An open relationship can mean one of two things.
1. An open and honest relationship.
An open and honest relationship can often be referred to as an open relationship due to the fact that you and your partner are completely open with each other. It involves no lies, no secrets or hiding anything from each other. In most open relationships you're free to handle or answer each others phones, have full access to each others passwords and basically have no limits on your relationship in form of what's yours or your partners.
2. A multiple party relationship.
An open relationship in this sense means that you're both free and open to date or see other people. You know that you're together but you're open to the other spending time (whether romantic or not) with other people - you're boyfriend is permitted to go on dates or see other girls or your girlfriend is free to date other guys. There are no limits regarding flirting or dating other people depending on what you've discussed when defining your 'open relationship'. it usually means that it's okay as long as the other knows about it. it's done more openly then hidden as you would when cheating.
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