe that such relationships are more often chosen by young people who want diversity. More mature individuals tend to traditional monogamous relationships. Open relationships, like any other form, have advantages and disadvantages. This kind of relationship is more suitable for unformed individuals. To create a strong and lasting union, it is important to rely not only on love, but also on the moral qualities of the partner.

Also, according to the psychologist, in this case,  it is worth considering whether people live together or separately. If a couple rents an apartment and pays for it in half, they have a non-binding relationship, and an open relationship is quite acceptable. But if one of the couple moves to the partner’s territory, then there’s no need to talk about open relationships because one person becomes dependent on another. And here may well be complaints on the part of the “host”.

We hope that our guide was useful for you. We tried to squeeze out all the juices from this topic so that you gain knowledge. Use it wisely and remember - any life choice is the field of only your responsibility. Make your choice wisely!

Comments (1)
01.05.2020 10:30
I believe that open relationships are acceptable only when you do not love a person. For example, there is only passion and you really understand that you do not want to build a serious relationship with this person, have a family, etc., then why not? I don’t see anything bad in it when there is no place for love.

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