When people in a relationship are used to being monogamous, getting into a polyamorous relationship is a difficult concept to grasp.
There is some stigma and misunderstanding when it comes to polyamory. Many people don’t even know what being polyamorous entails, while others may be intimidated by the idea of entering an open relationship. This is why explaining polyamory to your partner can be extremely challenging. As such, it’s important for couples to understand what a polyamorous relationship really means, as well as why one’s partner may be interested in entering such a relationship.
In this guide, we’re going to shine a light on polyamory, and provide some helpful tips for communicating your desire for an open relationship with your partner. Polyamory can be so rewarding for individuals and relationships. It’s vital to properly communicate your feelings and desire to get in this kind of relationship with your partner.
What is Polyamory?
Polyamory is a concept that permits individuals in a romantic relationship to be involved in multiple relationships romantically at the same time. The most important aspect of polyamory is that it must be done with everyone’s knowledge and cooperation. This separates polyamory from infidelity or cheating, which happens when one or more partners in a relationship are uninformed of each other’s non-monogamous behavior.
Polyamory is classified as ethical non-monogamy, a word that embraces any non-exclusive relationships that are consensually non-exclusive, whether sexually, emotionally, or both. Others include “swinging” and “open relationships.” Polyamory can fall anywhere beyond standard monogamy on a range of total romantic and sexual exclusivity to full non-exclusivity.
Why More People Are Accepting Polyamory Today
These kinds of romantic entanglements are more frequent than you would imagine, and they’re just getting more common. According to a recent 2021 study, one out of every six Americans believes their ideal relationship isn’t totally monogamous. According to the report, one out of every nine Americans had been in polyamorous relationships at some point in their lives. Researchers found that one in six (or 16.8%) single adults in the United States wanted to be in polyamorous relationships, one in nine (or 10.7%) had been polyamorous at some point in their lives, and approximately one in fifteen (or 6.5%) knew someone who was or is polyamorous after analyzing data from a nationally representative sample of 3,438 single adults from a variety of backgrounds.
Clearly, more and more people are becoming interested in open relationships. But why exactly is that?
Though it’s still uncommon for individuals in polyamorous relationships to share legal custody of their children, different types of ethical non-monogamy have become more common in recent years. The emergence of multi-partner dating apps and mainstream media portrayal, as well as social media and more easily available networks for individuals interested in the lifestyle, all contribute to this. People’s desire to be open and conspicuous with their relationships in the current day is one potentially major issue.
These societal trends, on the other hand, can be traced back to free love advocates in the 1960s, who pushed tirelessly to widen our sexual limits from across the world. There are also people like philosopher and author Carrie Jenkins who proved that these long-held taboos of having numerous lovers can work.
Another trend that has emerged in the previous decade is a rise in Google searches for the phrases ‘polyamory’ and ‘open relationship.’ This shows that there is a higher level of interest in this issue and the opportunity for an open connection.
It’s important to note, though, that being in poly relationship isn’t “new” or “more prevalent” nowadays. People have been in these kinds of relationships for centuries, but at different times and in different cultures. It’s not a new notion to be in an open relationship. However, to be involved in one needs to be discussed a lot, especially with your partner.
Can Couples Thrive In A Poly Relationship?
A poly relationship may benefit a couples’ relationship satisfaction in a variety of ways. In a monogamous relationship, expecting a person to fulfill all of your needs puts a lot of strain on the relationship. Some monogamous couples prioritize the couple over other social contacts in their attempt to preserve sexual and emotional faithfulness. This can quickly become harmful. Non-monogamy, according to many polyamorous people, allows them to meet more of their needs by spreading them out across numerous people.
Similarly, giving up without making an effort to work things out might result in the early end of a wonderful relationship that is only going through a rough patch. This is especially true for monogamous relationships, which are more likely to continue when both partners work hard to maintain and sustain the connection.
However, because of their intricacy, polyamorous relationships need considerably more effort when it comes to communication. As a result, polyamory may aid in the development of the ability to stick with a tough topic and adequately communicate, even if it is unpleasant.
How To Deal When Your Partner Isn’t Ready For It
Let’s say that you have an in-depth, honest, and open discussion about considering a polyamorous relationship with your partner. There is still a chance that they will not be receptive to the idea, or at the very least apprehensive.
Dealing with this potential outcome depends on you. Are you dead-set on being polyamorous? If so, the relationship you are currently in may not be fulfilling for either of you. If being poly is just something that has sparked your curiosity, you may want to have a look at your current relationship and weigh down your priorities.
You are not obligated to abandon the concept of going poly without additional discussions. If this is something really important to you, it’s important to revisit this topic in the future or consider couples counseling. Couples counseling is beneficial because it may help set boundaries for conversations and explore why each of you feels the way you do. A counselor can assist in steering the talk in a positive direction. The objective should be for the two of you to decide how to proceed in a sensible manner. Should you be monogamous or non-monogamous ethically? Are you able to reach an agreement or compromise?
9 Useful Tips In Explaining Polyamory To Your Partner
Follow these tips to better explain to your partner how polyamory could benefit your relationship.
1. Be prepared for resistance, especially if infidelity has been a past issue.
It’s worth noting that if you’ve already committed any form of adultery with someone else, a talk about polyamory is unlikely to be met with enthusiasm. It takes time and faith for these things to happen. Before poly may be considered in circumstances of infidelity, trust must be reestablished.
Keep in mind that if you want your partner to appreciate and cultivate your poly self-identity, you must be willing to embrace and develop theirs as well. Create a secure environment in which you may listen to your partner’s emotions to the notion of being in a polyamorous relationship.
2. Make it clear that you value your partner.
Whether you don’t approach the matter with the appropriate tone when you first ask your spouse if they’d be willing to be in a polyamorous marriage with you, things may become a little chilly. They’ll understand your desire for this sort of connection if you’ve always been on the same page about most matters.
But first, tell your spouse how important they are to you and how much you appreciate your connection with them before bringing up the idea of polyamory. Remember that this isn’t about blackmailing them into polyamory; it’s about solidifying their place in your life.
3. Be patient and allow for a period of introspection.
Both sides should use the days or weeks after the poly talk for contemplation. Both parties in the relationship must figure out what they require to be happy and healthy. Are the non-preferred relationship structure’s disadvantages actually intolerable? Is it true that the advantages of the desired connection arrangement are unrivaled? What is the difference between a want and a need?
It’s fairly uncommon for the subject of polyamory to be brought up, discussed, and ultimately rejected, leaving the relationship stronger for having examined it. Similarly, polyamory may be brought up, discussed hypothetically over several years, and eventually lead to a good relationship start with little to no turmoil.
4. Avoid potentially negative assumptions and simply come from your own perspective.
When discussing the importance of having an open relationship, make sure to focus on your own sentiments rather than how the other person is hurting your life. Before approaching your partner, get polyamory guidance from a counselor or someone you can trust.
Even if you’re feeling suffocated, don’t mention anything about how you expect this relationship will free you from your partner’s grip. Instead, talk about how you need more independence in your life.
5. Take it slow and don’t rush.
For the sake of your companion, don’t move too quickly. Polyamory allows you and your partner to progressively explore one facet of each other. You risk losing yourself or your partner if you go too fast. Allow your spouse some time to learn one facet of polyamory at a time.
6. Consider why you want to be in a poly relationship.
If there are problems in your marriage, being in an open relationship will not solve them. They may even yank you away from your lover. Before you get into a polyamorous relationship, read these real-life polyamorous relationship tales to see how it affected them.
In an open polyamorous relationship, if you don’t speak the same language, you can lose your partner. Think about why you’d prefer to be in a polyamorous relationship.
7. Be mindful of when to bring it up.
Start this chat when you and your spouse are both in a good mood. If you start this talk when you’re in the middle of an argument, or if you or your spouse are frightened, concerned, depressed, or irritated about something, the situation will quickly escalate and spiral out of control. As a consequence, you’re more likely to end up with emotional estrangement and misunderstandings than you intended.
8. Make it clear that you’re still going to invest in the current relationship.
If your spouse is all in and has granted you permission to have an open relationship, it doesn’t imply you should throw caution to the wind and abandon your main partnership. Make sure your communication abilities are up to snuff. Also, make sure you and your partner work out the specifics of whatever relationship you’re in together.
Remember that polyamory should be used to strengthen rather than ruin your relationship. List the polyamorous relationship advantages you want to receive as you continue to explore together. Seek a counselor who can guide you so that you are both prepared and armed.
9. Patience and privacy are key.
This is a sensitive conversation, so hold it in private and provide time for your spouse to process what you’ve said. You can’t make someone react the way you want them to, so let them react as they will, and then wait for them to respond. Allow your spouse to express themselves and give them time if they grow enraged.
Remember that happiness should be the goal- whether or not you make the mutual agreement to be poly.
Whatever the final result, the most crucial part, as always, is healthy adult-to-adult conversation. If everyone involved has asked for what they want, listened to the other party, owned their own junk, and established their happy and healthy baseline, the final decision on the relationship structure is unquestionably the best one for everyone involved.
It’s not always easy to explain polyamory to your partner, especially if you have varied opinions about it. But we can lighten the load and provide a safe space for you to talk about polyamorous relationships with the help of our experts. Schedule an appointment today!