Is a Non-Monogamous Relationship For You?

Feb 18, 2022

When we talk about the concept of a non-monogamous relationship, a lot of people often associate it with cheating or swinging, when in reality they’re just a range of different relationship structures that simply aren’t monogamous

Consensual or ethical non-monogamy ranges from very open with no rules, to some openness with clear rules and restrictions, to everything in between. Exploring non-monogamy is different for everyone and can either strengthen or negatively affect a relationship.

Keep reading to see if a non-monogamous relationship may be right for you.


Fears Around Non-Monogamy

Jealousy is a huge factor that comes up when someone is thinking about non-monogamy. The concept of your partner having sex with someone else can be scary and trigger some feelings of envy. These emotions are perfectly normal when considering consensual non-monogamy, because it’s outside of your “norm”. However, those feelings of jealousy can help you in creating the relationship you want to have, because when you’re experiencing it, that means there’s something to learn from that emotion.


Mistakes That Can Happen When Considering Opening Your Relationship 

There are many mistakes that are made when couples are deciding to open up their relationship. 

Using Non-Monogamy as a Last ResortSometimes when relationships are at a breaking point, couples will try to introduce non-monogamy as a last resort, thinking it will fix things. This is a common mistake that people eventually will blame for the entire relationship being ruined, however it’s often already broken in the first place. The relationship’s foundation needs to be stable before introducing non-monogamy.

Not CommunicatingThe first time the thought of non-monogamy even enters your mind, you should start having these conversations with your partner. Talk through what the potential open relationship would look like, what rules would there be, what are you both comfortable with. Talking it out and communicating your wants and needs is imperative when considering an open relationship.

Doing it For a Specific PersonSome people decide to go non-monogamous because they have a certain individual in mind. This is the wrong direction to go and rarely works out well for your relationship.


When To Start Exploring Non-Monogamy

There are better times when non-monogamy would be better suited to explore than others.

If you haven’t had children yet, that would typically be a more ideal time to explore a non-monogamous relationship. You generally have more time to spend and less restrictions that can stop you from experiencing an open relationship. 

If you’re bored with your relationship, but haven’t started resenting your partner, you may want to consider how you would want to be more expansive. If your sex is just “fine”, then this would be a good indicator you’re looking for more or something different, and because you’re not resentful yet it’s not starting as a last resort.

If you go out without your partner and think there could be an opportunity to have an experience with someone else, then that’s a good time to bring up the concept of non-monogamy as well. We refer to this as an “open door cue”. 


Talk About It

Non-monogamy isn’t for everyone. Some relationships thrive with it, others deteriorate. You have to have an open and honest conversation with your partner if this is something that appeals to you both. What’s most important is that you’re both on the same page and agree and understand the rules and guidelines in place if you choose to move forward with opening your relationship. 

What’s great about engaging in ongoing conversations with your partner is that you can adjust as you go, and that goes for everything pertaining to your relationship. Think of it as relationship re-negotiations - you signed a contract, but that doesn't mean you can’t make revisions throughout the years, especially as your wants and desires change. 

Listen episode #41 of the Pleasure Principles Podcast on Apple or Spotify with Dr. Joli Hamilton to learn more about what non-monogamy really means and to see if it would work for you. 
If you’re looking for more support, our Pleasure Principles program provides a space for women like you to find community and support along their journey to find or improve their pleasure. You can find out more here.


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