You’ve been in a stable relationship for months o years, but you begin to feel that your way of loving is limited. You have curiosities and experiences to live or, perhaps, an external person causes you sensations that make you think, without looking for it.
But you are still in love with your partner and want a happy life by his/her side.
Nowadays, given the greater information about polyamory, you have considered an open relationship and wonder if polyamory is the right way.
Maybe you have imagined various polyamorous situations and even have doubts about it.
If so, I will share you some tricks and tips to have in conversation with your partner as effective as possible about your new desire.
Let’s start from the beginning!
What means an open relationship?
Open relationships are all those ”throuples” and “couples”, which are conceived non-exclusively under sexual, affective or both ways. Like, so-called swingers or liberal couples are open to sex together or separately.
I recommend you at this part stop to think and feel what you really want when you inclined to “open relationship”, because as you can see, doing it together is different from doing it separately, it is not the same thing including a new person in your relationship.
Knowing what you really want and knowing these nuances is essential to take the first step. Now you’ll be ready to communicate it and do it with the greatest possible tact towards your partner.
One of the most common ways to open your relationship is in a swinger o liberal way, where emotions, feelings, and coexistence do not mix.
Keep in mind:
At the beginning, you may have to deal with jealousy, either because you experience it or have to accompany your bond during an episode, so I recommend having support so that jealousy is not an impediment.
The moment of truth.
It’s time to tell your partner about your desire to open up the relationship and manage the possible reactions he or she may have.
Perhaps you have thought of presenting the book “The Ethical Slut”, bringing up the subject or showing a movie to open the debate, but what I recommend, always, is to get to the point with the question.
Depending on the type of person you are and the complicity you have in communicating your feelings, you may be afraid that your partner will get angry, and you may not know how to handle it. This can lead you to postpone your inquire for weeks, months, or years!
You may be afraid it will spoil your relationship if you tell him, or you just don’t know where to start.
Don’t panic! Here are 3 steps to prepare yourself. The idea is to organize your ideas, manage emotions and communicate in the best possible way.
Let’s get to it!
COMMUNICATE TO YOUR PARTNER THAT YOU WANT TO OPEN UP THE RELATIONSHIP
Each couple is a different universe of communication, just as each person takes information in different ways.
1. DEFINE EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT IN AN OPEN RELATIONSHIP TODAY.
First of all, I recommend you to write down and answer a series of questions:
What do you want with an open relationship?
These questions will help you define it: What do you want to open up to? Where is the limit? Would you like to share it (swinging), or would you prefer to experience it alone (liberal)? Would you like to evolve into a thruple or not? Are you able to discover it together with your partner? What remedies do you count on for jealousy and agreements in the polyamorous relationship?
Once you are clear, make sure the other person understands the same expectations you have for each label.
Keep in mind that confusions cannot be 100% avoided, they are something that happens in communication, one’s own illusions or expectations can seep in. So accepting that someone may have been “confused” lightens the process.
2. SET THE STAGE FOR COMMUNICATION.
Once you have it well-defined, we move on to the next step:
First, ask permission to communicate something important.
Suggestions: “I need to talk to you when you can and feel like it, OK?”
“I’d like to talk to you, when you’re calm and have time, OK?”.
Second, warn your partner that you have something very significant to tell.
It’s easier to digest unexpected news when you are alerted to it, even more so when you’re warned that you may not like it or be surprised.
“I’m going to tell you something you may not like.”
“I want to share with you a wish that may surprise you.”
With this phrase, many people imagine “the worst” so that the new information is not as terrible as it seemed or that it does not generate a greater sense of stress
3. STEP UP AND SAY IT
The moment of emotion!
The words may not come out of your mouth every time you try to say it. You may feel a verbal paralysis or a lump in your throat that prevents you from expressing yourself.
Repeating in your head the first sentence of what you are going to say can help. Writing in step 1, too, will relieve you, believe me.
In those moments the best thing to do is not to think, to let go and say it openly and connecting with your heart.
By the way, sometimes it’s easier to say it closing your eyes or looking at the floor 😅.
“I have been informing myself and reading about it for a while and I would like to know if you would like us to talk about opening the relationship, do you want to talk about it?”
“I have sexual curiosities and concerns that I would like to experience, and I wish to do it together, what do you think?”
“Would you mind if I have sex-affective relationships with other people?” (Maybe it’s too direct, but it’s a style).
“I understand that this sounds weird to you, or you don’t like it. but I’ve been thinking about opening up the relationship, what do you think about it?”
As you can see there are different shapes and styles, these are some suggestions to formulate your own in your own way.
Now, it is time to manage the emotions or reactions that you will receive from the other.
If he/she takes it with joy and empathy it will be easier 🙂 congratulations!
If not, my advice is to breathe and listen to what your couple says, avoiding at all costs taking his words or reactions personally. Remember that denial are one of the first reactions from fear or the unexpected.
One of the reasons why it is difficult for us to communicate, precisely, is the reaction that the other may have.
“I’m afraid he’ll get angry”, “I don’t want to bother”, “and if he says no”, “I know he won’t like it”, “and if he doesn’t trust me anymore”…
Undoubtedly, opening the relationship is a turning point, it can strengthen your complicity or it can start a complete disaster, from which you have to go back or take new paths. Both one possibility and the other are correct.
Finally, I want to give you a big sister’s advice: if you want to open the relationship to save it, it is advisable, better, to find out if the origin that causes the decline of your relationship is an exclusivity that you need to break, if so, go ahead!
Otherwise, they say it’s no good, or it’s usually worse, but as I always say, practice will tell you.
So keep this article as a reference and get down to action, get ready to communicate to your partner that thing that’s on your mind. Whatever it is, if it comes from the heart honestly and tactfully, it will be the right thing to do.