Each couple is bound to have different rules they will need to agree on, as every relationship is different. The one thing that can prove very helpful is knowing where to start in regards to these rules. Here are some common and helpful open relationship rules that can help your relationship last.

Rule #1: Be Open and Honest about Everything

Can an open relationship save your bond with your partner? Can having other partners affect your intimacy with your other half? These are all questions that are normal to think about and you need to start discussing them right away.

The very first thing that is necessary for every open relationship is honesty. Being open and honest with your partner about everything that goes on between you and your relations with other partners is crucial for keeping open relationships healthy.

First and foremost, you need to discuss with your partner setting some ground rules when it comes to the people you choose to spend time with. Most partners in open relationships prefer to know when their other half has multiple sexual partners, how many partners they have, and in general, just be aware of one another.

Following that, you need to discuss the levels of intimacy you will have with other people. Some relationships are strictly sexual in nature and only happen once. Other relationships have a recurring character and you need to make sure that your primary partner is okay with that.

It is very easy to cause problems when it comes to open relationship boundaries so you need to make sure that you are as honest with your partner as possible. You both need to be on the same page for the open relationship to work well and have regular check-ins where you can both be open about your needs.

Rule #2: Discuss What Each Person Considers Cheating

Second of all, you need to both be clear about your views on cheating between the two of you. For most open relationships, partners in the community consider cheating to be something very terrible and truly condemn it.

Usually, most couples consider cheating to be taking place when the other partner doesn't inform them of a person they have had relations with. As mentioned previously, open relationship rules state that honesty is the best policy. If you are not open and honest with your primary partner about other people you have relations with, this can definitely be considered cheating.

Since you have decided to open up your relationship, the other person might not want to be informed about everyone you sleep with. This is especially common when the relationship is a one-sided open relationship and not both people choose to have multiple partners.

If the other person feels like they don't want to know about all of the people you spend time with, and don't consider you not telling them everything as cheating, then you have no reason to worry. This is exactly why discussing this is important and why you should prioritize these types of talks as rules in your open relationship.

Rule #3: Set Very Clear Boundaries and Expectations

Talking about what is completely off-limits when it comes to other relationships and what is acceptable is the best way to ensure both you and your primary partner feel comfortable and safe in the relationship.

While many people believe that many open relationships can't be as long-lasting as monogamous ones, rules that respect each others' boundaries are exactly what can help them last. Knowing exactly what your partner is comfortable with and what they're not will help you give an exact definition to your open relationship.

For example, many partners are often seeking emotional intimacy as well as sexual relationships with other people outside of their primary partner. If your partner is not okay with you having such a connection with someone else, you need to set emotional boundaries.

When is it okay in their eyes to be with someone outside of your relationship with them and what relationship status will that relationship have? Are you able to have other partners just for sexual activities or can you form more meaningful relationships apart from casual sex?

These are some ground rules you should discuss in order to make sure that one partner doesn't feel left out. This way, you will be able to set emotional boundaries that will make both parties feel respected. At the same time, you will be able to know whether this open relationship would work better than a classic monogamous relationship between you.

Rule #4: How Much Time will You Spend with Other Partners?

Something you need to pay a lot of attention to when being in an open relationship is choosing how much time you will spend with your main partner and how much time you will devote to other people in your life.

Non-monogamy needs to revolve around love and spending enough time with your other half, just like you do with all your relationships. This usually has nothing to do with sexual acts and sexual activities. It depends on how much time your other half wants to spend with you on a daily basis.

If your partner expresses their feelings about you not spending enough time with them, you need to have set a rule on how to deal with this. The one thing you can arrange is for you to have more date nights where all your focus can be on that one person.

Emotional needs in these open relationships end up becoming more important than physical ones as the latter can be covered by more than one person. What matters the most is maintaining a great and loving relationship with your partner and setting a rule to spend more time with them can help you both stay close and be in love.

Rule #5: Discuss Jealousy Openly

When people first go into an open relationship, they can put their jealousy aside as they are excited about this new situation. Usually, people who have not been in an open relationship before can form thoughts of jealousy a lot easier.

This is totally normal and can happen to everyone, even people who have been in open relationships before. Once again, you need to take the time to discuss this with your partner. This should be a ground-rule between the two of you.

When one of you starts feeling jealousy for any reason, you need to find the cause of this and discuss it until it is no longer a problem. This is especially important to the longevity of your own relationship and it will allow your partner to feel safe and loved.

Does your partner feel okay with you seeing people in a social context and going on dates without forming a relationship with those people? If so, you will need to find a way to deal with jealousy and work on your boundaries and expectations once again.

β€œOne of the most valuable things we can learn from open sexual lifestyles is that our programming is changeable.” Dossie Eston.


Rule #6: Take Your Partner's Feelings Into Consideration

When it comes to open relationship rules, you always need to take into consideration exactly how your partner is feeling about anything that happens. There are some cases where partners will feel okay only about you having occasional flings with other people. They might not be able to process you being close emotionally to new partners and this can cause issues.

Before you start the open relationship status, you need to take these things into consideration and be clear about how certain things make you feel. Of course, in most cases, these things come along as the relationship progresses. That doesn't mean that you should wait until you see multiple people in order to set rules for the future.

If your partner feels uncomfortable about anything and comes to you about it, you should always take their feelings into consideration. The same applies to them. This is the only way to overcome issues, handle jealousy and ensure that your open relationship activities don't affect your other half negatively.

Rule #7: Practice Safe Sex and Always Use Protection

One of the things you should always take into consideration in any open relationship is being safe during your relations with other people. Depending on your open relationship rules, you can have multiple partners and even people you only have sex with once.

This highlights the need of practicing safe sex and being clean and open if something unexpected happens. In other words, you both to be careful about who you spend your time with, whether this revolves around oral sex or penetrative sex as both can carry diseases.

Caring for your own safety during sex also means that you care for your primary partner's health too. When you have unprotected sex with someone, you carry the risk of giving something to your other half.

In addition, having sex without being careful of the consequences can create a lot of friction in your relationship. It might seem like it's just casual sex but not being open and honest about it with your partner can cause problems.

You might even want to go through some annual checkups to make sure that both of you are healthy since you are sleeping with more than one person. Therefore, this can be an addition to your relationship rules that can create a safe space for discussing sex and your sexual health.

Rule #8: Make Sure You don't Hook Up with Someone You Both Know

Another issue that also frequently comes up when setting open relationship rules is who you hook up with. Apart from whether you choose for both of you to know or be familiar with all partners, it can also revolve around family friends, or acquaintances.

For example, having sex with a mutual friend can really make things awkward if your primary relationship meets them on the street or at a friend's gathering. In order to avoid such an awkward situation, you should decide in advance which people are not available.

If you feel uncomfortable with your other half having sex with someone you both know, then they should respect your wishes and avoid them. This will help you set sexual boundaries and help you both manage the open relationship in a healthy way without stress.

Rule #9: Always Remind Your Partner You Love Them

When spending time with other people, you can often forget to give your primary relationship the attention they deserve. Sometimes, something as simple as telling them you love them can mean the world to them.

Outside your sexual needs of open relationships, the emotional ones are equally just as important and since you are in an open relationship, it should not feel like relationship anarchy if you have one primary partner.

If you follow this one golden rule, and always remind your person how much they mean to you, your relationship is meant to succeed. In a monogamous relationship, people find the time to tell each other how much they love them. Make sure you put just as much effort into showing your love and affection into your other half.

Rule #10: Have Plans in Case the Open Relationship Doesn't Work Out

Consensual non-monogamous relationships revolve around open communication and trust. Being able to think in advance about the potential of this not working out for you and your partner is very important.

There is always the possibility that one of you will feel hurt or neglected through this relationship. They might even express their preference to this being more of you having one-sided open relationships rather than their having multiple relationships.

If at any point you see that this is not working out for one partner, it is a good idea to have made plans in advance. Knowing how to proceed if this happens should not happen at the last minute. Open relationships fall through when these situations arise and there is no plan in place.

It might even be a good idea to get the advice of a relationship therapist, in case you need to reevaluate certain things about your relationship. A relationship therapist, who usually is a clinical psychologist specializing in therapy for couples, can be helpful for couples in open or monogamous relationships.

They can help each partner express their thoughts and feelings in a much healthier way and also bring more self-awareness to each partner, helping them understand how they can support their partner better. This is why therapy has become such a big deal in our time and it can certainly help your relationship improve.

Finding Balance Through the Right Open Relationship Rules

Each relationship will consist of rules that are targeted to the people making up the main couple. Deciding to open up your relationship can be a little tricky at first, but having rules both parties need to follow will protect both parties from emotional damage.

If at any point either of you feels uncomfortable, be ready to have a backup plan and see how you can proceed. Putting effort into your communication and checking in with each other frequently will help both of you feel safe and happy.

Taimi is free to download. Taimi Premium subscription provides access to features unavailable or limited in the free version of the app.

Follow the latest Taimi news on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Share this post:
Start Dating Quiz