Monogamy continues to be the default for relationships, so discussing a different choice may seem like a very difficult proposition. If you’re interested in hooking up outside of your relationship, but don’t want to be a cheater, this is one discussion you must have.

Learn the basics of how to talk to your partner about an open relationship, in order to make the experience as effective as possible. Start by being honest with yourself and move on from there with these simple tips.

Figure Out Your Reasons

Bisexuals often prefer open relationships, but that’s not the only reason why people end up in a monogamish relationship. A big difference in libidos or simple the need to experiment with things that your partner isn’t interested in also lead some couples to open their relationship. However, if the reason is just that you’re bored sexually, but your partner is willing to experiment and spice things up, don’t rush into opening your relationship.

Make Sure That Your Relationship Has a Strong Trust Bond

Before you talk to your partner about an open relationship, it’s important to know that trust is part of the foundation of your relationship. When trust issues are a problem you’re already dealing with, trying to go monogamish will probably end up destroying your relationship, especially if you have a jealous partner.

How To Discuss Having An Open Relationship

Don’t Confuse Being Monogamish with Polyamory

Most open relationship allow some leeway for sexual encounters, either threesomes or separate hook ups, but few allow for any feelings for others get in the way. Polyamory is a lot less common and it involves a strong romantic connection with more than one person. If you cherish your current relationship, make sure that you figure out the rules of opening it up correctly.

Pick the Right Time

The worst time to talk to your partner about an open relationship is in bed, either before or after sex. Choose a good time when your man is in a good mood and approach the subject gently, without rushing into big statements like “This is the only way!”.

See also: 10 Biggest Relationship Killers

Be Patient

Once you’ve brought the idea into the conversation, don’t pressure your partner in any way. Some people need a few minutes to make a decisions, others could ponder it for weeks before leaning towards accepting or rejecting it. Time usually works in your favor, so don’t push things.

Compromise When It Comes to Rules

As soon as you start to talk to your partner about an open relationship, it’s important to make it clear the setting up the ground rules is a collaborative process. There’s not one size fits all solution for becoming monogamish. Some couples discuss details, other prefer to be completely in the dark, and most agree to never bring others into their home.

Discuss Healthy Boundaries

While rules can change and evolve, it’s important to have some boundaries. Sharing too many details with your partner, even if he says he’s fine with it, might prove like too much emotional baggage. Before even thinking about your first experience in a monogamish relationship, talks these things through so there are no misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

Downsides Of Open Relationships

Don’t Make Ultimatums

Regardless of whether you’re taking it slowly when talk to your partner about an open relationship or revisiting the idea, it’s important to not make ultimatums. If you feel trapped by monogamy and you’re starting to resent your partner for it, you might need to be single. If you do offer the option of a monogamish relationship or no relationship, you might blackmail your partner into something that will create resentment for him.

More: Things You Should Never Say to a Guy

Decide If You’ll Keep It a Secret

Many monogamish couples keep that aspect of their lives to themselves and don’t discuss it with friends or family. Find common ground and make a decision together on when or if you’ll open up to others about your situation.

Make Sure You Show Your Partner He’s Still No. 1

One very important thing to always mention when you talk to your partner about an open relationship is how he’s the guy you want to be with in the long run. Make sure that your actions send the same message, and you always put him first before any sexual encounters outside of your couple.