When it comes to open relationships, each has its own quirks, pleasures, sources of tension and individual personal politics, but there are four basic rules that can help you have an enjoyable and healthy relationship – one (relatively) free of drama and angst.
Rule 1: Be clear that what you want is an open relationship.
I know this sounds incredibly obvious, but you’d be surprised how many men end up in an “open relationship” with a woman who believes she’s in a committed one. This happens when you string a woman along, and you’re vague about your intentions and what you want from the relationship. Make sure that she knows what you’re about from the start and you’ll avoid a lot of needless heartache and hurt feelings down the road.
Rule 2: Find a woman who has her own things going on.
A busy woman is a woman less likely to make huge demands on your time, or to get needy on you all of a sudden. If part of what you want from an open relationship is plenty of space and someone to hook up with who won’t tie you down, find a woman with a career, a passion, a hobby – whatever it might be – something that will help keep you from becoming the center of her world by accident.
Rule 3: Avoid jealousy, at all costs.
Of all the rules of open relationships, this one is the most fundamental. Jealousy, either feeling it or being its object, is kryptonite to open relationships. It’s not just about her, either. If you get antsy when you see your FWB out on the town with another guy, you might need to check yourself and make sure the open relationship route is right for you in the first place. It goes without saying that you can’t expect a successful open relationship to develop with a jealous woman, and the odds of one are no better if you’re a jealous guy.
Rule 4: If it stops being fun, break it off and move on.
This might sound cold, but a truly good open relationship should be one that’s easy to close, especially when the thrill is gone. If the sex turns dull, you find that you argue more often than you hook up, or you’re otherwise not having fun anymore, don’t make a ball and chain out of your FWB. Make a clean, respectful break, so you can both move on with your lives.
What rules do you follow in open relationships?