An open relationship is a type of consensual, non-monogamous relationship in which one or more partners have sex or a relationship with another person. Both people agree to have sex with the other in an open relationship, although there may be certain conditions and restrictions.
Open relationships can occur in any type of romantic relationship, including casual, dating, and married.
Non-monogamous relationships are often stigmatized. Still, research suggests that about 21% to 22% of adults will be involved in some kind of open relationship at some point in their lives.5
The likelihood of entering an open relationship also depends on gender and sexual orientation. Men reported having more open relationships compared to women. People who identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual were more likely to report having previously been involved in an open relationship compared to those who identified as straight.
Such relationships have benefits such as increased sexual freedom and pitfalls such as jealousy and emotional pain. Open relationships are more successful when couples set personal, emotional, and sexual boundaries and are clear about their feelings and needs.
An open relationship is a form of consensual non-monogamy. In this relationship, there is a basic emotional and often physical connection between the two people, but the two have mutual consent to be intimate with the other outside of the relationship.