Example Polyamory Rules (Agreements for Healthy Non-monogamy Part 4)

I started writing a blog about open relationship boundaries and recommended rules for polyamory for newly open relationships and got so into it I wrote a book. I’m going to break is down into a series so you can more easily dip in and out as you need.

Read the whole thing here.

There are many kinds of agreements couples sort out to make consensual non-monogamy work for them.  Because they are often one of the first things new clients ask about I wanted to outline the main ones here to help all of you wondering the same things. 


POLYAMORY RULES & NON-MONOGAMY AGREEMENTS: CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING

SITUATIONAL/CONTEXTUAL AGREEMENTS

Many clients come to me with a singular focus as their intention in beginning non-monogamy. These often are:

  •  There is a specific person one or both of them want to build an ongoing relationship with
  • One partner is bisexual or pansexual and wants to explore their sexuality with a different gender
  • One partner has a specific kink or fetish interest that isn't shared by the other or they don't want to share in their current relationship
  • One partner travels for work often or for long periods of time and they both get lonely
  • There is a specific inspirational or stimulating event where they imagine they might connect with other people

These focused conversations in non-monogamy often center the conversation on specific interactions. They are often layered with other types of agreements and support the inevitability in polyamory that relationships need to evolve with the situations, opportunities, and contexts that arise.

Here are a few sample polyamory agreements or open relationship "rules" to consider:

  • "Enjoy the bachelorette party this weekend. Please go ahead and do what you want, but use protection."
  • "Just for tonight, while we're at the club lets try to meet someone to join us at home, but let's check in before we make plans or get their number."
  • "We've been talking about exploring with other people at Burning Man. Let's come up with a different set of agreements just for that week to help us make the most of it."
  • "We don't date members of the opposite sex, but since he's bisexual every other weekend he hooks up with guys on Grindr usually at their homes.  I just like him to let me know where he is and use protection so I know we're safe."
  • "Go ahead and make out with all the other women you want.  I think it's hot."
  • "Look, since we both agree Joe Manganiello and Sofía Vergara‎ are the hottest couple alive. If either of us ever has a chance with either of them I say we go for it."
  • "While you're away at your 3-month European internship I'd like to date other people.  Can we agree to limit connections to that time frame?"
  • "Please feel free to find a fuck-buddy or a bed-warmer who can keep you company while I'm on assignment out of the country. If I have space amid this project, I might hire a sex worker to fill my needs too."
  • "I know you're going to see your long-lost-love at this event. If you feel connected to them and want to be physically intimate, will you just text me so I have time to work through my feelings before you get home?"
  • "You have always been inspired by colleagues at {conference in another city} if something comes up there please enjoy it, but know I will be uncomfortable if it continues beyond the conference."
  • "I can't stand the idea of her being hurt, so I don't want to go to the dungeon with her.  But I help her get dressed and pick out outfits. I know it's not a sexual thing even though it's arousing for both of us."

Wanna talk about healthy boundaries or opening your relationship? Give me a call.


 Gina Senarighi POlyamory Coach | Open Relationship Therapist | Open Marriage Therapy

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

  • open your relationship & practice polyamory with integrity
  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
  • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts
  • rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • shift stuck communication & codependent relationship patterns

I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online and in Portland, Oregon. 

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.