Some people don’t feel comfortable with settling down with one person and keeping it that way until the end of their days. Of course, tradition and social expectations mean that most people will find a partner and get married, but the modern world is enabling people to explore new things. In fact, people now date and partner up with others with an open mind, and with that comes new possibilities. For many, the idea of an open relationship is exciting but with many different types of open relationships on offer, how do you determine whether they are good for you? We are going to help you determine available options and how they could work for you.
4 Main types of Open Relationships
1. Casual Dating
Casual dating is nothing more than dating people without the strings attached. So, you might meet someone you’re attracted to, but you both agree that marriage and long-term relationships are things you’re not interested in. This means that casual dating can range from one-off dates to an arrangement where you hook up regularly without emotional attachment.
2. Open Marriage
Most marriages require commitment and an expectation that you don’t let your eyes wander, but an open marriage could work well as it helps couples dating with singles they’ve found online or other couples (more on that later). This arrangement involves agreeing that you’re both free to meet and date other people, and in some instances, an agreement can be made for things to be romantic. You still have that loving bond with the person you’re married to but still have the ability to date other people.
This option is slightly more daring and comes with almost no boundaries. It’s certainly a no-strings-attached option because it involves people meeting up to indulge in sexual activities with people you might not know. It’s extremely open, and although it’s safe and controlled, it does require a lot of courage.
Polyamory is about having intimate relationships with several partners, with all involved giving their consent. It’ll often have some form of hierarchy with there being a main partner and then others involved. It does require everyone to be of the same belief, but this is an open relationship with more control and understanding.
Reasons to Form an Open Relationship
Open relationships can take many forms, but why would you decide to consider an open relationship?
It’s possible for people to fall in love with more than one person. These feelings make it almost impossible for individuals to commit to a monogamous lifestyle. Therefore, there are two solutions – to cheat or to explore is an open relationship. That relationship can be one of the options above, although it does require an element of understanding and consent.
Another consideration to make is that everyone is different when it comes to sexual desire and their sex drive. In some couples, one person can have a high sex drive while the other simply cannot meet those needs. Instead of the individual with a high sex drive having an affair without the knowledge of the other, an open relationship provides clarity and understanding.
It’s an agreement that the other partner has to be happy with, but it enables the individual with the high sex drive to fulfill their needs. Commonly, the person with a high sex drive will love their partner, which means that they only ever seek casual dates and might even explore swinging to fulfill their needs.
Some people simply want to explore new things and have the freedom of being able to connect with other people. Often, curiosity and desire urge couples to explore open relationships, enabling them to continue expressing their freedom when meeting new people.
It doesn’t mean that they’re looking for love, especially if they’re already in a marriage or long-term relationship. Furthermore, they’ll have the potential to meet different people, which means that they can control their needs in a way that is completely consensual.
Determine Your Personal Level of Comfort
Deciding you want an open relationship does require an element of understanding your level of comfort. Are you happy with your partner exploring new people? Are you content with meeting new strangers for no-tie sexual encounters? Whatever you desire, you have to make sure that you’re comfortable with the arrangement because failing to ensure you are comfortable can lead to serious problems further down the line.
There is no denying that open relationships have a place in society. As more people are looking to explore new possibilities, it means that they are not happy to tie themselves down to one person. From open swinging arrangements to polyamory, there’s a whole range of options available to suit your needs. It’s no longer a taboo subject, and as couples and people become more aware of their needs, open relationships are now becoming more widespread.