Although the desire to give an unlimited amount of love, energy, and emotion to others is common, the limited amount of time in a day limits the actual time spent with each partner.Some find that if they cannot evenly distribute their time, they forego a partner.

The style of the open relationship will mirror the parties' involved values, goals, desires, needs and philosophies.

The most successful relationships have been those that take longer to establish.

Many couples within open relationships are dual-career, meaning that both primary partners have a stable job and/or a career.

Both men and women in these, especially in closed groups, are also more likely to be in managerial jobs.

This helps to reassure each partner in the relationship that their opinion is important and matters.

However, although ability to veto can be a useful tool in negotiation, a successful negotiation and open relationship can still occur without it.

There is a commonly held societal stereotype that those involved in open relationships are less committed or mature than those who are in monogamous relationships; and films, media, and self-help books present the message that to desire more than one partner means not having a "true" relationship.

In the post-WWII 1950s-1970s, it was traditional to "date around" (with guidelines such not going out with one particular suitor twice in a row) until ready to start "going steady" (the onset of exclusivity and sexual exploration); since then, non-exclusive dating around has lost favour and going directly to steady (now known simply as exclusive dating) has been elevated instead.

If a person attempts to approach their committed monogamous partner about transitioning to an open relationship, the monogamous partner may convince or coerce them to either stay monogamous or pursue a new partner.