Hvordan åbner jeg mit forhold

How can I open my relationship?

Have you been considering a non-monogamous relationship, but aren't sure how to make it work or how to talk to your partner about it? Then read this guide, where we've gathered advice on how to navigate non-monogamous relationships

What are non-monogamous relationships? 

The term "non-monogamous" covers all kinds of relationships that are not monogamous (that is, when just two people are exclusive). There are many terms associated with non-monogamy, and if you're not very familiar with it, it can be a little confusing.

While it's important to familiarize yourself with the details of non-monogamy, we can start by distinguishing between the concepts of polyamory and an open relationship. Polyamory is a non-monogamous relationship where you can have romantic relations with more than one partner.

The term "open relationship" is used to refer to relationships in which you have one primary romantic partner, and at the same time have sexual relations with others.

Before you talk to your partner or potential partners, consider what you would prefer. Can multiple romantic partners work, or can you only manage one romantic partner? 

If you want a quick introduction to the concepts when talking non-monogamy, you can also listen to our podcast here. However, note that it is in Danish. It also gives you more tips on navigating a non-monogamous relationship:

Listen on Spotify here

Listen on iTunes here

Listen on Soundcloud here

Before you have the talk

Besides considering what kind of non-monogamous relationship you might be into, there are several other things you should think about:

If you're in a monogamous relationship already, you might first consider what you'd gain from making the relationship non-monogamous. Is it to feel "free" or is it to open up to more people? There's nothing wrong with either, but it's a good idea to consider why and whether there could be other solutions than non-monogamy. 

After all, if you're in a monogamous relationship, you also need to consider your partner's reaction to the conversation. Some may feel insecure or hurt that their partner wants to include others, and if you can't talk properly about those insecurities together, it can be really hard to function in a non-monogamous relationship. 

Another thing to remember is that non-monogamy is not a solution or a salvation for a monogamous relationship in crisis. Not everyone has the capacity to be in a non-monogamous relationship, so it's not just a quick fix if you're experiencing issues in your relationship. 

When you have the talk

When you do have the talk, it's important to be empathetic with your partner and their reaction. They may not have the capacity to be in a non-monogamous relationship and you need to respect it if that's the case. And if that's the case, you then need to consider whether you have the capacity to be in a monogamous relationship.

No type of relationship is more "right" or "correct" than others. The most important thing is to accept your needs and the needs you have in relation to others, and not suppress what you actually prefer.

If non-monogamy can work for both of you, it can help if you talk about your rules and boundaries before involving others. This could be things like: how much do you want to share or know about the other partners? Do you want to hear about each other's dates and sex, or would you rather not? How will you deal with jealousy? Is there room for romantic relationships with others, or should your other relationships be strictly sexual? 

The rules you make don't have to be permanent, but they can be a good guideline at first as you get used to navigating a non-monogamous relationship. 

After the talk

After you've agreed how your non-monogamous relationship will work, there are several things you can do to keep it going and keep it healthy. Communication and trust are key, as with any relationship, and it's good to check in with each other regularly. Jealousy can easily arise and it is important to say it out loud and be honest, rather than hiding it. Jealousy is not necessarily horrible for your relationship, but it can turn bad if you don't talk about it.

If you have sexual relations with several people, it is also a good idea to have an agreement about using a form of contraception. That way you avoid the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, and it's just good manners towards your partners. 

One challenge with non-monogamous relationships can be that you may feel less prioritized if there are multiple partners involved. It's important to have agreements about how much time you spend with each partner and how your time is divided.

So, being in an ethical non-monogamous relationship takes work, and it can be a little challenging. But when you have a good understanding of each other's boundaries and needs, and are able to communicate clearly, you're well on your way.


Read also: What is sexual aftercare?

Read also: Our guide to slow sex

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.