In an open relationship, you allow each other space to pursue your desires to some extent and that can be very liberating. However, an open relationship does not work for everyone. Many men don’t like it. This may be because they are easily jealous, but also, for example, because they find a monogamous relationship of greater value.

The moment when men switch to an open relationship differs. Some couples only think about it when things are no longer going well together. Although there are exceptions, that is often a stay of execution. In such a case you can ask yourself whether you really want to stay together and whether opening up your relationship will really help with that. Opening up your relationship from day one saves a lot of drama, but could detract from the romance.

Fluid agreements
Every relationship is different, so you agree together on how you want to do it. For example, you can agree on what you can do and how often, what you do and don’t want to tell each other, and where you meet with others.

Agreements you make with each other today may no longer apply tomorrow. It is therefore useful to talk about it regularly before problems arise. Are you still satisfied with how you are doing now? Are you able to keep to the agreements or are those agreements not so practical after all? Would you like to agree to be there (temporarily) alone for each other? An open relationship can be subject to change. As long as you keep talking to each other and respect each other’s wishes and boundaries, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Think about each other’s health
To keep STDs at bay, many couples agree that sex outside the relationship will always take place with a condom. That’s a very good deal. However, it may happen that you take syphilis home with you, for example, because STDs can also be transmitted orally or via fingers. Therefore, always have yourself tested for HIV and STIs at the same time with some regularity (for example via MantotMan Testlab ) and be honest about the results. Because if you are cured of chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, or LGV, but your partner is not, he can pass that STI on to you again.

Have you fucked without a condom against the agreements? Then it is important to tell your partner immediately. You can then both be alert to any symptoms of an acute HIV infection and have sex together with a condom until you are sure that you have not contracted HIV. If you both have more outdoor sex, it’s worth reading up on using PrEP.

Talking about your (open) relationship can be difficult. Tips for a good conversation:

  • Tell if you feel more for someone else than planned. Can happen. By talking about this with each other, it can become more normal and less threatening.
  • Be honest if you have not fulfilled the agreements made. Telling quickly makes it less loaded.
  • Think about your own feelings and desires and talk about them. Ask about his too!
  • Do not fill in anything for your partner, but ask him what he thinks.
  • Answer questions. Do you prefer not to talk about something (yet) or are you not sure what you think exactly? Then it’s better to just say so.
  • Make it clear that you are 100% committed. Just like in a monogamous relationship!

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