'According To Him + Her': What Is An Open Relationship?

Life & Love | Bené Viera | 08/05/2014 | 11:44 AM EDT

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What is an open relationship? One that more people, especially the monogamy challenged, should sign up for so they can stop pretending to be faithful.

Hear us out.

An open relationship as defined by Wikipedia is “an interpersonal relationship in which the parties want to be together but agree to a form of a non-monogamous relationship. This means that they agree that a romantic or intimate relationship with another person is accepted, permitted, or tolerated.”

More simply put, Urban Dictionary defines it as “a relationship in which two people agree that they want to be together, but can't exactly promise that they won't see other people too. Basically, to have it all: a significant other and the freedom to hook up with other people.”

We can already see you turning your nose up at the idea.

The truth is, though, a lot more people need to be open to open relationships, because you're already in an open relationship (whether you agreed to it or not) when your partner repeatedly cheats on you.

Open relationships are shunned because monogamy is the socialized norm for relationships. We're conditioned to want one person all to ourselves and vice versa. We are possessive in that way where we think our lover belongs to us. And only us. 

Yet monogamy clearly is not for everyone. This is evident by the stats, babies being born while parties are in a relationship and so forth. Why then are droves of people committing to monogamous relationships knowing they’re really not built to be faithful?

Socializing, heteronormative ideals, media narratives, fear of something outside of the "norm" and several other reasons.

While an open relationship is not for this writer or it may not be for you, if two people have a clear understanding that they’d like to have the benefits of being in a committed relationship while also having sex with other people, let them do them.

Practice safe sex every single time and flourish.

Wouldn't it be much easier to find someone down with open relationships, have a conversation about expectations, be on the same page and operate in a relationship where no one is lying or sneaking because you both want the same thing?

It doesn’t make sense to keep getting in monogamous relationship after monogamous relationship to keep lying, keep cheating and slipping up so many times you’ve had a side baby. Either be single or have a real talk about having an open relationship.

Don’t knock it until you try it because again, some folks are in open relationships anyway and they don’t even know it. No tea, no shade.

(Photo: skynesher/Getty Images)

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