Rules of the Open Relationship

Geplaatst op 07-02-2023

Categorie: Lifestyle

This article was originally published on Loveawake California dating site. Reprinted with permission from the author.

I am in an open marriage. However, “open” can be a misnomer. It does not mean “without boundaries”  nor does it mean hippie-style “free love.” A better term would be non-monogamy. An open relationship is, at the core, simply an alternative to modern western-civilization-style monogamy. There are many topics on open relationships outside the scope of this post- I’ll have to cover them later. For instance: the benefits of an open relationship, the pros and cons of marriage in general, potential pitfalls, wider cultural implications, and why I created one.

My wife and I both recognized several problems with modern monogamy. It’s a Frankensteinian mashup of Disney movies, leftover Puritan Christian thought, Victorian prudishness, the Baby-Boomer ‘sexual revolution’, divorce, alimony and a culture of porn among other things. Serial monogamy is the new norm- a twilight zone where people “fall in love” but then “fall out of love.” The mythology and the reality have become twisted, and it’s too emotionally upsetting for average people to question it or give it much thought. The “institution” of marriage is really like the elephant from the parable of the blind men. One says it’s a tail, one says it’s a trunk, and one says it’s a leg. People are entering into marriage with different ideas of what their marriage should look like. Furthermore, there is a very convincing case to be made that monogamy is not a natural biological state for humans. And when you examine the holy books of the Abrahamic religions with an open mind, you discover oddities that don’t match up with Evangelical Christian norms. For example, the wisest man to have ever lived, Solomon, having a harem of over 1,000 women.

Having said all that, I don’t want to imply that there aren’t healthy monogamous marriages out there. But universally, I have observed that healthy marriages only exist where both the husband and wife agree on what the elephant is. Certainly, open marriage isn’t for everyone. The end goal for most is to marry someone for life and be sexually faithful with them until death.

I have assembled a list of essentials when constructing an open relationship. However, whether you’re married, in a LTR, or even in a casual arrangement, I encourage you to keep the following points in mind. Obviously, this list is intense and I wrote it with the serious open relationship in mind. You can adapt it to the seriousness of your relationship. By keeping you and your partner on the same page about these points, you will more effectively navigate the murky waters of modern relationships.