20 Myths About Open Relationships

20 Myths About Open Relationships

20 Myths About Open Relationships! 

Let's talk about open relationships.

Have you heard any of the following statements? 

That's where one of you gets to cheat, and the other person has no say in it, right?

Nah, it's where she has sex with other men and tells him about it?

No way! Open relationships aren't even real relationships. 

If any of these sound familiar to you, or you want to get your head around what open relationships are and are not, you need this post. 

I'll be discussing common misconceptions, myths, tall tales and downright rubbish about open relationships and the people who have them. You may be surprised at what you discover! 

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People Who Have Open Relationships Are Sex Addicts 

First of all, being Ethically Non-Monogamous; which is what an open relationship is, and being a sex addict are two different things entirely.  

Sure, it's a safe assumption to say that yes, chances are there will be sex involved at some point, but someone who has a sex addiction is very different to someone in an open relationship. 

According to WebMD; sex addiction is defined as a lack of control over sexual thoughts, urges, and impulses. This desire often interferes with an individuals ability to live their daily life

Web MD also helps us define exactly what an open relationship is; 

An open relationship means having more than one romantic or sexual partner at a time. It's an arrangement that both parties agree is non-exclusive or non-monogamous. Both partners may engage in romantic or sexual activities outside the relationship

It Is No Different To Cheating

Let us look at what cheating is. This excerpt, taken from my article Is Swinging Cheating? Should put things into perspective for you. 

Cheating is the act of being deliberately deceitful behind your partners back for your gratification. Cheating can take on many different forms, such as seeking out emotional attachment with another person, spending time secretly with someone else or sending and deleting secret text messages or emails. It can also be in the form of sharing intimacies with another person, such as kissing and sex behind your partners back. 

With an open relationship, the intent is discussed between both parties before any intimacy occurs. Sure, you may not discuss in detail what you might do; some couples do, some couples don't, but there are no secrets about what is happening, as you have a clear understanding and honest conversation beforehand. As an example: 

Her: Babe, Julie, asked if I wanted to go to the club with her on Saturday night for the Bi girls party. Would that interrupt our plans? 

Him: No, honey, you go and enjoy it; thanks for telling me; I appreciate your honesty. 

Her: I'll tell you all about it on Sunday morning when we are in bed! 

Him: I will look forward to it.  

In my opinion, this type of prior conversation (which, in reality, I'm sure would be more in-depth than this) demonstrates how both parties are aware of the situation. There's no deception or lying about whereabouts.  

It Means Your Partner Doesn't Love You.

Having an open relationship, talking about it honestly, truthfully, and showing vulnerability to your partner, comes from a place of love. Wanting to keep your existing relationship intact and find a solution that suits both of you, without jeopardising the life you have built together, that's love. 

20 Myths About Open Relationships

Open Relationships Are Not Real Relationships

Says who? Let's look at what makes a relationship. For me, a relationship, regardless of gender or sexuality, consists of individuals supporting one another emotionally, financially, mentally, physically and working together to create a world where they feel loved, respected and cherished.

Having an open relationship, talking about it honestly, truthfully, and showing vulnerability to your partner, comes from a place of love.

If that is a monogamous relationship between two women, an open relationship between bisexual men, or a polyamorous couple who have a loving relationship with another couple, then so be it. For me, it's the core ingredients that are key to a successful relationship, not the components. 

People Who Have Open Relationships Can't Commit.

Just because a couple decides to have an open relationship doesn't mean they can't or won't commit. I think very often, commitment and emotional exclusivity get confused. You can easily be emotionally committed to a person whilst both enjoying an open relationship. You have all the emotional attachments you desire; you love each other, support each other, and work together to create a world for you both to thrive in. You know what this sounds like, commitment! I know plenty, and I mean plenty of open married couples, so the two can coexist. 

It Will Ruin Your Relationship

If you fail to communicate with one another, act deceitfully, or don't take the time to listen to your partner, then yes, chances are it will ruin your relationship. If you don't draw up mutual rules and boundaries, you will have a hard time making any Ethically monogamous relationship work. But, the same applies to monogamous relationships too, no?

Wanting to keep your existing relationship intact and find a solution that suits both of you, without jeopardising the life you have built together, that's love. 

Only Men Want Them

Absolutely 100% a myth! I'm a woman who has had open relationships and introduced partners to them, and I have lots of married female friends who have been the instigators of wanting open relationships. 

If You Don't Agree Your Partner Will Do It Anyway

This sounds like a clickbait headline found in a trashy magazine! 

'My Man Wanted An Open Relationship; I Said No, But He Did It Anyway'. 

This is not how respectful, loving relationships work. Sure your partner may not be on the same page from the get-go, but this is where communication, empathy and understanding come into play. 

This kind of coercion behaviour, 'do it or I'll leave you' or 'it doesn't matter what you say, I'll still do it',  has no place in the world of Ethical Non-Monogamy. 

Instead, you should talk about your reservations, willingness to compromise and find a solution that suits you both.

He's curious about visiting a fetish club, and you don't like fetish? 

Ok, find a solution. Maybe he visits a fetish club to find out if he likes it or not but goes to discover more about the scene, not to play with anyone. You discuss it beforehand, draw up some rules, and reconnect afterwards. 

People In Open Relationships Don't Love Each Other Enough 

I've said it once, and I'll repeat it; you can't have a successful open relationship unless you have a strong foundation to build from. And this foundation, this rock solid love, sits at the centre of all you do

Both Partners Have Multiple Lovers 

20 Myths About Open Relationships

Some do, some don't. There are no right or wrong amount of lovers a person should or shouldn't have. You may both decide to see lovers of the same sex or the opposite sex. It is down to the individuals within the relationship. 

Open Relationships Stop Cheating 

Nope! If people want to cheat, they will. You can't control another person's behaviour in this way, nor should you want to. 

People In Open Relationships Have STIs

I have heard this one a lot! And the reality is quite different, especially if you are a long term couple who both have sex with others. People who practice open relationships are very conscious of being exposed to STIs. The last thing they want is to pass on an infection to their partner, so getting tested regularly and practising safe sex form part of their relationship maintenance. 

It Is Expected That You Are Bisexual 

Some people are, some people aren't. Some people are bicurious, and others never incline. There are no right or wrong ways to be! 

They Are Damaging For Children To Know They Exist

This is one that some of my friends have encountered, being that they have three children and are pretty open about their lifestyle. 

Recently I spoke to them, and they told me that when they tell people they are in an open marriage, the first thing they are met with is 'but what if your children find out?' 'Isn't that too much for your children to deal with?' 

My friend's response to this was great; she said she sat her kids down and spoke about all the different types of relationships that people can have. She explained that men could love men and women can love women, and it's ok to love more than one person, and it's ok for her and daddy to have close friends because they still love each other just the same. 

I think what is more damaging is to tell your kids,

'It's wrong to be anything other than what I believe is normal.' 

Open Relationships Are All About Sex

Yes, sex can be involved, but not always. I recently wrote an article titled can a relationship be open for only one person, and I gave some examples of what an open relationship can look like. When it comes to sexual desires, there are limitless possibilities. It may be that one of you visits a domme, or perhaps is a domme, or enjoys soft swapping with other women, or enjoys sex with T-girls, or enjoys watching others have sex? 

Whatever it is, don't be fooled into thinking that it's either sex or nothing at all. 

If Your Partner Wants An Open Relationship, It Means They Don't Find You Attractive. 

Is this seriously what people think? Unfortunately, yes, otherwise, I wouldn't have listed it. 

But it begs the question; what kind of person even thinks this? Is attractiveness the only thing that people are interested in? Is that the only reason people stay together? Is that the only reason someone is dating you, and when they no longer find you attractive, they will move onto another person whilst still keeping you in the background? Really?

Firstly, no one should settle for this kind of behaviour, and secondly, a relationship based on is far far far far more than a measure of how attractive someone is.

People who have no idea what open relationships are all about tend to say things like this. It's a good job I'm here to educate people.  

If You Want An Open Relationship, It Means You Will Never Settle Down 

Regularly checking in with your primary partner and being mindful of them and your relationship should, for me, always be your priority

I have said it once, and I will repeat it. Again. And again. I have so many married friends in LTR who are open. They have all the makings of what society defines as being committed. Some have kids, a mortgage, some have a business together, and some have been married for 20 plus years. I think we can agree that all these sound like people who have settled down. 

Open Relationships Are What All Men Want Deep Down 

I certainly can see why many men may like the idea of an open relationship, sexual freedom whilst maintaining emotional exclusivity? But in reality, it's not as easy as that. After all, what's good for him is good for her, right? This is something that many men struggle with. 

You would be surprised by the number of men who are not that keen on the idea. 

20 Myths About Open Relationships

Open Relationships Will Cause You To Drift Apart 

It is understandable why this myth exists. After all, when you are in an open relationship, chances are some of your time and attention will be spent on other people. Regardless of how 'invested' in them, you want to be, you will still set aside time to go to a swingers club, arrange a meet up with them, or talk to them away from your partner. The only way you won't drift apart from your partner is if you regularly check in with one another and have clear communication in regards to how much time you spend with others, how frequently you meet them, or how often you attend events. 

Open relationships are a healthy and realistic approach to human nature.

If it's a once a month occurrence, then set that time aside, communicate well in advance to your partner that this is your intention and make sure both of you are happy with it before it takes place.

Regularly checking in with your partner and being mindful of them and your relationship should, for me, always be your priority. 

Suppose you are both open in your relationship. In that case, you need to work out a way of prioritising your existing relationship in a way that accommodates both of your non-monogamy needs. Do you both play separately on the same night? Do you both play once a month? 

And when it comes to chatting to the people you play with, do you have set times for this? I don't think you should be talking to your playmates when you are spending quality time with your partner unless, of course, this is the dynamic of your relationship. 

Open relationships Are Sleazy. 

Some people believe anything other than vanilla sex, within the confines of a traditionally monogamous relationship between a man and woman, is either wrong, dirty, or for perverts. 

If you want to call Ethical Non-Monogamy sleazy, fine, be my guest. I can guarantee these are the same people who furiously deny they have any sexual fetishes, desires or fantasies of their own. Just sayin'...

Open relationships are

1) A healthy and realistic approach to human nature.

2) A great way to discover more about one another's sexuality

3) They open up new communication channels and vulnerability within your relationship, which deepens the bond between you.

4) Fun!  

 

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