#AskMargie: Open relationships

How to make an open relationship last? Dr. Margie Holmes gives her take on the subject

MANILA, Philippines – How open is open? This week on #AskMargie. Clinical psychologist Dr. Margie Holmes talks about open relationships.

Miradel Abellana asks: How open is open? Does open mean a no-boundaries slutfest in which both partners are free to form secondary relationships? Or does it mean that very occasionally, when an extracurricular hookup happens, you both just force a smile and pray no one gets an STD?

DR. HOLMES: Miradel, Thank you. You have hit the nail on its head. Because knowing exactly what you mean by an open relationship is vital. It is no good to have an open relationship if one partner thinks it merely means an occasional hook up that happens no more than twice yearly perhaps; whereas the other conveniently interpret it as anything goes with anyone who’s willing.

I asked: Would you ever agree to having one?

Here’s what you said.

@EllsToohey: No, but I’m not judging those who do. Different strokes for different folks. Every relationship has its own dynamics. For me, a romantic relationship ought to be for two people only. What’s the point of keeping a relationship if you’ll have it open? Most of the time, it works for one party only.

Alison says: Why not? Collect then select. Maybe later down the line we’ll decide that we want to date exclusively. Until then, an open setup can work if it’s clear to both parties. Otherwise there will be hurt feelings.

John Nathan Clamor: What are the basic rules for open relationships?

Libay Cantor responds: Open relationship rules should apply to both parties. If one party could see other people, the other party should also be able to do the same.

Yomi Artemus: Don’t compare your present to your past. Just enjoy every moment.

John Michael Bueno: Never demand, never hold back in bed and never fall too deeply in love. Just have a good time.

Anonymous gives this list of do’s and don’ts in an open relationship:

Anonymous: Respect each other. I believe that once there’s respect everything follows: honesty, faithfulness, openness, etc. Do not make marriage a competition. If this is the mindset, insecurity, secretiveness, the thought of outdoing each other come in. Marriage should be about being supportive, sharing and helping your spouse realize his/her goals in life.

DR. HOLMES: Thank you, Anonymous for giving sound advice on how to make not only an open relationship but any relationship last. Really appreciate that.
In my clinical experience, couples who have an open relationship policy need to constantly reassess what that means for both. Usually, every 3-6 months (if not more often) couples should sit down and discuss their concerns, anxieties and hurts. Because believe me, there is bound to be some.

– Rappler.com

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