Open relationships exist because there are enough people who regard it as the best way for them to live together. Then again, others are inclined to take a rather dim view of that. On one hand, it is a clear-cut way of going steady without committing oneself; on the other, this variant implies strata of emotions that are generally absent from married life and some of which are definitely not so pleasant.
No guarantee exists (as if it ever existed!) that an open relationship will suit you more than any other type – there are so many factors related to both partners and their situations that get involved in consideration. But there’s one thing you can do – learn what you are bargaining for before taking the plunge. Ruminate on the positive and not-so-positive aspects of the agreement so that your final decision can be as sensible and satisfying as it can be.
Advantage – Less chance of missing out
You will never have to think of – much less be afraid of – walking past or having to drop an opportunity that appeals to you strongly. Whenever you feel like it, you are free to go skinny dipping with a delightful company at a lake resort, play strip games in a company of hot new friends – and what’s immeasurably better, if a wonderful partner for you comes along, you are there for him or for her.
Disadvantage – Jealousy galore
It’s really nice to be free of any commitment for yourself, but are you really and truly sure that as your partner gets hooked up with somebody else (or you get to hear another person discussing your partner) you won’t go mad with jealousy? Even if you are all right with the notion of sharing, you may get immersed into the worry of them being better with your partner than you, and that your partner may want to leave you for them because of that. Are you dead sure you can remain calm in such situations?
Advantage – competition brings in extra zest
All along your partner is well aware of the fact that you are receiving all kinds of attention from other people. This knowledge is going to keep them on their toes trying to prove to you that whatever happens they remain the best and the most caring – by all the means in their power including the sexual ones.
Disadvantage – what about a special kind of competition?
Your partner surely realizes that all the time they are with you, they have to compete with other people in your life for your affection – which is bound to incite them to give you the best they can. But it is not the only competition there is in your relationship; you can get stuck in a severe one raging between you two: whose love life is more diverse, thrilling and fulfilling. It can lead you to comparing notes, bragging, going out on a limb in attempts to outdo each other – and ending in that hollow feeling that you are losing the score while your partner is being highly successful, what an awful experience…
Advantage – you get sexual variety
For people with a strong sex drive who want to try it all it can be the best bet, of course: there are endless chances and possibilities, you can go after all kinds of experience.
Disadvantage – risks of getting pregnant or developing a disease
Yes, you won’t be able to get away from such scares as getting pregnant or coming down with a disease looming on the horizon. You can take all the measures there are, but with an open relationship with its wide sexual opportunities you cannot guarantee a complete protection: something can give some time. Changing partners regularly you can’t be dead sure of their 100% health and hygienic care. It’s one thing to get pregnant all out of the blue with someone you want to always stay together with – but what about bearing a child with a person you don’t even remember very well because it was not more than one night stand?
Advantage – you can be with others
A simple but a very pleasant addition to an open relationship is the ability to expand your boundaries and rope in as many people as you like besides your chosen partner. Actually, for many it’s the main reason to settle with open relationship – they want to enjoy the freedom it gives and take advantage of the possibilities it offers. You know this feeling when you are tied up in a relationship and then someone else catches your eye and captivates your fancy – but there’s nothing you can do about it, even an innocent flirt will look just too bad. And then, when you have done nothing to attract anybody, yet someone takes an interest in you and sends you signs that they mean business – and the only thing left for you is to mumble that you are sorry, but you are already engaged in a relationship… But an open relationship gives you every possibility to turn all your wishes into reality and pursue your desires whenever they hit you.
Disadvantage – what’s to stop your partner abandoning you?
From the very beginning of an open relationship each of you enjoys the excellent permission to eye those around you and take chances with them – meaning that there’s nothing in the situation to stop them wanting to leave you as soon as they decide that there’s someone else who’s more gorgeous, understanding and amusing than you. That’s when you realize there is no security in this relationship – and there never was…
Advantage – casualness is nice
It is a question whether we can look upon an open relationship as a casual affair right from the start, in the terms that you have no commitments or pressures bothering you at all. For those scared of any kind of commitment and expectation to get fixed once and for all it is the very thing, and you can take as much time for yourself as you want without anyone getting at you for it. And casual doesn’t have to mean second-rate, not on your life.
Disadvantage – time management
Your open-relationship partner can be expected to leave you with a deal more freedom compared to other types of relationship, and you have no-one biting your back for what you do. Yet when you have several partners you can’t avoid them claiming time and attention from you, so you can end up with a lot of what you meant to get rid of in the first place. Juggling multiple partners can sound more fun than it actually is – you can grow tired of the game that features a lot of intricacies you may not want to sort out.
Advantage – this sort of thing isn’t boring at all!
You are free to see anyone you took a fancy to, you can try all kinds of sex and share your new experience with your partner, so your private life is invariably fresh and captivating. You won’t get caught in the rut having to go over the same thing again and again; whenever you want something new, go and take it, other people envying you this golden opportunity.
Disadvantage – you didn’t expect guilt in it… but there it is!
People engaged in other kinds of relationships are certain to feel guilty whenever something captures their fancy – even if it’s just a photo on Facebook. It’s not a pleasant thing to be gnawed at by guilt for what you didn’t do and probably never intended to do. Or – the worst thing – you allowed yourself half an hour of fantasizing about what could have happened if only… etc. etc. When looking from outside in, one can believe that an open relationship is wonderfully free of that insidious guilt feeling. How can you ever feel guilty when you have your hands free on any occasion? It certainly may seem so. And yet… Guilt is a very human quality apt to torment us when we least expect it, and those in an open relationship are not past falling victim to it when they are with someone other than their partner or telling their partner they love them with all their heart – suddenly visualizing their caper that is not even a day old…