You finally did it. At long last, you landed that person that you had your eye on, and now you two are sharing a Netflix account, using pet names, and going on double dates with your friends. Everything is going great.

Fast forward a year or two. You and your pookie are still going strong but the new relationship smell has worn off and you may be beginning to wonder if there’s something (or rather someone) you’re missing out on in the land of single people. You’re curious and perhaps a little horny, but most of all you’re confused because while you want to go do some single mingling you also don’t want to give up your relationship (or your shared Netflix).

Then all of a sudden you have a stroke of genius and come up with what might be a good solution to your dilemma: an open relationship.
I’ve never been a bullfighter, but I have a feeling that asking your partner for an open relationship might just be a similar experience. If you think your partner isn’t going to be on board with the idea right away, you go into the discussion with a plan that you try to execute as tactfully as possible. And you attempt to dress up the idea, making it sound pretty and progressive in order to lure your partner in, but in the end, you’re still in a scary freaking situation because both of you are left very vulnerable.
Asking for an open relationship can be difficult because it requires a lot of thought and consideration toward your significant other’s feelings. It also requires some introspection on your part so you can explain to your partner why you want the open relationship in the first place and what you aim to get out of it. And if you combine all that with a cup of trust and pinch of teamwork so you two can maneuver within each other’s comfort zones then your scary bull might start to look more like a harmless calf.
To help your persuasion along you might even want to point out that open relationships and monogamous relationships are similar in some ways. In both cases, you have a reason for entering the relationship: there is something that you want to get out of it, emotionally, physically or both. There are also rules that you follow for both kinds of relationships because you want to avoid doing things that hurt the other person or people involved. So both kinds of relationships require a lot of trust and an open line of communication.
It is perfectly understandable if you’re scared or nervous to ask your partner to turn your previously monogamous relationship into an open one. But you make up half of the relationship so you are entitled to ask for what you want out of it. Just keep in mind that your partner is also entitled to decline doing something that might make them uncomfortable. The good news is that open relationships vary and you and your partner can tailor one to fit your needs. It may take some (or a lot) of discussing to reach an agreement, but if it’s what you want then it’s worth it.