A married couple doesn’t have to be bored or dissatisfied with one another to want to explore. Some, in fact, start out knowing that they want to have lives of multiple loves and erotic adventure. For open couples such as those, free dating arrangements are one way to go.
The freest of arrangements is usually characterized by full ability to date, love, and make love on any whim by either party. Sometimes this is the best thing for very confident couples. They are solid in their love for one another and experience joy for the other when they hear about a wonderful new lover. For couples of this nature, an outside experience can even serve to deepen their primary romantic bond.
Other couples decide to have more rules. Rules are not generally made to restrict out of a sense of jealously, but instead are in place to maintain the integrity of the primary relationship as they understand it. For some, the main rule could be as simple as each partner just letting the other partner know if they are planning to indulge in the fruits of another. For others, it may be that Friday night is their night to be together, so there will be no dates with others during that time. A fairly universal and infinitely wise rule is that safer sex must always be used.
Freedom is a great thing for open couples, but as with any system, it is not without complications. The biggest obstacle to responsible free dating is lack of communication. Every single person has different desires and needs. One person, even one who has been part of a poly community for many years, is not necessarily well versed in the protocol and expectations of another. Too much is often assumed by monogamous couples about how things work. Open couples can make the same mistakes. Partners talking with one another is the way to make a good open marriage sublime.