Deciding whether or not to open your relationship is a big and important decision. While there are lots of good reasons to open your relationship, there are also some reasons why you SHOULDN’T open your relationship.
If you’re in the process of deciding if an open relationship is right for you, if you’re heard that “open relationships don’t work,” your friends are telling you “don’t open your relationship,” or you want to know how to open your relationship, this video will give you four common reasons that couples open up their relationships that are not good reasons.
I’m in an open relationship myself and I’ve worked with dozens of guys in navigating their own open relationship journey — through weekly vidoeos and one-on-one coaching — but even I that sometimes, you shouldn’t open your relationship!
Some reasons for opening a relationship are really terrible. So today, I want to share with you four reasons that I think you should not open your relationship.
1. You’re over your current relationship and you want to leave your boyfriend, but you just don’t want to be alone.
It’s not a good idea to try and cross-fade relationships, but I see it happen all the time in the monogamous world, where people will start either flirting with someone, or have an affair with someone, so that they can line up their next relationship before jumping into it. Don’t try to use ethical non-monogamy as a way to do this shitty thing to yourself and your partner.
It’s just not going to be a pleasant experience. Your boyfriend might figure out that you’re pulling away, that’s going to cause conflict. Also, opening up a relationship takes a lot of work. If you’re not interested and invested in the relationship, don’t spend that time doing all that work just to bounce later. Just be honest with yourself, and do the hard work of figuring out that it’s okay to be single, and just leave.
2. There’s a clear issue in your relationship.
But instead of trying to address that issue, you think that if you just open up the relationship, that will fix it.
So if there’s lying, cheating, alcoholism, addiction, toxic patterns, an abusive partner, an open relationship is not going to fix those things.
In fact, it might even exacerbate the tensions that are already in your relationship. You can’t look the other way and patch it up. An open relationship is not a magic pill for your relationship, unfortunately. You’re going to have to do the hard work to either address those issues, or if they can’t be addressed, to figure out how to leave the relationship.
3. Your sex life is declining, and so you want to bring in a third to spice up your relationship.
Now this isn’t an entirely bad reason. Wanting and craving sexual variety is a totally natural, totally good thing, that’s an A-OK reason to open up your relationship. But, make sure that when you do that, and when you’re meeting other people, either on your own or together with your boyfriend, that you’re treating these folks that you’re meeting as people.
They’re not sex toys, they’re not objects, they don’t exist just for your pleasure to come and spice up your sex life and then leave without emotion, without requiring anything of you. They aren’t a blank canvas that you can just paint all of your desires on… they’re people.
So if you want to spice up your relationship, or your sex life, or you are craving sexual variety, that’s great! Just remember that you’re interacting with people and so you have to treat them kindly along the way.
4. You sense that your boyfriend is over the relationship, and you’re hoping to entice him to stay by opening up.
This is sort of a flip side of the first one that we talked about. And this is also a recipe for disaster.
if the reason why your boyfriend is over the relationship or thinking about leaving is because he really wants an open relationship, he’s craving sexual or relational diversity, and you, up until this point, refused to consider it, then maybe going on that process of figuring out if it’s right for you is going to be a good idea.
But if he’s over it, or you think that he’s over it, for other reasons such as incompatibility, mismatched values, he’s bored, or he’s just a jackass, or whatever other reason may be, then trying to keep him staying by opening up the relationship, is not going to be good for you in the long run.
If you’re already feeling insecure about this relationship, introducing new partners and new relationships might activate your insecurity. It’s much better to talk to him, to get on the same page and figure out,
- Is this relationship working?
- Are you two compatible?
- Do you see a path forward together?
And if not, as hard as it may be to just say like, okay, it’s okay to part ways.
Every relationship is different so there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for you to figure out what’s going to be right for your relationship
It’s going to take a lot of work on you and your boyfriend’s part. I put together a playlist full of videos to help you figure out if an open relationship is right for you. You can watch them here.
If you want a little bit more hand-holding, guidance, support in figuring out how to find or form or sustain or improve your relationships, I would love to help you out. Send me a message or schedule a time to talk.
Want to get those each week (plus some occasional, more private thoughts on sex & relationships)? I’d love to keep in touch. Drop your email address below and I’ll keep you in the loop!
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