Now, as open relationships are more socially acceptable, it begs the question: Is monogamy officially abolished?
More couples are turning traditional monogamy upside down, and celebrities are leading the way.
Why are open relationships popular?
Although long considered taboo, open relationships are steadily making their way into the mainstream.
Hollywood celebrities such as Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have recently spoken out on the topic after speaking publicly about their flexible monogamous relationships with themselves.
What is an open relationship? How is it different from traditional romance?
Open monogamy is a relationship structure in which two people maintain a firm relationship with each other, as well as a flexible, fluid agreement that may include sexual, emotional, or romantic relationships with others.
People in an open monogamous agreement are committed to their primary partner, but also understand each other’s needs and agree that being with other people (while mostly maintaining commitment to each other) is the best way to meet those needs.
So are open relationships better than closed ones?
Classic monogamy — the longstanding standard for couples — certainly applies to many.However, data from Ashley Madison, the world’s largest online dating site for people who are married or in a relationship shows that 76% of members with open monogamous agreements feel somewhat or very satisfied in their relationship – only 28% say this Agree. Monogamous relationship.
If you want to have sex with someone else, are you really in love?
From a very young age, we’ve been told that the most epic love stories begin and end with just one person – and he is our best friend, confidant, helping hand, and love at the same time.
On the surface, this seems like the epitome of romance. With our true love around, how could we want or need anything else? But, as open monogamy attests, this type of relationship may not be realistic for those who think monogamy is incompatible with their way of life.
Considering having multiple partners can challenge what we know about love. We are taught that if we commit to a person, we should only want to have sex with that person.
However, there may be emotional or romantic monogamy when having sex with other partners. It is possible to move to new behaviors and new people, while still remaining in touch with our key partners, giving us a new understanding of our relationships.
User Guide for Turning On Monogamy
Want to bring other people into your relationship? Dr Tammy Nelson reveals what to do
If you and your spouse or partner are considering making your monogamous agreement public, try starting with a “what if” conversation.
Ask each other: What if we were truly honest with each other? What if we told each other our true fantasies?
Before you talk about opening up, think about how you would respond to the possibility of outside exploration.
Sharing thoughts now is not the same as admitting an affair or planning future cheating – you are being very honest.
This is the opposite of lying and hiding, as you promise not to keep secrets and allow each other to share and explore new experiences. Talk about what this might feel like and dig deeper into your own feelings — open up to your partner to “prevent” any potential conflict down the road.
If you need help discussing anything that you fear could lead to conflict, find a therapist who is open to flexible relationships and can help you deal with such open-ended monogamy issues.
Open Monogamy: A Guide to Working Together to Create an Ideal Relationship Agreement Tammy Nelson (Pan Macmillan, $36.99) is available now.
This article originally appeared on body + soul and reproduced with permission