By Oliver JR Cooper
There are people out there that are in an open relationship and then there are people out there that aren’t. When it comes to a relationship that is monogamous, it could be said that there will only be two people involved.
Unlike the other type of relationship, each person will only need to think about one other person. If they were not in this type of relationship, they would both have far more people to think about.
Each person would have an attachment to the other and they would both have an attachment to other people. Due to what is going on, a lot of their time could be spent on this area of their life.
Conversely, both of them might not have a strong emotional connection to each other or to the other people in their life. Thus, while both of them will share their bodies with each other and others, not much else will be shared.
However, although each of their relationships won’t have much depth, they are still going to require a lot of their time and energy. As a result of this, they could both get to the point where they are no longer interested in experiencing life in this way and want more depth.
What started off as fun at the beginning could now be seen as something that is tiresome. After coming to this conclusion, they may believe that it would be better to just be with each other or one other person.
When it comes to this type of relationship, someone is only going to have to be there for one other person. In this type of relationship, more of them may have to show up and there could be far more growth involved than there would be otherwise.
Undoubtedly, having an open relationship will bring challenges but a lot of these challenges are likely to be different to the ones that arise in a monogamous relationship. One reason for this is that through forming a deeper connection with one person as opposed to a more surface-level connection with a number of people, different inner wounds are likely to come to the surface.
One way of looking at the difference would be to compare short distance running with long-distance running. Being able to run for a short distance will take a certain type of fitness, while being able to run for a long distance will take another.
In both cases, there will be challenges, but the latter will take more strength and energy than the former. Ergo, to go further will require one to dig deeper and to face pain that they wouldn’t have had to face.
The inner child
Now, while they will only be with one person, it doesn’t mean that there will only be two of them in the relationship. The reason for this is that they are both going to have an inner child.
One’s inner child, along with the other person’s inner child, is often going to have an impact on how they behave. Having this understanding will allow one to be more understanding and for their partner to be the same.
As the relationship grows and develops, inner wounds are going to be triggered and this can cause both of them to behave in ways that are out of character. During this time, their inner child will take over and their adult self will go offline.
If one has this understanding, it will be a lot easier for them to understand what is going on when this does happen and to not take it personally. The same will apply to one’s partner when ones inner child takes over.
If one doesn’t have this understanding, they can get caught up in what happens when their partner’s inner child takes over and this will make it hard for them differentiate their wounded child self from their adult self. Further, it will be more difficult for them to empathise with their partner and to be compassionate.
Ultimately, this part itself can simply take over, so it won’t be as though their partner is consciously choosing to behave in a way that is destructive or harmful, for instance. It will be important for them to keep in mind that they themselves will also have moments like this and they are likely to appreciate having a partner who can see beyond what is going on.
Being aware that they have an inner child that will sometimes take over is one part; the other part will be for them to take responsibility for what happens. Being aware of what is going on and taking the steps to heal what has been triggered will allow them to resolve what is going on and for their relationship to progress.
If one or another partner doesn’t have the awareness or take the steps to resolve what has been triggered, it is going to be a lot harder for the relationship to progress. Over time, it could cause their partner or themselves to emotionally or physically leave the relationship.
If one can relate to this and they need additional support, they may need to reach out for external help. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or healer.
About the author: Oliver JR Cooper is an author, transformational writer, teacher, and consultant who hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis cover all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. His books include Self-Awareness: How to Develop Self-Awareness and Self-Love: How to Develop Self-Love and Self-Worth.