“There should be no rules except for the ones designed by two people in a partnership.”
Traditional relationships aren’t for everyone. And while monogamy is the norm in our culture, there’s a growing number of people who prefer to do things a little differently.
Some of these people have chosen to have an open relationship — where a couple agrees that it’s okay to see others besides their partner — and a few celebrities have actually opened up about it!
Find out which celebs prefer open relationships…
1. Nico Tortorella & Bethany C. Meyers
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While Nico Tortorella and their wife Bethany C. Meyers admit that they don’t like putting labels on things, they have been open to seeing other people over the course of their relationship. The couple have been together for over 15 years, tying the knot in 2018, and have explored their sexualities throughout the course of their relationship.
“I’m a deep lover and it can happen very fast and still continues to, with other people and with Bethany on a regular basis… [We’re not] out here fucking all the time and we have all of these other partners. No, that’s not the case…I am kind of a serial monogamist in my polyamory…I love dating one person at a time. I’m married, yes, but I love dating one person at a time. I have a partner in LA that I’ve had for a long time, but I’m not his only partner; he’s not my only partner,” Nico explained to Attitude.
2. Will & Jada Pinkett Smith
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Will has said that “Jada never believed in conventional marriage.” “For the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose, not thinking of monogamy as the only relational perfection,” he told GQ last September. “We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way. And marriage for us can’t be a prison.”
While Jada says she wouldn’t use the word “open,” she’s explained that she just wants Will to be able to do what he wants, as long as he can “look at [himself] in the mirror and be okay.” “Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship…this means we have a GROWN one,” Jada wrote on Facebook.
3. Mo’Nique & Sidney Hicks
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Mo’Nique and her husband Sidney Hicks have been married for over a decade but over the course of their relationship, they have continued to see other people. The Academy Award-winning actor admits the open relationship was her idea and while she initially suggested it because she wanted to continue to see another man, the couple’s definition of an open relationship has changed over time.
“Initially, when I asked for it, it was because I wanted to continue to see the gentlemen that I was seeing, and I felt comfortable telling my best friend…so when I sat down and said this is what I want initially it was because I wanted to still have sex with who I was seeing and I didn’t want it to be where I was keeping anything from my best friend. That’s how it initially started, and when I tell you the conversations that we’ve had, it has taken me to a different place where I’m not even thinking of another man sexually, but still open to it,” Mo’Nique told Essence.
The couple even launched their own podcast to discuss open relationships, aptly titled Open Relationship.
4. Dolly Parton & Carl Dean
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Dolly Parton and her husband Carl Dean tied the knot over 50 years ago but have always had an open nature to their relationship. The country superstar says that the couple have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy — even though they consider each other soulmates.
“If we cheat we don’t know it, so if we do cheat, it’s very good for both us. I don’t want to know it, if he’s cheating on me. If I’m cheating on him, he wouldn’t want to know it. And if we do, if that’s what’s making it work, then that’s fine too,” Dolly once said.
5. Shailene Woodley
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Shailene Woodley admits she has been in open relationships in the past and although she’s no longer with that person, she’d be willing to do it again in the future.
“Listen, I’m someone who has experienced both an open relationship and a deeply monogamous relationship in my life, and I think we’re in a day and age where there should be no rules except for the ones designed by two people in a partnership — or three people, whatever floats your boat! But there has to be a level of responsibility in any relationship dynamic, and that responsibility is simply honesty and communication and trust. Apart from that, it’s really none of our business what people choose to do with their lives,” Shailene told the New York Times.
6. Margaret Cho & Al Ridenour
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Margaret Cho says she’s been in an open relationship with her husband Al Ridenour for many years. In fact, Margaret says she’s been in the same house as her husband while he’s with another woman.
“I just don’t want to have sex with the same person my whole life. That’s just gross…We have a really big house. It’s kind of like if we wanna have that, it’s like, ‘You can stay on your side, or I’ll stay on my side.’ When I see her, I’ll make her dinner…Oh yeah. I’ve definitely been in the house,” Margaret said on The Real.
7. Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie
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During the course of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s relationship, the couple were rumored to be open to seeing other people. At one point Angelina said that she didn’t believe relationships needed fidelity and that she didn’t feel “chained” to Brad.
“I doubt that fidelity is absolutely essential for a relationship. It’s worse to leave your partner and talk badly about him afterwards. Neither Brad nor I have ever claimed that living together means to be chained together. We make sure that we never restrict each other,” Angelina told Das Neue.
8. Thomas Middleditch
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It wasn’t until after Thomas Middleditch married his wife Mollie Gates in 2015 that he realized he was interested in an open relationship. When he presented the idea to Mollie, she was willing to try things out, but the couple ultimately ended up getting divorced.
“Only after I got married was I like, ‘Mollie, I’m sorry, but we have to get nontraditional here.’ To her credit, instead of saying ‘Fuck you, I’m out,’ she was like, ‘Let’s figure this out.’ To be honest, swinging has saved our marriage. We have different speeds, and we argue over it constantly, but it’s better than feeling unheard and alone and that you have to scurry in the shadows,” Thomas told Playboy before the couple’s split.
9. Shirley MacLaine & Steve Parker
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Shirley MacLaine and Steve Parker may have gotten married back in the 1950s but she says they had an open relationship over the course of their 28 year marriage.
“I guess you would say ‘practiced an open marriage’ in 1954, which was another lifetime. No one understood it, we did. He lived in Japan basically, I lived in America working, and this and that. I think that’s the basis for a long-lasting marriage if you really want to do such a thing,” Shirley told People.
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