Why You Get Jealous in Non-Monogamy

jealous in open relationships.jpg

In ten years working with jealousy in relationships I've seen a lot of folks through the shadowy sides of envy, insecurity, and fear.  No two experiences look the same, and yet there are a lot of clear themes.  

Lots of people want to figure out why they're jealous.  If you notice yourself wondering, I urge you to ask only with compassion.  All too often we ask why looking to pathologize, judge, or fix.  Instead, I suggest asking more compassionately:

  • What is my jealousy trying to teach me?
  • What does my jealousy want to know?
  • What does jealousy want to know?
  • What would bring me security or reassurance in this moment?
  • What does meaningful support look like in this moment? 
  • What other emotions travel alongside my jealousy? (anxiety, fear, envy, admiration, lonliness, grief, and anger are common buddies of jealousy) What do each of them want from this situation?
  • If my jealousy wasn't present how would I be different?
  • What is my jealousy hoping for?

WHen you have time to sit and interview your unique experience of jealousy, there's likely a lot to learn about yourself, your needs, and your relationship from the interview.  Often folks find out the intentions behind their jealousy are:

  • I want to feel special
  • I envy the desire I see in someone else
  • I want to know I am a priority in my someone's life
  • I want more fun/spontaneity/play/sex/curiosity/connection in our partnership
  • I envy the learning/self-awareness my partner is getting right now because I want some of my own
  • There are thing's I want to change about my own self-care
  • I want to spend more time investing in my own desires and passions
  • I want my partner and me to invest more time in each other
  • I need to get out more
  • I've experienced broken trust in this relationship, and I'd like attention to repair it
  • I realize I need a richer social life
  • I'm holding old resentments I haven't shared with my partner
  • I'd like to take better care of my body
  • I crave adventure
  • I really like this relationship and I don't want to lose it
  • I've grown dependent on this partner to meet a lot of my needs, I'd like to foster more friendships/relationships of my own
  • I want more close friends
  • There are parts of my relationship history I need to work on to resolve
  • There are things my family taught me about relationships I want to work on in therapy/coaching

If you'd like help sitting with jealousy and insecurity to learn from it please give me a call.  I'm always here to help.


How to be a "GGG" Partner

HOW TO BE GGG | GGG IN RELATIONSHIPS | SEX POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP

GGG is a term coined by sex-educator and author, Dan Savage.  Being good, giving, and game, is important to being sexually compatible with a partner. 

Think 'good in bed,' 'giving of equal time and equal pleasure,' and 'game for anything—within reason.  The same goes for having a conversation about sexual intimacy. 

Being GGG requires a few specific skills:

GGG means suspending judgment so your partner can be honest without worrying about shame. 

GGG means having a little humility and willingness to learn about new possibilities- even things you've never tried or consider. 

GGG also means being clear in your own boundaries and respecting your partner's boundaries. 

Before you can get there you really need to do a little self-reflection.  Check in with yourself using the following questions to be sure you are ready to engage as a GGG partner in this conversation.

Self-Reflection Questions:

How can you make meeting the sexual needs of your partner a high priority?  How and when do you put their sexual needs before your own?

How comfortable are you saying no to partner’s requests?  What can help you become comfortable saying no?

How comfortable are you hearing that your partner needs you to change what you’re doing in the middle of a sex act?  What can you do to become more comfortable?

Where can you get reliable information about sex if your partner brings up something you're not familiar with?

How can you keep your discomfort in check if your partner is being vulnerable asking for something new?

 

If you're having trouble figuring out how to be more open to your partner's sexual interests give me a call for a free consult.  I've walked hundreds of couples through sexual mismatch and miscommunication and I'd love to help you too.


Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

online polyamory counselor | online marriage therapy | open relationship coach
  • reconnect with passion & desire in long-term partnerships
  • rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
  • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts
  • resolve sexual dysfunction & disconnect
  • change communication & codependent patterns
  • open your relationship & practice polyamory with integrity

I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online (and in Portland, OR).

Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Myths of Mongamy

myths of monogamy | truth about monogamy

It is not uncommon for people to seek me out to prove to their partner either monogamy or non-monogamy is right or wrong.  They want me to settle the disagreement- and unfortnuately, on this I have to disappoint.  

I don't hold either relationship model to be inherently healthy or righteous and in ten years of supporting nontraditional couples I can honestly say I've seen people get hurt in both monogamous and open relationships.

All too often people default to monogamy because it's mainstream and accepted and they think it's easier.  But operating on these myths leads them to some of the bigger problems in monogamous relationships.  

Read through the most common myths of monogamy I see and notice which resonates for you.

Monogamy is morally right and ethically sound

You don't have to look far to see that assumed or default monogamy isn't working out well.  Statistics range from 50-80% of "monogamous" relationships experience infidelity at some point.  

Just saying your monogamous doesn't mean you'll be honest, respectful, or caring in your relationship. The ethical part shows up in how you communicate and maintain your relationship over time- not in how many people you connect with.

Monogamy is natural

Plenty or research has shown most animals in nature are non-monogamous.  But beyond that, most people will tell you "I can't imagine being with one person for the rest of my life."  

This doesn't mean everyone should be in an open relationship. But it does mean the mainstream definition of monogamy (I'll only be attracted to one person for the majority of my years) doesn't work.  

If monogamy is going to work out, couples need to discuss what their expectations and boundaries are if and when other attractions and curiosities pop up (because they are natural).

Anyone can do monogamy well

Again, the infidelity rates I mentioned above alone can squash this assumption. Just agreeing to be monogamous isn't enough. Relationships require work (even if you only have one at a time).

And monogamous or not, most of us aren't given lots of great tools to navigate healthy relationships.  Maybe we lack healthy relationship role models, or we're embedded in a culture filled with toxic relationship norms- either way, most of us need help and clarity to learn to do relationship swell.

Talking with a partner about what the specific boundaries of your unique monogamous commitment are is critical to navigating long-term monogamy and staying together.

Monogamy is reassuring

Monogamy agreements by themself cannot bring you the security you might wish for in intimate relationships.  This is often why even in monogamous couples partners feel insecure or need continual reassurance. 

Instead of just agreeing to a monogamous norm, have a clear discussion with your partner about what might happen if either of you feels attracted to another.  How would you hope a partner might handle that situation and respect the boundaries of your relationship?  

Getting clear together and then following through on your agreements is the only way to the security you seek together.

You complete me

The other way I hear this myth from folks is believing I can meet all my partner's needs.  This is ineffective and unhealthy for four big reasons:

1) It sets me us for failure because I cannot possibly be all those things.  

2) It sets you us to either avoid exploring some of your needs or hide them from me.

3) It increases pressure on both of us to offer more than we can. It can really drain our reserves if we're the only support for the other and we're less likely to have healthy boundaries between us.

4) It decreases the likelihood we'll create healthy nourishing friendships, collegial relationships, mentorships, and other relationships.

Even if you never choose non-monogamy, it is essential you have a rich social network of support beyond your relationship that "completes" you.  

Take a minute to consider these monogamy myths and which may have informed your views on relationships and let me know if you'd like to dive deeper into them 1:1.  I'm happy to talk with you!


polyamory vs monogamy | MONOGAMY EXPERT

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
  • resolve sexual disconnection
  • change unhealthy communication and codependent patterns
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care
  • keep passion alive in long-term relationships

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

A Month of Kindness for Your Relationship

So many incredible couples reach out to me to help them reconnect with each other.  While there are lots of ways to get there, starting on the path of reconnection can be easier than you think.

The biggest challenge is shifting your patterns to take tiny daily actions that move you towards more meaningful connection in the smallest of ways.  Most long-term couples need a reminder and a serious commitment to change in order to re-establish these smallest connections.  

So I created a little calendar to help you two commit to daily action.  Click the image to download a copy to give it a try this month.  

As always, if you'd like help nurturing the connection between you, I'm happy to support you. Give me a call. 

What Couples Who Still Have Great Sex Do Differently

sex after marriage | passion long-term relationships | desire fatigue

Yes, it's totally common to have desire fatigue set in when you've been together a long time. The more comfortable you get (which is a good thing) the more energy you need to put into keeping the passion alive.  

But where do you direct that energy? How do you actually shift things back in the direction of desire?

Couples who keep things sex long-term have a few key things to teach us. Overall there are five ways they focus energy in their sex lives that keeps the momentum flowing.  

Reminiscing

Couples who report long-term sexual satisfaction do one thing a lot of others miss. They share fond memories of previous sexual encounters with each other. That might sound like any of these:

  • "The way you kissed me last night was really hot."
  • "Remember the time we did it on the beach at your parent's condo? I'd love to re-live something sneaky like that again."
  • "I was just thinking about the first time you spanked me and it made me smile."

Reminiscing isn't the same as giving feedback or making requests. It's simply sharing fond memories of things that worked well for you.  It's food for thought.

    Highlights Reel

    Couples who still love making love often have a solid practice of sharing what I call a highlights reel after sexual contact. Shortly after they finish they share a few specific highlights that worked well for them.  

    These might include:

    • "Oh my god it was so hot when you pulled my hair."
    • "I couldn't tell what you were doing with your fingers this time... but something about the beat and the circles you were using really worked for me."
    • "I loved watching your face when you climaxed tonight. It's such an incredible turn on to know you're so comfortable with me."

    In addition to giving positive feedback to your partner, this helps them more confidently build a repertoire of acts to draw from in the future. If you clearly let them know a few favorites you there's less to be confused about.

    Play by Play

    Relationships with long-lasting passion talk more during sex than others. Period.

    Let go of the fantasy your partner can/should/will read your mind and intuit your desires. That just will not last the test of time as your bodies and desires grow and change. 

    This doesn't necessarily mean dirty talk or roleplay (though you can incorporate those) but it does mean positive feedback and positive re-directs in the heat of the moment. Even if you can only manage a few words, try talking during the act. Here are a couple phrases to try:

    • "Yes!  Keep going."
    • "Don't stop what you're doing with your mouth!"
    • "More pressure. Just like that!!"

    Not only are you giving feedback but this is a way of building your consent practices to make sure you're on the same page about what you're doing and what you want to do. The converse of this is to ask more often during sex:

    • "How is this position for you?"
    • "Do you want more of my hand inside you?"
    • "Can I go faster?"

    Getting clear on what's working and what you both want helps you stay on the same page.

    Shared Fantasy

    Finally, couples who report a satisfying long-term sexual connection share fantasies openly. This means they're both brave enough to be vulnerable and share their desires, AND their partner is compassionate and empathetic when hearing them. 

    Again, these are not requests, but ideas.  They might sound like this:

    • "I've always had this idea that dressing up in matching tuxedos and going commando would be really hot."
    • "Sometimes I daydream about eating chocolate off your body."
    • "I think you'd look hot tied to the bed."
    • "I don't know if I ever want to try this, but I have secretly loved gay porn so long, I sometimes imagine you with other men."

    These are not requests. Only statements about what is and might be hot. It's really important for the receiving partner not to fee pressure in the moment to figure out how to (or if) they could fulfill these desires. Only to honor them in the moment.  

    It's also really important these desires are received without judgment or laughter.  There's nothing wrong with having fantasies (in fact, they're very healthy).  Being able to share them openly with a partner increases trust and often desire between you.  Here are some options for responses:

    • "Wow.  I can tell you're super into that."
    • "I'm so glad you told me. Let's talk more about it after I have time to do a little research."
    • "Ooooh.  Let me think about how I could make something like that work for us."

    Maybe there's some part of these fantasies you'd be into.  SIt with them, honor them and be careful not to yuck your partner's yums.  Sharing openly is far more important than ever acting on all of the fantasies you hold.

    How to make these first four tips work for you:

    • keep it specific - "that time in Chicago was nice" gives a lot less information than "The time in Chicago was so hot because you came first."

    • keep it positive - focus on any little thing you liked or found hot

    Why they work so well:

    • you're practicing getting vulnerable with each other by sharing these intimate details

    • you're giving feedback about what works so you can possibly replicate at another time

    • you're fueling sexual chemistry by focusing on what works for you

    • you're improving both your sexual confidence by identifying strengths

    Finally: Investing in Personal Passion 

    Most long-term couples desire wanes because they stop investing in their personal passions, friendships, creative pursuits, and desires. Over time these fall away as we focus on building our shared life, home, and family with someone. 

    But when these are out of balance it is really difficult to feel sexy.  Think about when and where you feel confident and/or sexy.  Make a list of the factors that contribute to those sexy times.  Then commit with your partner to investing in those confdent and sexy individual pursuits. 

    Here's an example from one of my clients (offered with permission):

    Her: "I feel most confident when I'm on the dance floor with my girlfriends.  I like getting dressed up, having a fancy cocktail and getting swung around to salsa music. I love the confidence of proud lead dancers, the feeling of the beat, and the change of pace when I put that kind of energy into looking good.  I usually wear my good underwear, a cute dress, I do my hair... I don't do any of those things on a regular basis!"

    Him: "I feel most confident when I've been running regularly.  Like I feel better at work, at home- everywhere if I've gotten a few miles in each day.  I notice my head is held higher and I'm in a better mood. I'm not sure it's 'sexy' but I feel like I get more done and feel better so getting laid is a higher priority when I work out. I also feel really confident at work.  I like being in charge and feel great because I'm usually the only one in the room who knows my specialty.  I am kind of an expert on [this thing] and people come to me for advice."

    Think about the situations and factors that fuel your more passionate self and find a way to build those situations into your life on a more regular basis.  


    passion after marriage | sex coach portland relationship coach

    Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

    • reconnect with passion & desire in long-term partnerships
    • rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty
    • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
    • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts
    • resolve sexual dysfunction & disconnect
    • change communication & codependent patterns
    • open your relationship & practice polyamory with integrity

    I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online (and in Portland, OR).

    Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

    Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

    Polyamory Advice: How to Find Professional Support

    poly therapist polyamory couples counseling nonmonogamy open marriage therapist polyamory coach 

    Ask me anything is a relationship advice column written by Gina Senarighi, a couples therapist turned retreat leader who offers online support for non-traditional relationships of all flavors.  

    Submit your Ask Me Anything question right here or read more Ask Me Anything here.


    THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: WHERE CAN WE FIND PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT?

     

    From my inbox:

    What would be your recommendations for attempting to find a similar practice locally to (STATE NAME) state? I'm in (PLACE NAME) so odds are if anything is at least as far as (CITY), a 1 hour drive. But I am sure you get this question a lot.

    Me and my fiance are starting poly and I know I am a human so I will hurt her feelings, eventually. I just want to look up all the options to setup a healthy and timely recovery system. I know I need strong communication skills and that's another thing I want to work on.

     

    From my sent box:

    Thanks for reaching out!  I see far too many people dive into non-monogamy after a lifetime of monogamy without setting clear intentions, expectations, and boundaries or cultivating necessary communication skills.  I often wish more people were proactive.

    I don't know of anyone doing this work locally for you, but I actually have other clients in your area, and we've worked together three months without issue.  If you're at all interested in relationship coaching via FaceTime I am happy to support you.  

    If you want to find a couples therapist or coach in your area I would recommend contacting them via Psychology Today or the International Coaching Federation and asking four screening questions:

    1) How many polyamorous, open, or otherwise ethically non-monogamous couples have you worked with in the past?

    2) What professional training do you have to support your work with consensually non-monogamous couples?

    3) What personal beliefs do you hold about the health and wellbeing of non-monogamous couples that might impact our work together?  

    4) Do you have any lived experience in consensual non-monogamy?

    One other thing I can recommend is looking into Nonviolent Communication (NVC) training in your area.  It is NOT the same as therapy or coaching for you as a couple (I would recommend both) and while it's not specifically designed just for non-monogamous folks, NVC has helped polyamorous couples communicate effectively across/through challenging emotions for decades.  I strongly recommend finding a training or practice group now to start developing those communication skills.

    As far as the hurt that will happen- that part is well within your control.  If you start working on things with a trained professional before you start practicing poly (building emotional or physical intimacy with other people) you can avoid most potential hurt and misunderstanding.  Communication skill development is essential for both of you.  

    I hope that's helpful.  Please schedule a free consultation if you'd like to talk about working together.  I'm happy to support you.  

    Warmly, Gina

     


    polyamory coach | polyamory advice | open marriage therapist

    Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a retired couples therapist, sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and keeping non-traditional relationships healthy and vibrant.  

    She can help you:

    • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
    • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
    • move past jealousy, insecurity or codependecy
    • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care
    • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnection
    • break stale or unhealthy communication patterns 

    Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

    Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).

     

    What is Ethical Non-Monogamy?

    ethical open relationship | ethical open marriage | ethical polyamory

    When I talk about ethical non-monogamy, I'm talking about relationships who consciously choose to allow space for intimacy between more than just two people. They might identify as swingers, polyamorous, or in open relationships.  

    But in all cases, intimacy is shared with more than just one partner.  This could mean sexual, sensual, emotional, or physical intimacy that typically in monogamous relationships is saved for just two partners.  

    There are four key elements that make this different than infidelity or cheating- which can sometimes be confused for ethical non-monogamy (I often call those examples unethical non-monogamy).  You can use these elements to help keep yourself in check if you're asking "How do I know if I'm practicing ethically?"

    Intentionality

    This is what separates solo polyamory from traditional dating, and monogamy from default monogamy.  Intentionality means making a conscious choice about the kind of relationship you want to create and being upfront with all people you want to be intimate with about your intention.  It might sound like this:

    "I'm really not looking to commit to an on-going relationship, but I want to sleep with you."

    "I want more than one love in my life. I hope we can continue building our love while I connect with other potential loves."

    "My partner and I often see other women together and individually.  I hope you're comfortable knowing I am not interested in finding another life-partner, but I really want to spend more time with you."  

    Honesty

    The examples above also demonstrate the kind of honesty required in ethical open relationships.  Unfortunately, it's not always easy to get clear about what you want, and (just as in monogamous relationships) sometimes what you want changes.  

    If you're going to practice ethically it's essential you have a way to get clear about what you want.  This might mean hiring a coach or counselor, joining a polyamory support group, or telling a few close friends who can help you work through the sometimes confusing desires you'll have in non-monogamy.

    Lots of folks also benefit from having a meditation or writing practice where they can tune-in to themselves and find clarity so they can chare it honestly with the people they care about.

    The bottom line is: you cannot practice ethically if you cannot practice honestly.

    Consent

    Here's the really big difference between ethical and unethical non-monogamy.  If you're practicing consent (meaning each partner gets to sign on, yes, they want in on this arrangement) then you 've got this ethical thing down.

    But the thing about consent is, it can shift at any time.  So to practice consent well you have to have a process to communicate about and circle back checking-in to make sure folks are still on the same page. 

    And a lot of times not everyone is on the same page.  I mean in a two-person relationship it can be difficult to find agreement, so the more folks you have the more complex this can become.  It can become especially difficult when one of you wants to "take things slower" than the other.

    Boundaries

    Finally, ethical non-monogamy means respecting the boundaries of each partner in the dynamic. Here are a few ways I've seen boundaries violated in unethical non-monogamy:

    In primary relationships:

    • reading each other's texts without permission
    • online stalking new partners
    • using technology to follow a partner on a date
    • pushing a partner or trying to convert them to something they don't want
    • prying for information when a partner returns from a date

    In additional relationships:

    • sharing online profiles with original partners
    • sharing photos with primary partners
    • giving other partners private, identifying, or demographic information without checking in first
    • pressuring a partner to change their agreements with other people

    Just be sure you have consent to offer whatever you're sharing.  Agreement and checking-back are key to consent.  

    If you want help implementing ethical non-monogamy for the first time give me a call.  That's my favorite topic to chat about!


    ethical open relationships | ethical open marriage | ethical polyamory | consensual nonmonogamy

    Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

    • reconnect with passion & desire in long-term relationships
    • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
    • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts
    • change communication & codependent relationship patterns
    • open your relationship & practice ethical polyamory 

    I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online (and in Portland, OR).

    Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

    Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

    Open Relationship Advice: How do I Work on My Insecurities?

    how do i work on insecurities.jpg

    Ask me anything is a relationship advice column written by Gina Senarighi, a couples therapist turned retreat leader who offers online support for non-traditional relationships of all flavors.  

    Submit your Ask Me Anything question right here or read more Ask Me Anything here.


    This week's question: 

    "I lived with/dated a poly man for 18 months. He is a gem of a person! His wife, her boyfriend and I had a good relationship and are still in touch.

    These last few months I've been dealing with jealousy and insecurity, so much so that we broke things off and he moved out.

    I'm pretty devastated, and really want things to work, but need time to get my head on straight. We agreed to check back in a few months and see where things stand. I want to be ready and healthy for this.

    How do I figure out how to work on jealousy and insecurity?"

    I'm so sorry you broke up. I hope you'll consider working on your insecurity and jealousy for your own well-being, whether you get back together or not. 

    The first step in managing jealousy and insecurity is learning to allow them. Most of us struggle with jealousy and insecurity and most of our struggle is beating ourselves up because they exsist.  

    But jealousy and insecurity are normal, natural emotional states. If we ignore them we're ignoring part of ourselves. And we would never ignore other emotions (joy, excitement, calm etc) so why sever this part of ourselves?

    I know joy and happiness are so much easier to sit with. But if you can bring yourself to accept that jealousy and insecurity are natural, you may be able to sit with them a while and learn from them. Often they're trying to tell us something useful. 

    Next time they show up, find somewhere comfy and get something to write with. Then do a free-write (unedited, no-judgment allowed) interviewing them.  Ask your jealousy and insecurity:

    • What do they want most?
    • What are they trying to tell you?
    • What other emotions are they traveling with?
    • What are they trying to protect?

    And answer for yourself:

    • How does spending time with jealousy/insecurity help me?
    • How do I feel when I believe my jealous thoughts?
    • How do I feel when I choose to believe my insecure thoughts?
    • How do I want to feel in this moment? What do I want to focus on/be present for?
    • Who would I be if you weren't focusing on them?

    Notice what you can learn from these emotions if you allow them.  There is likely some important learning here for you.  If you want a coach to walk you through creating a different relationship with your jealousy and insecurity, call me, I'm here for you. 


    polyamory advice | open relationship advice | open marriage advice

    Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC keeps non-traditional relationships healthy and vibrant as a coach and retreat leader in Portland, OR.  

    She can help you:

    • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
    • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
    • move past jealousy, insecurity or codependecy
    • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care
    • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnection
    • break stale or unhealthy communication patterns 

    Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

    Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).

     

    Seven Elements of Trust

    Y'all know I'm a HUGE Brene' Brown fan.  Here's a helpful graphic for you all about identifying the elements of trust in your partnership.  If you want help building (or rebuilding) trust give me a call, I'm here for you!

    Elements of Trust PDF Brene Brown Worksheet - Uncommon Love - 

    When to Check-In With Your Partner About Your New Crush

    open relationship advice | open marriage advice | polyamory advice 

    Often the biggest issues couples who are opening their relationships go through aren't about experiences with other people but are about the decision-making misunderstandings they share with each other in the process.  

    Most folks agree they'll "check in" with each other along the way but when I ask "How will you know when to check in?" they're rarely on the same page.  I'm offering a few common check-in indicators my clients use below to help you discuss your own expectations about when you'll check in.

    • Meeting someone I feel attracted to.
    • When I notice myself withholding information about a crush.
    • If I share my contact information with someone.
    • If someone reaches out to me online.
    • If I create an online dating or hook-up app profile.
    • If I tell someone cute we're in an open relationship.
    • When I notice myself becoming attracted to a friend or colleague.
    • If I notice myself fantasizing about someone else.
    • If someone asks me out.
    • When I start thinking about making plans with another person who I am attracted to,
    • Before I follow through on tentative plans I make with someone.
    • Before I leave for a date.
    • Before I engage in any physical sexual contact with someone.
    • When I start thinking about spending time alone with someone I am intrigued by.
    • If I dance with someone I think is hot.
    • When I get clear about the boundaries of my BDSM play needs.
    • When I want to negotiate a scene with someone new.
    • When I get my new partners STI test results. 
    • When I get STI tested.
    • If someone I'm crushing on somehow falls outside or near the boundaries we've already discussed.
    • If I want to change the agreements we've set up.
    • If I notice the agreements we've set up don't work for me anymore.
    • When I know I want to get naked with someone I'm attracted to.
    • If I'm not coming home that night.

    As you can see there are lots of options.  Many couples I work with use a combination of a few of these.  I wanted to share them with you as you start thinking about your own process to help you get clear about what might work for you.  

    If you'd like help talking through your open relationship agreements I'm always happy to chat.  Give me a call.


    polyamory coach | open relationship counseling | open marriage help

    Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

    • reconnect with passion & desire in long-term partnerships
    • rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty
    • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
    • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts
    • resolve sexual dysfunction & disconnect
    • change communication & codependent patterns
    • open your relationship & practice polyamory with integrity

    I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online (and in Portland, OR).

    Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

    Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.