Tips For Proposing an Open Relationship

2 min read
Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

A new column in the New York Times gives some straightforward advice for how to propose an open relationship to your partner. If you’ve been thinking about exploring ethical non-monogamy, but aren’t sure where to begin, there’s some useful information here.

Don’t Ask During a Fight

The first piece of advice from the column, authored by Malia Wollan and informed by interviews with experts, should be obvious, but proposing an open relationship during a fight is not likely to lead to positive outcomes.

Start Hypothetically

Rather than starting with the idea of opening up your relationship, one of the sources in the column proposes beginning with a hypothetical. For example, you could talk about attractive celebrities with your partner, and hypothetically offer a “pass” in the event they were propositioned by a star they find sexy. It could also help to probe the subject over a drink, just to keep the conversation loose.

Be Clear About What You Want, and Listen

Once you have a sense of how open your partner is to an open relationship, it’s time to have the actual conversation. In this case you need to be as open and honest as you can about what you want. You also need to listen to your partner’s needs, and do so with empathy. The column recommends doing this in the context of couple’s therapy, if you can.

Read the rest and let us know what you think. If you’re in an open relationship, how does this advice compare to your experience?

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