Image: Everton Vila for Unsplash

According to the urban dictionary, an open relationship is a relationship in which two people agree that they want to be together, but cannot exactly promise that they will not see other people too. 

To have a significant other and the freedom to hook up with the other.

The 1970s and 1980s were the era of free love where most people were in open relationships and it was socially accepted.  

An open relationship does not entail cheating, the key is to be open just as the name suggests. 

These are the five reasons why an open relationship may be beneficial:

1. Increased satisfaction.

A study done by The University of Guelph found that people who engage in open relationships tend to be satisfied more sexually as compared to those in a monogamous relationship.

One's exclusive relationship may experience problems if the partners have different sex drives. 

The difference in drives may be a result of sexual incompatibility.

Being in an open relationship and acquiring different sexual partners with the knowledge of your partner, can lead to your satisfaction needs being met therefore reducing the chances of cheating.

2. Improved communication.

An open relationship requires one to communicate to their partner about what they are doing outside.

Constant communication on rules, arrangements, and limits one can reach, encourages honest communication as well as improves it.

By setting up arrangements that will shape the open relationship one will be able to notice the shortcomings, speak about them, and find alternatives.

Not only will the communication be of benefit to the relationship but to also other aspects of your life as it is suggested in the onion theory of personality. 

3. Reduced jealousy.

It is no lie that one of you or both of you may feel a sense of jealousy and insecurity. A study done by Terri Conley, Jes Matsick, and Ali Ziegler found that non-monogamous relationships can reduce the rate of jealousy.

Letting your partner hook up with others will allow you to come face to face with their inner self on the aspect of controlling and regulating their emotions. This will build a stronger sense of self-concept.  

In Measuring passionate love in intimate relationships (Hatfield & Sprecher, 1986) it is found that individuals can react in a positive way toward their partner finding new relationships.      

4. More needs are met.

"It is okay to be you. You do not have to try to be anybody else. Whatever you are, however, you are, it is fine. Nobody is perfect," Priyanka Chopra.

As a licensed therapist who specializes in marriage and family therapy Christene Lozano says, one person is not capable of providing for all your needs. 

By engaging in an open relationship all of your needs can be met without frustrating one to meet your expectations. 

5. Increased trust.

For an open relationship to triumph, trust is required. The ability to be vulnerable about how you feel, what you want, and what is not working would be an added advantage.

Trust will make one feel safe and be more willing to try out new things with the faith that you are in this together with your person. 

Being open and vulnerable is scary seeing that one has the power to affect you, but an open relationship must thrive or any other relationship. 

Would this type of relationship be the best fit for you?