Then you might try a more challenging boundary – maybe ask a friend who isn’t too close to not text you after age 10. Finally, you can up the ante even further by telling your partner what you are and aren’t comfortable with when it comes to an open relationship. “It’s an ongoing exercise that eventually feels easier with time and repetition,” says Dr. Pitagora. They also point out that if you have trouble expressing your needs and boundaries in relationships, individual therapy can be very beneficial.
5. How do you deal with jealousy?
Whether you’re monogamous or non-monogamous, jealousy is a very human emotion that spreads even if you don’t necessarily expect it. However, if you are going to open up your relationship, you must be willing to dissect these feelings and consider the ways in which your jealousy might be a problem.
For example, do you lash out in an aggressive way, or do you become isolated and reluctant to discuss your feelings? Or maybe you ignore these feelings completely and pretend everything is fine and they eat you up? All of these responses suggest that your jealousy may be getting in the way of the healthy communication needed for a successful open relationship.
“Jealousy, like all emotions, contains valuable information about what we need to heal or heal some unmet need,” explains Dr. Pitagora. The reality of a newly opened relationship is that it may bring jealousy to the forefront, but ultimately it will give the partner a chance to reflect. They add that slowing down, thinking about your feelings, and working with your partner is a healthy form of jealousy that you can also practice before building a relationship.
For example, maybe the idea of multiple partners makes you feel insecure about the power of your primary partner, and dedicated couple time might help ease that discomfort. Or maybe you realize you’re undervalued, and before you consider an open-ended arrangement, distributing chores more evenly will help you feel more appreciated.
6. Do you rely on others to verify your worth?
These days we’re all about selling self-acceptance, and there’s a lot of noise about how you need to be in love with someone else (or multiple other people, in this case) Love yourself first. But this journey is usually not linear, and you don’t necessarily have to “totally love yourself” (whatever that means) until you welcome other types of love into your life.
“Humans need other people to live, and the feeling of being recognized through the love of others is healthy, no matter how safe one is,” explains Dr. Pitagora. In fact, feeling loved or recognized by others ultimately increases an individual’s sense of self-worth, they say, in a psychological phenomenon known as positive “reflected evaluation” — when people perceive others to be positive about them , their self-perceptions can and become more positive.
That is, “If someone is totally dependent on the love and approval of others for a sense of self-worth, that can be problematic because they may not be able to provide that if that person is no longer available Love and recognition, then he can make a difference,” Dr Pitagora said. “If doing self-compassion work makes someone very uncomfortable, I’d say they’re likely to fall into that category.”
Basically, you don’t necessarily have to rely on other people (or multiple partners) for your whole sense of self-worth or fulfillment, but there’s no shame in longing for more love and approval from others. If this love and approval takes the form of an open relationship that makes all parties involved feel good, then morally non-monogamy may be forever your Happiness.
As Dr. Pitagora puts it, if both parties feel that an open relationship can help meet some of their unmet emotional and/or physical needs, and “a couple Couples have good communication habits, a foundation of trust, and a willingness to do the hard work usually at the beginning of a non-monogamous learning curve, and then I say go for it.”
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