I work with a lot of folks in polyamorous relationships in my sex therapy practice and in my relationship therapy practice. Before all the on-going communication between partners that is recommended by every polyamory text I have ever read, there is one thing you that doesn’t get talked about often enough and that is what everyone should do before entering polyamory:
Ask yourself, “why do I want to explore polyamory?”
Likewise, there is one thing that almost no one does before entering into a monogamous relationship that everyone who tries it should do:
Ask yourself, “why do I want to be monogamous?”
That is not to say that our reasons for wanting polyamory or monogamy are not valid. All reasons are valid in sex counselling, AND, depending on how you answer those questions will determine what your monogamy or polyamory should look like to best meet your relationship needs and uphold your relationship values. It may also determine whether you work with a couples therapist or with a relationship therapist who can work with groups, polycules, triads, and the like.
Some follow-up questions you can use to help guide your exploration of either polyamory or monogamy might be: what is it about this relationship style that…
- is comforting?
- makes me nervous?
- excites me?
- fulfills me?
- intrigues me?
- elludes me?
- fits with my values overall?
- challenges me in welcomes ways?
- challenges me in unwelcomed ways?
- works for my relationships?
- doesn’t work for my relationships?
- confuses me?
- bring me clarity?
- is based on cultural norms?
- is based on counter-culture norms?
- is based in fear?
- is based in confidence?
- impacts my family?
- doesn’t impact my family?
- matters to me?
- doesn’t matter to me?
- is based on my partner’s needs?
- is based on my needs?
- what if I, my partner, or partners gets pregnant?
Once you have a solid understanding of the kind of relationship you want to cultivate for yourself or with others, the steps to get there become significantly clearer.
If you’re struggling to get your polyamory to take flight, reach out to a poly-competent therapist. With everything being online you don’t need to work with someone local or fret if there isn’t anyone local!
And if you need help finding someone, do not hesitate to reach out 🙂