I’m a happily loved up woman with a one-year-old daughter. I’m also in an open relationship

I’m a happily loved up woman with a one-year-old daughter. I’m also in an open relationship
  • PublishedApril 15, 2024

This is how it works.

A young mum has opened up about how she is happily in a relationship with a one-year-old daughter, while also navigating seeing other people.

Stay-at-home mum and content creator, Althea, 26, describes herself as a “pansexual woman who is a passionate advocate for human rights, body positivity and (who) likes to challenge social norms”.

Althea, who is from New Zealand but who now lives in Melbourne, has been in an open relationship with her partner for four years.

“When my partner and I met, it was around the time that I was figuring out my sexuality,” she tells 7Life.

“We had both recently come out of long-term relationships and weren’t really ready to go all in because we wanted to be able to learn more about ourselves.

“The idea of an ENM (ethical non-monogamous relationship) came up and it was our lightbulb moment.”

With non-monogamous relationships, Althea emphasises the most important aspect is boundary setting.

“We stick to one-off casual situations and we do not engage with friends,” she says.

“If we are out together, the general rule is that we are together, unless discussed otherwise.

“We don’t tend to have any follow-up contact with a person after we have met them unless they contact us, in which case we are respectful.”

The main benefit of being in an open relationship, Althea says, is the feeling of security that having a constant partner brings, while also having the ability to “explore”.

“(I love) that I get to live my life with my partner, experiencing all the beautiful things that come with being in a happy and loving relationship every day,” she says.

“(But) I also get to explore a part of myself that I’m still learning about occasionally.

“I get to be 100 per cent myself in my relationship and that is the greatest reward of all.”

When it comes to the couple’s infant daughter, their child doesn’t come into contact with anyone they meet — because her privacy is their top priority.

“As she grows up, we will raise her to be a lot more inclusive and aware of the diversity in our society,” Althea says.

However, an open relationship — like any relationship — doesn’t come without issues.

“At the start, navigating jealousy was a challenge,” she says.

“But that isn’t really a problem anymore, now that we know each other’s boundaries.”

To have a successful non-monogamous relationship, Althea says, it’s important to “put the work into your relationship first and foremost”.

“To be non-monogamous, you need to have a really strong foundation to your relationship,” she says.

“Communication, trust, respect and boundaries are so, so important.

“If you don’t have those things set solidly, someone will get hurt.

“Start slow, check in with your partner often and don’t ever do anything you don’t want to do.

“And also remember to tell potential partners your situation.”

‘Consent is everything’

Althea says potential partners should be made aware of her open relationship lifestyle.

That’s because some people are not comfortable with the concept and “that’s okay and totally up to them”.

“It also ensures no one is disappointed,” she adds.

She also says you should never do something “if you don’t want to”.

“I get a lot of messages from people saying that their partner wants to, but they don’t,” she says.

“Consent is everything. You should never do something like this to save a relationship.

“Respect isn’t just about respecting your partner it’s about respecting yourself too.”


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