Have you ever thought about opening exploring a lifestyle of non-monogamy with your partner? If so, are you afraid of admitting it? Are you scared it might ruin your relationship? The subject of non-monogamy is pretty taboo in our society, and that means most people are afraid to admit that it is something they are interested in. Honestly, I was skeptical about how people could live this lifestyle long term until I started working with couples living the lifestyle.
In reality, I found that many people in alternative relationships actually have increased intimacy, better sex, and a healthy relationship. I wanted to explore the subject more, so I had a discussion with Robert Kandell, a best-selling author who has almost 2 decades of experience helping men find themselves, including in non-monogamy. He was able to provide solid advice for individuals or couples who are intrigued by the lifestyle but don’t know where to begin.
Overcoming Your Fears
It is okay to have desires to be non-monogamous. It is, after all, the art of human biology. Society is who says it is wrong, but it’s not. Opening up your relationship when you are both on board can be powerful and helpful in solidifying your connection with each other.
If non-monogamy is something you want to explore, don’t hide from your partner because of fear. If you don’t express your desires, they will never know how you are feeling. Once you have accepted your truth that this relationship style is something you want to explore, you owe it to your partner (and yourself) to share your feelings.
Are There Any Cons?
While non-monogamy can be used to strengthen a couple’s bond, it can also be used to avoid true intimacy. An alternative relationship should provide a sense of connection. If you need drugs or alcohol to ‘prepare’ for it, you are probably doing it for the wrong reasons. The mind-altering substances are just covering up genuine emotions, and the open relationship is likely hurting the relationship, instead of a positive one.
Living a lifestyle of non-monogamy should help create a strong bond with your partner, not help you run from your feelings. Another problem, obviously, is when partners are not on board. If this is a lifestyle that you feel you are truly meant to pursue and your significant other doesn’t share your sentiments, it is a major roadblock that you will need to learn to overcome together — or apart.
How To Start The Conversation
This, to many, is the hardest part. How do you sit down with their significant other and tell them you want to explore other relationships together? There are a few steps that Robert shared with me that will help you ensure that the conversation starts out on the right path.
- Do the internal work first. Don’t look to your partner to help you get things right in your head. Get comfortable with your desires before you share.
- Set time aside. Ask your partner for a distraction-free conversation at a set time.
- Communicate your desires clearly — and then leave it alone until your partner is ready to come to you for a discussion. Create a space so they can come to you in an hour, a day, a week, or even longer, and feel like they have a safe place to share their feelings with you.
- Throughout the process, make sure that your partner knows that you are sharing your desires with them because you want to be closer to them and to share the entirety of yourselves with each other.
If you do decide to put the lifestyle you choose into practice, make sure that you take it slow and be open to changing things up if it isn’t working. It is also beneficial to see outside help if you need guidance or hit a roadblock.
If non-monogamy is something you are interested in learning more about, or if you are looking for advice on relationships and your sex life, check out the sexology podcast at www.sexology.com.
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.
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