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On Finding an Open Marriage “Friend”

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

Finding Open Marriage “Friends with Benefits”

A common misperception is that once you decide to have an open marriage you quickly move into a series of new relationships where friendship and sexuality are both part. Later on, when this does not happen, one of the most common reasons that couples move from open marriage to monogamy is an inability to find compatible couples to be “friends with benefits”. We know more than a few couples who are practical monogamists for the simple reason they don’t have anyone with whom they feel comfortable being sexual.

One morning I was writing an email to a couple who were finding the most difficult part of becoming non-monogamous is finding a couple with whom they feel comfortable. Let me share some of what I wrote them


It is so very true that it is difficult to find a couple where all four people hit it off for a "real" friendship outside the bedroom. The best we've done is that the wives become friends and the foursomes are an outgrowth of that. There is no real poly scene in my part of the country so we poly's are part of the swinging community. What you will find though is that the open marriage community is pretty supportive and that in time you will develop friendships with people just like you would in any social group.

First, people with open marriages keep that part of their life very separated from their "real" life. It's not that they don't want to be more open, but rather that the cost of being outed is just too high.

In our case, since Paula is the more socially outgoing person, it works well for her to date on her own far more than do I. But, unlike some poly's, she makes it very clear to her dates that I am part even if I never join them in bed. She always insists that they talk to me on the phone and we have a joint dinner date with every guy with whom she wants to pursue a relationship. In most cases she will insist we have a threesome early-on in their physical relationship to make it clear that even though she might spend the night with him on occasion, our relationship is far more important to her.

This works well because it breaks down the embarrassment factor for the guy to see us interact comfortably in his presence (both in public and in bed) and makes it very clear that she is not cheating on me.

Finally as for online match services, you might consider dating sites that cater to married people, like OK Cupid. We have found that people who are in committed relationships make better "thirds" than do those who are looking for a mate. Yes it causes some moral dilemmas, but it prevents a whole host of other problems. For couples looking for other couples, the sites seem to come and go in popularity. In the mid-west and south the most popular site right now is SLS ( ).

The key to any swinging or dating site is to write a good profile and have well-made photos. You would be surprised how many people contact us because of our well thought out and presented profile. No, you do not have to show your face, but a good photo that shows your general appearance makes a difference. And NO, do not use beaver or dick pics! It sends the message that you are just looking for sex, pics showing you in your favorite activities are much better.

I made a post a few days ago that we’d had a good first date with a nice couple. What I don’t think I noted was that it has been more than a couple of years since we’ve had a second date with another couple unless we were staying at a resort for people with open relationships. Though we would very much like to build a real friendship with this couple, experience shows that this will take effort on the part of all four people and the chances of real success are not great. The simple fact is that it is much easier to have an open relationship made of multiple threesomes than of a foursome; however the rewards of a genuine friendship with another couple are worth the effort.

So, if you are considering opening up your relationship sexually to others, my advice is to start by considering if anyone in your current circle of close friends might also be secretly interested in trying open marriage before you start down the harder road to finding a compatible couple in the larger world. This is what we did and it made the transition to open marriage very natural and easy for both couples.

If you can’t do that, become a part of the local open marriage community and look for other couples with whom you feel comfortable in social situations. Go to swing parties or clubs with the intent of getting to know people who want to do things outside the club (or bedroom). The simple fact is that after a few drinks and you are naked, you will be compatible with many people with whom you share no other commonalties. Hot sex doesn’t’ make a relationship work for singles, and it doesn’t do so for open marriage couples either.

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