Open Relationship? How to Come Out.
You are in an open relationship and are ready to come out to family and friends but are unsure how to best navigate this. Here are some tools/tricks:
Before Coming Out:
1) Determine your reason for wanting to come out to a particular individual or in a particular situation.. Is it appropriate, necessary, and safe? If coming out is relevant and important to the relationship, then coming out makes a sense. If your status as someone in an open relationship is only slightly relevant and/or potentially dangerous, then it may be best to keep quiet.
1) Screen First- Before dropping the bomb about your relationship status, first see how the people in your life react to the mention of polyamorous or open relationships in general. Something along the line of, "Hey Mom, I just heard (so-and-so) are in an open/polyamorous relationship. What are your thoughts on that?"
2) Be careful when coming out to individuals with a personal history of infidelity in their lives.
How to Come Out:
1) Be selective about who you come out to.
2) Consider coming out in writing to those family members/friends who fall on the more conservative side. This will give them time to process, reflect, and possibly calm down, after hearing the news.
3) Avoid coming out on holidays are big family occasions. Deciding to come out during little Johnny's baptism or Suzie's graduation is likely not to yield the best results.
4) This might seem obvious, but don't come out when you are feeling angry, have had too much to drink, or are feeling embarrassed, conflicted, or insecure about your identity.
5) Be careful about coming out if your relationship/s are in a bad place.
6) But don't pretend that everything is perfect all of the time in your relationship/s. Acknowledge that difficulties exist. If you don't, your loved ones are likely to become suspicious and concerned.
7) Explain what your relationship structure is.
8) Make sure your family/friends know that you have chosen this arrangement and are happy with it.