What is polyamory? How do you open a relationship? Is non-monogamy natural?
Whether you’re exploring the idea of non-monogamy for the first time or have practiced polyamory for years, you probably have lots of questions about how it works (or how it can work better).
The journey into consensual non-monogamy can be rewarding, enlightening, and full of self-discovery…but it can also be difficult, emotionally taxing, and fraught with unexpected challenges. There’s a lot to know—and a lot to unlearn. Which is true even for those with plenty of poly experience.
Check out our articles about ENM/poly topics below...or if you're ready to talk about non-monogamous relationship coaching start here:
Most of us are brought up understanding monogamy as the way things are done. Whether functional or otherwise, it was the model we grew up with. And certainly the culture we’re raised in.
But even conservative estimates place the number of people practicing some form of consensual non-monogamy in America at well over 10 million. Chances are you know at least one person engaging in CNM, whether you’re aware of it or not.
Which means that even if you’re not interested in CNM for your own life, educating yourself about the key terms and concepts of polyamory can help you form more open, empathetic, and trusted connections with the people in your life who are.
So where to begin learning about consensual non-monogamy? What should you know before opening your relationship?
As a poly-friendly relationship coach, I can tell you from personal and professional experience that the number one key to making polyamory work is communication. Followed closely by curiosity and empathy.
Every single one of us is embedded with myriad familial and cultural expectations, insecurities, and habits. Each of those play into how we respond to different situations and emotions that come up in relationships—with added complexity when CNM is also a factor.
Part of making polyam work includes unlearning deeply ingrained habits like sexual possessiveness, viewing jealousy as a measure of love, and expecting partners to fulfill all of our needs in one. It requires vulnerability, integrity, and the ability to hold steady and have clear discussions about difficult subjects.
No one honest will tell you that consensual non-monogamy is easy. But with plenty of education, myth-busting, and poly-informed counseling, I promise you it’s possible to find happiness, balance, and love in multiple relationships that fulfill different needs and enhance each other overall.
Keep reading to learn more about terms, topics, and tips about open relationships, polyamory, and other CNM concepts that come up in alternative relationship coaching.