6 Nigerians Talk About Their Experience With Open Relationships

July 2, 2020

Nigerians in open relationships may not be the most conventional or popular couples to exist, but they do exist. That’s why we decided to look for different Nigerians who are in open relationships or have been in open relationships to ask about their experience. Here’s what they said:

Nigerians open relationships

Susan, 30/Female/Bisexual – “I ended my open relationship out of jealousy.”

I was in an open relationship with a woman back in 2015. We decided from the beginning that the relationship was going to be open, not because we didn’t love each other a lot, but because this life is too short to be with one person. I loved every bit of it in the beginning. There were no clear rules, but I expected her to be as reasonable and honest as I was about the entire thing.

Unfortunately, she started lying (unnecessarily) when she went to see the men she was sleeping with. Sometimes, we would go out together and she would leave me to hang out with a man she was sleeping with. On one particular occasion, she even left with the guy but didn’t tell me she was leaving with him. I was also seeing men on the side, but I was honest and transparent about it. At least I think I was. The entire thing made me really jealous, so we drifted apart and ended it. I haven’t been in an open relationship since then. I feel a lot of Nigerians don’t know how to be in open relationships. They’d rather cheat.

Nonso, 32/Male/Heterosexual – “I opened my marriage due to sex-related troubles and it hasn’t solved the problem.”

Last year, my wife and I were having sex-related troubles, so we decided to explore opening the relationship. We have a few rules like: you can’t see more than two people at once, you must use protection, you must be honest about who you’re seeing and how much time you’re spending with them. Because we’re in a very structured relationship, we review these activities regularly.

It hasn’t really done anything to revive our sex troubles, but it has made us more honest and friendly with each other. So far, we haven’t had any problems. I am ready to stop and seek more practical ways to solve the issues we’re having. While I’m having fun on the side, I really love my wife and lowkey don’t want any man to steal her with bomb preek. The problem now is, I don’t know how to tell her. She seems to be having more fun than me. 

Tolu, 25/Female/Lesbian – “My partner wanted to explore her polyamorous side.”

We decided to open our relationship because we both thought we wanted to experience other people. My partner wanted to explore her polyamorous side and I just wanted to explore. It was only sexual. It was agonizing to say the least. Letting go of my possessiveness was really hard. I had sex with one person. My partner had sex with two. We eventually decided to go back to normal because it wasn’t working out. It was a lot of angst with little reward so we weighed our options and decided closing it was best. 

Khadeejah, 28/Female/Heterosexual – “Our open relationship didn’t work out for my partner, so we’re back to being monogamous.”

I’m currently in a monogamous relationship. It was an open relationship beforehand but things didn’t work out from my partner’s end. Men tend to be taken aback when women say they would rather not be monogamous. My experience while it was open was great. I love not having to lie about seeing other people. I hate secrets and love being free. It was both sexual and romantic for me. Being able to love and be with multiple people that contribute in different ways to my happiness, was liberating for me.

My partner and I went back to monogamy because he was jealous. For context, I was already polyamorous before I met him. I was in another romantic relationship while we were in the “talking stage”. He tried to act like he was okay with it at first. I was upfront about it; I said this is what I want and I don’t want to have to sneak around. He tried to make it work because he probably didn’t want to lose me but he was just too hung up on the conventional way of doing things and so after a lot of back and forth, I decided to give monogamy a try. 

He means a lot to me and I don’t want to lose him. It has been okay so far. It’s been 2 months. But we’re in a stay-at-home situation, so there isn’t a lot of going out yet. I’m going to try my best to make it work because I agreed to it but I don’t know what that’s going to be like yet. 

Tinu, 29/Female/Heterosexual- “My husband and I are contemplating opening our relationship after making out with neighbours.”

My husband and I recently started contemplating opening our relationship. We haven’t decided on anything yet, because of Covid and all —  and I don’t know if we will — but something happened last year that spurred this. We moved to a new country and didn’t have a lot of friends in the city and neighborhood. But then we met a couple and became friends. The four of us spent time together and sometimes, they brought their kids with them.  One day though, their kids weren’t around, so we drank a bit and got pretty shitfaced.

I can’t remember who came up with the idea to swap partners, but it happened and I was making out with someone that wasn’t my husband and my husband was making out with someone that wasn’t me. It was really exciting. When we got home, my husband and I had really amazing sex. We talked about it afterwards and there were mixed feelings about the entire experience. We decided to stop hanging out with them. We started talking about it again recently and we now think that just making out with that couple might have done something to our sex life. 

Michael, 27/Male/Heterosexual – “Being in a long distance relationship made us open our relationship.”

We’re in a long distance relationship. She’s in school abroad and I’m in Nigeria. We’re practically married — we’ve done introduction — but the strain of being in a long distance relationship is getting to us. So when she brought it up, I was happy to go with it — anything to make her happy. I’m not going to lie and say it’s not hard for me, that’s why I don’t ask her about the details. I don’t know if we’ll stop when she moves back home. Probably sha. We’re taking it one day at a time.


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