How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Open Relationships

open relationship love signal with hands

Open relationships are growing in popularity. With more and more couples and singles turning to open relationships for their benefits, the need for education on the subject is rising. This is because mo’ people often leads to mo’ problems, at least in the interim period when things are fresh and vibrant, shiny and new.

When more people are involved, the odds rise that many of those people won’t fully invest their focus into taking the right path. This leads to couples making avoidable, common mistakes.

The purpose of this article is to help point out some of the more obvious, avoidable mistakes so that you and yours don’t have to make them.

Communication Breakdown

Communication is at the heart and soul of all relationships. But in the world of open relationships, communication remains the core pillar that’s touted by the open relationship community as the primary focus.

Communication is what sets the standards for boundaries and desires. In an open relationship, all parties must have an on-point idea of who wants what, and who can do what.

When communication breaks down, people begin acting in ways that hurt other people. When things are left to interpretations, those interpretations rarely work out for everyone.

Here are some ways to avoid the doldrums of communication breakdowns:

  1. Listen Actively: Make a conscious effort to truly hear and understand what the other person is saying.
  2. Speak Clearly: Be clear and concise with your words. Avoid using complex language that might confuse the other person.
  3. Stay Calm: Try to remain calm, even if the topic of conversation is emotionally heightened.
  4. Use “I” Statements: Instead of saying “You make me feel…” say “I feel…” This helps to avoid sounding accusatory.
  5. Don’t Interrupt: Wait for the other person to finish speaking before you respond. It sounds simple, but for some, it requires practice.
  6. Ask Questions: If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification instead of assuming what the other person means.
  7. Be Open-Minded: Try to see things from the other person’s perspective. The old saying, “put yourself in their shoes” goes a long ways.
  8. Non-verbal Communication: Pay attention to your body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice as they can all make a huge difference.
  9. Be Present: Put away distractions like your phone and give the other person your full attention.
  10. Practice Empathy: Try to understand the other person’s feelings and see things from their perspective.

You Don’t Manage Jealousy Appropriately

Its important to let go of the idea that people involved in an open relationship don’t get jealous. To be human is to be jealous. It’s OK. It’s not a sign of weakness.

Jealousy becomes a problem when communication of desires and boundaries are not respected, ignored, or misunderstood.

The best way to hone in jealous feelings is through proper and clear communication.

So how do we do this?

  1. Understand Your Feelings: Acknowledge your jealousy without judgment. Understanding your feelings is the first step towards managing them.
  2. Reflect on the Source: Identify the root cause of your jealousy. Is it due to past experiences, insecurities, or something else?
  3. Communicate: Openly share your feelings with your partner without blaming them. Use “I” statements to express how you feel.
  4. Practice Self-Care: Engage in activities that boost your self-esteem and well-being.
  5. Trust Your Partner: Trust is crucial in any relationship. Focus on building and maintaining trust.
  6. Set Boundaries: Clearly define your boundaries and ensure your partner understands and respects them.
  7. Stay Positive: Focus on the positive aspects of your relationship and yourself.
  8. Seek Professional Help: If jealousy is significantly impacting your life and relationship, consider seeking help from a therapist or counselor.

You Fail To Take Care of Your Primary Relationship

In an open relationship, you have a #1. Your #1 is the one who came to the big decision to enter an open relationship with you. She/he has been there the whole time.

Open relationships bring with them a lot of distractions. Yes, those distractions are often fun, sexy, and riveting. But you must be sure to not allow those situations distract you from your primary love.

How do we do this?

  1. Communicate Regularly: Keep the lines of communication open. Talk about your feelings, experiences, and any concerns you may have.
  2. Prioritize Quality Time: Make time for each other, even if it’s just a few minutes each day to check in and connect.
  3. Show Appreciation: Regularly express your love and appreciation for your partner.
  4. Maintain Physical Intimacy: Physical affection, whether it’s hugging, kissing, or holding hands, helps maintain a strong bond.
  5. Be Supportive: Offer your support and encouragement in both good times and bad.
  6. Stay Trustworthy: Keep your promises and commitments to your partner.
  7. Respect Their Independence: Allow your partner to have their own interests, hobbies, and friendships.
  8. Practice Forgiveness: Let go of grudges and resentments.
  9. Keep the Romance Alive: Surprise your partner with small gestures, gifts, or notes.
  10. Stay Curious: Show interest in your partner’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
  11. Plan Future Activities: Having shared goals and plans for the future can strengthen your bond.

Overall, focus on communication in your relationship(s). Be up front with what you want, remains hyper-focused on what others want, and treat your primary relationship like the queen or king they are.