Navigating New Horizons: Opening Up a Monogamous Relationship

Unlock
Your
Curiosity
Arousal the way
you want it.
AI generated

So, you’ve heard about the world of consensual non-monogamy (CNM) and think it might be right up your alley. Even better, your current partner is fully on board with opening up your monogamous relationship, too. Great—well, you’re in the right place!

Today, we’re discussing open relationships. Exploring CNM can be an enthralling and transformative journey, but it doesn’t come without potential pitfalls. In this guide, we’ll help you avoid the bumps in the road on the way to your destination. 

Moving Away from a Monogamous Relationship

When you first start exploring CNM, it can be easy to get carried away by all the shiny aspects of consensual non-monogamy. If you’re opening up an existing monogamous relationship, then the aim is to get to the finish line together. Move too quickly, and you could damage relations with your current partner and mess others around.

Communication is critical, and you’re unlikely to be able to succeed together in the CNM world if you can’t talk openly about things from the start. If you’re in doubt, consider seeking help from a CNM-affirming/GSRD relationship therapist before opening things up in your monogamous relationship. 

CNM won’t fix an unstable monogamous relationship, but it might break one. Just like monogamy, CNM brings its own set of issues that need managing… such as scheduling, jealousy, and boundaries. Exploring consensual non-monogamy can amplify existing issues, so make sure you check everything’s good under the hood before setting off. 

Clarity About Consensual Non-Monogamy Goals

You and your partner might want to open up your relationship for many different reasons. But it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and avoid talking honestly about why you want to do CNM in the first place.

Being clear about your “why” helps to set things up for success. Some good questions to consider and discuss with your partner include:

There are probably as many ways to be consensually non-monogamous as people practicing it! So it’s good to be clear about your goals from the off, too. Are you swingers? Kitchen table poly? Knowing what you want to do is just as important as knowing why.

And if you don’t know your polyamory from your polycule, check out our handy guide to the different types of CNM.

How to Organize Consensual Non-Monogamy 

Once you’re clear about the whats and the whys, it’s much more straightforward to agree on how you want CNM to work and to decide on your boundaries. 

A good way to think about this is to consider what elements you’d like to share with new partners as well as those that are off-limits.  This is sometimes called relationship taxonomy; you can find out more about it here.

It’s not possible, nor is it desirable, to plan for all possible scenarios, so having clarity about the spirit of your agreements is as important as the agreements themselves. If you find you’ve set lots of rules or they’re very specific, that could indicate some fear or jealousy in the mix. 

Complicated feelings don’t have to be a dealbreaker. Still, they need to be addressed. Oftentimes, it’s just about asking for and offering each other reassurance and understanding. It’s also good practice to create a space where you can talk and reflect on your relationship together… not just about being non-monogamous, but overall. Multiamory’s RADAR format can be a great way to approach this. 

Remember, the process of opening up a relationship is iterative. You and your partner may decide that your boundaries and agreements need to change, and that’s okay. This stuff is complex, and mistakes are normal. The most important thing is learning from them. 

The challenges of CNM aren’t for everyone, but there are lots of rewards, too. Many couples who open up their relationships with kindness and curiosity find that their connection with each other deepens and grows alongside their other new relationships. 

Unlock Your

Curiosity

Join our VIP site.

Unlock Your

Curiosity

Join our VIP site.

You May Also Like

  • All Posts
  • Confessions
  • Culture
  • Kink
  • PRESS
  • Sex
  • Travel
    •   Back
    • MEDIUM
    • SWAY'S UNIVERSE
    • HUFFINGTON POST
    • WALL STREET JOURNAL
    • ABC NEWS NIGHTLINE
    • NYTIMES MAGAZINE
    • PLAYBOY
    • THE VILLAGE VOICE
    • FRENCH GQ
    • GAY CALGARY
    • THIS WEEK IN TEXAS
    • AUTOSTRADDLE
    • LES INROCKUPTIBLES
    • EDGE MEDIA NETWORK
    • DAILY BEAST
    • OUT MAGAZINE
    • VICE MAGAZINE
    • GOMAG
    • PATCH
    •   Back
    • TRENDING IN TRAVEL
    • BEST OF LISTS
    • SEX ON VACAY
    • SEXY CITY GUIDES
    • GET TIPSY
    • LUXURY TRAVEL
    •   Back
    • TRENDING IN CULTURE
    • FOOD, DRINK & DRUGS
    • POP CULTURE
    • OPINION
    • GETTING PERSONAL
    • POLITICS
    • BIG NEWS
    • MUSIC
    • NOSTALGIA
    • SPICY BOOKS
    • QUEER
    • QUEER BOOKS
    • MOVIE SEX
    • CULTURAL SHIFTS
    •   Back
    • TRENDING IN CONFESSIONS
    • QUEER
    • STRAIGHT
    • CUMMING OF AGE
    • GETTIN' WILD
    • KINKY CONFESSIONS
    • GETTING PERSONAL
    • SEX CLUBS
    •   Back
    • TRENDING IN KINK
    • DATING WHILE KINKY
    • RELATIONSHIPS
    • KINK ENCYCLOPEDIA
    • GETTING PERSONAL
    • HOW TO GET KINKY
    •   Back
    • TRENDING IN SEX
    • SEX ENCYCLOPEDIA
    • RELATIONSHIPS
    • SEX ED
    • GETTING PERSONAL
    • SEX MEETS TECH
    • OH JOY SEX TOY
    • IDENTITY
  • All Posts
  • Confessions
  • Culture
  • Kink
  • PRESS
  • Sex
  • Travel
    •   Back
    • MEDIUM
    • SWAY'S UNIVERSE
    • HUFFINGTON POST
    • WALL STREET JOURNAL
    • ABC NEWS NIGHTLINE
    • NYTIMES MAGAZINE
    • PLAYBOY
    • THE VILLAGE VOICE
    • FRENCH GQ
    • GAY CALGARY
    • THIS WEEK IN TEXAS
    • AUTOSTRADDLE
    • LES INROCKUPTIBLES
    • EDGE MEDIA NETWORK
    • DAILY BEAST
    • OUT MAGAZINE
    • VICE MAGAZINE
    • GOMAG
    • PATCH
    •   Back
    • TRENDING IN TRAVEL
    • BEST OF LISTS
    • SEX ON VACAY
    • SEXY CITY GUIDES
    • GET TIPSY
    • LUXURY TRAVEL
    •   Back
    • TRENDING IN CULTURE
    • FOOD, DRINK & DRUGS
    • POP CULTURE
    • OPINION
    • GETTING PERSONAL
    • POLITICS
    • BIG NEWS
    • MUSIC
    • NOSTALGIA
    • SPICY BOOKS
    • QUEER
    • QUEER BOOKS
    • MOVIE SEX
    • CULTURAL SHIFTS
    •   Back
    • TRENDING IN CONFESSIONS
    • QUEER
    • STRAIGHT
    • CUMMING OF AGE
    • GETTIN' WILD
    • KINKY CONFESSIONS
    • GETTING PERSONAL
    • SEX CLUBS
    •   Back
    • TRENDING IN KINK
    • DATING WHILE KINKY
    • RELATIONSHIPS
    • KINK ENCYCLOPEDIA
    • GETTING PERSONAL
    • HOW TO GET KINKY
    •   Back
    • TRENDING IN SEX
    • SEX ENCYCLOPEDIA
    • RELATIONSHIPS
    • SEX ED
    • GETTING PERSONAL
    • SEX MEETS TECH
    • OH JOY SEX TOY
    • IDENTITY
Skip to content