Open relationships seem to be one of the considerations for singles, and for couples, who are looking to spice up their dating lives or relationships post-pandemic.
The question is can they really work? Or does it eventually lead in disaster and heartbreak?
“My recommendation before exploring relationships like this is to learn more about what it means to you, and the pros and cons to trying something different,” says Sharon Draper, eharmony relationship expert.
Pro – Self discovery
Open relationships can provide a unique opportunity to learn more about yourself. “Many people say their experience in an open relationship taught them how to be truer to themselves as they let go of society’s expectations. It can allow each individual to really take notice of their own needs, allowing them to be fulfilled by their partner or by someone else,” Sharon says.
Con – Feelings
A really important element of establishing an open relationship is taking everyone’s feelings and emotions into account. “Whether it’s yours, your partners or someone else’s feelings, it’s integral to the success of the relationship that everyone feels comfortable, but managing many people’s emotions can often be an issue,” Sharon warns.
Pro – Communication
On the flip side, managing the feelings and needs of each other through an open relationship can often lead to better communication. “Many couples even report becoming closer due to the increase in communication and trust that they hadn’t seen before in their relationship,” she advises.
Con – Scheduling
Some of us can barely manage to fit in a dating life when we are in a monogamous relationship, so it can become even more difficult when trying to juggle multiple partners. “This can also lead to those within the relationship feeling less of a priority in comparison to someone else, resulting in resentment – this is where that communication is key,” adds Sharon.
Pro – Adds excitement/fun
Relationships are meant to be fun and exciting, and bring joy to your life, but sometimes relationships can feel stagnant and routine without that stimulating element. “Open relationships can add variety and spice where it is needed, and many see the spark renewed in their relationship after they explore non-monogamy,” Sharon adds.
Con – Getting on the same page
The most important element when entering an open relationship is ensuring both partners are 100 per cent on board with the idea. “Both must also set their boundaries as needed to ensure the exploration doesn’t lead to jealousy, anger or other negative emotions. Often we see one person in a relationship want to “open” it up, but if you’re not both on board, it’s unlikely to have positive outcomes,” she concludes.