What to Do If Your Partner Asks to Have an Open Relationship

If you’re in a relationship, you might be thinking things are going great between you and your partner. You’re an unstoppable duo – it’s you two against anything life throws at you. So, what happens when you’re partner tells you that they’re looking to explore outside the two of you, but still want to be apart of your relationship?

In the past, someone saying “I want to see someone else” usually meant the end of the relationship. Now, with more people questioning whether monogamy is the best way of life, open relationships have become a viable and welcome option for folks. If your partner approaches you about wanting an open relationship, they may not be trying to disrespect you. They may genuinely love you and care about you, but monogamy just isn’t for them.

If your SO approaches you about an open relationship, it may feel like a punch in the gut at first. Your natural reaction might be along the lines “hell NO!” But if you truly love and respect your significant other, you owe it to them to hear them out about why they believe an open relationship could be your next great journey. If you think you’re alone in this, read on to learn how to approach this next step in your relationship, and hear from actual college women who navigated the ups-and-downs of their open relationships.

Approach your partner with questions.

If an open relationship is going to work, you need to understand why they want to explore this new option, so you can’t shut them down immediately. Seattle University junior Anna emphasizes this. “Don’t let [an] attitude pervade your response, lest you make your partner feel shame about wanting to explore something new. Open relationships aren’t scandalous or dirty, they just can be complicated and messy if not done with proper respect and communication.”

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