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HOW TO TALK TO YOUR PARTNER ABOUT NON-MONOGAMY (AND OTHER PRACTICAL ADVICE)

by Jekaterina Gussarova August 01, 2022 4 min read

HOW TO TALK TO YOUR PARTNER ABOUT NON-MONOGAMY (AND OTHER PRACTICAL ADVICE)

HOW TO TALK TO YOUR PARTNER ABOUT NON-MONOGAMY (AND OTHER PRACTICAL ADVICE)

Do you fancy being in a non-monogamous relationship? Here is how to talk to your partner about no monogamy by getting clear on what you want, trying to meet each other's needs, and avoiding making rushed decisions.

Many people want to meet a spouse with whom they can share a home and a future. In most situations, this desire entails choosing a lifelong monogamous partner and staying sexually and emotionally exclusive with that person throughout the relationship. While this may be the norm, not everyone is looking for a completely monogamous relationship. Most of the time, it's a male who wants to be poly and a woman who wants to be monogamous. This situation can be uncomfortable for both partners. If you are in this situation, this article guides you on how to go about issues of non-monogamy

How To Bring Up Non-Monogamy

Get Clear On What You Want

Non-monogamy isn't one-size-fits-all, and neither is monogamy. You should talk to your partner about what you want from being non-monogamous if you haven't previously. First, consider why you want to explore non-monogamy in the first place? What are your beliefs and values about love, sex, and commitment in relationships? Do you want to have many sexual connections only, or do you want romantic ties? Do you like hierarchical relationships, in which your primary relationship takes priority over all others? Make everything clear to your partner to avoid misunderstandings.

Explore Other Possibilities

Talk to any friends you have who are presently in or have previously been in open relationships. Visit local forums or meetups to learn more about non-monogamy. Separately, conduct some research and allow yourself time to digest your feelings and reactions. According to Cascais & Cardoso (2011), non-monogamy necessitates effort. Furthermore, because monogamy is the default in society, most people do not get the chance to learn about all of the non-monogamy possibilities. 

Ask Questions

You can delve more into how you want your rendition of non-monogamy to work. You can consider the following questions:

  • What types of dating activities do you both enjoy? What about second dates? Weekend escapes? Do you want to meet the parents?
  • What about having other individuals in committed relationships with you?
  • What sexual practices are acceptable and which are not? 
  • Is there a limit to the number of persons you can date at once?
  • How interested are you in learning about your partner's interactions with other people?
  • How are you going to protect yourself from STIs and pregnancy?
  • What will happen if one of you chooses to renegotiate your agreements?

 If you and your partner can't agree on something, you should forego it.

Do Not Rush It

Wilkinson (2010) recommended taking your time when it comes to matters of non-monogamy. Consider having a few second dates or separate overnight sleepovers. You won't lose anything by adopting non-monogamy gently, but you'll have a bigger chance of things going wrong if you rush in. You can't predict how you'll react to every event, even with boundaries. You may have assumed you'd be fine with your spouse going on an overnight date but find it too intense for you. It's perfectly fine to be triggered, so test the waters before jumping in on something.

Jealousy Is Normal

Parker (2016) noted that in non-monogamous partnerships, jealousy is one of the most prevalent feelings. It's a completely natural reaction. Jealousy might be a warning that you need to reevaluate your boundaries, but it can also be an unpleasant sensation that you need to sit with for a while. If you're having trouble determining what you require, give yourself time. If your jealousy begins to fade, it's often an indication that you need to accept your sentiments. If it's still bothering you after a few days, rethink your boundaries.

Schedule Regular Check-Ins

Setting up regular check-in sessions with your partner is advisable. It is advisable to do it monthly, but you can make it longer or shorter. You can also do it after certain milestones, such as a second date or the first time sleeping with someone new. You can check in more regularly at the start of your experiments and less frequently as you gain confidence in your abilities to test the waters. You can chat to your spouse outside of these times, but knowing that these scheduled check-ins might help you feel more grounded and peaceful.

Try To Meet Each Other’s Needs

To persuade your reluctant spouseto embrace polyamory, address their immediate wants and comfort them that you will meet their needs in the future. Avoiding humiliating, harassing, or badgering your spouse is important for satisfying their needs. The monogamous-inclined individual should refrain from criticizing the polygamous-inclined person for being uncomfortable with monogamy. It's unrealistic to expect a poly person to be happy with monogamy. You can equate this situation to expecting a lesbian to be thrilled with being married to a man.

The Bottom Line

When a monogamist and a polyamorist can't find a romantic or sexual relationship style that suits them both, it's preferable to communicate honestly and compassionately as they transition to a different partnership. You can't begin with a half-truth and secrecy about it. However, avoid being cruel and running your partner over. There are many ways to approach the subject of non-monogamy, as outlined in this article. You and your partner may agree to a polyaffective relationship, where you continue to love and stay together socially but not romantically. 

References

Cascais, F., & Cardoso, D. (2011). Polyamory: Gender And Non-Monogamy On The Internet. In VIII IASSCS Conference" Naming And Framing: The Making Of Sexual (In) Equality," Madri~. Http://Prezi. Comjnktjxodulqqijpolyamory-Gender-And-Non-Monogamy-On-The-Mternet, Accessed March (Vol. 6, P. 2015).

Parker, T. J. (2016). A Phenomenological Study Of Jealousy And Envy In Non-Monogamous Partnerships. Northcentral University.Wilkinson, E. (2010). What’s Queer About Non-Monogamy Now. Understanding Non-Monogamies, 243-254.

Jekaterina Gussarova
Jekaterina Gussarova


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