There are so many contradictory and mutually exclusive things written about the so-called "free relationships" that this creates many problems in couples. So it's time to voice the professional position of the psychologist. This can be useful for many people.
So: A free relationship between a man and a woman is a relationship that, in addition to communication with a regular partner, presupposes freedom in contacts with other representatives of the opposite sex; when there is no need to coordinate something with a partner, report or justify it.
Free relationships can be partial: when partners agree that it is possible to go to the cinema, cafe, bar, restaurant (etc.) with someone else; plus to call, correspond, accept and give gifts, conduct other joint activities; but intimate relationships can only be in a couple and with no one else!
Free relationships can be complete: when partners agree that with all the depth of their relationships (sometimes even living together and having a common budget), they have every right not only to communicate with people of the opposite sex, but also to have sex with them.
Strictly speaking, the main difference between a free relationship and a classic love relationship is that partners are forbidden to be jealous; plus, formally being a couple, they can legally and openly consider some other options for a life partner and/or a partner for intimacy. In ordinary relationships, people proceed from the fact that their partner is not a temporary transit companion, but a companion in life, the" second half " forever; hence, they are jealous, require their partner to refrain from personal contacts with persons of the opposite sex, strive to exercise full control.
The difference between free relationships and just friendship is that the format of the "friend zone" involves communication without intimacy at all.
In the practice of life, men and women who have met usually start with the "friend zone", from where they slide into a full free relationship, when they can still sort out alternative partner options. Or they enter into sex immediately after dating and again find themselves in a completely free relationship. Although they can immediately make a wedding proposal))).
Then the relationship evolves into a partial free relationship, when the old personal ties with other people of the opposite sex gradually cease, and new ones are no longer formed. As a result, people get very close and do not consider other options. This is how classic love relationships arise, which then become a family in the form of a civil or official marriage. Transition: full free-partially free-classic love relationships are three degrees of seriousness: frivolous-semi-serious-serious relationships.
If people have clarified the seriousness of their intentions, they can immediately move from a free relationship to a civil marriage and even a family. If it is not clarified – they can be in a partial free relationship, even living together. In this case, the final manifestation usually occurs in the process of conflicts based on jealousy.
Finding yourself in an officially recognized free relationship and being jealous is nonsense! This means that someone misunderstands the meaning of words or people have not quite clearly defined the format of the relationship. Or someone is already ready to move from the format of a free relationship to a conversation about a civil family or an official marriage, and the second partner is not in a hurry with this yet. Or simply does not realize what a storm of love emotions is boiling in the partner's brain.
Reasons for a free relationship
The very essence of free relationships in any form is simple: people want to satisfy their needs (in whole or in part) in sex, communication, everyday life, the material and financial part, but at the same time do not take on full reciprocal obligations. Or there is a desire to make commitments, but there is still no time or money: you need to study, work, there is no housing. And since the unconscious biological needs for communication and sex do not care deeply about these reasonable social deficits, the format of free relationships helps to hold out for at least some time with sex and communication, but, at the same time, without spending all the money and all the money on relationships.
Of course, if the partners are well protected. Because, practice shows: Most often, free relationships die from an unplanned pregnancy, when partners may have different opinions about this: someone is in favor of increasing the degree of seriousness of the relationship, and someone is in favor of abortion and separation. Or for an abortion and the continuation of the relationship. Although, after a proposal for an abortion (and I, as a psychologist, am against abortion!), it is usually very painful to continue a relationship.
In general, the pattern of free relations is simple:
— If it suits both partners at once, it can last for a long time and, usually, ends with a quiet parting.
— If it suits only one of the partners, it does not last long and, usually, ends in a scandal. After that, people either change the format of the relationship to a more serious one, or break up.
— If this does not suit any of the partners, they talk seriously and increase the degree of seriousness of the relationship.
A rollback from a serious relationship "We love each other and we are a couple" to a free "we are just a couple" is usually a clear sign of a crisis in the couple. When either someone was clearly disappointed in a partner who did not meet his expectations, or met another representative of the opposite sex on his way, who seemed to be a more promising option. And the rollback first into a partial free relationship simply gives technical opportunities to try and develop another relationship more legally and morally comfortable. Up to the point of going into a completely free relationship with sex with another partner. Which, of course, does not please the existing partner. Except for the situation when the existing partner also decided to have someone else. Right up to sex.