10 signs he wants an open relationship (and what to do about it)

So you think your man wants an open relationship, and it’s got you worried. Perhaps you’re confused with the term and how it works. Or you simply just don’t like it. It’s okay. We’ll help you process it.

In this article, we’re going to discuss 10 signs he wants an open relationship and what you can do about it! 

But before we start, do keep in mind that these signs are not definitive proof that he wants an open relationship, but they provide a starting point for deeper conversations. 

Remember, it’s essential to approach the topic with openness and respect. 

If you notice a combination of these signs and you’re open to exploring the idea yourself, it’s time for an open-hearted discussion about your relationship expectations, boundaries, and desires. 

Ready? Let’s dive into these ten signs and explore some engaging stories and examples along the way!

1) He values independence

The first sign we’re going to discuss is how much he values his independence and personal growth. 

As we all know, it’s important to have your own sense of identity even when you’re in a relationship. You are still your own person, after all. 

However, as much as you are your own person, you are also his partner. So, is he yours?

If you think your partner wants an open relationship, you may notice that he places a high value on personal growth, independence, and self-discovery. 

He cherishes his autonomy and wants to maintain it even in a committed relationship. This strong focus on individuality could suggest an inclination towards an open relationship.

However, this does not apply to everyone, so don’t base assumptions solely on this sign.

2) He shows interest in emotional and personal growth

The next sign is something similar to the first one. 

Ask yourself: Does your partner show an interest in emotional and personal growth? Now, don’t get me wrong. We all need this. People need to grow

But how much does he value it, and to what extent is he willing to go?

Imagine he actively seeks personal growth and emotional development, constantly striving to be the best version of himself. 

This desire for growth might lead him to explore an open relationship as a means of self-discovery and expanding his capacity to love and have different connections.

3) He’s expressing curiosity about non-monogamy

So, let’s say he’s heavy on his desire for personal growth and emotional development. And in this process, he learns a lot about himself but also begins to ask a lot of questions about what he wants. And so it begins.

Picture this: you’re watching a movie together, and a scene about open relationships pops up. Instead of brushing it off, he engages in a deep conversation about it, asking thought-provoking questions and showing genuine interest. 

Now, there’s nothing wrong with being curious. However, this curiosity could be a sign that he’s considering exploring the idea of an open relationship. Maybe he sees himself in one?

There’s only one way to find out: ask him about it.

4) He brings up the topic of non-monogamy – a lot

Now, the next sign we’re going to discuss is one of the most obvious ones. Does he bring up the topic of non-monogamy every chance he gets?

If he initiates conversations about open relationships, it’s a clear sign that he’s seriously considering it. Take it as an invitation to engage in a non-judgmental discussion about your feelings, boundaries, and desires.

If you’re dealing with confused feelings and contradictions, have you considered getting to the root of the issue?

You see, most of our shortcomings in love stem from our own complicated inner relationship with ourselves – how can you fix the external without seeing to the internal first? 

I learned this from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, in his incredible free video on Love and Intimacy

So, if you want to improve the relationships you have with others and solve your hesitation and insecurities about the idea of an open relationship, start with yourself.

Check out the free video here.

You’ll find practical solutions and much more in Rudá’s powerful video, solutions that’ll stay with you for life.

5) He mentions feeling restricted in exclusive relationships

After expressing his curiosity about non-monogamy that he has seen in the films or shows that you watch, you may notice your partner mentioning how restricted monogamous relationships make him feel (that is, assuming your partner wants to be in one).

Imagine you’re sitting there, both having a heart-to-heart conversation about your relationship goals. 

But he expresses a sense of feeling confined or limited by the traditional monogamous structure. 

The conversation could go like this, he might say something along the lines of, “Honestly, I don’t think I could only love one woman in my lifetime,” or “Sometimes, I feel suffocated at the thought of getting married.” 

This could be an indication that he desires more freedom and flexibility in his romantic life.

6) He talks about experiencing different emotional connections

Following your partner’s confession about how restricted monogamous relationships make him feel, he may also start talking about experiencing different connections with other people.

Have you noticed him discussing the idea of emotional connections outside of your relationship? Does he seem eager to explore the concept? Do you find him suggesting names of people he sees himself connecting with? 

It could be a sign that he believes in the capacity to love multiple people simultaneously. These conversations might reveal his inclination toward exploring an open relationship.

7) He encourages your exploration of attraction to others

Another sign we’re going to discuss is your partner’s lack of jealousy and possessiveness. 

Let me give this to you straight: a healthy dose of jealousy is normal. A hint of possessiveness is okay as long as it’s not the toxic or manipulative kind. 

Ask yourself: Does he still get jealous? Or does he encourage your exploration of attractions to others and seem to get pleasure out of it?

Pay attention. One of the signs he wants an open relationship is him showing genuine curiosity about your attraction to other people and encouraging you to explore those feelings.

If you have conversations like, “Oh, you find that guy from work attractive? Tell me more,” without the slightest sarcasm in his tone, then maybe he is trying to be supportive.

He might even emphasize that your emotional and sexual well-being are essential. Surely, this means he wants to foster an open and honest atmosphere within your relationship.

8) He shows that he’s transparent with his attraction to others

Similarly, you may also notice your partner being open and honest about his attraction to others. 

You may notice him openly discussing finding other people attractive without any guilt or shame. He may even share stories about encounters where he felt drawn to someone else physically or emotionally. 

It could be conversations like, “I saw a girl on the train, and I wanted to talk to her.” 

This transparency suggests that he’s comfortable with the idea of exploring connections outside of your relationship. 

Understandably, you’ll feel hurt or betrayed, especially if you haven’t wrapped your head around it yet. Just make sure to let him know when it gets uncomfortable for you.

9) He talks about variety and novelty

And because your partner is starting to open up about topics of non-monogamy and attraction to others, following this could be discussions about variety and novelty.

Imagine you’re having a playful conversation about fantasies and desires. 

He openly expresses an interest in experiencing different people or exploring new connections. Maybe he likes to try something new and unfamiliar because it gets him really excited. 

This could mean that he wants to broaden his horizons and explore the potential of an open relationship.

10) He suggests alternative relationships

Finally, the last sure sign that he wants something more is when he tells it to you like it is – he suggests alternative relationship models.

Has he mentioned terms like polyamory, swinging, or other forms of consensual non-monogamy? 

Maybe he wants to use those labels as a springboard to exploring alternatives to traditional monogamy. 

From personal experience, talking about it once out of curiosity is normal. My boyfriend and I discussed it, but it only reinforced our traditional values more. 

But if your partner is constantly talking about it and seems to show true interest in it, then take it as a sign of him wanting an open relationship

His constantly bringing this topic up could be because he wants to gauge your reaction and potentially open the doors to new possibilities.

Final thoughts

If you’re someone used to the traditional kinds of relationships, the concept of open relationships may come off as unethical or somewhat frightening for you. 

However, as humans, we cannot control our feelings and desires. And much like that famous Selena Gomez song, “The heart wants what it wants.” 

Everyone has their own preference. Some prefer traditional monogamous relationships, while others like to engage in non-monogamy such as polyamory and open relationships, and there is no judgment here.

Remember, every individual is unique, and these signs are just signs. So if you think your partner wants to make your relationship open, talk to him. 

He’s still the best person to confirm his intentions. And keep in mind that open and honest communication is crucial in relationships. 

If you suspect that he’s leaning towards an open relationship, maybe it’s time to have an open-hearted conversation.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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