People Reveal How Opening Their Relationship Made It Stronger

When someone says they’re going to open up their relationship, most people think, “Yeah, we’ll see how long that lasts.” That’s because the common narrative about open relationships in our monogamy-focused society is that they don’t work. We’re told that the only way to truly love someone is by forsaking all others. We’re 100 percent sold the narrative that anyone who desires anything outside of their romantic partner — sex, friendship, even companionship — is selfish and will soon be single. But the big thing that those lessons are missing is the fact that there are a lot of open relationships that work really well — we just don’t hear about them.

Because we’re so focused on monogamy, a lot of people who are in open relationships choose to be “socially monogamous.” That means that they maintain the public image of monogamy even if they’re not sticking solely to the marriage bed. As a result, there are a large number of closeted non-monogamous people who credit opening up their partnerships with saving their relationships, not ruining them. And, of course, there are also more and more folks who choose to live openly about the fact that they’re not monogamously committed.

In order to combat the monogamy-only narrative, I reached out to some of those people to see what ways being in an open relationship has strengthened their relationship or relationships. Their responses were thoughtful, insightful, and sometimes surprising and I think we all — monogamous or not — could learn a thing or two from them.

1. Katie, 26

2. Savannah 22

3. Lyla, 24

4. Marc-Antoine, 28

5. Elaine, 19

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