Town expands polyamory partnership benefits. "How to be Friends with Your Lover's Lover." And why Ukraine matters for us.
Arlington Town Hall, site of Town Meeting
These days, relationships can, in fact, be customized to meet your needs.
Getty...I especially find it fascinating that more and more Black women are seemingly opening themselves up to consensual nonmonogamy, or CNM, and not in the way that centers men, but in a way that truly honors their needs and healing journey.Though I prefer monogamy myself, this is also because I have done the introspective work to know it is truly what I desire for where I am in my life. Meanwhile, it has my good people in a chokehold.
Here are six terms defining nonmonogamous relationship styles that I found to be curious and thought you might too.1. Free RelationshipA free relationship is a relationship where the structure of the commitment is flexible for one reason or another, perhaps neither of you are quite sure about the relationship style yet....2. Solo-polyA solo-poly relationship style is simply one when you’re single or independent, but exploring intimate relationships with others. ...
3. MonogamishMonogamish is when a couple has a monogamous base... but the boundaries around flirtation and sexual relations provide wiggle room. ...4. Moonlighting or Swinging...Moonlighting is more often than not enjoying and entertaining other singles, couples, or throuples for sex and not an emotional connection. They even have clubs and events to help facilitate moonlighting, er, swinging.As swingers, you typically play together in some capacity! It doesn’t necessarily have to be a threesome but perhaps swapping partners. But, it’s also okay for one partner to maybe just take on a more voyeur-like role while the other is more hands-on.5. Open RelationshipAn open relationship has little to no boundaries, but please hear me when I say there are still boundaries. ...6. PolyamoryThis term translates to “many loves” and is an umbrella term that can also encompass concepts such as mono-poly, vee relationships, and triads (or a throuple) – which are all also umbrella terms. Polyamory is simply the implication that you are the opposite of monogamous by one of the aforementioned definitions or another.
Order the card – but only if it'll be appreciated.
By Romano Santos...“We are socially conditioned not to share intimacy with anyone other than our partners,” said Zayna Ratty, a United Kingdom-based psychotherapist. “When challenging this internalized rationale, we can begin to see that this brings both challenges and possible joys to the table.”Every consensually non-monogamous relationship is different, so every person’s relationship with their metamours can be different, too. But why would anybody want to be friends with their lover’s lovers?“If your partner likes them, chances are you’re going to, too,” said Lori Beth Bisbey, a psychologist and gender, sex, relationship, and diversity therapist, also based in the UK. This means there’s a good chance that you share the same interests with your metamours—like a friend who’s already been pre-screened for you.According to Bisbey, if you’re in a healthy consensually non-monogamous relationship with clear boundaries, then making friends with your metamours could mean more support when times are difficult with the partner you share. They’re an addition to your chosen family, with whom you can share life’s highs and lows.So how do you turn metamours into friends?“The first thing you need to do is have a look at your monogamy hangover,” said Bisbey. ... In particular, thinking that anybody else your partner is dating is automatically competition. Make sure you’re ready to look at your metamour as a friend, family member, supporter, and ally, rather than someone who would take your partner away.If that’s the case, the next step is to allow the friendship to form organically. “Don’t force it. Don’t come with the idea that just because your partner is with them, immediately you need to be best friends,” warned Bisbey, as that could be overwhelming.In other words, don’t make a big deal out of it. It’s not all that different from having other friends. ......It’s also important to figure out the specific mechanics of your relationship with your metamours. What exactly do you want? What do they want? Some people want to be friends with their lover’s lover, but don’t exactly want a separate relationship with them. They might call that metamour when there’s an emergency with their shared partner, but don’t necessarily want that metamour as a friend just for themselves.The shared partner can help, too. They can make everyone feel secure in the relationship, to avoid resentment or jealousy from everyone involved.What if your metamour doesn’t want to be friends?
If your metamour doesn’t want a relationship with you, accept that. Some people just aren’t interested in having more people in their lives. Bisbey said that some people in consensually non-monogamous relationships enjoy having more alone time, which is part of why they’re OK with their partners seeing other people. Meanwhile, others might be cordial with their metamours, but don’t exactly want to be friends. Some people in consensually non-monogamous relationships negotiate this, said Bisbey, but it’s best not to force it....If you find that you’re not ready to be friends with your lover’s lover, own it. Communicate your feelings well so you’re not cutting off the possibility of a relationship in the future. Try to say these things in such a way that the metamour doesn’t feel bad, either.In other words, keep an open mind. You can be friends with your lover’s lovers, but you don’t have to be. You might not be friends with them right now, but you might be one day. ...“The polyamory model that you may have discussed with each other to begin with may not be the one you end up with,” said Ratty. “Every relationship has to evolve, so asking and learning as you go along is key.”
Every December dating sites submit their trend predictions for the upcoming year, and this year, ethical non-monogamy, or polyamory, was the center of attention. Even several news outlets referred to it as “the future.” As a polyamorous individual, I scoffed and rolled my eyes not realizing I [felt] slighted because I was coming off the tailwinds of my very own toxic, poly drama.I was a 21 year old college student when realized I was interested in polyamory. ... My soul tribe, as I like to call it, is an inclusive community of like-minded individuals that are sex-positive, queer or allied. I knew my anxious attachment style and past trauma would make this challenging so I sought extra support from my therapist. Within no time, I knew it was the right match for me. But like I intuitively felt, I was in for a whirlwind of toxicity.Here’s what I learned in my tumultuous introduction to polyamory through the lens of my breakups....
Sexual scripts and boundary-less fun.Balancing queer and straight relationships.Codependency.The feeling of failure....It took me a while to realize that I was simply learning lessons that every 20-something would come to learn in their own time. Polyamory is a form of connection with endless, beautiful possibilities and it helped mold me into a mature adult. But it can also trigger toxicity and the most underdeveloped sides of you. ... It truly does take a certain level of maturity, trust and communication to succeed at polyamory.
...And for that day, everything appeared blissfully normal. But normality can be suffocating. On the way home, in the car, we broke: “Oh my God that was so normal we can’t cope.” So we checked ourselves into a cheap hotel that night, halfway between London and the Cotswolds, got absolutely hammered and defined the rules of our new setup. And at that point, there were no rules. Just communication. ...
Alex Lake/The Observer
...The second person I had sex with approached me in a bar and described what he wanted to do to me. I’d never felt a turn-on like it. Not that I’m not turned on by my partner – because various types of desire, of turn-on, are not mutually exclusive. Desire, as I’m learning, exists on various planes, in various spaces. Herein lay a huge learning curve: in an open relationship, you begin to experience totally varied and different types of desire to the type of desire you feel in a monogamous setup.
...“It’s easier for queer couples,” a heterosexual friend told me, after I told her. And I think, for countless reasons, this is true: like the fact the centre still sees our relationships as fringe; the fact that sex for a lot of queer people is a mode of finding community, touch and family; the fact that we were kept out of normative conventions of relationships until a brutally recent seven years ago. But, at the same time, there is still the same fear, the same worry, the same risk of loss. So easier feels like too easy a word. Perhaps more accepted.
...And, yes, with every new partner ... I’ve experienced the rush of the new. But the rush of the new spills over into my primary partnership, too: new dynamics form, each scenario brings with it something for us to negotiate, and our sex is more adventurous than ever: perhaps because we learned new moves elsewhere or perhaps because we have a reinvigorated sense of desire for each other knowing that someone, elsewhere, has found this body in front of you desirable in new ways, too.
● More TV:
– Conversations With Friends, adapted from Sally Rooney's novel and now playing on Hulu, may seem like polyamory but don't be misled, says Gabrielle Smith in Glamour magazine: Reminder: 'Conversations With Friends' Is Not a Show About Polyamory (May 16)
The cast. They don't look happy.
It's understandable why folks would interpret the relationship between the characters as polyamorous as opposed to cheating. ... In many ways, the four of them resemble a subset of polyamory called kitchen table polyamory, where partners are comfortable enough to spend time together sharing a meal, going on group outings, or even taking trips together.What makes Nick and Frances’s relationship distinctively not polyamorous is the mindset. Polyamorous relationships require disclosure, boundary setting, and a commitment to some sort of relational equity. ...
By Hazel GandhiBollywood has taught most Indians how to love – right from spontaneous declarations to unrealistic expectations of achievement of a ‘happily ever after’. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that most of what we know about love stems from Bollywood, including the idea of finding “the one”.Bollywood rides on the do jism ek jaan narrative even today to fuel its overly romanticised version of how relationships are. While real-life monogamous relationships might [now] have a lot more individuality, there is still a very strict boundary when it comes to “sharing” your partner.The Quint spoke to four young Indians who are changing this narrative and embracing the idea of ethical non-monogamy by practising polyamory. It's a practice that involves engaging with multiple romantic partners, and strongly advocates the idea of open communication and transparency to make the relationship work. ....
And on the larger stage. . .
Some person in that crowd started it. Maybe you can be a first mover too. Or the first reactor to a first mover, just as crucial. When the moment appears, remember not to flinch. We'll have a better idea after the election. Whatever else you do, vote.
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