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A Better Way To Live?

Open Relationship has become more than a common phenomenon in the modern world, although many Indians are not much accustomed with this particular idea. In the Western countries, it has become a common practice for both men and women to enjoy multiple relationships, simultaneously, without hiding the fact from the person’s other partners. The only condition is both the partners should have an understanding regarding this before getting involved in such a relationship. Psycho-analysts in India recently discussed some important issues related to Open Relationship, including the effectiveness of this type of relationship, maintaining the balance of life, etc.

The Open Relationship has become popular in the 21st Century, as members of the younger generation want to lead open and free lives. In that process, they want to have partners only for recreation, without the burden of responsibility. Many of these people are of the opinion that such a relationship allows one to have a breathing space even after having partner(s). The perspective of the supporters of this form of relationship possibly lies in the logic that as their respective movements remain free, understanding with the partner(s) becomes strong and the duration of the relationship increases, automatically!

On the Social Media, Millennials and Generation Z mention the status of their relationships openly nowadays! They tend to mention single, married, in a relationship or in an open relationship. The number of persons, who are in Open Relationships, has increased in the last five years across the globe. Psycho-analysts believe that young people are trying to make their lives comfortable by entering into multiple love affairs, with the number of other relationships decreasing constantly.

Majority of the younger generation think that there is no need to be conservative as far as affairs are concerned. They believe that different relationships have different characters. Hence, multiple affairs bring perfection to the mind! However, the older generation is of the opinion that Open Relationship cannot be hailed as a Good One, as it often triggers misunderstanding among the partners.

Kolkata-based Consultant Psychologist Dr Anuttama Bandyopadhyay, who knows a number of people who are in Open Relationships, has said that this sort of relationship is a complex one. “The two, who are in an Open Relationship, do not often share the same sort of feeling over an issue most of the time. As a result, even if one person enjoys the relationship, her/his partner does not enjoy it fully,” she stated. Dr Bandyopadhyay has advised the younger generation to think about their own mental states before entering into an Open Relationship. Perhaps, it would help them understand their partners. According to the Consultant Psychologist, the first condition of an Open Relationship is that both parties need to know the entire thing, and must agree to that. Something has been shared, and the rest has remained hidden… that should not be the case, here. There should not be any secrecy in case of Open Relationship.

Now, does it mean that if one has relationships with three persons, then everyone should know everything? Is it important for the person to inform her/his two partners about details of her/his relationship with the third one? “Not at all,” stressed Dr Bandyopadhyay. It is important for a person, who is in an Open Relationship, to be aware of her/his own limits. In other words, the person needs to know what s/he should know about her/his partner’s life, and what not. Although it may not be necessary to tell each and every partner everything, a kind of mutual transparency and understanding should be there with each partner, explained Dr Bandyopadhyay.

There is another major issue in case of Open Relationships. It is important to be clear about which of her/his relationships is the most important one for a person, and both sides have to agree on that. Otherwise, it would be difficult to avoid complexity. If the number and timing of the presence of other partners in their lives vary greatly, then also the Open Relationship cannot work! Once, American comedian, actor, writer, stage, film, radio and television star Groucho Marx (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977) had said: “Be open minded, but no so open minded that your brains fall out.

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