relationships After Years Of Doomed Relationships, I Realized Monogamy Isn’t For Me

21:12  18 april  2018
21:12  18 april  2018 Source:   chatelaine.com

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It took a blunt conversation with my therapist, then four more years of denial, before I started telling everyone — even my mother — that I was non- monogamous .

I don’ t remember the exact moment I realized I needed non- monogamy . Cut to four years later, after my next failed monogamous relationship . “ I think,” I said to my therapist, “That I ’m non- monogamous .”

three lips© Used with permission of / © Rogers Media Inc. 2018. three lips I knew I’d crossed a line when I looked up to see a handful of people staring at me. I blushed. I was, after all, being a real slut. And I was out in the open. On transit, no less. My heart thudded in my ribs, but I didn’t stop. I took a deep breath, rolled my shoulders back, and kept doing what I was doing.

Reading. I was vigorously, sluttily, reading.

No, not porn. Not even erotica. I was reading The Ethical Slut, the handbook for the mindful pursuit of open, multiple, and unconventional relationships. I had been thinking about leaving the bonds of monogamy behind in favour of . . . something else. What exactly? I wasn’t sure. But I knew this: It couldn’t begin until I got over the embarrassment I felt reading a book with the word “slut” in the title, in public.

Friends with benefits works for this couple: Ask Ellie

  Friends with benefits works for this couple: Ask Ellie Reader’s Commentary: The Case for Polyamory (“consensual and responsible non-monogamy”): “Many people with sex drives at variance with their partner’s find that ethical non-monogamy or polyamory is the right road for them. “I’ve been practicing polyamory for over a decade. “My current live-in partner has health problems and a low sex drive, but needs a lot of emotional and physical support. His other girlfriend is a blessing. I don’t have to be there for him every time he’s unwell, and can focus on my career as well as being a partner.

After Years Of Doomed Relationships , I Realized Monogamy Isn ’ t For Me . It took a blunt conversation with my therapist, then four more years of denial, before I started telling everyone — even my mother — that I was non- monogamous .

Are we doomed ?— Monogamy Or Not, Otherwise Great. About two years into our relationship , I discovered that I wasn’ t actually all that into monogamy after all, and we opened that door a tiny bit.

That was a year ago. And now, I am proudly, ethically, non-monogamous. And I talk about it all the time. I write about it, even (hi!). I make comedy about it. How did I get here? In some ways, I’m joining a tide of people, millennial women especially, who are deciding to at least explore, and at most inhabit, love lives and relationships that look different than those of previous generations. And culture is getting there too, with film and TV taking up the mantle (see You, Me, Her, Unicornland, Broad City and, for a pop cultural/historical take with a BDSM/kink twist, Professor Marsden and the Wonder Women) and pop music, too (I see you, Janelle Monae!). Alternative relationships are starting to feel like a true alternative.

So, when non-monogamy is prevalent enough to seem almost acceptable, why should you care what I did? Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the journey into non-monogamy – however you choose to pursue it – it’s that people get too stuck in their own damn heads. Women especially have spent decades learning how to conform and bend to the status quo. It makes total sense that it might take a minute to reset. A minute to, frankly, unlearn societal expectations — to break the bonds of patriarchal, cisgender, heteronormativity, the “woman equals wife and mother; one-man-one-woman only forever” method. To choose to instead, as the great mega-couple Fleetwood Mac sings, Go Your Own Way.

Here's How Many Times You Need to Have Sex to Slow Down Aging

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Since monogamy was the default, we had never really talked about the structure of our relationship before. Two weeks after the kiss, and three years after we first got together, we tied the knot – happily, eagerly, exchanging vows and dancing the night away.

But if you’re looking for monogamy , I wouldn’ t be as confident as you that he’s giving you that. Its kind of hard to accept that after years of putting up these walls If Some Doomed Relationships Succeed, Couldn’ t Mine? Hello, Evan: I loved your recent email about I realized that I needed to find the man who would love me unconditionally for who I am, not for who he wanted me to be.

What I want is for people to stop “studying” non-monogamy and start studying it (innuendo-laced emphasis mine). It would have taken me half the time to get from blushing on a train to kissing a married couple in public if it weren’t for the fact that most of what I read, watched, and listened to on my journey wasn’t so crushingly, achingly . . . well, vanilla.

With apologies to The Ethical Slut — which, if you’re thinking about relationships at all, not just non-monogamous ones, you should absolutely read — a lot of the writing you can find out there about non-monogamy either tends towards the coldly clinical, the ponderously sociological, or it manages Portlandia-esque levels of hippy-dippy self-parody. (The word “polyamory” alone is laughable to me; it seems preserved for Rachel Dratch and Will Ferrell’s hot tubbing lovah characters on SNL.) Why, in a world where you could literally kiss, touch, and love anyone you want to, was all the thinking about it so self-serious? Why couldn’t we laugh at ourselves more? After all, sex and romance is awkward, strange and hilarious. And as a comedy writer, I can tell you that the “rule of threes” definitely applies: three people having sex is automatically funnier than just two. And I can speak from very recent experience.

Meet 3 Women Who Are Living — Happily — Without Sex

  Meet 3 Women Who Are Living — Happily — Without Sex ***ImagePlaceholder*** http://www.besthealthmag.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Celibate-empowered-women.jpg photo credit: shutterstock Yes, you can be both happy and celibate While sex may be important for some people, these three women have other priorities in mind: It’s not low libido or a diagnosed disorder that has kept them celibate for several years. For these three women it’s about something way more important: “I’m not looking to be an easy sexual conquest” Steffanie Rivers, currently celibate, 49 Her story: “I’ve had no sexual contact since 2014 and I’m fine with it. I was in a relationship then but at the time found that most men, regardless of their age, seem immature and focused on sexual conquests above almost anything else. It’s not that my libido is low, it’s that I am not a slave to my sexual urges like so many people are.” What she’s focusing on: “It’s more important for me to focus on spiritual growth and building a relationship with a man who also exercises self-control. I believe that’s the best way to determine if we are compatible in other ways that -- after the sex is no longer brand new -- will sustain our relationship for years to come.” What she’s hoping for in a relationship: “In March, I met Nelson, the love of my life. He lives in South Carolina, and I live in Texas. We travel back and forth to see each other, and we’ve made a decision to abstain from sex until we get married, which we’re planning to do next year.

I agreed to monogamy for the sake of a man I loved very much, and while I would have preferred an open relationship in that period, monogamy wasn’ t a terrible hardship Later, having special needs children rendered me too busy to be able to imagine outside relationships for a number of years .

Monogamy by definition is the practice and state of having sexual relationships with only one partner. You realize the only thing in the past few years you have committed to is the beer special every Friday at the local bar, and you don’ t know what it means to be monogamous . The naturally flirty, "no

If my love life were a penis — stay with me here — then the entire shaft would be made up of monogamous relationships while just the tip would be non-monogamy. All the feelings are up there, for one. I’m going to stop using this metaphor now, but here’s the deal: From age 18, when I had my first sexual, monogamous relationship, to just last year, when I ended my last one, I was in one committed, date-til-we-move-in, hate-til-I-move-out relationship after the other. And these men, nice men, “good” men (whatever that means) whom I loved until I didn’t, were all wrong for me for one reason: I only dated one of them at a time.

(A quick aside: I am childless, though I’d love to have children. There are lots of people who live in non-monogamous relationships while raising kids, and some, I’m sure, who give it up when they have children; since I don’t have direct experience with this I’ll leave it alone for now. I will say, however, that my personal view is that teaching kids to value healthy relationships, regardless of their configuration, is how we’re going to end toxic masculinity once and for all. It’s not without complication, of course, but what is?)

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They’ve been married for six years now, have a daughter, but like many married couples, their sex life just isn ’ t what it used to be. After much discussion, they both realized that their feelings on monogamy were the same, and that maybe an open relationship would be the way to go.

After years of disappointing dating, I finally found someone great. Suddenly, I was really not curious about his other relationships . And that’s how I realized I was starting to like him. Allowing a break from sexual monogamy could ease pressure on a relationship .

I don’t remember the exact moment I realized I needed non-monogamy. It was likely cumulative, but flashes come to mind: My friends in university, in an “open” relationship that imploded when he decided he wanted only her and she decided she wanted everyone but him; thinking being a Sister Wife wouldn’t be that bad, as long as it was the Big Love kind (hanging out with Chloe Sevigny) and not the Bountiful kind (living in Creston, B.C.); never being sold on marriage, not even in my Romantic, listening-to-The-Cure, puffy sleeves teenage phase when I argued with a teacher about the poem “The Highwayman” and how anyone who loves just one person enough to put their life in danger is a grade-A idiot.

But in university, when I had ample opportunities for threesomes and make outs and queer experimentation (I went to seven Tegan and Sara shows in one year), I instead spent my undergrad dating one boring dude from Windsor who also didn’t believe in monogamy, but did believe in taking Radiohead too seriously. And I remember one day realizing that I didn’t have to date him, or anyone, if I didn’t want to. And I didn’t want to, but it was easier, so I did. Until we broke up (a longer story than I have time for here, involving my dad’s death and a trip to Europe that I abandoned halfway through).

Monogamy was easy, I thought then. I was difficult. It was my fault.

A Couple Sent Me A Picture Of Themselves In Bed. Was I Really Going To Do This?

  A Couple Sent Me A Picture Of Themselves In Bed. Was I Really Going To Do This? Online dating as a poly has taught me about ‘unicorns,’ the value of communication, and what I really want in life.This aversion to online dating remained intact for a long time — through my serial monogamy years, when I was mostly dating men I met through the comedy community (hanging in the bar after shows has become a monument to “The Men I Have Touched”). But that changed when I decided to embrace nonmonogamy.

The bad news is that mono/poly relationships are not easy. Mono/poly pairings aren’ t exactly doomed to failure, but the inherent dynamics are much more But at this point, after so many years of being poly, monogamy is almost as alien to me as polyamory is to strictly monogamous people.

After years of handling divorces, I thought nothing could shock me . • Is monogamy the main reason marriages fail? • What would happen to marriage (and the divorce rate) if monogamy were no longer required?

Now I know: Monogamy is easy. And easy sucks. I am difficult. And I want a life as big and difficult as I am.

But like the good girl I am, it took an authority figure telling me what to do, to get me to do it. And like the good tortured comedian I am, that authority figure was my therapist. There I was, on her couch, cradling a fat, fringe-y pillow. I was complaining, once again, about the limitations in imagination of my then-boyfriend.

“What do you want,” she asked me.

“I don’t know,” I said. “More than this.”

“More what,” she pushed.

“More people,” I blurted, before I realized it. It slipped out, like a mouth fart. And then suddenly, it filled the room with its immensity, like a real fart.

“I knew it”, she said. “You’re polyamorous.” (I laughed. That word sucks so much!) And we talked about it, and I promised to think I about it.

Cut to four years later, after my next failed monogamous relationship.

“I think,” I said to my therapist, “That I’m non-monogamous.”

“Took you long enough,” she said. And when I asked her how to make it real this time, she gave me a huge gift by saying: Tell everyone.

So I did. I told friends, work colleagues, comedians. You. At 34 years old, I finally declared what I wanted out of love and life. One friend, a gay man, compared what I was doing to coming out (with the privilege of being a white, straight-ish woman choosing so). When I told another friend, a gay woman, that I was “coming out” as non-monogamous, asked me drily if I “wanted a parade” (I deserved that). I told my sister, sort of. Then I told my mom.

My mother is no shrinking violet. She’s a performer, a wit, a late-era hippy, a free-thinking liberal who showed us we didn’t need men but also loves ogling the hot ones. She recently turned 64 and dyed her hair purple. Still, she’s my mom, so I wanted to make sure I told her in a way that wouldn’t shock or alienate her. When the time came, I was nervous. I said something like, “Mom, I’m not going to date just one man anymore.” She replied, “You never have.” Touché, purple-haired grandma.

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  4 Ways to Make Your Relationship Better, According to a Couples Therapist There’s a misconception that going to couples counselling means your relationship is in a really, really bad place . I so desperately wish people didn’t see it that way. Couples counselling isn’t just about talking through what’s going wrong; it also offers a beautiful opportunity to check in with your partner in a safe space where you have each other’s undivided attention. It gives you the chance to discuss what’s going right in the relationship, and celebrate the awesome parts of it, too.

In order to build a strong relationship , it is necessary to discuss future plans and not to avoid even the trickiest questions: children, finance, personal space, readiness for monogamy , etc. The ”saver" feels needed and important to someone. However, such a relationship is doomed .

It’s perfectly ok to want to be monogamous ! Polyamory isn ’ t some magically superior state of relationships and monogamy isn ’ t inherently evil I also never told anyone anything until after the marriage ended (and have a number of friends that are hurt that I hid everything for 14 or so years ).

This would require analogies. So I said, “I’m going to be like a Queen Bee, keeping lots of workers in my hive.” She replied, “What the f— are you talking about?” I panicked. I had to make this more relatable, real.

“Okay,” I said, “so you know how Tilda Swinton has an older lover and a younger one? I’m going to do that.” Yes, I used the very grounded, everyday example of Tilda Swinton, a human being who’s definitely not an ActingAlienTM sent from Mars, to normalize my non-monogamy. To my surprise, my mother simply shrugged. “Do whatever makes you happy” she said.

And I have. Sometimes. I’ve also made mistakes, broken the cardinal rules of ethical sluttery. I’ve been to sex clubs, sent more nudes than I can count, kissed a drag queen. I’ve fallen in love and lust. I’ve made deals with myself and unmade them. I’ve mixed up two couples over text. I’ve faked bravery. But I’ve been active and present every moment. It’s been funny, and weird. Sometimes lonely, but totally mine.

And I’m going to share some of it, because people deserve to skip the worst and most boring bits when they explore this. Or at least, you deserve to feel less alone by laughing at me, and less bored than when you read books about it. If you’re already thinking about it, then chances are you should already be doing it, not entering more monogamous relationships and spending $100 an hour and several years bouncing the idea off a very nice therapist who knows what you want before you do. And, at the risk of sounding like a self-help guru: If you want to change your life, you should start now.

How? Go buy The Ethical Slut, to make sure you have the basics down. (Coles Notes: Talk to your partner(s) and don’t lie.) Watch the stuff I mentioned above, too. Listen to Janelle Monae, which you should be doing anyway. Think. Fantasize. Ask yourself “What do I really want?” And be ready to challenge and question things you have always assumed, like “Sure, I’ll date around in my 20s but in my 30s I’ll settle down.” What if, instead, you never settle down? What if you never settle, at all, for anything, again? How might your life change? What if dating multiple people, sometimes at once, isn’t avoiding reality but rewriting it in your image?

Think about that. Write down how you feel about it. Assume nothing you learned about relationships is written in stone, and assume most of it was designed hundreds of years ago to keep women in line.

With all that done, then what? Boy (and girl), do I have some stories. But first, I have a date.

Kaitlin Fontana is a non-monogamous writer, director, and producer and an award-winning essayist from Fernie, B.C., who now lives in Brooklyn. Stories from her journey into non-monogamy will continue on Chatelaine.com.

I'm in an Open Marriage . . . but We're Not Sleeping With Anyone Else .
I'm in an open marriage. Well, to be simultaneously more and less specific: I'm in a nonmonogamous marriage. An "open" marriage, in the nontraditional world, means that the couple may be having sex with other people but with no emotion involved. In contrast, in a "polyamorous" relationship, it means the couple is having sex with others and may also be having full-fledged relationships with others. For my husband and I, a nonmonogamous marriage means that we're not subscribing to the traditional notion of sexual monogamy being required in a marriage. It means that we don't believe that the only way to be sexual in a marriage is with each other. It means that we're okay with the idea of sexual exploration. What it doesn't mean, right now, is that we're actually having sex with other people. You see, the importance of an "open" marriage to me has nothing to do with getting to have sex with others, or having sex with others, or planning to have sex with others. Those factors are things that most people think of when they think of an open marriage, but they are secondary to the most important part of an open marriage: the openness. I have never been a big fan of being restricted or constrained in any way. For a long time, I railed against the idea of commitment in any and all forms.

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