There’s no more influential pillar of an open relationship than that of communication. If communication is rocky, treacherous, or non-existent, the open relationship likely fails.
To be fair, communication is the primary driver of any relationship’s success. We are humans, thus, sophisticated communication of feelings and desires create or break down any type of relationship.
We focus on communication heavily in open relationships not because they are “risque,” instead, it’s because the open relationship ironically utilizes communication the most of any relationship. Traditional relationships fail because one or both parties avoid putting forth their actual desires. Part of the mend an open relationship offers is, by and large, intimate, honest conversations.
Here are some practical tips for open relationship communication.
Have you ever noticed that organization helps us feel less stressed and increases productivity? We rely on our calendars for our professional lives. But why not for our personal ones?
Setting aside time to communicate is a wonderful idea. In some cases, you might want to have agenda items (things that are on you and yours minds). Other times, it can be more of a free thought experience.
The time should be set in a location that’s less interrupted. You don’t have to stare at one another in a silent room, however, the bar you commonly have happy hour at where you know everyone isn’t a great idea.
A good way to approach these scheduled check-ins is to have some ironclad agenda items. Maybe you dive into them each time, maybe not. But you both understand them to be central components of the open relationship’s success.
- Boundaries: Ensuring both partners are on the same page about what’s acceptable.
- Feelings and Emotions: Regularly checking in on emotional states.
- New Partners: Conversations before and after introducing a new partner.
- Challenges and Concerns: Addressing any issues head-on before they escalate.
Its a great idea to take notes throughout the week and categorize them under these points.
We know, this may feel laborious and maybe a bit cheesy. But this is how you keep a relationship, particularly one which introduces new partners, full steam ahead.
But there is more to it than scheduled check-ins. How do you interact during the discussions? How do you make the most of the time you have together during these conversations?
Use Active Listening
Just being there isn’t enough.
Learn the art of active listening. This will help you far beyond your dating relationships, understanding how to active listen can help you in your professional life as well.
Use Technology – But Not Overly So
Technology is a great way to foster an environment of connectivity. But it can also serve as a detriment if we overly rely on it.
Video conferencing technology, such as FaceTime and Zoom, are great ways to connect people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to sit in the same room. To be clear, the best option is in the room together. But when you can’t, use video technology.
Taking notes throughout the week using Notepad, or other note taking apps can help keep your communication check-ins on point.
Leveraging Feedback Loops
Feedback loops are a vital part of an open relationship’s communication dialogue. The feedback loop refers to a continuous process of communication between partners regarding feelings, concerns, and experiences. This ongoing dialogue helps partners navigate the complexities of their relationship.
Having a feedback loop in an open relationship is vital. It helps people connect and minimizes misunderstandings.
In an open relationship, it’s imperative that all parties work together to consistently communicate and improve those lines of communication. Communication is the soul of any relationship, its a skill that will improve many facets of your life even beyond your relationships with open relationship partners.