Here's How Many Of Us Actually Want To Be In An Open Relationship

The more the merrier, right?
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Two’s company, three’s a crowd, right? Well, according to a new study by Lovehoney, we’ve got the saying all wrong apparently.

It’s no secret that society’s views and attitudes towards committed relationships have changed over time.

From situationships and flings to throuples and open relationships, there are now countless ways of describing relationships and different levels of commitment.

The sexual wellness brand conducted a study to reveal the state of committed relationships around the globe in 2023 and turns out, a whole lot of us are open to the idea of being, well, open.

With not everyone seeking ‘conventional’ commitment, Lovehoney looked into the types of relationships people would be open to trying.

It revealed 38% of respondents would try an open relationship, with nearly a third (32%) seeing themselves in a throuple in the future.

Talk about the more the merrier!

With ethically non-monogamous relationships on the rise, we asked sex and relationship expert at Pippa Murphy for her advice on how to navigate starting one for ourselves.

Murphy says that it’s really important to be extra careful about how you communicate that you would like an open relationship as what you say and how you say it could make a big difference in whether your request is accepted.

Here’s her top tips:

Before you ask your partner, make sure you want an open relationship for the right reasons

If you’re hoping an open relationship will fix existing problems in your relationship, I’m afraid that adding another person into the mix is only likely to exacerbate those underlying issues. Similarly, if you’re hoping that an open relationship will build your low self-esteem, unfortunately, a boost isn’t given. So, before you make any big decisions, I’d recommend thinking about why you want an open relationship, what benefits you’ll gain, and what negatives could happen. Now answer those same questions from the perspective of your partner, and you’ll feel clearer about whether asking for an open relationship or not is right.

If you feel that it’s the right decision, be honest about what you want

Don’t try to sneak around and have an affair on the side. If you’re ready for an open relationship, let your partner know that right away.

Be upbeat about it

If you come across as negative or unhappy with your current relationship, this will be off-putting to your partner. An open relationship should be something that both partners want, not something that one person wants, and the other doesn’t.

Be prepared for pushback

There’s a good chance that your partner will be resistant to the idea of an open relationship, at least initially. That’s normal — and it’s something you need to be prepared for.

Even if your partner is generally on board with the idea of an open relationship, there may be certain aspects that they’re not so excited about (like their jealousy or insecurity). Also, it’s common for people to feel weird about the idea of their partner sleeping with other people — even if they know they’re not going to get jealous or upset when it happens.

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Don’t pressure them into anything

The most important thing you can do is let your partner know that this is something you want, but that if they aren’t ready or interested in an open relationship right now, then you’ll respect that decision and not pressure them into anything. If they tell you they’re not interested, then stop talking about it right away. You don’t want to pressure them into anything and make them feel bad about themselves or like they have to do something that makes them uncomfortable

If they agree, make sure to set boundaries you’re both happy with

Navigating an open relationship can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time. You should, therefore, be open and honest about your boundaries. If you decide to go down a multi-partner relationship, perhaps your partner may prefer for you to say that you are “going out” when you have a date with someone else instead of going into great detail about your date.

You should also be clear about what is off-bounds in your open relationship. Perhaps there’s a certain restaurant you visit every year for your anniversary, and it should be off bounds for dates with other people. Or perhaps you’re only allowed to have sex when you’re together (as opposed to sleeping with other people apart).