Many times, people settle into monogamous relationships before they really feel ready. This is often because we do not have mentors, peers or awareness to provide us with the insight and wisdom on how to manage open relationships. The below article is something to consider upon entering an open relationship. It is meant to provide clarity, inspiration and insight on the costs and benefits of being in an open relationship.
The benefit of open relationships:
- They offer an opportunity for the other to explore, to be fluid and Self-discover. If one isn’t certain of the purpose or commitment of their lover or the direction that they share, open relationships can allow for gratitude without the attachment. An open relationship allows us to stay true to our path while letting another stay true to theirs. It reduces the expectation that you have to be someone you aren’t or don’t want to be.
- Especially when one is living in a separate town/city/state, open relationships allow people to be present to where they are. They allow for relatings to take place that guide them and support the emergence of their higher selves.
- They may invite in more creative energy that inspires and lights our path. When we relate to more than one person, it can be inspiring. Instead of attaching to one person there can be more opportunity to learn, grow, and meet our needs or desires.
- helps us heal. Especially if one is experiencing the scarcity syndrome of love or if their past relationships didn’t allow enough freedom, open relationship can offer freedom that builds trust and is therefore healing.
- They allow for deeper relationships to be powerfully chosen. Instead of sticking with one person after a short time of being together, open relationships allow people to meet other people. Meeting other people gives us flavor and seasons to our lives, so that when 2 powerful synergetic people come together for a purpose, it becomes more clear. Without experiencing many people, one may not be so clear in deciding their life direction and who they most want to spend it with or who most resonates with the path or the direction they wish to go.
- keeps things light and playful. Relating with more than just one can be fun!
- raises the standards within oneself. When people are relating openly and sexually with more than one partner, it raises the bar for safe sex conversations, hygiene and overall for one’s spiritual growth. Raising the standard in relationship pressurizes one’s need to grow. It can have a profound impact on the insight and willingness to be a better person within oneself. Having an open relationship can allow for more opportunity to self-discover, to work on issues such as possessiveness, jealousy and control which can therefore deepen one’s self-awareness and presence.
- through open relationships, one can discover what they really want without being confined to the demands or expectations of another. Through having an open relationship, one can develop more honesty and fluidity to make mistakes. A lot of times people in closed relationship take each other for granted; although it is not always the case, instead of processing the necessary emotions to allow freedom, one ends up attaching or “sacrificing” to meet the emotional needs or neediness of their lover or partner.
The “costs” of open relationships:
-it can be less comfortable: when you or your lover are relating with multiple people then it can be less comfortable. This uncomfortable feeling can be uprooting and it can make it more difficult to fully see a lover/partner. The comfort of knowing your partner/lover is available and rooted in your relating can support the harnessing of more sacred power, higher learning and self-discovery depending on whether each person is clear and on path about why they are together. Open relationships can make for less depth so you may not see as clearly or deeply as you like.
-there may be less intimacy: if one isn’t able to deepen in a relationship, one may ask “is there a fear that is preventing me from deepening in my experience of intimacy?” All intimacy is intimacy with OneSelf; so if one isn’t able to deepen presence- love and intimacy, with any or all of their lovers, if they are constantly fleeting, unable to handle emotional experiences then it is possible that the open relationship is serving the ego more than the Truth.
-time consumption: having an open relationship can be time-consuming. If one wants to focus on other areas of life and if the demands on the relationship aren’t clear, one can be pulled in many directions.
-more emotional processes: with being “open,” there is less security. This can make a need for emotional processes to occur. While emotional processes are a good thing for healing, undoing and remembering, if one isn’t enough aware, the emotional processes can be debilitating, time consuming and frustrating. This can make it more challenging to focus on other things that are important in one’s life, such as career advancement, professional development, children, ect.
While open relationship can certainly add creative energy, more love, intimacy and freedom to one’s life, ultimately one must discern the relatings in which they choose to enter an open relationship with. For example, if one partner is not interested in working through the processes of open relationships, if they are desirous of something different, and/or if they have more demands on the relationship than the other is able to meet, one may want to consider whether the open relationship is really the best thing for their growth at this time.
In creating a healthy open relationship, it is recommended that:
-the people in the relationship get along. Lovers can hang out with each other and get along. If this is possible then the relatings are really serving everyone- adding more love and intimacy to each other’s lives.
-their is more commitment to oneness than to separation: lovers are accepting and/or at least honoring of the other relationships their lovers are in
-their is clear communication. It is good to know what to anticipate from the relating. How much time can they spend with you? What are they wanting from the relationship? What are they available for and what aren’t they available for? For example, if you or your partner aren’t available to emotionally process with each other all the time, which is not recommended, then it is wise to communicate that.
-each person you are relating with is mature and taking responsibility for themselves. While relationships require communication, getting clear and checking in, expressing hurt feelings, ect. it is equally wise to consider whether this person is committed to learning, processing their own feelings or finding someone else to process with.
The difference between open relationship and dating:
As opposed to dating, open relationships generally consist of deepened intimacy. While dating is often consisting of “figuring out” whether your partner is a good fit or not, open relationships generally have more potency, more experience and more intimacy between lovers. If one is just dating, then it may be wise to consider the recommendations of how to manage an open relationship even still.