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If you are struggling with the lack of physical intimacy, an open long-distance relationship can be your solution.
Long-distance relationships are hard to maintain because of the lack of physical intimacy. An open long-distance relationship can help you satisfy your sexual needs while maintaining an emotional connection with your partner. For some people being away from their romantic partner isn’t a big deal. But for others, it can be a deal-breaker.
If you are starting a long-distance relationship or are in one, you should regularly talk to your partner about your sexual needs.
One of you may need sex more often than the other. One way to manage it is by visiting each other more often. If that’s not an option, an open long-distance relationship could work for you.
What Is an Open Long-Distance Relationship?
To define an open long-distance relationship, first, let’s have a look at what is a long-distance relationship and what is an open relationship.
A long-distance relationship is a romantic relationship where a couple is separated by geographical distance.
An open relationship is a relationship where partners agree to see other people for sex or physical intimacy.
An open long-distance relationship is a romantic relationship with someone who lives far away and with whom you agree to see other people for sex or physical intimacy.
When a lack of physical intimacy strains your relationship, it’s better to address it before it becomes an issue. If an open relationship is something you’d like to try, the first step is to talk about it with your partner.
Before you open your relationship to others, be clear and upfront about your reasons for it and consider how seeing other people will affect your relationship. The following workbook will guide you step by step through the intimacy aspect of your long-distance relationship.
Can an Open Long-Distance Relationship Work?
The distance and the lack of physical intimacy, makes it challenging to maintain a long-distance relationship for a long time. Without trust and effective communication is easy to misunderstand your partner.
An open long-distance relationship can work if both partners can separate emotional intimacy from the physical one. Many couples see these two aspects of a relationship as one. In this case, they would struggle to be emotionally exclusive with someone who is physically open to others.
Unless you are in touch with your feelings and have a special connection with your partner, you may see sleeping with others as cheating, even if you agree to it.
However, cheating is more than just having a sexual encounter with someone else. What makes cheating so destructive is sleeping with someone else and lying about it.
To avoid cheating in your long-distance relationship, you need to keep on top of your sexual needs and frustrations by talking about them with your partner.
Here are three things you can do to solve the lack of physical intimacy in your long-distance relationship:
- You can spice up your relationship with virtual sex, online games and interactive sex toys that can be controlled remotely.
- You can visit each other regularly and plan to move in together as soon as possible.
- Consider an open long-distance relationship.
See which option works best for you and your relationship.
If physical intimacy becomes a problem and none of the above is possible, you may have to reconsider if this relationship is worth continuing.
If you want to give your long-distance relationship your best shot, our complete step by step guide will help you with that.
Is an Open Relationship Good for Long-Distance?
During a long-distance relationship, you won’t be able to be close to each other as often as you would like unless you have the means to do so.
Being away from your partner for a long time can leave you sexually frustrated; this frustration can affect other aspects of your relationship. With time your long-distance relationship will be full of arguments and will become harder to maintain.
If your long-distance relationship lasts for a few months, it’s not that big of a deal. You can have virtual sex, play naughty games online, and try different gadgets like remote-controlled underwear.
When your long-distance relationship lasts longer than a few months, the lack of physical intimacy can become a problem. Gadgets and virtual games can’t replace the human touch of the person you love.
In this case, seeing other people could be an option. If your long-distance relationship is healthy, you may consider an open long-distance relationship. However, if you are having problems in your relationship, an open long-distance relationship is likely to drive you apart even more.
See this article about common problems in a long-distance relationship to get an idea if you have any of them with your partner.
Are Open Long-Distance Relationships Healthy?
An open long-distance relationship is a healthy solution to the lack of physical intimacy when you can’t be together; as long as it doesn’t create new problems as a result.
If you are having intimacy problems in your relationship, discuss them with your partner before you start seeing other people. This would just be cheating, which will be opposite to helpful.
Sleeping with others can be discussed and arranged as in an open long-distance relationship. But seeing others without discussing it first with your partner, is a violation of trust.
Trust and good communication is the foundation of any relationship, be it friendship or romance.
In a healthy relationship, you should be able to talk openly and share your thoughts and feelings with your partner. When something is bothering you, tell your partner how you feel. It will give them a chance to understand you and help you find a solution.
If you don’t trust each other enough to share your thoughts and feelings, then your relationship is unhealthy. In this case, it’s best to work out all other issues before getting into an open long-distance relationship.
You can also use this guide to assess how healthy your long-distance relationship is.
What Is a One-Sided Open Relationship?
A one-sided open long-distance relationship is when one partner is seeing other people while the other partner doesn’t.
In this case, an open long-distance relationship isn’t healthy and won’t work. An open relationship can only work if both of you need and want to see other people.
If your open relationship is one-sided it can bring pain and suffering to the partner that goes along with it without wanting to do so.
You both need to be mentally open to bring other people into your relationship. In a way, you are opening your relationship to others. So, every person who gets involved with either of you will affect your relationship.
For an open long-distance relationship to work, both of you need to be on the same page. You should respect each other’s feelings as much as your own.
So unless both of you agree on an open long-distance relationship, you should find another solution to satisfy your sexual needs. If you struggle with the lack of physical intimacy, you could visit each other more often, extend your visits, or find a way to move in together.
If none of these is possible, you could temporarily break up or end your relationship altogether.
How Do You Know if an Open Long-Distance Relationship Is Right for You?
An open long-distance relationship is right for couples who are ok to be with other people physically while maintaining an emotional connection with each other.
Open long-distance relationships can work very well, and they can save your relationship. But they’re not for everyone.
For an open long-distance relationship to work, both of you have to be ok with seeing other people. The moment you’re not ok with it, you have to tell your partner.
An open long-distance relationship can be an option if you feel sexually frustrated and are not in the position to see your partner as often as you’d like.
Provided you have trust and good communication, you should be able to talk with your partner about having an open long-distance relationship.
If you would like to work on your communication and resolve any trust issues, here are the two workbooks for you.
What Are the Pros and Cons of an Open Long-Distance Relationship?
If you are considering an open long-distance relationship, you can talk about this point with your partner. Together, you can decide if an open long-distance relationship could work for you.
To help you decide if it’s right for you, let’s have a look at some pros and cons of an open long-distance relationship.
Pros of an Open Long-Distance Relationship
- It can satisfy your sexual needs when you have to be away from your partner for a long time.
- It relieves your sexual frustration so that you can approach the relationship with your partner more calmly and lovingly.
- You get to experience being with other people without the feeling of guilt or the need to be unfaithful.
- Allows you to maintain your relationship with your current partner, while the only other alternative would be to break up.
- If you can separate sex from the emotional connection, an open long-distance relationship can work for you.
Cons of an Open Long-Distance Relationship:
- You share your partner sexually with other people.
- An open long-distance relationship can be unhealthy if it’s unilateral.
- For most people, it’s hard to separate emotional intimacy from sex.
- When you start seeing other people, there is a chance you meet somebody that you like more than your partner.
- Jealousy can creep in slowly, without you knowing it’s there.
- Feeling guilty of sleeping with somebody else even though you agreed with your partner.
Now, if you feel that an open long-distance relationship might be for you, let’s have a look at how you can start an open relationship, how you can make it work and how you can end it if you change your mind.
How to Start an Open Long-Distance Relationship
An open-long distance relationship isn’t for everyone. You may like the idea of seeing others without realising the implications.
When you talk to your partner about having an open long-distance relationship, consider this:
- What is an open long-distance relationship?
- How will you manage it, consider you or your partner could develop feelings towards the new person.
- Make a plan on how you will end it if it doesn’t work.
Meeting different people can be fun and exciting, but you need to make it clear that your relationship is the priority. Otherwise, it can become very messy very quickly.
So, you’ve talked to your partner about an open relationship and both of you agreed that you would like to see other people while in a long-distance relationship.
At this point, you should make a plan with clear boundaries of how it will work; as well as a plan to end it if it doesn’t.
How to Make an Open Long-Distance Relationship Work
To make an open long-distance relationship work, you need to trust each other and freely discuss your thought, feelings and needs. With trust and clear communication, you can find solutions to most problems a distance brings your way.
One of the common problems in a long-distance relationship is the lack of physical intimacy. You can address this issue by talking to your partner about how you feel about not having them next to you for long periods.
In an open long-distance relationship, it’s paramount to share your feelings with your partner. It will allow you to maintain an emotional connection and keep an eye on whether or not you are happy in your open relationship.
To make an open long-distance relationship work, you need the following:
- Complete trust and understanding.
- Openness about your feelings, doubts and concerns.
- Feeling comfortable to express your feelings without the fear of being judged.
- Being able to talk to each other at any time about anything.
The success of an open long-distance relationship also depends on the person with whom you or your partner will get involved.
If it is someone busy and only interested in sex, then it could work out. On the other hand, if you get involved with someone you like, you may develop feelings towards them. When you develop stronger feelings for someone else, it can pull you away from your partner and ruin your relationship.
If you maintain an emotional connection and remain open and honest with each other about your feelings, you can make your open long-distance relationship work and have fun along the way.
Check out this article to learn how to make your long-distance relationship work.
How to End an Open Long-Distance Relationship
Once you’ve tried and open long-distance relationship, you may find that both of you are happy with seeing other people. You may also discover that it isn’t working for you for some reason.
- Maybe you agree with the idea of an open relationship, but you can’t help feeling guilty or jealous.
- You may think that you are ok with your partner seeing other people, but when it happens, you find yourself feeling angry or upset.
If this happens, share your feelings with your partner. Remember to take the time and check-in with your partner about their feelings and address their concerns.
Try to avoid an open long-distance relationship if one of you is compromising their feelings.
If you find that an open long-distance relationship isn’t working you have two options:
- Get back to having an exclusive long-distance relationship.
- End your relationship.
If your feelings towards each other faded away, it’s best to face the truth, then to pretend it’s not so.
These choices are never easy. But being honest with each other is always better, even if it’s uncomfortable at the time.
Ignoring things and letting them play out is likely to lead to even more suffering down the road.
Here is an article that will help you end your relationship in a healthy way, if you so choose.
Open Long-Distance Relationship Rules
Here are some rules on being in an open long-distance relationship:
- Make sure that both of you are genuinely ok with seeing other people.
- Always have consent from each other when seeing other people.
- Set clear boundaries of what is ok to do and what isn’t.
- Always share your thoughts and feelings about having an open long-distance relationship.
- If and when your feelings change, bring it up to your partner straight away.
- Share your experience of an open a long-distance relationship with each other, discuss how you feel and what you think about it.
- Don’t hold back, and don’t exaggerate. Say things how they are.
Many couples find long-distance relationships challenging. One of the main reasons is the lack of physical intimacy.
An open long-distance relationship can be an option if you have trust, great communication and understanding with your long-distance partner.
Open long-distance relationships can work for some couples, but not for others. Only you, as a couple, can decide if an open long-distance relationship is something that you are willing to consider.
An open long-distance relationship can save your relationship when you have no way to be together and your only alternative is to break up.
The disadvantage of an open relationship is that it might drive you apart. When you are intimate with other people, there’s a chance you may fall in love with someone else.
If you’re in doubt whether or not you should do an open long-distance relationship, talk about it with your partner. If you agree to give it a go, keep an eye on your feelings and always share them with each other with effective communication. If an open relationship doesn’t work, you can get back to being exclusive or end your long-distance relationship altogether.
How Healthy Is Your Long-Distance Relationship?
If you are having doubts about your long-distance relationship and are not sure if you should try to fix it or let it go, here is our step by step guide to help you and your partner reassess your relationship and make an educated decision that works for both of you.
Relationship Coaching for Long-Distance Couples
Long-distance relationships are hard to maintain without knowing exactly what they involve.
However, once you understand what long-distance relationships are, what they are not and how to navigate them, you are a lot more likely to make it work.
We specialise in helping long-distance couples create and maintain a healthy relationship by building intimacy, trust and effective communication.
If you are starting a long-distance relationship or are already in one, send us a message to book an individual coaching session for yourself or a couples coaching session for you and your partner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do open relationships work?
Open relationships work for couples who have a strong emotional bond, trust, and understanding.
Should my long-distance relationship be open?
Suppose you feel the lack of physical intimacy leads to sexual frustration which impacts your long-distance relationship strongly in a negative way. In that case, you should consider an open long-distance relationship.
How to have an open long-distance relationship?
Having an open long-distance relationship is challenging but not impossible. Try always to be open and honest about your feelings with your partner.
How to be in an open long-distance relationship?
Being in an open long-distance relationship can be challenging. By opening your relationship with others, you may invite guilt and jealousy into your relationship. Keep an eye on your and your partner’s feelings, so that if they change, you will be ready to respond healthily.
How do I stop being jealous in an open relationship?
If you’re feeling jealous in an open relationship, then you should reconsider having one. Jealousy comes from doubts, insecurities, and distrust. Address all of them first before you continue your open relationship.
How to navigate an open relationship long-distance?
To navigate an open long-distance relationship, you need to make a plan. This plan has to include clear boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not. Something is acceptable. Acceptable- is when both of you agree to it and are happy with it.
As your long-distance relationship goes through different stages, you may choose to keep it open for some time to see if it works for you.
If you find that it does, then you can continue having an open long-distance relationship. But if your feelings change, it’s best to express them with your partner and ask how they are feeling.
How to handle a long-distance open relationship?
You can handle an open long-distance relationship by keeping an open line of communication with your partner. If both of you agree to see other people, then there is no cheating and not feeling guilty about it. It means you can continue having a long-distance relationship based on trust and understanding while satisfying your sexual needs.
Should you have an open long-distance relationship?
You should have an open long-distance relationship if both you and your partner are happy with this arrangement. The moment one of you feels guilty or jealous, you should stop and reconsider. If one of you wants to continue seeing other people, but another one doesn’t decide together on what is best for your relationship.