There’s nothing better than the newness of a dating relationship. Such feelings are amplified in an open relationship.
There’s the thrill, freedom, and exploration potential that makes it all so exhilarating.
But open relationships present challenges as any relationship does. Just because the construct of the relationship is different doesn’t mean it’s without its hurdles.
Let’s look at how to manage an open relationship in it’s early days.
Open relationships are any relationship that is non-monogamous and features more than two persons. We say this because we like to point out that even under the open relationship dating umbrella exists wide variety in types of relationships. So our advice focuses on the higher level aspect of open relationships.
Tame the Hurry
Ok, so its new. It’s hot. Everything is a whirlwind of beauty.
In no way are we suggesting that you take on the personality of a bitter couple that’s been married for decades and couldn’t be more bored.
But here’s the thing: The initial flurry of excitement can cause you both (all) to lose sight of all the concepts which drive an open relationship’s success.
We say, “tame the hurry,” because we recommend you take a breath and ensure that all the boxes are checked. This doesn’t mean you need to douse your excitement flames with water.
Open relationships require tremendous efforts on both parts. This all begins with communication. If you’re too busy celebrating the newness, you may forget all the things you both need to create an open relationship infrastructure that’s longer term.
Set Clear Expectations
And so it goes.
So who get’s the covers? Well, ya’ll need to talk about that.
As we mentioned in the previous section, communication is the driver of an open relationship’s success. In the early stages of an open relationship, communication facilitates expectations for all parties.
When you’re rushing about, celebrating the newness, you might fail to properly convey what you expect from the other person. And they may fail to share their expectations, as well. When this happens, the relationship may experience issues.
Don’t take anything for granted. As they say, leave no stone unturned, there’s too much on the line emotionally for all of you.
Here’s some fast tips.
Honesty is Key: Be upfront about the fact that you’re in an open relationship from the beginning.
Communicate What “Open Relationship” Means for You: Not all open relationships are the same. Be clear about what being in an open relationship means to you. You’d be surprised how often this is overlooked.
Discuss Emotional Expectations: Talk about the emotional aspects of the relationship. Is the relationship purely physical, or are emotional connections and commitments expected?
Talk About Privacy: Discuss what information will be kept private between you two and what will be shared.
Discuss Safe Sex Expectations: Be open about your expectations for sexual health in the open relationship.
Pay Attention to How Emotions are Handled
There’s a big misconception that all open relationships are physical lust experiences. There are many open relationships which do function at rather physical levels, but equally, most have emotional components even if on a spectrum.
If someone tells you that they “don’t get jealous,” that could be a red flag. Most humans experience jealousy, some handle it better than others. People who say they never experience it maybe trying to portray themselves as “unbreakable,” or trying to keep you reeled in for fear you’d run away.
Emotions such as jealousy and anxiety are the norm. Expect them. Embrace them. Talk about them. As we said, handle them.
When people are freshly dating, they tend to put everything they have into it. And often, they let themselves go.
They used to go to the gym on Friday evenings, but now they are preparing for a big night out with their new relationship.
The diet tends to fall apart because going out to eat increases in frequency. And, well, as a few months pass, people feel less compelled to “impress anyone” because they “found someone.”
But open relationships are, indeed, open. That means there’s likely to be more than just you and your new partner.
Even more, self-care helps you stay mentally balanced so that you can attend to your emotions and take on the weight of someone else’s emotions.
Plain and simple, take care of yourself.
Here are some quick tips:
Establish a Regular Sleep Routine: Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices can help reduce stress and promote a sense of calm.
Engage in Activities You Enjoy: Spending time on hobbies and activities you love is important for your mental well-being.
Stay Connected: This is a big one. Maintaining close relationships with family and friends can provide emotional support. So don’t ditch them just because you’re in a new hot open relationship!
Practice Positive Self-Talk: Be kind to yourself.
New open relationships are an exciting time for all partners. It often means exploring new restaurants and events, even travel. There’s a fresh optimism that sets in that can sometimes cloud our judgments. The best thing to do in a new open relationship is to enjoy the honeymoon, but also, make sure you’re doing all the things you need to do for an open relationship to thrive.