Sex, Love, and All of the Above: Jealousy in Open Relationships

But, if you’ve been in a romantic relationship with several partners before, you know what we’re talking about. Sometimes, the spark dies off, and to think that your mind, body, and soul should forever belong to one person is difficult for some people.

And annexing this desire is perfectly fine, but when you simply ask the question, “But why? And maintaining that level of honesty is going to mean having conversations that are sometimes difficult, awkward, or uncomfortable. By laying it all out and being transparent with your partner, you get rid of any assumptions that you or your partner are making and you can make the transition into a healthy, thriving open relationship. Countless intimate, long-lasting, fulfilling partnerships have been open relationships. Whenever someone new enters the bedroom, there is always going to be some risk of STDs and, depending on the partner, there may be a risk of unplanned pregnancies. Always remember that any possibilities you take upon yourself is something that can also affect your other partner. Converting a traditional and monogamous relationship into one of the above implies a change in mentality and perspective on how you should carry on in your relationship, from both an emotional and sexual standpoint.

This could be an intellectual, emotional or sexual attachment to someone other than your partner – and it could be sporadic or more or less ongoing. Once you’ve established that that isn’t what’s going on here, consider what you hope to get out of opening things up. Maybe you want to try something new that your partner doesn’t, sexually or otherwise. Maybe you’re starting to feel like monogamy just isn’t a fit for you.

  • People in open relationships don’t consider monogamy necessary in order to maintain a healthy and stable relationship.
  • All that said, you will probably not want to start with one-on-one hookups with outside people.
  • This might only make feelings of insecurity worse—instead, accept their decision, and work on enjoying your time together more.
  • Morgan Mandriota is a New York-based writer who is passionate about exploring the intersection of pleasure, healing, and holistic well-being.
  • If you’re interested in exploring an open relationship, here are Major’s three tips to get you started.

I’m with him for all the other hours, the ones where we’re shopping together, watching TV, cooking, or not doing much of anything at all. And the hours in bed, holding him, are irreplaceable on this earth. They could not be replicated in all the billions of people out there, because there’s only one him. Intimacy is not sex, because you can’t have it with just anyone, and intimacy is what you want to cultivate and tend to in a good love story.

Communicating effectively requires particular skills, and we all know different people have strengths and weaknesses in this area. Kathy Labriola is a nurse, counselor, and hypnotherapist in private practice in Berkeley, California. You’ll want to pare your goals down to ones you agree on, even if that means that at first, you don’t get everything you ultimately want out of this new arrangement. Once you’ve both shared what you want out of this new dynamic, it’s vital that you both agree. If one of you has a goal that the other doesn’t share, things won’t work well. Ariane Resnick, CNC is a mental health writer, certified nutritionist, and wellness author who advocates for accessibility and inclusivity.

When Your Partner Wants Non-Monogamy and You Don’t

For example, one couple may decide that outside relationships should only be sexual, while others may be open to emotional connections. Despite the prevalence of non-monogamous relationships, many people in monogamous ones wonder how to navigate jealousy. You might think that non-monogamous people don’t get jealous, but this isn’t true. I’ve heard some people say that they don’t have the confidence for non-monogamy.

Images of Queer Joy at The Advocate’s People of the Year Party

“Jealousy, like all emotions, contains valuable information about something we need to heal from or some need that’s not being met,” Dr. Pitagora explains. The reality of a newly open relationship is that it might bring jealousy to the forefront, but ultimately this can give partners an opportunity to reflect.

Some consider open relationships to be a form of polyamory, while others think of polyamory as more of a group relationship/marriage situation. For our purposes, distinguishing between the two isn’t entirely important, because they tend to have the same requirements, risks and benefits. If you feel like you are someone who has always felt confined and stifled by monogamy, an open relationship might be the right choice for you. In either case, communication is key to prevent hurt feelings and resentment. Whether your relationship is transitioning from being monogamous to open, or the relationship was open from the start, it’s important to periodically evaluate your feelings of jealousy.

Should you actively or passively explore new relationships? If you discuss the nitty gritty stuff at the beginning of the relationship, you ensure that you and your partner are on the same page, which is really important! Even though you are opening your relationship up, this person is still your main person, and you want to make sure that they’re respected and excited about this new aspect of your relationship. These parameters can of course change over time, but starting off with some ground rules is always a good idea.