Boundaries in dating participants guide making dating work

This is backed up by a 2014 study published in the 'Sexual and Relationship Therapy' journal which concluded that older adults in open relationships reported being happier, healthier, and more sexually active than the general population of similar age and relationship status.

At Relate, due to the nature of our work, we tend to hear about open relationships when they go wrong, but there are quite clearly many people living in healthy, happy and successful ones.

Someone who we can rely on for comfort, intimacy and for the most part, exclusivity.

Of course on occasions, exclusivity slips into ‘ownership’, with one partner actively discouraging their partner from making friends and having a healthy sense of being in a partnership, but also having their own individual identity.

Everyone is free to come and go, no hearts broken and certainly no guilt. But unless both of you share very similar thinking, the bottom line is that open relationships do sometimes cause a great deal of pain and misery.

Why are some couples able to make open relationships work?

For some couples, giving their partner permission to act out their sexual desires with other people feels like a more honest and realistic option.

It’s certainly not for everyone and if you are tempted to carry it through, it’s a good idea to consider and discuss at length exactly what it might mean for both of you.Maybe you don’t want to actively seek thrilling diversions elsewhere but would like an agreement that if either of you wanted to, you could embark on the odd liaison free of guilt and worry.This might come under the label of ‘monogomish’, which has been coined by the US love and sex advice columnist, Dan Savage.It wasn’t what was intended but it’s happened and their other half is devastated that the previously agreed rules have been broken.Suddenly, all the feelings that have been put to one side make a powerful appearance and accusations of having an affair are rife.

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For some people, an open relationship is a liberating prospect and experience which makes certain that the hum drum of everyday life with the same person never has the chance to take hold.

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