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”

The Pros and Cons of New Relationship Energy

We all know the feeling. When we meet someone new whom we’re interested in, and we have a sudden rush of energy – emotionally, romantically, and sexually. It may feel like this person can do no wrong, and they may seem like a perfect match to you. You may want to spend as much time as you can with this new person, spend all day in bed with them, and stay up late talking to them. You often feel as though you are “high on life,” and everything you discover about this new person seems exciting and makes you want to know more [1]. This feeling of excitement and newness in a relationship is known as New Relationship Energy, or NRE, in the polyamorous community. It is also commonly described as infatuation, puppy love, or even the honeymoon phase of a relationship in more mainstream society. While NRE is exciting and common in new relationships, it is important to consider how NRE is affecting your life and any other partner(s) you may have.  Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of New Relationship Energy”

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”

Mindfulness and Polyamory

Mindfulness is the act of being fully present in your daily life, paying attention to your five senses, and not being overly reactive to things that are happening around you [1]. You are being mindful when you actively notice the sights, scents, tastes, sounds, and sensations around you. You are also being mindful when you bring awareness to your thoughts and emotions [2]. We are all guilty of stressing out about the future, and worrying about our past. However, when we are being mindful, we are actively present in the moment we’re living in. As human beings, we are all capable of mindfulness.  Continue reading “Mindfulness and Polyamory”

The Four Horsemen: How NOT to Communicate When You Have Multiple Partners

We all have different communication styles. Over time, we fall into certain communication patterns with our partners. We may have learned our method of communication from our parents growing up, or we may feed off the communication styles that have developed throughout our relationships. Each relationship will have its own communication pattern – you most likely do not speak to your best friend in the same way that you speak to your nesting partner, and most likely do not speak to your nesting partner in the same way that you speak to your long-distance partner. However, in any relationship, there are problematic interactions that can lead to the end of a relationship. Continue reading “The Four Horsemen: How NOT to Communicate When You Have Multiple Partners”

Holidays with Multiple Partners

The Holiday Season can be incredibly stressful for anyone, and having multiple partners sometimes adds to the stress of the season. How should you split your time? What are reasonable expectations in a relationship? Is it possible to celebrate the holidays with everyone? Continue reading “Holidays with Multiple Partners”

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?”

The Fundamentals of Polyamory: Know Yourself

What are your beliefs about love and sex? What do you believe about relationships? How should you be treated by friends, family, and partners? How are your time management skills? What do you desire in an emotionally or physically intimate relationship? What are your relationship fears? What are your feelings about your own self-worth? What are your goals in life, and why are these your goals? Who has encouraged you to have these goals? Where did you learn your values? How do your values align with, or dis-align with, societal expectations and values? Continue reading “The Fundamentals of Polyamory: Know Yourself”

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?”