People Break Down The Best Ways To Ask A Significant Other For An Open Relationship

Being in a romantic relationship can be hard work.

You're constantly navigating highs and lows.

There is so much compromise involved it can feel like political warfare.

And one of the main factors that keeps romance alive is the spice up.

You want to try to keep things from getting stale.

So that is when new sexual ideas emerge.

Often this is when secret fantasies come to light.

And a lot of the time... the requests don't go over so well.

Redditor MuchLoveWaffleGirlwanted to hear about how to navigate romantic requests of a partner. So they asked:

"What would you do if your SO asked you to have an open relationship?"

I tried open. Didn't really. Could be because I'm a jealous loon. Maybe.

Uh No.

Super Bowl Ok GIF by PepsiGiphy

"I was asked. I said no. Things carried on as normal for a few months. Then I found out that the reason she asked was because she was cheating on me. Bye *itch."


Not for everyone...

"Related to someone that has been married for like 18 years now with an open marriage. Not for everyone, but they seemed to have found some way to balance it that works for them. I don’t have details on how they made it work, because I don’t really want to know, but it seemed to be from the start more or less."



"My ex brought it up once, we were a bit wine drunk so I thought it was just a one off fun chat. A while later she mentions how we’re still very young and she’s not sure what comes next, getting married and then that’s it? But life rolled on and we moved and lived together etc."

"In January she tells me she wants to break up. At the time I was blindsided, but looking back now it’s so clear what she was hinting at. I don’t have a problem, I get it, I wish her well, but I sure wish I hadn’t been strung along for two years before that point."



"I actually said yes, and it killed the relationship very quickly. It was not that much of a stretch for us. We would participate in group scenes but we always came as a pair. There were never any issues, and it even brought us closer together. We were able to flirt as a team and explore our sexualities."

"There was never any jealousy. But when she requested we open it up, she also started ignoring our explicit, agreed-upon terms. More than any physical act, that felt like cheating. And when I spoke up about it, I got dumped."



Living Single Goodbye GIFGiphy

"Mine asked me 7 months ago and I stupidly accepted (I’m monogamous still) and it hurts, even on the best days I think about it. I’ve told him how I felt about it, but he said he loves the other person too much to end it. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 years, and it hit like a rock."

"Edit: I’ve discussed with my boyfriend again how awful it feels and what you guys have said and I am happy to say that he is going to break up with the other person. He said it’s going to take sometime but as soon as he can he will! Thank you all so very much for your input and helping me get this sorted:))."


Trust in this issue is paramount and it feels like it's always the one thing lacking most.

The Other Person

sharon stone GIFGiphy

"Say its not for me and if they want to go ahead then we have to end things. I was briefly the other person in an open marriage, after a few months it was difficult to know if the husband or myself was more miserable. Might work for some people but not for me."


My Person

"I’d say no, but I would want to sit and have several conversations about why they wanted that and how we can retool our relationship if that’s what’s needed. It could ultimately lead to an ending, but he’s my person - I’m not throwing that away when it could be salvaged."


Happy with Me

"I would ask them why they suddenly want an open relationship after dating me for so long, and be honest with them. I would tell them that open relationships aren't something I'm comfortable with because I like monogamy. If they can't be happy with me in a monogamous relationship, then it would be over."


It broke me.

"Well I agreed, but only out of fear of losing her. It broke me. And I lost her anyway to a guy she met in a swinger club and who basically could be her father. Never again. Also everyone I know who did it learned the hard way shi* like this doesn’t work out in like 99 percent of cases."



Which One Reaction GIF by AudibleGiphy

"If that's what they want and nothing else would make them happy, break up. I don't have the mental health fortitude to deal with the anxiety and insecurity I know I would feel for not being enough."



"I had been in this situation two times. First time I was young and had no experience it was my first boyfriend and I had a lot of family problems so I was afraid of being alone. I accepted it and was a mistake. We broke up six months in to the 'Open relationship' deal and I was left feeling really empty. Funny how he got married with one of the girls he met in that period. He now is recently single after a nasty divorce. Domestic abuse, cheating, etc."

"About five years later a boyfriend tried to pull l the same one on me. I just ended things right away and saved myself from the pain. This guy is still single to date, and older than 40. So, I would stay away from any guy who wants an open relationship, especially if it started as monogamy and he wants to change the rules of game."


issues First

"I've wondered if it would work for my partner and I at some different points, but obviously we'd need to work on fixing any serious issues in the relationship before really considering that. If we were in a healthy place in our relationship, we'd discuss the idea and what sort of boundaries we'd have, sit on it for a while to make sure it's something we wanted, and then proceed as we've decided after a particular amount of time. I've got some poly friends that have done it successfully for years, so I don't think it's impossible if you're going about it in a healthy way."



"Tell her to take her stuff and go. She can open up her sex life in her own space and without pretending that she's in a committed relationship. An 'open relationship' is a dealbreaker, and I won't have a relationship with a woman who indicates that might something she wants."


Hell No!

Fuck Outta Here No Way GIF by Desus & MeroGiphy

"Break up, I’m a monogamous person, and the thought of anyone else sleeping with my SO turns my stomach. Nothing wrong with people who like open relationships, but it isn’t for me."


Good Luck

"Have a long, serious talk with them about why they want it, and what their plans for our future include. I'm actually all for polyamory so long as everyone involved is there for the right reasons and is being completely open and honest about it. Do keep in mind though that the vast majority of relationships that 'become' open, usually fail. It really is the type of thing you have to enter into from day one with everybody on the same page. Regardless of what you decide, I wish you the best of luck and hope you both end up happy."


Zero Respect

"I agreed, tried it out but realized that 1). it wasn't for me and 2). I was secretly just hoping he'd f**k off and leave me for someone else. So eventually I worked up to breaking up with him and life's been great since. I had pretty much zero respect left for that guy by the time the relationship breathed its last."


Truth Tellers

"I've been in one before. Another man and a woman. So long as all parties are honest, have their boundaries set and respected, and we're participating clean and safe, it's a good time. Communication is key."


"It's a good time. Is it sustainable? Is it like, if you want to have lots of sex in your life you maybe do poly. If you want to be career/family focused, you have finite resources you're working with?"


Sometimes you gotta go...

Will Ferrell Goodbye GIF by filmeditorGiphy

"If it’s an open relationship or nothing at all, I’d bail. After establishing the communication, trust, and loyalty for all these years I just couldn’t switch to being open. Another reason - I don’t have the energy to be dating all over again. I wouldn’t even get the benefits of being open. I’d just rather be alone for a while."



"I'd agree and see what happened. We haven't had sex in close to a year now anyway. Maybe id be able to find some idiot who might enjoy my company. The problem is we have discussed it and discussed it. I'm just not the kind of person who is going to be like 'we are married and I want sex so you have to do it even if you don't want to.'"

"After so long I've just gotten used to the idea that I take care of myself when she's not home and wait for the rare chance she's in the mood. I've given up on trying after being shut down so much and perhaps thats my fault as well. Meh. Enough complaints to the void today. Thanks."


Don't do it if you're not 100% sure everyone can handle it. Otherwise it's just a mess.

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.

People Confess Which Things They'd Like To Tell Their Partner Without Upsetting Them
Adi Goldstein/Unsplash

The key to any successful relationship is communication.

The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.

But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.

Keep reading...Show less
black sheep looking through fence
Jose Francisco Morales on Unsplash

Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.

What is a "black sheep" anyway?

It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.

Keep reading...Show less
small white dog running
Joe Caione on Unsplash

Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.

There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.

A good steak.

A home repair.

The things that make you say...

"I tingle all over."

Keep reading...Show less
black and white cat with mouth open looking at computer tablet
Kanashi on Unsplash

People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.

And when it is requested, think before you speak.

People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."

Keep reading...Show less