19 Reasons Why People Choose Open Relationships

by | Jan 9, 2021 | 0 comments

As open relationships become increasingly mainstream, you might have found yourself wondering, why? Why are so many people moving away from the monogamous model?

The concept of open relationships is not new; some people have been building romantic partnerships in this way for decades. (And that’s just what we know on the record.) This means you’ll come across a LOT of different reasons why people choose open relationships.

For many people, an open relationship is about exploring their sexuality. For others, it’s that open relationships are more aligned with their principles or life circumstances, and for some, it’s that this way of relating can – counterintuitively – help them feel more secure and committed.

But there’s one reason that’s consistent. Everyone who consciously chooses an open relationship values partnership. It’s not a euphemism for keeping it casual and sleeping around; this is a model for people who actively want to be in a relationship. 

So if that’s true for you, here are 19 reasons why you might choose to make that an open relationship…

Let me know in the comments which ones feel true for you, and if you’ve come across any others!

People choose Open Relationships to explore their Sexuality

1. You want to explore the full breadth of your sexuality and erotic desire

Whether it’s about being free to experiment or connect with partners of different genders, living out fantasies like group sex, or simply spicing up your sex life with the diversity of different personalities.

2. You’ve never been with anyone else

Say you and your partner started dating when you were young or inexperienced, and even though you want to be together you can’t imagine living your whole life without exploring other sexual partners.

3. You want to let all your relationships unfold organically

Because it’s nice to be able to cuddle with all the people you love, connect through touch and go with whatever feels right in the moment, regardless of the label on your relationship with them.

4. You and your partner have mismatched sex drives or desires 

And this way you can both satisfy your sexual desires, even if one of you wants sex way less often than the other (perhaps not at all), or to explore a particular kink that doesn’t turn the other person on.

5. You’re polyamorous by nature

For you, being non-monogamous isn’t a lifestyle choice but an innate aspect of your sexuality. And forcing yourself to meet the expectations of a mononormative society would never feel authentic or fulfilling.

People choose Open Relationships to align with their Principles

6. You value freedom and living life on your own terms

If you fundamentally believe in personal freedom, for yourself and for everyone else, the expectations of exclusivity in a traditional monogamous relationship can feel restrictive and incongruent.

7. You appreciate a balance of novelty and familiarity

Long-term love is amazing, but there’s also something magical in the experience of new relationship energy. The anticipation of a first kiss, the novelty of walking into a date you can’t predict. Your life is enriched by variety.

8. You have fundamental doubts about monogamy

You’ve got enough life experience to know life is not a RomCom. Infidelity is rife in monogamous relationships, and you believe it’s because lifelong exclusivity is an unrealistic expectation. You want to be able to honour your desires, in an honest and ethical way.

9. You really enjoy dating, flirting and making mischief

If it’s not hurting anyone, why would you not bring more fun, pleasure, joy and connection into your life?! Maybe you see dating as a hobby, or want to live a life without regrets and FOMO.

10. You don’t want the pressure of meeting each others every need and desire

Of course, this one’s not all about finding many lovers, you can also enlist friends and family and support systems. But that’s easier to do when you’re not worried about crossing the sacred boundaries of relationship territory and getting too cozy with others.

11. You see it as an opportunity for self-discovery 

Every person you meet can help you discover a new part of yourself, or remember a part that’s buried in the day-to-day. You want to understand the full range of human emotions, even the hard ones like jealousy, attachment and shame.

12. You want your partner to be able to experience something you can’t give them

This one is pure generosity, and may be more of a temporary agreement. Say you’re in hospital for months, or buried in the most intense project of your career, and you decide that you’re cool with your partner seeing other people while you can’t be together.

People choose Open Relationships to adapt to their Circumstances

13. You or your partner find yourselves attracted to someone else

Unexpected crushes can be heartbreaking if you see them as an either/or situation. But you could also look at these moments as an invitation to expand the boundaries of your relationship, with mutual consent to live out both connections.

14. You have different needs around social time

When your partner loves to talk, flirt and play every night, and you’d much rather cozy up with a book…

15. You and your partner are in very different phases of life

Say you’ve lived out the playful explorations of your youth already, but your partner hasn’t had the chance.

16. You’re in a long distance relationship or travel frequently

Spending a lot of time apart can be deeply frustrating. Or maybe it gives you space to maintain a fulfilling, enjoyable relationship AND connect intimately with other people beyond the screen.

17. You meet someone who opens your eyes to the possibility

You locked eyes at a party, fell into conversation, and got along like a house on fire. Then they told you they don’t believe in monogamy. And suddenly, you find yourself reflecting on what you really want in a relationship…

People choose Open Relationships to create a sense of Security

18. You believe open relationships are more secure and resilient

After all, if you two never have to choose between the deep connection you have with each other and the frisson of excitement you feel with others, why would you give it up?! Plus, every time you come back to each other and experience the enduring strength of your relationship, your confidence grows.

19. You want to make a commitment you can keep

Because it’s not committing that you’re afraid of – in fact, you really want to build something real with this person. It’s just, if committing means never seeing anyone else ever again, you know it’s not going to last. And you don’t want to set yourself up to hurt people.

And that’s a wrap!

Tell me, which of these reasons resonated with you? Why are you in an open relationship, or considering it?

About Rebecca
I'm a Relationship Designer, helping bright minds create healthier, happier relationships, at work and at home. I specialise in non-traditional dynamics, like open relationships. Want to start paving your path to more fulfilling relationships?



  1. Questioning Monogamy? Here Are 8 Alternative Relationship Models for the 21st Century | introsbective - […] Read more on the reasons people choose open relationships. […]

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