If a couple agrees to threesomes only but one partner makes out with a stranger in a bar? Four parties in a group relationship agree not to involve new partners before getting tested, but then someone does the deed prematurely? Non-monogamy is not something that takes place in dark corners and on password protected apps without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved. Another idea that’s floating around out there is that non-monogamous relationships are becoming so popular in our monogamy dominated society because monogamy is this challenging thing that takes time, dedication and hard work, whereas non-monogamy is…well…easy.
As do monogamous relationships, non-monogamous relationships require mutual trust and respect, while cheating undermines trust, respect and consent. On the contrary, non-monogamy can be just as challenging as monogamy is, if not more so at times, as it introduces challenges into relationships that monogamous folks don’t have to grapple with quite as much. Time Management For one thing, it isn’t as though non-monogamous people are suddenly granted more hours in a day, more days in the week, etc.
Trust that a new partner is truly an addition and not a replacement.
Trust that even as a secondary or tertiary lover, you are still cared for and respected.
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You are not being asked simply to trust that your partner will obey your mutually established rules, but instead to trust in your mutually established love.
Trust that a casual tryst will not threaten your love.
Do you wait two weeks and risk the fizzle, or talk to your partner about making an exception?
When there are more than two, it gets a lot more complicated. Especially in modern society where traditional dating rituals are quickly being deemed old-fashioned and uncool, and people are more inclined to just go with the flow.
Rather than the absence of jealousy, non-monogamy relies on an acceptance of jealousy, with the ultimate goal of acknowledging it, unlearning it, and replacing it with compersion - a feeling of happiness in one’s self derived from the happiness of another. Jealousy, while it can be worked with and talked through, is a natural emotion that even those of us who choose to take a non-traditional path still experience. Especially when you’ve grown up in a society that equates love to possession, the work of dealing with jealousy is not easy.
In other words, when my partner is out on a date and I am at home with the cat, rather than stomping around in a jealous rage or torturing myself with what-if-he-leaves-me-for-her thoughts, I would aim to acknowledge my jealous pang as a normal feeling, but remind myself that my partner loves me, that they aren’t leaving, and to be happy that they’re enjoying themselves tonight and to enjoy my alone time with the cat. In comparison with monogamy, in fact, it forces a kind of work on trust that monogamous relationships bypass via the terms of monogamy.
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