You don’t know what happened exactly.
You used to be all lovey-dovey and happy just to have each other but BAM! All of a sudden, your significant other. is asking you if you could open your relationship. And they’re serious.
Maybe they’re too bored because you’ve been together for a while.
Maybe they’re going through some sort of midlife crisis.
Maybe they realized that you can’t meet each other’s needs all the time.
Or maybe…maybe it’s their easy way out.
You’re not really a fan of open relationships or any type of non-monogamy because, for you, it’s just a cowardly way to break up. A slow transition so you still have each other while you both wait for a better match.
But they reassured you that it’s not the case at all.
You’re scared and you really have a bad feeling about this, but your partner seems to really want it — need it, even.
You love them so much you’d rather say yes to an open relationship than make them feel trapped in your relationship.
So you thought of a solution!
You’re thinking that maybe they can explore but you’ll just remain loyal to them. That you’ll just wait until they decide to come back to you and be in a monogamous relationship again.
In other words, that you’ll be in a one-sided open relationship.
Stop right there!
Getting into an open relationship when it’s truly not your cup of tea will ruin you.
I repeat: It will ruin you. Don’t take this warning lightly.
In this article, I’m going to give you ten reasons why you should never enter a one-sided open relationship just to accommodate your partner’s need for it.
1) It’s just not fair to you!
The problem with one-sided open relationships is that they’re one-sided. They get to go out and have the time of their life while you wait at home, writhing in pain.
On top of that, you have to pretend you’re okay because you agreed to the set-up in the first place.
Ask yourself this:
Do you love yourself or do you love them more?
Seriously. Pause for one minute and ask yourself this question.
You should, of course, love yourself more than your partner.
Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm.
Don’t try to be cool.
Don’t make sacrifices that can crush your heart and self-respect.
Don’t make excuses for them.
If you stay longer when you’re clearly not happy, your self-esteem and self-respect will slowly erode.
We have a tendency to dismiss our own feelings because love should be unconditional and all that but let’s get real.
Unconditional love is reserved for pets and children or you know, if your partner gets lazy or sickly or boring. But not when they want to screw other people!
Nah, fam. Focus on your happiness first.
2) There’s a chance both of you will end up unhappy
According to a study, people in mutually consenting open relationships are as happy and stable as people in monogamous relationships. Operative word is consenting.
People who are in one-sided open relationships on the other hand are generally dissatisfied and their relationships fail much more often.
If you’re indeed already in a happy relationship, why rock the boat when there’s a big chance both of you will fall in the water? Explain this to your SO.
But if they say they still want to try, get ready because it will be tough for both of you.
Only one of you will be happy but even that will only last for a while.
If they remain in a monogamous relationship with you when they’re desperate to have an open relationship, they will feel dissatisfied.
If you’ll open your relationship, you will end up hurt, which will greatly impact your relationship. And you, of course. Let’s not forget you!
3) Someone might steal your significant other
You’re not born yesterday. You know this, of course.
So let’s say you and your SO decide to have an open relationship, and it works out fine eventually that you wonder why you didn’t try it sooner.
And now it’s no longer a one-sided open relationship but an honest-to-goodness open relationship.
But one day, your SO falls in love with one of their partners, which isn’t so impossible. Before you know it, your SO has left you for that other person.
And you thought they’ll love you more by giving them what they want, huh?
Hey, do you really want to live dangerously?
Tell your SO that you go climb Everest and dive the Marianas instead!
If you value your relationship, you gotta protect it.
4) FYI: STDs are a thing
Oh yeah, stories about being left behind and abandoned aside, wouldn’t it be soooo nice to wake up one morning after some loving sex to find yourself itching a lot down there?
Next thing you know, you’re infected, drinking antibiotics, and miserable through and through.
Oh, that person your SO had been seeing at the bar a week ago or maybe the other one two days ago.
This is one of the not-so-cool parts of open relationships.
In the end, limiting the number of partners you have — preferably to just each other — is going to be the safest for both of you. Even protection isn’t guaranteed to prevent you from getting STDs!
Watch Ideapod’s founder Justin Brown talk about the dangers of open relationships in the video below… Including the dangers of STDs.
5) You’re opening yourself up to emotional abuse
Think about it. A one-sided open relationship will put an imbalance of power in your relationship.
You will be bound to your partner while your partner can go wherever they may please. They’ll feel that they can do anything and you’ll still stick around and remain loyal.
Because of this, your value slowly diminishes.
This gives your SO so much freedom to be abusive towards you if they want. This will trickle into other aspects of your relationship.
You’re not a pushover. You’re not a doormat. You’re the price here, remember?
6) Jealousy and possessiveness are going to ruin you
It’s hard to avoid being jealous and possessive especially if we have a monogamous brain.
We all want to belong, to be loved by the person we love.
Now, if your SO is sleeping around with other people and you know it, of course, you’re going to feel jealous and possessive.
Even if you might not feel it at first, or if you tell yourself “Oh, it’s fine. I’m letting it happen, I am in control”, chances are that it will rear its ugly head at the worst of times.
Or maybe it will even rot in your heart and the next thing you know you’ll have trust issues, anxiety, depression. You’ll probably have suicidal thoughts because morbid jealousy can lead to suicidal ideation.
You’re putting yourself in a situation where you’re guaranteed to get jealous.
Come on. You know yourself. You know you’re definitely not okay with your SO kissing someone else. Or having sex with someone else. You can’t keep your eyes shut and pretend you’re fine.
Don’t ruin yourself.
7) It’s not just going to be about sex
You might tell your SO, “Alright, that’s fine. As long as there are no feelings involved, we’re good!”
Of course, there will be feelings involved at some point — especially if it’s their first time to do open relationships.
Even if your SO’s meeting up with others simply for sex, it won’t necessarily stay that way.
Sex is one of the most intimate things two people can share and if two people keep doing it, it’s inevitable for some sort of bond to form.
And before you know it, your SO has fallen in love with someone else. Ouch. But that’s the risk you take once you say yes to an open relationship.
If you’re thinking of a one-sided open relationship, watch the video below to know the 5 key questions to ask your partner.
8) It’s going to get a bit awkward…
Picture this. You’re hanging out with your SO, laughing and kissing on the street when you bump into your SO’s lover.
Do you just ignore the lover? How rude!
Do you say hi and invite them to dinner?
What if you bump into another lover? You invite them too?
Who’s paying? Can they flirt?
So many questions!
It’s a totally different game and it’s quite exhausting, especially to you who doesn’t like this set-up anyway.
9) It will be exhausting
Keeping an exclusive relationship is hard work by itself. Imagine adding other people into that mix!
With every person involved — even if they are out of it after a few months — the need for open communication grows. And frankly, that can get a bit difficult and tiring to maintain.
You have to know who they’re sleeping with.
If they have protection.
If they’re not in love with each other.
Phewww! It will be like having a logbook for each partner your SO is seeing.
If keeping your relationship afloat is exhausting you, adding other people into it is going to make it a hundred times more stressful.
10) Honesty is not easy
Honesty is incredibly important for relationships, but especially if you have an open relationship.
Your SO needs to be honest to you about the people they’re seeing and you need to be honest with the people your SO drags in.
On top of truthful information, it’s also difficult to extract true feelings and true thoughts from another person.
You will be insecure so you’d always want to know what they’re feeling.
If you’re still their number one or they’re falling for someone else already.
If they are more sexually satisfied with another person than with you. It’s hard to not ask questions.
So let’s say you decide to not tell each other anything. Well, that will eventually make you more distant from each other.
Keeping secrets, as we all know, is a relationship killer.
So what now?
You have three possible options and nope, being passive is not included in the list.
You gotta deal with it because the bad news is that the relationship that you once had is now gone because one of you wants a shift.
One of you feels a certain kind of discontent in the relationship either because there’s something lacking or there’s something out there that they fancy.
The good news is that it can be recovered and even improved if you handle it right.
Here are three directions you can take if you are really opposed to a one-sided open relationship:
1) Say no to an open relationship and just fix your problems
You want to get to the root cause of why they want an open relationship and solve it as a couple.
If you’re facing problems in your relationship, opening your relationship might not be the answer. Discuss first and ask the hard questions.
You might need a therapist for this one or you can just deal with it on your own but honesty and willingness are super important.
If you’re having issues or your partner has newfound interests, then it might be worth it to instead try to see if you can accommodate your partner’s needs first.
After all, hard work — and that includes communication and compromises — is key to a healthy sex life and relationship.
Assess your relationship. Do you still care for each other? Be honest with one another and accept that things have changed.
If the spark just isn’t there anymore, you might have been too busy with life or have taken each other for granted so you might want to spend time together to bond and reconnect.
There are so many ways to reignite your relationship.
Besides, it’s natural for your attraction to someone to rise and fade over the years of being together with the same person.
What makes a good, lasting relationship isn’t a permanent state of starry-eyed affection but the strength from everyone involved to see it through when the love is at its weakest.
2) Say yes to an open relationship and deal with its many challenges
Welp, we warned you but you’d rather ride or die with your boo because you know they’re worth it.
If you decide in the end to go for an open relationship, then you have to do it right, at least. It can be just as satisfying as a closed or monogamous relationship. But there are several things you must do to make it work.
- Set clear rules
You need to establish rules on what you can or can’t do as a couple.
You might want to make sure you know every person your SO gets on with and make sure everyone is using adequate protection.
Find a compromise between your interests and dislikes as a couple.
As fun as it may be to have either of you do whatever, it won’t do you good if your SO partners with your boss or best friend, for example.
And of course, once you’ve set the rules, make sure to stick to them. If you can’t agree to add restrictions on your to-be open relationship, get ready for a complicated life full of drama.
- Make it mutual
Whatever your reasons, just open the relationship both ways so that both of you are free to hook up with other people at any time.
So it’s fair.
Because you’re the hesitant one, even if you don’t want to go look for someone else to sleep with, at least you have a choice.
- Be honest
Again, honesty is one of the most important things in any relationship. It’s even more important in an open relationship.
You need to be honest with your partner with your thoughts and feelings.
And if either of you broke one or more of the ground rules you have established, being honest about it and trying to talk it through instead of hiding it away is what you should probably try to do.
- Acknowledge jealousy
Jealousy is going to be inevitable. There will be arguments.
In an open relationship, jealousy will flare up and you need to address this in a healthy manner — maybe you need some reassurance or more time with your loved one.
And something you must keep in mind is that feelings are not facts.
That doesn’t make them any less important, but keep in mind that facts aren’t how arguments should be ended. Instead, feelings must be acknowledged and you should both try to find a solution that will reassure you both.
Knowing how to handle arguments properly is necessary to maintaining a relationship and especially so in open relationships.
If your SO doesn’t understand that or refuses to work through your feelings with you, then you will have to do something about it — whether it is shutting down the open arrangement or bailing from the relationship entirely.
3) Say no to an open relationship and just break up instead
You’d rather have a breakup or a relationship pause while they explore.
No promises that you’ll stick around, though.
Not everyone is cut out to be in an open relationship and if you find that you really can’t handle it, just break up instead.
If you’re not into nonmonogamy, there’s no lonelier feeling than staying at home while knowing full well your SO is with someone else.
You shouldn’t say yes to anything simply because you’re afraid of losing your loved one.
Your SO shouldn’t even demand it.
If you are giving your consent entirely out of the fear of losing them, then you’re setting your open relationship up for failure. And you’ll hurt yourself.
Ask yourself which of the following options you really want to take and talk it through with your partner. If you ever find yourself backed into a corner in any way, then you might need to reconsider your relationship in full.
Respect yourself enough to walk away from something that is clearly not good for you. If that means losing your SO but keeping yourself intact, so be it.
Cliche as it is but it’s true what they say that learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.
Yes, it’s okay to say NO to a one-sided relationship if it’s really not your thang!
Relationship coaching - done online
Find a coach from Relationship Hero’s network of coaches and finally achieve your relationship goals. Take a quiz, get matched, and start getting support via phone or video sessions. Affordable pricing + discounts available.