We’ve heard quite a bit of talk recently about ethical non-monogamy – and it has likely got us thinking about what a non-monogamous relationship might look like – and if it potentially solves some of the common issues that plague us in long term relationships.
As you can imagine, people are VERY divided when it comes to this topic, and things can get heated when discussing this – after all, the whole topic brings with it lots of stereotypes and baggage, and can trigger issues of trust, security and rejection. At the core of the issue is each person’s desire to be happy, fulfilled, satisfied and seen – and that can look different for everyone. If you’ve been wondering if a non-monogamous lifestyle is for you, here are some signs that it might be:
- Your needs aren’t met in your current relationship – As much as we might love our partner, often there are gaps that simply can’t be filled – whether this is to do with socialising, libido or personality. Non-monogamy can be a way to meet those needs in a way that still works for the relationship – allowing the core partnership between the two of you to remain while you explore other areas.
- You and your partner are both attracted to other people – If you and your partner have both discussed attractions to others – whether this is socially or otherwise – it is a good sign that you’re both open to discussing or exploring this side of the relationship. Being attracted to other people is completely normal – it’s not like we automatically lose that part of ourselves once we’re in a relationship – and it can be exciting and liberating to discuss these crushes or fantasies with a partner. Honesty and authenticity like this can strengthen a relationship even further, since we’re taking a risk in having these conversations, and making ourselves vulnerable. The key to these conversations is to be as direct as possible, and agree on boundaries and a plan of action before anyone does anything.
- You’re ok with strong emotions and communication – A relationship that is volatile and in which communication is an issue is not a great basis for non-monogamy – after all, we can almost guarantee that, especially at first, there will be heightened emotions and upheaval, simply because this is par for the course. A strong, healthy, loving partnership is likely to be able to handle this upheaval, but if your relationship is plagued by trust issues, problems regulating emotions or solving conflicts – then there may be work to do before you take this step into non-monogamy.
As you can see, the theory and practice of non-monogamous relationships can be tricky to navigate – and having a strong, trusting relationship as a foundation to go from can make all the difference. Online support such as Relish can help you to navigate some of these conversations, and work through with your concerns with a trained relationship Coach.