Open Relationship Boundaries List: Understanding the Rules of Non-Monogamy

Open Relationship Boundaries List: Understanding the Rules of Non-Monogamy

Are you thinking about exploring the world of open relationships? Maybe you and your partner have already decided to take this step but are unsure of what boundaries you should set. Open relationships are becoming increasingly popular in today’s society, but they are not for everyone. In this article, we will discuss what open relationship boundaries are and provide you with a comprehensive list to help you navigate the world of non-monogamy. Open Relationship Boundaries List: Understanding the Rules of Non-Monogamy

What Are Open Relationship Boundaries?

Open relationship boundaries are the rules and guidelines that partners agree upon when entering into a non-monogamous relationship. These boundaries are essential to ensure that both partners feel comfortable, respected, and safe in the relationship. Open relationships can take many forms, and it is up to the individuals involved to determine what boundaries work best for them.

Why Are Boundaries Important in Open Relationships?

Boundaries are essential in all types of relationships, but they are especially crucial in open relationships. Non-monogamous relationships can be complicated, and without clear boundaries, partners may end up feeling hurt, jealous, or neglected. Setting boundaries helps partners feel secure in their relationship and can actually strengthen the connection between them.

Open Relationship Boundaries List

Here is a comprehensive list of open relationship boundaries to consider:

1. Communication

Open relationships require open and honest communication. Both partners need to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Set aside time to check-in with each other regularly.

2. Sexual Health

Discuss how you will protect yourselves from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Will you use condoms? Will you both get tested regularly? It is essential to protect your health and your partner’s health.

3. Emotional Boundaries

Determine what emotional boundaries you need to set. Do you want to know about your partner’s other relationships, or do you prefer not to hear about them? Can you express love or say “I love you” to someone else?

Open Relationship Boundaries List: Understanding the Rules of Non-Monogamy

4. Time Management

How much time will you spend with other partners? Will you schedule certain nights for your primary partner? It is essential to balance your time between your primary partner and other relationships.

5. Intimacy

What kind of physical intimacy is allowed with other partners? Is kissing okay? What about cuddling or sleeping in the same bed? Discuss what actions are acceptable and what actions cross the line.

6. Public Displays of Affection

Are public displays of affection (PDA) allowed with other partners? Will you hold hands or kiss in public? Discuss what kind of PDA is acceptable.

7. Family and Friends

How will you handle family and friends who are not aware of your open relationship? Will you keep your relationship private or disclose it to others? It is essential to be on the same page when it comes to family and friends.

8. Finances

How will you handle finances with other partners? Will you split expenses equally, or will each partner pay for their own expenses? Discuss how finances will be handled with other partners.

9. Boundaries with Other Partners

Discuss what kind of boundaries you want to set with other partners. Will you have rules about how often you can see other partners? Will you only see them in certain locations?

10. Exclusivity

Do you want to remain exclusive to each other emotionally or physically? Discuss whether or not you are open to seeing other people, or if you prefer to remain exclusive to each other.

11. Breaks

Is it okay to take breaks from the relationship? How long can breaks last, and what are the rules during a break? Discuss what breaks mean to each of you and what actions are allowed during this time.

12. Boundaries for Dating Apps

Discuss your boundaries for dating apps. Are you both allowed to use them, or is it just one partner? What kind of interactions are acceptable on dating apps, and how will you handle any potential matches or messages?

13. Boundaries for Social Media

How will you handle social media in your non-monogamous relationship? Are you allowed to connect with other partners on social media? Will you be public about your non-monogamous relationship on social media?

14. Relationship Goals

What are your relationship goals? Are you looking for a long-term commitment or just casual dating? Discuss what you want out of the relationship and what kind of goals you have for the future.

15. Re-Evaluating Boundaries

Open relationship boundaries can change over time. It is essential to regular check in with your partner and re-evaluates your boundaries. As your relationship evolves, your boundaries may need to change as well.


Open relationships can be rewarding, but they require a lot of communication and understanding. Setting clear boundaries can help partners feel safe and secure in their non-monogamous relationship. The open relationship boundaries list provided in this article is not exhaustive, but it can serve as a starting point for partners to determine what boundaries work best for them.


1. Can open relationships work?

Yes, open relationships can work, but they require a lot of communication, trust, and respect. Both partners need to be on the same page and willing to work through any issues that may arise.

2. How do I bring up the topic of open relationships with my partner?

Bringing up the topic of open relationships can be challenging, but it is essential to be open and honest with your partner. Start by expressing your feelings and concerns and ask your partner how they feel about non-monogamy.

3. Can open relationships lead to jealousy?

Yes, open relationships can lead to jealousy, but it is essential to communicate openly and honestly with your partner. Jealousy can often stem from insecurities or a lack of communication, so it is crucial to address these issues head-on.

4. How do I know if an open relationship is right for me?

Deciding to enter into an open relationship is a personal choice and requires a lot of self-reflection. Consider why you want to explore non-monogamy and what kind of boundaries you need to set to feel comfortable and safe.

5. What should I do if I am uncomfortable with my partner’s other relationships?

Communication is key in any relationship, including open relationships. If you are uncomfortable with your partner’s other relationships, it is important to express your feelings and concerns in a non-judgmental way. Work together to find a solution that works for both of you.

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