What's An Open Relationship: Top 3 Basics (Definition, Meaning & Rules) of a Non Monogamous Relationship & Open Marriage

What’s An Open Relationship: Top 3 Basics (Definition, Meaning & Rules) of a Non Monogamous Relationship & Open Marriage

What is considered “cheating” in a relationship? It’s when you have relationships with other people other than your partner, and being deceitful to them.

What if your partner knew about these other people, and those people knew about your partner? If it’s all consensual, is it still considered cheating?

An Open Relationship is a difficult one, because humans are creatures fraught with jealousy and the grass always seems greener on the other side.

It is to be kept in mind that these people are the same ones in “normal” relationships, so what is the difference?

Such Non Exclusive Relationships and Open Marriages are much harder to be in, because it involves facing the jealousy and insecurity upfront instead of hiding it.


What’s An Open Relationship

Some couples who’ve tried opening up their relationship, find it strengthened by the addition of new people.

Without trust and truth, there is no way that any Non Monogamous Relationship can succeed.

These are elements that any relationship should’ve had in the first place.

It won’t be an easy step to take, but it might be very much worth your while

In this article, we share with you the Top 3 Most Basic and Fundamental Tenets of a Non Exclusive Relationship and Open Marriage.

By understanding the Open Relationship Definition, Open Relationship Meaning and Open Relationship Rules, you’ll then know how to manoeuvre in this delicate relationship space, and achieve the success and fulfillment you and your partner are seeking … Enjoy!


1. Take the Plunge into a Non Exclusive Relationship or Open Marriage

Open Relationships are generally meant for people who’ve dated for quite some time.

Couples in new dating relationships are usually smitten with each other, and don’t need external help to prevent them from getting bored of each other.

Whereas in a Long Term Relationship, a couple of outsiders might just breathe new life into a dying relationship or a stale marriage.

Such Non Monogamous Relationships are a difficult topic to bring up, in relationships both old and new.

It is a pretty taboo concept to most people, but there are yet others who’ve gone through open relationships successfully.

It is becoming more common and more people are coming to accept it, but if you’re thinking of going opening your relationship at some point, you had better bring up the idea earlier than later, even if you’re not going to open the relationship immediately.

There is ample literature written on the topic, so you might want to grab a few of those and have a read to better understand what you’re getting yourself into.

They could even provide good reference sources, when it comes to convincing your partner.


2. The Rules of a Non Monogamous Relationship

Before you begin an Open Relationship, it would be wise for you to sit down as a couple and lay down a few ground rules and boundaries (i.e. open relationship rules).

Every couple and the dynamics between them are different, so you would need to come up with your own set of rules, instead of copying others’.

As a rule of thumb in Non Exclusive Relationships and Open Marriages, you should avoid all mutual friends and acquaintances.

This includes casual friends who you go out for drinks and meals with together, and also colleagues at your work place or theirs, who will have contact with the both of you.

Generally, avoid anyone who knows the two of you in any way.

This is to prevent awkward situations from arising, and to prevent friendships from breaking apart.

You’ll also have to think of where you’re going to do the deed, should you and your partner have decided to sleep with other people.

If you live together, doing it at home shouldn’t be allowed at all costs – bringing different people home to a place meant for the two of you, is never going to be a good idea.

An Open Relationship should never put strain on, or compromise your primary relationship in any way – neither emotionally, time-wise nor financially.


3. Give and Take in a Non Exclusive Relationship or Open Marriage

In a Non Monogamous Relationship, you have to be completely honest with yourself and your partner.

If you have set up your Open Relationship Rules (or your Open Marriage Rules) and your partner is staying within them, you’ll have to let all else go.

Don’t badger them about their date after they’ve been out with someone, and request too many details.

Especially if you know, that you won’t like the answers that they’ll give you, if they’re being completely honest with you.

You have to be okay with letting each other know, that you’re going out to see the other person in your respective lives.

You can’t expect to play hide-and-seek with each other, and tell lies and cover ups, when you’re going out with the third party, because that will absolutely defeat the purpose of a Non Exclusive Relationship or Open Marriage.

As to the identity of the third party and your activities together, it is okay to be vague about it, unless it was one of your Dating Rules as a couple, to share everything through and through.

The number of people the two of you can see at any one time, as well as the time you dedicate to these external NSA Relationships, are another aspect of Open Relationships, that you probably have to discuss with your partner.

There are people who are okay with their partners seeing multiple people at the same time, but there are those who prefer a monogamous-type Open Relationship, where you only see one other person.

At the end of the day, it’s really all up to you and your partner to decide on what suits the both of you best.


What’s An Open Relationship: Concluding Insights on Whether You Should Consider a Non Monogamous Relationship or Open Marriage

If you feel like an open relationship is the one for you, you’ll need to have a serious discussion with your partner about it.

Other than giving it a try, there is no way to truly tell if a Non Monogamous Relationship or Open Marriage, will work for you or if it won’t.

Imagining something can be as far away from reality as it gets.

As mentioned before, if you set up the Open Relationship based on trust and honesty, bearing in mind the essential rules and guidelines of a Non Exclusive Relationship, it could just work out for you in the best possible ways.


(Last Updated: 27 June 2020)

About the Author

Kelvin Kevin is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Content Editor of the World-Renowned HappyMatches.com Dating App and Dating Site. An avid writer since young, he is an Expert Dating and Relationships Coach for Casual Dating, Serious Dating and General Dating. You can follow him on Twitter (@HowToDateBetter), and also check out his personal Dating Blog, for the latest Dating Advice and Dating Tips to help Straight, Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Singles and Couples find and enjoy Fulfilling and Intimate Dating Relationships.

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