7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Try an Open Relationship

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Question #5: How will the two of you handle your other partners’ needs and feelings?

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Outside partners are not simply need-satisfying machines. They’re real people, with their own real feelings and problems.  In a conventional, old fashioned secret love affair, the status of outside partners is simple—they’re not supposed to be there. They have no rights. Once the affair is discovered, they’re expected to vanish.

In an open relationship, it’s understood that outside partners exist. But there’s a wide range of attitudes about how fully their needs are going to be taken into account.  In some open relationships, outside partners are understood to be just for sex. Their only legitimate status is as sexual need providers.

Other partners are not simply need-satisfying machines. They’re real people, with their own needs, feelings, and problems.

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