Asking for a friend: ‘My boyfriend wants an open relationship but I am not sure about it. How do I decide if it’s right for me?’

Q: My boyfriend asked me recently if I would consider the idea of being open in our relationship. It’s not something totally new to us as we have some mutual friends that are in polyamorous relationships and seem to be OK with it all. I’m not quite sure, as it’s new to me, personally. We’ve been together for eight months so we are still new enough, but we have had a great relationship so far. I don’t mind others doing it, but I suppose I hadn’t given much thought to it for me personally. I guess I am a bit worried about what my parents would say if they found out. I’m at college so I do have a bit of space from them, and to be honest I wanted to use my time at college to explore my sexuality too. At home, it’s a small town where everyone talks. But now at college I have so much more freedom. I don’t feel like my boyfriend is pressuring me, and we have had some good chats about it, but I feel nervous about making it a reality. What do I need to look out for if I do decide to take this route in my relationship?

Dr West replies: It’s great that you feel comfortable in yourself and ready to explore your sexuality and relationship style. This is something to do a bit of research on first before jumping in, in order to minimise any chance of heartbreak due to miscommunication, emotions, or assumptions.


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