Just like in any relationship, couples who swing can run into trouble. Let’s be honest, life is never perfect and that includes the swinging lifestyle. You don’t want to risk your special relationship with the love of your life so we are here to highlight the dangers involved in non-monogamy so you can avoid these unsexy swinging pitfalls. As you read these most common pitfalls, remember that your venture into non-monogamy is unique and not everything may apply the same way to you. Use your head to keep your swinging time fun and rewarding rather than making it a stressful nightmare.
Breaking someone’s trust
So you’ve talked about everything, you feel safe and secure in your relationship, and you are enjoying the swinging lifestyle. And then you find out your partner had a private encounter that you knew nothing about. Who was she? Did you meet him? What did they do? Did they use protection?
The number one pitfall of swinging is someone breaking the trust of their partner. This one action can set back the relationship significantly and can even result in swinging ruining your relationship.
Swinging is all about trust, and breaking that trust can destroy the relationship for good. To avoid this pitfall, it is good practice to ask your partner how much information they want to know about your flings and tell them how much you need to know.
Once you have laid down rules, make sure you stick to it. And if you find that you no longer like the rules, talk them through with your partner to revise them rather than breaking them.
Not communicating properly
Not speaking to each other about the big issues is another one of the biggest pitfalls of non-monogamous relationships. Whether you’re not raising your concerns about jealousy or you’re not communicating your boundaries clearly, these things are bound to come out in a fiery argument.
Talk about things as they come up, or book a therapy session if you need to talk about some harder stuff. But don’t hold it back then blurt it out in a fight. This can cause serious problems to fester in your relationship.
Expecting swinging to fix a relationships
Swinging is not a way to fix a relationship. Just like any other big life decision, like moving in together or having a baby, swinging can create incredible stress on a relationship. People who have tried swinging when their relationship is on the rocks rarely have anything positive to say about the experience.
Instead, see swinging as a way to enhance your relationship, not to fill in the cracks. Otherwise, you might find the whole thing goes up in flames.
Not setting boundaries
Without boundaries, you will probably find yourself out of your depth and unhappy quite quickly. You won’t be able to erase the image of your partner with another person, so it’s best to make sure that it is something you really want.
Because you don’t want your first fun swinging events to be ruined by regret, establish exactly how far you are willing to go with other people, and how far you’re happy for your partner to go. And talk about it.
Playing with the wrong people
Just like it is possible to have a monogamous relationship with the wrong person, it is possible for you and your partner to meet the wrong swingers. Whether they are not experienced enough in your eyes or just like different things, sometimes it just won’t work.
More worryingly, you can meet people who don’t respect your relationship or your consent. As soon as you notice these red flags, it’s best to move on as quickly as possible.
It can cause tension between you and your partner if you feel like they are the wrong people and your partner doesn’t agree with you, but as long as you communicate everything it should only be a minor bump in the road.
Taking things too fast
So you’ve both realized that your ultimate fantasy is a foursome with good friends. Great! So you down a few glasses of wine and jump into bed. While this works for some, for most people it won’t take long before the anxiety kicks in.
Rushing things means less time to establish trust, boundaries, and a connection with the people you’re playing with.
It’s not possible to take things too slowly, but you can take things too fast. Bear this in mind when you first open your relationship, or when you first start exploring new things within swinging.
Finding it difficult to find partners
Swinging isn’t exactly like it is in the movies – there won’t be a never-ending supply of sexual partners. It takes time to find people, and even longer to find the right people for you. But if you keep an open mind, go to different events, and try online dating, you will find your people.
It can cause problems in the relationship to become too heavily focused on finding other people, so put the feelers out there but let the right people come to you. You’ll be surprised where you find them.
Not discussing the risks with all partners
One of the worse things that can happen when you’re swinging is usually miscommunication (or no communication) around sexual health. It’s really important to make sure everyone is on the same page and nobody is unwittingly about to contract an STD.
It’s also important to be upfront about preventing pregnancy and have a realistic idea in the back of your minds, about what would happen in that situation and what action you would take.
Many swingers are also worried about their privacy, so make sure it is established that what happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. You might not mind the whole world knowing about your new escapades, but other couples might be much more private and it might risk their job or family life.
In short, the pitfalls almost all come down to communication. We know we’re starting to sound like a broken record here, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to talk honestly with one another.