Consensual non-monogamy, sometimes referred to as open or polyamorous relationships, has become increasingly common. Unfortunately, some of the myths about these different types of relationships linger. So, let’s dismantle some of the misinformation and talk about how these relationships really work.
Open Relationships for the Long-Term
Many people see open relationships as a temporary solution. Perhaps you want to spice up your relationship, and you think the freedom to date and hook up with other people would do the trick. This is a valid way to have an open relationship, and you could become monogamous again once you’re both finished with being open.
But there are many happy, healthy, long-term non-monogamous relationships as well. As long as the people in the open relationship have good communication and plenty of trust, non-monogamous relationships can be just as stable and long-lasting as any other relationship. It’s key to have a trusted therapist who believes in the longevity and health of open relationships to help you through the hurdles you encounter over the years.
Non-Monogamy Could Help Solve Some Relationship Problems
Some people believe that opening their relationship is a last-ditch effort before a divorce or breakup, but that’s not always the case. Certainly, non-monogamy isn’t for everyone, but it can help elevate relationships if both partners are equally interested in opening up and if they are willing to do the work to maintain trust and open communication.
Further, open relationships are great for people who realize that they are bisexual or pansexual and want to explore that side of their sexuality but also care very deeply about their original partner. They can also help alleviate stressful sexual situations between two partners who love each other but have very different levels of desire, kinks, or fetishes. If you are looking to try BDSM with your partner, watch my video on how to incorporate it to spice up your sex life.
Some people believe that non-monogamy weakens the quality of the bond between two people when it can have the opposite effect instead. Open relationships can be a way to navigate sexual differences while still maintaining a stable, secure connection with your initial partner. No relationship is able to meet all of your needs, and having multiple partners can be a healthy way to get more of your needs met.
Polyamory as a Phase
Whether polyamory is just a phase is a question that comes up a lot for people because they may fondly remember their wild younger days during college or afterward when they spent time exploring sexually. Eventually, most of them wanted to settle down. So when a couple talks about opening up their relationship, many wonder if one of them is going through a phase just like many of us did when we were younger and assume that they will eventually settle down once again.
The truth is that for some, polyamory may be temporary. But many people feel that polyamory is as intrinsic to their sexuality as any other part, meaning it is important to them to express it, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Working Toward a Healthy Non-Monogamous Relationship
Open relationships encounter hurdles just like every other kind of relationship does. If you find that it would be helpful to have expert help, find a therapist who believes in the legitimacy of open relationships. Contact me for a free consultation today.
Bio: Dr. Nazanin Moali is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in the Los Angeles area. She works with various individuals to understand and improve their sexuality. Dr. Moali conducts personal consultation sessions in her Torrance and Hermosa Beach offices, or via a secure, online video-counseling platform. Click here to take the sex quiz for women.