Stop saying that phrase. Every time you want to say that, replace it with "deconstruct our relationship and reconstruct it as a new, open relationship". And then start *seeing* your relationship as a brand new relationship that is open, not an existing relationship that is identical in every way to the old one except now you can talk to or fuck other people.I think if we all start using this language instead, it will really hammer the point home and make everyone think about what they're doing in a different way, which will hopefully lead to more intentional, more compassionate, and less fearful relationship practices.
Because you are not "opening up". You have to rebuild your relationship from the ground up, with new paradigms and new assumptions and new expectations. Your new partners are not entering an existing relationship, even if they date both of you. They are constructing WITH YOU a whole new set of structures.
You are not adding on a rumpus room to an existing house that doesn't change anything about the rest of the house and where you can conveniently close the door when you want to pretend that it doesn't exist.
You are building a whole new building complex with multiple structures that interact with each other and share infrastructure while maintaining separate other elements that all add up to one beautiful complex of dwellings that each inhabitant ought to have, not just a say in designing, but the *final* say in designing the part in which they inhabit over anyone who lives in other parts.
So stop saying you want to "open up your relationship". You're not "opening up". You need to "deconstruct" your relationship, and rebuild something totally new that might have some similar elements, like all houses have plumbing, or whatever, but it's still a new relationship with new assumptions and expectations and totally different property lines.
Don't say you are "opening up", say you are "deconstructing" your relationship and constructing new ones.
You can't "protect" your "existing relationship" if that relationship is already gone because you're deconstructing it to build something totally new. Raze it to the ground, like any construction project requires you to remove what's there before you start building something new.
And, like any good construction project, you start with the foundation that will properly support the rest of the structures. Don't build something on top of a foundation that wasn't intended for this type of building in the first place.
(For more on this subject, click on the tags below, especially for unicorn hunting and couple privilege)