A very common question among men is how to establish and maintain harmonious and pleasurable (for all involved!) open relationships, aka casual relationships or friends with benefits. Plainly put, how to see multiple women at the same time without creating a train wreck.
I am assuming here that, like me, you are not ok with simply misleading women (which, even beyond the moral issues, is problematic for anyone seeking self-improvement).
Fortunately, there is a way to start and maintain open relationships with beautiful, interesting women, and to unapologetically build a lifestyle that allows you to both be true to yourself and respect other people’s choices.
Here are the key ingredients:
Open relationships, Step 1: Sexualizing the interaction
If you want to establish a sexual interaction, sex has to be on the table in some way or another.
The better I got at sexualizing things the more success I had at starting open relationships. Sexualization refers to alluding to sex, in a number of different (explicit or implicit) ways. We teach a plethora of sexualization techniques in our training.
Most guys make the mistake of never alluding to sex, so it becomes the elephant in the room. Others make the mistake of referring to it in an awkward way, which comes off as creepy.
If you’re comfortable talking about sex, both in a facetious and serious way (whatever is right for the moment), that says a) you’re not creepy b) she can show you her sexual side without being judged and c) you’re probably decent in the sack.
The same goes for physical touch. If she finds herself touching you more or earlier than she usually does, she’ll feel that you two have more “chemistry” than those other guys she’s met, and she’ll see you as being smoother and having more confidence with women.
Regular guys have to play by the rules (“go on X dates before sex”, “sleep with no one else”, etc.). Exceptional guys get to set their own rules.
Open relationships, Step 2: Set the right first impression
Once a girl has a first impression of you, it’s not easy to change it. In fact, it will creep her out if you behave one way when you first meet and very differently on the phone or on the first date.
If you wait til the 1st or 2nd date to sexualize or start touching, you’ll have a hard time keeping things casual. That’s too late. By then she’s already pigeon-holed you.
Don’t telegraph that you’re looking for something serious unless you are. It’s a waste of her time and yours.
If you show your sexual side earlier, your intentions will be clear from the start and you will naturally attract those women who are receptive to open relationships.
Open relationships, Step 3: Qualification.
Studies show that women care less about sexual than emotional infidelity (check out a description of the research here). They’d rather their partner sleep with another woman without being in love, than the other way around. Guys are the opposite.
It’s not so much commitment itself that girls are after, but rather the feeling that they are appreciated and respected. It’s the thought of being used for sex that they don’t like.
Qualification is the process of finding out, and complimenting, her non-physical attributes. Tell her exactly what it is you like about her personality. Remind her of this often. This justifies why you like her, as opposed to every other girl, and rules out that you’re just using her for sex.
Open relationships, Step 4: Be honest about your intentions
There are many ways you can implicitly set a casual context (joke about her becoming your 8th wife, mention a past casual relationship or ask her if she’s into threesomes).
But I also explicitly explain where I stand to most girls before sex occurs (that’s the time to break it out, by the way, not after you’ve been dating for a month…).
If there is any doubt in my mind about her expectations, I bring it up. I don’t want any misunderstandings leading to bad blood or disappointment on her end. There’s nothing wrong with preferring not to have committed relationships; it’s our prerogative. But it would be hypocritical not to recognize the same right of choice to women.
I do this in 2 steps. First I explain that I am generally pretty casual with relationships and am not necessarily looking for anything serious.
Then I tell her I’m interested in hanging out regardless of whether we have sex (assuming it’s true, if it’s not I don’t pursue her long-term).
I want her to understand that I want to have sex but it’s not a big deal for me. If it happens, great; if it doesn’t, no biggie. This doesn’t detract from showing my intentions and being sexual, it only reinforces them.
The mindset I approach it with is I like sex, but I don’t need it.
IMPORTANT: remind her of the casual setup every once in a while, otherwise she will assume things have changed.
Open relationships, Step 5: Set the right dynamics
This is where most guys mess up.
What you do matters more than what you say. If you say you want to be casual and behave like a boyfriend, she’ll be confused or choose the interpretation she favors.
Don’t call all the time. Don’t have lengthy phone conversations about her day and your family. Don’t hang out more than once a week. Seeing each other every day and filling each other in on every mundane aspect of your lives is relationship terrain and creates attachment in her mind, even if you’ve honestly stated your position. Assuming this dynamic equates to saying “we’re a couple” with your actions and is misleading to her. Avoid it if you’re not ready for commitment and don’t want things to go sour.
Open relationships, Step 6: Be fair
This isn’t the 40s. Relationship rights are equal. If you want to be casual, that’s your prerogative. But it goes both ways. In an open relationship you don’t get to control where she goes or who she hangs out with. If you can’t handle that, open relationships are not for you. If you want a relationship where you have freedom and she doesn’t, get a blow-up doll.
Open relationships, Step 7: Be true to yourself
No matter how awesome you are, some women are just not interested in casual relationships. No amount of tricks and psychology can change that. At the end of the day, when you’ve explained what you’re about, it’s her call to take it or leave it.
Some guys are dishonest out of fear of rejection, but that’s hardly the way to go. Men with abundance don’t feel the need to sleep with every girl that crosses their path. Some women aren’t right for you. Some can’t handle a casual relationship or just plain don’t want one. Don’t push it. Don’t try to convince her. Sleep with women who are ok with being casual, befriend the ones who are not. Surround yourself with interesting, beautiful women, without having an agenda or trying to get something from them, and the rest will follow.