Polyamory works well for many couples, and as long as both people are on the same page about the expectations and limitations of this kind of arrangement, they can theoretically continue happily forever. However, there may come a time when you’re no longer interested in maintaining multiple connections and you simply want to concentrate on your primary partner. Here’s how to close an open relationship, though you should be warned it’s not always easy or even possible.
- Be honest about why you suddenly want to be monogamous. If you want to close your open relationship because your partner seems to be forming deeper and more meaningful connections (or simply more numerous ones) than you’re comfortable with, it’s unfair to put the kibosh on things. Same goes for if you can’t seem to find anyone else you really like besides your partner while they’re happily dating other people. If you agree to an open relationship, you don’t get to suddenly change the rules because they’re not working in your favor. It’s important to be honest with yourself so that you can be honest with your partner about where you’re coming from.
- Communicate what you want with your partner clearly and directly. If you’ve decided that polyamory simply no longer works for you and you simply want to focus your time and energy on your primary partner, tell them this. Explain why the arrangement worked for you before but no longer does and what you’d like instead. If you’re not clear, your partner can’t make an informed decision about how to proceed and someone will leave unhappy and potentially heartbroken.
- Set some ground rules. If your partner does say they’re willing to give monogamy try the first step towards figuring out how to close an open relationship is to set some ground rules. What are you both comfortable with? Will you immediately end all other relationships to focus solely on each other? Will you let those other connections peter out naturally and agree not to look towards actively dating anyone else moving forward? Will you compensate for the lack of other sexual connections by having threesomes together? Whatever you’d like your new relationship to look like should be laid out in black and white.
- Be prepared to not be on the same page. This is perhaps the most important bit of advice you can hear. Generally speaking, once you open a relationship, it’s hard if not downright impossible to close it back up again. A partner with the freedom to date and/or sleep with whoever they want won’t want to give that freedom up easily, so you need to be prepared for that outcome. Understand that your desire to be monogamous may only be yours alone, because this could very well be the case.
- Walk away if your partner can’t commit to being only with you. At the end of the day, if you desire monogamy and your partner is comfortable with polyamory and refuses to budge, you have no other option than to walk away. You deserve to have your needs and desire met, as does your partner, and if those two no longer align, there’s nothing more to be done than to end the relationship.