Getting to know other people is one of the many perks of being an open relationship and dating is a great way to do this.
Here are a few Dos and Don’ts for Open Relationship Dating:
- 1 Dos:
- 2 Don’ts:
Do communicate with your partner about dating other people.
Discuss how you both want to meet other people. Do you want to date together? Separately? A combination of both? Do you want to share details of your dating prospects and the dates you each have? Do you want to have a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy? Take time to address any potential scenarios. Consider desires and needs that might come up. Having a conversation before you start dating other people helps create a foundation for understanding and clarity.
Do check in with each other on how you are experiencing the dating scene.
If you are dating solo, you may find that one of you has more luck finding dates than the other. As unfortunate as this may seem, it’s very common. Be open to checking in with each other on this. Taking some time to understand each other’s experience can be very helpful.
The sooner you do this, the better. Why? Sharing your status tells any interest that you are being transparent. It also allows for them to make an informed decision on how they want to proceed.
Do enjoy yourself and support your partner in doing the same.
Dating is a great way to meet like-minded people and do new things. This is one of the many great benefits of being in an open relationship.
Don’t assume what your partner will and won’t want to know.
This is a tricky one because sometimes we get the impression that our partners are excited for us and they want to know everything. Then, when we tell them all of the juicy details, we’re hit with an emotional response because we told them too much! Or, maybe we have a “do what you want just don’t tell me” agreement with our partner and then they get mad at us because we didn’t tell them something. The takeaway here is NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING! It’s much better to address things in a proactive way. Check-in before sharing something: “I had a really great time tonight. I’d love to share some details. Are you interested? And, if at any point you feel like it’s too much, please let me know. My desire is to share this with you only if you really want to hear it.” Or: “Babe, I know we have a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy there’s something I think is important to share with you. Would you be open to me sharing what came up tonight on my date?” Again, communication is key when creating healthy and sustainable open relationships.
Don’t take one for the team.
This happens when someone in the group is not interested in taking the date to the next level and they do it anyway. This tends to happen more with couples than with solo dating. People will sometimes choose to take one for the team because they don’t want to upset anyone or be the party pooper. As tempting as it may be to reject your needs for someone else’s, it serves no one to do this. If you are feeling uncomfortable in any way, say something. Take the initiative and just bring it up. Saying something does not necessarily mean something terrible will happen. If anything, everyone will feel more drawn to you because you are openly sharing your experience. When we share our experience in service to honoring ourselves and others, we give others permission to do the same.
Don’t drop the “I’m in an open relationship” the day after you sleep with someone.
It is incredibly important to be open, honest, and transparent with anyone and everyone you are interested in dating. Anything less is selfish and creates pain and suffering.
Don’t assume your partner will feel 100% supportive with every person you date.
You may meet someone and have a wonderful time. When you share all of the details with your partner, you may be met with an unexpected emotional response. This is common. Remember, feelings are a part of being human. They come and they go. Don’t break any agreements regarding dating. Acting first and asking for forgiveness after is never a good option.