Can Open & Polyamorous Relationships Actually Work?
Summary: Are you in an open or polyamorous relationship, struggling to make it work? There are some ways to make it work, but it's not easy.
An open relationship is when one or more people in a relationship are open to dating other people. Polyamorous relationships are when someone is in a relationship with more than one person. Both terms are relatively similar. But an open relationship may mean that person one, who is in a relationship with person two, may also be in a relationship with person three, but person two may not be in a relationship with person three. A polyamorous relationship often means that person one, two, and three are all in a relationship together.
Open and polyamorous relationships are extremely difficult to maintain. Many obstacles arise, such as jealousy and lack of trust, which can destroy a relationship. Many people can make them work, but are they actually sustainable?
The unfortunate truth is that these relationships, for the vast majority who try them, are often unsustainable. There are multiple reasons for this, but one of the biggest ones is due to jealousy and lack of trust. If there are three people in a relationship, the communication among everyone has to be immediate and completely open for it to work. But the truth is, even in a monogamous relationship, communication is difficult, and many people do not communicate their problems in a relationship effectively, and thus it falls apart. With a polyamorous relationship, in order to actually make it work, communication has to be the top priority at all times. If someone is feeling bad, jealousy, or left out, they have to speak immediately.
Relatedly, if a partner is feeling left out, not only do they have to speak up, but it’s up to the rest of the members in the relationship to be there for that person. If one person is spending too much time with another individual, the feelings of being left out can strike. Balancing time and respecting one another boundaries is another key to keeping an open and polyamorous relationship going.
And lastly, trusting one another will eliminate negative feelings and help the relationship thrive. An open and polyamorous relationship can only work when you trust your partner, Trusting them to not cheat on you with someone else outside the relationship circle, and being open and honest about their feelings in their entirety. If you are being lied to and deceived, or if you are holding back in any way, that is a recipe for disaster. Communication is key, but also is trust to ensure everyone is on the same page and in agreement.
Open and polyamorous relationships often do not work. In the rare circumstance that they do, it’s important to be open and honest, respecting and trusting one another, since failure to do so could destroy the relationship. While there is a debate about humans being naturally monogamous or polyamorous, one thing is for certain, that humans get bored easily, so to maintain any relationship, things have to be exciting for everyone or else cheating, lies, and deceit can creep in to destroy a relationship.
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A polyamorous relationship would not be for me, as I struggle just with a monogamous one. I can’t imagine having my life consumed by so many people when I primarily prefer to be alone with some interactions and contact from time to time. I do realize how difficult these types of relationships are to maintain, and I cannot imagine being in one. Regardless, I know some people can make it work, but it’s extremely difficult.