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Navigating New Territory: What Happens When Your Partner Wants An Open Relationship?

When one partner in a monogamous relationship raises the topic of opening up their relationship, it can elicit both positive and negative reactions. Some individuals may feel hurt, betrayed, and confused as the idea of non-monogamy challenges their existing perspective. Sharing a romantic partner is not something everyone is comfortable with. Let’s delve into these intriguing responses further.

Intentions From The Start

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One reader shared, “This is something I screen for and discuss upfront. It’s not for me, but I would not want to stifle someone who feels an open relationship is good for them. I know we would not be happy together.”


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A second reader added, “It should be the “opening thing” if that’s what they are looking for, but people change over time, and what you want at the beginning of a relationship isn’t necessarily always going to be the same. Opening a relationship doesn’t have to be fixing a problem. It can also be just wanting to explore s***uality and experiment.”

Open & Close

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A third reader said, “I think I would fully open it and exit it. I know this is something I would never want. This can only breed negativity and end badly.”

Misaligned Interests

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A user stated, “I’ve been married for 14 years now. We’re both very happy, and we regularly talk about our desires for the future. I think I know and understand her fully. If she dropped a bomb like this on me, it would be the first sign our interests are misaligned beyond repair. And I’d probably never fully trust anyone ever again.”

Play The Game

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This user shared, “I would immediately say yes as if I was waiting for them to bring it up first, then hire a very attractive actor to pretend to be my 2nd relationship every month while simultaneously looking for an actual 2nd relationship so that my paid actor and actual 2nd relationship may sometimes overlap. If my 1st partner decides to break it off or close it back up again, then I’ll take my exit with my actual 2nd partner.”


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A poster commented, “I’d want to know who my partner met that made them consider this an option.”

Down The Rabbit Hole

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Another commented, “Not me. I’ve given everything I have to offer. If it isn’t enough, so be it. Not gonna go down the Alice In Wonderland rabbit hole comparing myself to others. I’m a great guy, great husband, partner, and father…and if that’s not enough, I’ve nothing left to give.”

Feelings For Another

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A top-liked comment said, “From my experience. 9/10 times if the relationship started monogamous and this conversation pops up, they already have someone in mind and want the go-ahead to go after them. If it fails, they’ll cry about wanting to close it back up if it was something on the table as a possibility at the beginning of the relationship, sure. If it wasn’t, then no.

What They Wanted

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This poster divulged, “My ex suggested an open relationship about 1.5-2 years in. I was mentally checked out and didn’t care, so I said yes. I had s***x with a guy, and when she found out, she went ballistic and accused me of cheating on her and putting her and myself at risk of STDs and pregnancy. It was her idea to open it up. But it was bad because I did it. Never again.”

Admission Of Guilt

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This user said, “From my experience, they usually pop that option out when they want to soothe their own conscience. The topic usually comes up from disingenuous feelings and thoughts. That said, it’s an absolute no from me.”

Open Communication

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A reader shared, “I’ve seen these things happen and work out wonderfully. In almost all those cases, the communication was great. They conveyed their feelings openly to each other, and they didn’t gaslight the other’s feelings and conceded. Years ago, in a prior relationship, my girlfriend came to me, and we talked about her developing feelings and attraction toward someone she knew. After a few weeks of talking, we both decided opening the relationship would be best, and we set rules. E.g., always use protection, not in our home, etc. I walked her down the aisle when she married her wife.”

Freebie For Cheating

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A poster commented, “If your partner wants to, or already is scr****wing someone else, It’s basically a bandaid for cheating. Dip.”


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This user divulged, “My ex-husband asked me to do this. I was upset and uncomfortable, but he kept asking, so finally, I relented. Then I had way more people interested in me than him, and he got super upset and hurt very fast.”

Best For Me

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A top-liked comment said, “I’d break up with them. If my everything isn’t enough for them, then I’ll do what is best for me and find someone who loves me for me.”

Never Again

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A poster replied, “No. Absolutely not. I went through it once, and it almost ruined my life. Nope”

Monogamy Only

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One reader said, “I’d say no because I’m monogamous, and if he wanted to be in an open relationship, then I don’t think it would work out between us anymore.”

Deal Breaker

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This user added, “Even asking would be a dealbreaker. I’m upfront with people that I don’t do poly or open relationships from the start, though, so it’s an established boundary.”

Insufficient Feelings

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A user stated, “I’d feel very….insufficient. It would probably ruin me and cause the relationship to crumble my insecurity would not be able to handle it. I would try because I love them so much, but I think my anxiety would break us apart.”

Jealousy Lingering

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This poster added, “Absolutely not. We’ve agreed we’re for each other, and he knows I’m monogamous. Even the thought of him meeting someone else that makes him go, “I wanna see what it’s like to be with her,” makes me angry. Our relationship would be over at that point. I’m a jealous person by nature.”

Just End It

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Finally, a reader shared, “You’re going to have to make a choice of what you want. Either you want to be with me, in a monogamous relationship, or simply end it and just be single and do your own thing. I, myself, deserve more than that out of someone I consider to be a love interest.” Honestly, I’d feel offended.”

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