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“I’m in an open relationship,” says promising cute guy.

Open relationship… Do I feel comfortable? Arrey, what if it gets complicated? I’m sober too, so no excuses – He’s damn cute ya. Chalo, why not? They’re a thing now!

What’s an open relationship, you ask? It’s essentially one in which two individuals are committed to each other but can date or hook up with other people. So, if you’re lucky, that means a lot of action and a lot of variety. But of course, it isn’t just a sausage fest, and neither is it everyone’s cup of tea. The thrill of “openness” might sound great, but the emotional and logistical headaches could be greater, if you aren’t wearing a seatbelt.

So, follow these six rules if you want a rollicking open relationship ride!

Communicate
Make sure you and your primary partner are on the same page with the whole idea. Share your desires and expectations with each other, and communicate sensitively. If you’re a “bad texter,” call to let bae know you won’t be coming home. Silence and misunderstandings never bode well for any relationship.

Set Boundaries
Decide what is acceptable behaviour for hook-ups and dates, and what isn’t. And know your boundaries with respect to each other as well, because space is super important too! Have fun, but don’t hurt each other. Lay down certain ground rules together, and then get the party started!

Trust one another
Trust forms the basis of an open relationship. Only when you are honest and committed to one another, can you start experimenting. So, if you’re confused about your feelings for someone else, TALK to your partner. Make each other feel secure! And if it doesn’t work out, you’ll save yourself from a messy breakup. Lack of trust leads to jealousy and insecurity – the main ingredients for an unhappy relationship.

Get tested regularly, and stay safe
Routine testing is important to safeguard against HIV/AIDS, whether your relationship is monogamous or open. But since there’s a higher risk of contracting HIV in an open relationship, getting yourself tested regularly is non-negotiable. You owe it to yourself, and to your partner(s) to know your status and take the required action. And no matter what your status and PrEP usage, always use a condom. Play games in bed, but not with your health.

Be upfront about your HIV status
Being HIV+ doesn’t end your sex life (at all!). As long as you share your status with your sexual partner(s), always use a condom, and NEVER skip your medication, you can come and go as you like. Be honest. It could be a turn on!

Vent
Jealous much? Worried about your HIV status? Feeling insecure or dissatisfied?

Don’t keep your emotions bottled up. Reach out to a family member or friend – a support system outside the relationship is always important. Or, if you’d prefer a safe space to talk, head over to Safe Masti’s Ask Us section.

So, is it okay to dabble in an open relationship?

If you’re conscious of consent*, are secure in your relationship, and excited by the idea, then go for it!

Play hard, but play safe!

 

*Confused about consent? Clear your doubts ASAP! Check out:
 

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Tara M. Rai

Often characterised by sarcasm and bad puns, I find happiness in feminism, football, badminton, books, and music. However, it's incomplete without cackling with friends, being around people I admire, and a playlist ranging from Tchaikovsky to The Ska Vengers.

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