Open relationships can take on a lot of different forms. Some people only ever enter non-monogamous relationships, while others open their relationship after a certain period if they find that they're struggling with monogamy. Different people have different reasons for wanting to be in an open relationship — and understanding exactly why you're doing it is crucial to it being successful.
A recent AskReddit thread looked at exactly this issue. People in open relationships shared what was appealing about the setup and why they chose it, and the results were fascinating. Some of the people in the thread seem to identify as being both in an open and polyamorous relationship, but it's important to note that open relationships and polyamory are not necessarily the same thing.
While open relationships caninvolve being romantically and emotionally monogamous, with the freedom to explore sexually, polyamory is a type of open relationship that's typically about having long-term, multiple meaningful relationships with people.According to Poly-Coach, polyamory is often associated with the idea of being "in love" with more than one person, which open relationships aren't always, even if there may be some level of emotional connection. Although Poly-Coach emphasizes that every poly or open relationship will be shaped by the people in that relationship.
But they both involve challenging the idea of monogamy. "Society is changing and with it, the way we view relationships," Angela Jacob Bermudo, spokesperson for the open relationship dating site OpenMinded, tells Bustle. "Society has come to a point where monogamy is no longer the end-all, be-all when it comes to the things we value in a relationship or when measuring a partner’s commitment to the actual relationship."