couples

"Jealousy does NOT go away." 5 people on what it's really like being in an open relationship.

If monogamy isn't for you, then there's a chance you know all about non-monogamous relationships or polyamory

In fact, it's a dynamic that is on the rise, with a number of people proving it may be the way to go for a happy, healthy and fulfilling love life.

Watch this clip on polyamory. Post continues after video. 


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As adding more people (and managing said people's feelings) can make romance a little more complicated, we've asked Mamamia readers to share what it's really like to be an open relationship in 2022. 

Without further ado, here's what they had to say. 

Alex, 30s.

In an open relationship for 15 years. 

"For me, clear communication is key. If my partner is away visiting their other partner, it's important they make time to check in and talk with the other person each day. If being visited by another partner, take the time to interact as a group and also have some time just together as a couple so the other person doesn't feel left out." 

Charlie, 20s. 

In an open relationship for 2 years. 

"Me and my partner see other people both together and separately. My partner going on super romantic dates gives me FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), but I don't really get jealous. And for me, cheating doesn't truly exist because there is a difference between cheating and breaking the rules of our relationship."

River, 40s. 

Newly open after 10 years of a monogamous relationship.

"We were a married couple and only I really dated as my husband is asexual. We saw having a non-monogamous relationship as an alternative to separating. We never bring other lovers into the home. My own story of being cheated on by a lover needs a podcast because it was unbelievable. Being open mainly made me really sad, and that was the primary reason why my husband and I ended up separating in the end. I wish I had known how much it would hurt me that he never got jealous of me being with other lovers."

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Jessie, 50s.

Has explored open relationships for over 7 years.

"My lover is married and in an open relationship. He and his wife moved into separate bedrooms about three years ago. Honestly, jealousy does NOT go away. Being left out when others are having fun is a horrible feeling. The feeling of doing the wrong thing when you meet someone you have feelings for also sucks. Conversations about feelings were essential and loving messages sent often help to show you are not forgotten. There can only be one wife. There's always a second best in every situation and as the concubine (his mother's term), I will always be the other woman. They had an open marriage long before me but I am the marriage wrecker in her eyes because they are in separate rooms now.

"Jealousy is okay and healthy IF you discuss it openly and address it. I was cheated on during monogamous relationships. This made me insecure, and I thought polyamory would also make me jealous but the open discussions and polyamory freed me. It was better to know if there is another person and be open if you have feelings instead of suppressing them."

Listen to The Quicky's episode on life inside a Polyamorous Relationship. Post continues after audio.


Riley, 30s. 

In an open relationship for 6 years. 

"In setting up an open relationship, we started by discussing the pros of ethical non monogamy, did lots of research together and on our own, and then went for it. As all things, some aspects worked and others didn’t and we amended our approach as time went on. I definitely don't have any boundaries, just lots of trust and while I am personally not prone to jealousy, my husband is at times. His jealously comes in moments when he feels a bit left out, or if I’m having really wild sexual experiences that he hasn’t had.

"My best friend also was really disappointing when I disclosed our open marriage. She told me she was ‘shocked, upset and felt like we were living a lie’. It was really horrible to deal with at the time. It took us months to repair our friendship. 

"I’ve had people ask me about how to start open relationship for themselves as a way to address an already existing problem in their relationship. An open relationship will almost always add to the issues in that particular situation and is not a solution to a troubled marriage/relationship."

*Names have been changed for privacy.  

Feature Image: Getty.