Should You Be Dating? Differentiating Between Healthy Dating and Dating as a Coping Mechanism

A friend of mine requested that I write an article differentiating between dating in a healthy way, and dating as a coping mechanism or as a way to avoid the things going on in your life. He asked me, “How do I know when I am actually ready to start dating? I don’t want to give all my baggage to someone else, so when do I start dating again and know that it’s healthy for me? How do I know I’m not just avoiding being alone?” I have been mulling over this question for months, and I have put this blog post on the back-burner because I had no idea how to write about this. I tried to do some quick googling a few times, to see if anything was out there on this topic. To my surprise, I really couldn’t find anything. Continue reading “Should You Be Dating? Differentiating Between Healthy Dating and Dating as a Coping Mechanism”

Winning an Argument with Your Partner

What does it mean to win or lose? In most sports, there is a clear winner and a clear loser. In respect our partner(s), we also tend to think of winning or losing an argument. Many people try to win the argument themselves, because they certainly do not want to be the loser. We’ve all seen how sports teams or individuals react after a win or a loss in a game, and we do not want to be on the losing side. So, how do you win an argument with a partner?  Continue reading “Winning an Argument with Your Partner”

Meeting Your Metamour for the First Time

Meeting your partner’s other partner can be very stressful. It can be uncomfortable to spend time with the person whom you know is also dating your partner. For some people, meeting a metamour is a natural thing, and they aren’t phased by it. But most people may feel anxious, nervous, or even jealous as they consider meeting their metamour. They may feel as though their partner or metamour will be judging them, or feel that approval is needed from the metamour – especially if they are the newer partner. If you are feeling nervous about the prospect of meeting your metamour, here are some helpful tips! Continue reading “Meeting Your Metamour for the First Time”

Metamour Relationships: Should You Be Friends with Your Partner’s Partner?

If you are currently in a polyamorous relationship, or are thinking of entering into a polyamorous relationship, it is likely that you will have one or more metamours at some point. Your metamour is someone who is also dating your partner, but with whom you are not also romantically or sexually involved with. For example, if Tanya and Derrick are both dating Sarah, but are not dating each other, Tanya and Derrick are metamours with one another. If Tanya is also dating Liz, and Derrick is married to Stephen, Liz and Stephen are also metamours with Sarah. In this example, Tanya, Derrick, Sarah, Liz, and Stephen all make up one polycule – a system of connected non-monogamous relationships, whether they are all dating or not. Continue reading “Metamour Relationships: Should You Be Friends with Your Partner’s Partner?”

Sexual Orientations: A Helpful Guide

Have you ever thought about who you are attracted to? Have you been confused by your sexual orientation? Are you a mental health clinician who has had clients use new terms for sexual orientation that you have never heard before? Then this article is for you!  Continue reading “Sexual Orientations: A Helpful Guide”

Gender Identity and Expression

If you are a mental health clinician, it is important to be aware of the difference between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. It is also important to be familiar with various gender identities. If a client is struggling with their gender identity/expression, and does not feel comfortable discussing this subject with you, you are doing them a disservice as a clinician. In addition, your client should be able to speak about their own individualized gender experiences, and the therapeutic relationship may be strengthened when they have the ability to teach you about their own identity and gender process. However, you should have at least a basic understanding of gender identity and expression, and your client should not have to completely educate you on gender identity and expression.  Continue reading “Gender Identity and Expression”

What Is Polyamory?

Are you new to polyamory? Have you just heard the term polyamory, and want to learn more? Do you have a friend or family member who identifies as polyamorous, or is in a polyamorous relationship? Are you a mental health clinician with a client who has recently come out as polyamorous? No matter who you are, this introduction to polyamory may help you to develop a better understanding of polyamorous relationships, enable you to explore your relationship options, and have more informed discussions about polyamory with your partner(s), friends, clients, or family members.  Continue reading “What Is Polyamory?”