poly counseling

Are You Ready for Polyamory?

Ready for Polyamory | Uncommon Love Poly Counseling in Portland

Lots of us think about trying polyamory, open relationships, or non-monogamy in relationships after successful monogamy- but how do you know if you (and your relationship) is ready for that change?

I've been working with open relationships for years and have identified four key questions to consider to know if polyamory is right for you and your relationship.  

Ask yourself the following questions to get clear.

 

Polyamory Self-Check Questions:

1.  What do I really want?

Lots of folks come to me thinking they want nonmonogamy in their relationship because they philosophically agree with the concept- but they have no idea what they want.  Spend a little time getting clear about what you might want.  Here are some more questions to help:

Who do you want to be involved with?

What do you hope to share with these people?

When or where might you connect with them?

2.  What do I have to give?

Open relationships often sound like a lot of fun- you get more affection, sex, and friendship for example- but when considering them we rarely consider the energetic commitment we're making as poly people.  Relationships take work, and more relationships means more work.  

Do you have the free/flexible time, physical energy and emotional energy (this is a big one) to invest in multiple relationships?

3.  How do I (and we) cope when things are really hard?

First experiences in open relationships can bring up lots of unexpected self-learning - often some of the most challenging learning we can face.  

If you and/or your partner have a hard time managing emotional reactivity, insecurity, and/or loneliness I highly recommend in learning some self-care and self-soothing practices before attempting non-monogamy.

4.  How do we resolve conflict now?

Adding more people to a relationship means more variables and often this means more opportunity for misunderstandings.  If you and your sweetheart have a hard time resolving misunderstandings as is adding more partners to the mix will only further complicate things.  

Take some time to work on your conflict resolution together before starting an open relationship.  

Start your open relationship with confidence.  Use these questions to help lay a foundation for successful non-monogamy.  

Download this free self-check tool to expand your self-awareness and prepare for healthy polyamory.


Gina Senarighi Sex Positive Counseling in Portland

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

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).

 

Why People Open Their Relationships

One of the questions I am asked most often by friends and colleagues is why people choose open relationships.  

There are a lot of paths to choosing nonmonogamy and each is uniquely personal.

Many of my clients come to an open relationship model for different personal reasons, but here are a few:

  • We don't believe in the traditional monogamous married formula for relationships.

  • I like watching my wife have sex with another man.

  • My partner is bisexual and I want him/her/them to be able to have relationships with folks of a gender different than mine.

  • I am interested in a specific kink that my partner just doesn't like.  She wants me to be able to explore this fantasy.

  • We don't believe people are naturally monogamous- look at the 66% infidelity rate among monogamous marriages in the U.S.

  • It's exciting to flirt with other women with my husband.  We often have similar taste in women, so it made sense to date them together.

  • I don't believe it's possible for one person to meet all of another's emotional and physical needs.

  • Legal marriage isn't our definition of relationship success.

  • My partner is physically unable to participate in certain activities I really enjoy.  Because we're poly I can do those things with other partners.

  • I wanted to start a family and my girlfriend did not but we really loved each other.  Having an open relationship allowed us to create a different relationships structure and now I am also partnered with my daughter's mother.

  • I have always loved multiple people- finding polyamory meant I could talk more openly about it and be honest with partners.

  • I cheated on a lot of my previous partners and didn't want to have a dishonest relationship anymore.  Now I am up front and clear with partners.

  • My boyfriend is into a lot of hardcore BDSM play and I want him to be able to play while I build my play skills for safety.

  • We both have fluid sexual identities and want to be able to grow our commitment to each other as our sexualities grow and change.

  • I don't want the pressure of meeting all my partner's emotional and sexual needs.

  • I don't believe in valuing one relationship over all others.  

  • My husband is gay and we have a child.  We decided to stay together but have other partners because we love each other and want our family to stay in one home.

If you are thinking about opening your relationship and need help set up a free consultation to see if working with me is right for you.


Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationshipsjealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

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).