'I've been in an open relationship for 7 years, after 15 years of monogamous marriage.'

The concept of opening a relationship is a scary one for many. How do we go about doing this? Where do we find people? Is this going to destroy our relationship?

There is no manual on how to have an open relationship, just as there is no manual on how your life is going to unfold over time.

Until you make a first step into opening it up, you can never know what is going to happen and how you are going to feel.

And the first step is going to be a small one, just like life, one step at a time. No expectations or preconceptions of what is going to happen. This is an area of life you are going to feel your way through.

Twenty-somethings take on modern day dating. Post continues below…

I have been in an open relationship for seven years, after 15 years of monogamous marriage. It started off with him exploring his bisexual side. Then we tried threesomes for a while which was fun and exploratory. We met other couples who became lovers and friends. I later desired my own personal adventures so I began seeing a man who I cared about, spending time with him every few weeks. Love bubbled up into the picture and we had to deal with those intense feelings. My partner expanded into meeting other women. All sorts of new emotions came up for me. We continue to play out our different desires as they change, allowing each other the opportunity to learn about desire, sexuality, love. We support each other through the incredible highs and the difficult lows.

"An open relationship does not mean anything to anyone except to you and your partner." (Image via Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

Of all the many couples I have met exploring in an open relationship, there is not one couple I have met or worked with who is in the same situation. Each couple develops and unfolds what works best for them. They work together designing their relationship based on individual desires and partnership dynamics.

Some couples create more rules and boundaries so they can feel an element of safety and security.

Carol and Chris are presently only playing together. They enjoy having another woman join them for an evening or often they create a stronger bond with someone and invite them in as their new girlfriend.

Other couples have opened the door wide open, giving each other full freedom to explore as each would like.

Jean and Bill are a loving, sexually active couple. They each have different sexual interests. He is bisexual and enjoys playing in the BDSM community. She is heterosexual and polyamorous enjoying the company of a number of sensual lovers of whom she manages around her life with Bill.

For one couple, opening their relationship became a necessity to sexual fulfillment.

Judy and Brett have been together for 15 years and not having very satisfactory sex for the last 8 of those years decided to seek a different dynamic. Now each of them have separate lovers, exploring as they want, when they want. As a couple they rarely have sex but they share everything else a married couple might: experiences, travel, finances, raising of children. They are much happier and fulfilled in ways they never expected.

Other couples have decided to open their relationship because of different sexual libidos.


"Take it one step at a time as you make your way through figuring out what works best for the two of you." (Image via Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

He is not interested in sex, leaning towards being asexual. She wants to explore sexually and desires experiences. They want to stay together so the worked out a situation where she can visit a lover once a week to fulfill her sexual needs and he pursues other passions. It is working very well and they have never been happier.

An open relationship does not mean anything to anyone except to you and your partner.

Take it one step at a time as you make your way through figuring out what works best for the two of you.

Be open to possibilities and to change.

Be flexible and know that it is OK to create any scenario the two of you are wanting.

Keep communication open, discussing how each step felt, where you shall further explore, what worked and didn’t work.

We have been emotionally living in a relationship BOX for a long time – Long Term, Monogamous, Heterosexual. It does not work for many.

When you enter into an open relationship, you are free from the traditional construct. Free to be that unique couple, exploring, discovering and enhancing your intimate sexual lives to places you never thought possible.