Polyamorous: Could An Open Relationship Be Right For You?

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Is an open relationship right for you?
Ask yourself these questions to determine whether you should try a no-strings-attached arrangement.

2. What is your motivation for wanting this?

If you are searching for a lifestyle that works for you, and your ideal happens to involve more than one partner in a relationship, then that's great. However, simply trying to seek out a bandage for couple issues is not likely to be the right reason for going into a polyamorous lifestyle. "If you're trying to fix a 'broken' relationship by adding more people," says Senecal, "that's probably not a good reason — and from my experience, often doesn't end well."

According to Ghose, people who have "struggled in traditional monogamous relationships might be more apt to find polyamory appealing." If it's more of a personal preference, rather than simply you and/or your partner trying to improve things via a new person, then it's more likely you'll actually enjoy polyamory rather than just feeling obligated to adapt to it.

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3. Do you get jealous?

Look, jealousy is normal. When you have feelings for somebody, it can be difficult not to get a little stressed out when he or she is flirting with another person. However, if you can't look past jealousy and be comfortable with it, then polyamory probably isn't for you. This isn't to say that polyamorous people are somehow immune to jealousy,  "But when jealously does occur, it's discussed," according to Bjarne Holmes, a psychologist at Champlain College, in this Live Science article. "The person feeling jealous is encouraged to examine their own psyche to find out what's bothering them and which of their needs aren't being met. Then the pair (or triad, or quad) can negotiate boundaries." 

4. Are you possessive?

Being possessive is never really a positive thing — unless both parties are consensual about it, such as in a BDSM relationship — but in a polyamorous relationship, it can be especially stressful. If you've caught yourself getting more than jealous, but downright angry when your significant other flirts with someone else, than polyamory might not be a good fit.

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5. Are you willing to be completely honest?

In monogamous couples, there is (ideally) nothing to lie about because (again, ideally) each partner behaves in a way that they feel respects the other partner's wishes, often including not kissing or having sexual relationships with other people. In polyamorous relationships, the introduction of another person is sometimes a bit rocky at first, and must involve total honesty and communication between all parties involved. If you feel you can’t be 100% truthful with all your partners — or that you might feel guilty or uncomfortable — then that's a warning sign.

If, however, you feel you're genuinely, personally interested in a polyamorous lifestyle and feel you can be honest, communicative and respectful, then it may be a great choice for you and your love life.