Open relationships might excite some, while putting fear into others. And despite what most people might think, it's not always just about having sex with someone other than your significant other.

So what exactly is an open relationship? Well, it's up to each couple to definite what will work for them. For some, intercourse may be off the table, but other forms of intimacy, like kissing or touching, are permitted. For others, all forms of sexual expression are allowed, but intimate dinner dates are off-limits.

Cosmopolitan Magazine recently published an article about open marriages featuring Tammy Nelson, a Connecticut sex and couples therapist, who called open marriages "the new monogamy."

For those of you trying to grasp how open marriages work, Nelson's explanation to Cosmo might help: "Within the new notion of monogamy, each partner assumes that the other is, and will remain, the main attachment, but that outside attachments of one kind or another are allowed — as long as they don't threaten the primary connection."

Avvo, an online legal services marketplace, asked more than 2,000 U.S. adults about their attitudes on open relationships for a study published in May 2016. The study finds that of those polled, only 4 percent admit to ever agreeing to have an open relationship with their significant others. More than half indicated they are morally opposed to the idea of an open relationship. Men were less opposed than woman by almost 20 percent.

Interestingly, while many people are opposed to the idea, it doesn't mean they would leave their partners if those people wanted to engage in open relationships. Forty-four percent said the request wouldn't be an automatic deal-breaker, according to the Avvo survey.

Would you ever consider an open relationship with your partner? If you've ever been in one and want to share your experience, email us at

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Are you tipping enough? PLUS: Dating after losing a loved one. Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode.

Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about the signs you should look for if you think your significant other is no longer interested, and bullying in schools. We also take a 10-question citizenship test. Will we pass? 

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