How to Make an Open Relationship Work

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July 14, 2014 4:46 PM EST

"Glee" star Lea Michele recently revealed that she is in an open relationship, much to the delight of the many individuals all over the world who are on the same boat but just couldn't say it out loud.

REUTERS/DANNY MOLOSHOK
Singer Selena Gomez (R) and Justin Bieber, pose on arrival at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, 2011.

The term may also be new to some, but many Hollywood stars have actually practiced it with very good results. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez (although Bieber is probably the one who wants it more), Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Channing Tatum are just some of the big names that find the setup very conducive. Whether you're a star or not, an open relationship can actually work if you have the right personality and attitude toward it.

1. Indicate the rules from the beginning

Being in an open relationship is described by some as the situation between being friends and being officially in a relationship. From the start, both partners should know that they have an open relationship setup, thereby eliminating confusion and possible conflicts due to unmet expectations. Talk to your partner about the metes and bounds of the relationship. Specify which activities are allowed and which should be prohibited.

2. Be honest

The core of an open relationship is being able to share with your partner everything about yourself and how you feel. People find that being in an official relationship triggers them to shy away from their partner or hide their true feelings. In an open relationship, people like Lea Michele recommend that you treat your partner in the most honest way possible, by being your true self and not keeping secrets.

3. Cite your flaws

If you had an affair, tell your partner. If you want to go out with friends, let your partner know. The objective is to have someone who understands you for who you are, taking into consideration your personal interests, needs and lifestyle. You do not have to hide your flaws. Knowing that someone accepts you for who you really are despite occasional mistakes is the key to long term happiness.

4. About jealousy

There is a big risk for either or both partners to get jealous at one point or another in an open relationship. If you feel jealous, tell your partner by specifying the exact deed or occasion that made you feel that way. Let your feelings out then hear what the other party has to say. Be ready to communicate any time and you will find the relationship beneficial for both parties.

(Photo: REUTERS/DANNY MOLOSHOK / )
Singer Selena Gomez (R) and Justin Bieber, pose on arrival at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, 2011.
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