Portland Therapy Blog

Portland Therapy Blog

Local experts share the latest information and resources on all things mental health.

Why Do People Have Open Relationships?

Posted: July 03, 2014 by info@uncommonlovepdx.com

People have open relationships for all kinds of reasons. Just like monogamous relationships, people choose non-monogamous relationships for both healthy and unhealthy reasons.

In my years of working with open marriages and committed polyamorous couples, I have heard quite a range of reasons people choose open relationships. Here are some of the reasons I most commonly hear from fabulous individuals in varied polyamorous arrangements:

  • We don’t believe in the status quo.
  • There is greater security outside the confines of a two-person relationship.
  • My partner and my sex drives are out of alignment.
  • I have spent my whole life in polyamorous community and prefer to stay in the community I know and love.
  • I am bisexual and my wife is straight. She doesn’t want me to lose connection to my queer identity.
  • Why not?
  • I enjoy the communication and honesty necessary for long lasting open relationships.
  • I believe open relationships require higher personal integrity.
  • Having multiple income streams in one household can make for greater financial abundance and sustainability.
  • We enjoy sharing play partners.
  • Polyamorous relationships require greater self development, introspection and have pushed me to grow as a person.
  • I am not willing to sacrifice one relationship for another.
  • Sex with one person for my whole life would be boring.
  • My partner has a fetish or kink I am not into, and I want to support her in getting her needs met.
  • Trying to meet all of my partners needs on my own would put a lot of pressure on our relationship.
  • I like more than one kind of person.
  • My life is richer with more than one partner fueling my emotional intimacy needs.
  • I don’t want to limit my partner’s personal expression or have mine limited by her.
  • I enjoy watching my partner connect with other people.

Remember open relationships only work if both parties can consent to their boundaries. Consider your own reasons for choosing a monogamous or an open relationship.

  • Which model works best for you and why?
  • How do you define the boundaries of your monogamous or open contracts?
  • How do you communicate expectations about intimacy with others with your partner?
  • How have your beliefs about monogamy and non-monogamy changed over time?
  • What beliefs do you have about other relationship models?
  • How do you know which model is best for you?

No one is born polyamorous or monogamous, these are relationship models we choose. Neither option is right or wrong when made honestly and intentionally.

If you are thinking about opening your relationship and want help talking about it with your partner give me a call for a free consult. I am glad to help.

Tags: relationship and family, life transition