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Can an open relationship ever work ?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DCU chapter.

‘Thrupple’ is a word that’s making the rounds at the moment. Different to open relationships, the term refers to a type of polyamory where there are, as the name suggests, three in a relationship as opposed to a ‘couple’. This has brought the idea of less-traditional romantic and sexual relationships that follow their own set of rules into conversation once more.  


An open relationship typically involves one or usually both partners having romantic or sexual encounters outside of the established relationship, and may in a case with marriage or a long term relationship have boyfriends, girlfriends or the equivalent outside of the relationship.  


What is and is not allowed by both parties is discussed and agreed upon prior to the relationship being “opened”. Are we allowed bring people over? Are we allowed have sex with one person regularly not just once-off? Do we want to hear about the other party’s encounters? Do the relationships have to be strictly sexual and not romantic in any sense, or vice versa? These are all examples of possible and important questions which can be discussed while considering opening up a relationship. 


It pretty much goes without saying that open relationships can certainly work, sometimes this could depend on what your definition of “working” is. For the purposes of this article we will consider a working relationship to be one that is filled with more positives than negatives, and where both parties are happy a vastly higher amount than they are not. We will also take into account that both parties, in working open relationship, are perfectly at ease with the arrangements of the relationship. 


The main anticipated drawback of open relationships is jealousy. Gabbi Dunn, a social figure who gained popularity on YouTube, speaks openly about her lifestyle as a bisexual polyamorous (queer) woman. She has spoken before on jealousy too, and believes that healthy jealousy is real and can help your personal growth as you seek to regain the attention of a loved one.  


If jealousy serves as less of a tool of desire in your relationship, and more as a tool of manipulation or hostility, it’s quite obvious that it needs to be discussed. Time and time again issues such as this emerge, even commonly in monogamous relationships, and each time the same timeless advice is given: 


Communication is Key.  


That’s all, folks! 


Photo by Jenna Jacobs on Unsplash

Just a 21 year old journalism student that is passionate about a hell of a lot of things
Hey guys! I'm Megan and I'm from Ireland. I'm studying Journalism in Dublin City University.