Rules of an Open Relationship

There are about 25 types of romantic relationship in which an open relationship is one of them. I have talked about open relationship on radio and it came up on TV while I was discussing friends with Benefits on Crux of the Matter with my guests.

Open relationship is either a marriage or relationship in which both partners agree that each may have sexual relations with others. In other words, your partner can have sex with other people while you can have sex with other people.

Did I hear you say “God forbid”?

Did you just say ‘it is western’?

Wake up dearie. While you are forbidding it or bidding it with Amadioha or Jehovah, it does not remove the fact that it is a way of life and even couples in Nigeria practice it already. I knew a couple way back in 2002 who practiced such relationship even before I came to terms with the words – Open relationships. The couple had been married for more than 20years, they have 3 children and they have an understanding/agreement. From the little my mother shared with me at the time, their rules were – do not have anything to do with any of our friends, no pregnancy, and no disrespect. I am your wife, I am your husband, and we will be there at all times to show our support and carrying on with our duties.”

With marriages ending in divorce, many reporting cheating/infidelity as the reason, some couples are challenging the boundaries of traditional relationships in order to keep the spark. So if you ever want to consider an open relationship, here are the rules:

Understand an open relationship.

A long distant relationship is not an open relationship neither is cheating on your partner an open relationship. An open relationship is about honesty. It is not done in secret and partners understand that each other’s needs are met by other people. It is open therefore, very honest.

Do it for the right reasons

If what you want is to be with multiple people in all senses of the word then open relationship shouldn’t be your option. Looks like you are more interested in polyamory. In an open relationship, you are in love with your partner and that is your primary relationship. Every other hookups and relationship are secondary and you cannot be connect to them. It has to be physical. You must be emotionally and spiritually connected to your primary partner. It doesn’t mean you do not care about the people you hookup with but your primary relationship comes first, always.

Set your boundaries

Just as other types of romantic relationship, open relationships are peculiar and the rules are generally determined by the two individuals involved. Are certain people off the table? Are certain genders off the table? Are certain sex acts off the table? Can we talk to other people about these decision? So what’s cheating and what’s not in an open relationship according to you? Will there be time frames? Talk frankly with each other and discuss every detail until both of you are satisfied with each other’s answers.

Tell other partners

Anyone you hookup with outside your primary relationship deserves to know what they are up for. Let them know you find them attractive and that you and your partner are in an open relationship. Be direct about it. That way they can be fully aware of where things are going.

Practice Safety

You must, as a matter of ground rules, practice safe sex with your other partners.

Be Open

Like the name of the relationship, you have to be open and honest with your partner. Talk about everything and anything. It is not advisable to exchange all the horny details, but be aware of each other’s interests and partners. Be comfortable sharing your experience.

Have sex but don’t fall in love

This is one of the most important rules in an open relationship. It is not easy but you have to always have it at the back of your mind. An open relationship is not a pass to fall in love with other people because you are in a committed relationship. You are committed to your primary partner.

Do you think an open relationship can work for you? A happy open relationship may be what you need to avoid a broken romantic relationship. I am just saying.

Feature image from Rebel Circus

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    1. Exactly! I’m not interested abeg and really, we ladies are more emotional esp when sex gets involved. As a lady, you can’t just sleep with a random guy without a little bit of attachment. Abeg abeg, I no want.

      1. There are many ladies who have sex without any emotional attachment; it’s what the society has sold to us to enable men cheat while we remain faithful.
        Why do men end up leaving their wives for another in this part of the world or refuse to let a side chick go if they don’t catch the feels?

        In more liberal societies, ladies complain about their FWB relationships being an issue as the man goes against their initial agreement of not catching the feels and wants more, emotionally.
        You’ll also see ladies saying they are horny every time and want sex in such places because they’re not acting according to some societal script. The would have sex with a man and never look at him again.

        One thing about Open relationships is that couples usually agree never to sleep with the same person, twice, to guide against either of them catching the feels.

        Personally, I believe in monogamous relationships because you keep it all within and there’s a drive to keep improving on pleasing your partner not another wo/man. it’s the same way we’re also holding out on sex (despite being in our 30s) till marriage; no comparison on styles, length/girth of penises and depth/elasticity of vaginas,

        Nonetheless, Open Relationships beats one partner cheating while the other mustn’t even chat with the opposite gender.

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