You’re Not Crazy for Wanting an Open RelationshipMay 14, 2022
Advice on Exploring Non-Monogamy
~ 3 minute read ~
Although venturing outside of monogamy can feel a bit scary at first, there are so many ways to make it fun! It’s natural to be nervous about trying something new, especially something that flies in the face of what you learned growing up.
Stepping out of the monogamy box can allow you to explore new levels of intimacy and create a relationship that matches who you are and what you want.
Relationship rules are NOT set in stone; you can break them! (Seriously… the only one making your relationship rules should be you and the people you are relating to!) Whether you want to date other people while being married or live out a particular fantasy with more people than just your partner, those desires are worth bringing up with your significant other. Remember that relationships are just ongoing negotiations between two peers!
Assuming that the traditional monogamous relationship will fulfill all of your desires is pretty typical. You grow up thinking this is the *normal* way of doing relationship. This is called mononormativity. In fact, some people push their non-monogamous desires to the side and then, years later, wonder why they are so dissatisfied in their relationship.
Exploring non-monogamy is a great way to ensure that your relationship aligns with you and your partner’s core self and desires. You might choose monogamy through this exploration, you might choose one of a bunch of non-monogamous options. But you’ll have made your choice consciously! Below are some things to keep in mind as you consider stepping out of the monogamy box.
Don’t Skip the Grieving Part
I know grieving doesn’t sound fun, but we’ll get to the fun part soon. First, you have to make sure that you DO NOT skip grieving the monogamous relationship.
Even though the shift from monogamy to non-monogamy is fun, skipping the grieving process will leave out any room for personal growth. Although grieving may seem sad and heavy, remember that grieving is just the inner experience of processing change. Grieving your old monogamous relationship doesn’t mean you have to go through the same emotions you would during a divorce or breakup.
Any type of loss in life brings the opportunity for depth and growth. So, allow yourself to grieve the loss of your identity, security, and the old vision you may have had for your future relationship.
Many of my clients report feeling happy about most of the changes but still miss some things about their old monogamous relationship. This is totally normal! You can celebrate your new, creative relationship while mourning parts of your old relationship that you may still feel nostalgic for.
Grieving doesn’t mean you made the wrong choice. It simply means that you are processing the loss of your old relationship. If you’re struggling with how to grieve, check out my grief ritual template that will allow you to process and let go before moving forward.
Set New Boundaries- Thoughtfully
You can now start exploring new, creative ways to be fulfilled in your relationship! Ask yourself: What brings you pleasure? What do you crave MORE of in your life?
Unravel what you want first, and then start with the relationship. Set clear relationship boundaries with your partner. For instance, decide which areas of your relationship will remain exclusive. This may include sex, romance, fantasies, property ownership, and travel.
Then, go deeper into the specifics to ensure that you’re both on the same page. For instance, define what counts as a flirty text. Establish how close you can become with your colleagues.
Keep in mind that you aren’t changing your partner, and you aren’t compromising; you are simply negotiating with one another to see what fits you best! You are creating your own version of non-monogamy and establishing the rules.
Give yourself time to have this conversation and be patient with your partner. You don’t need to decide on everything all at once. Small changes will eventually add up to a massive relationship transformation!
Imagine then Experiment
Now, on to the fun part! Imagine then experiment with new ways to fulfill your desires.
Imagination before action lets you ease into things. Imagining before doing will also allow you to share your fantasies and desires with your partner; this is a critical part of communication!
Respect your partner’s fantasies and desires without feeling the need to make them a reality instantly. As you share your individual desires with your partner, you will see yourself and your partner as separate people instead of a monogamous couple that instantly becomes one. Undoing this co-dependence is NOT a small shift! Remember to share your inner selves with one another and be patient and accepting of your partner’s desires.
Celebrate the Shift
Making the shift to an open relationship is a personal development journey! Whether your relationship becomes wildly expansive or remains relatively the same, you and your partner will still grow together and become closer as you share your innermost desires and fantasies.
Celebrate the fact that you are now able to elevate your relationship and create a customized plan that works for both of you!
Taking your love from acceptable to exceptional is not a small shift. If you’re interested in my advice and guidance throughout your journey, apply to work with me here! I’ve got both private and group options for finding your way through your big exploration!
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