Open Up to Curiosity.
We had our biggest turnout yet at this month’s Curious Fox Social! We are grateful to our six panelists who discussed the ups and downs in the process of opening their monogamous relationships. The three couples have each been together for many years, ranging from one decade to over twenty years. They have each been open for 3-5 years. Through their stories, we have identified several salient themes shared in their journeys:
Communication is key, and the magic ingredient is curiosity. Challenge yourself to not make assumptions about your partner’s perspective or preferences without asking them about it. In the same way that there exist different love languages that we use to give and receive affection, we also have unique communication styles. How do you prefer to check in with your partner? Think about how you might operate similarly or differently in the expression and reception of ideas, updates, and feelings.
In addition to interpersonal communication, just as important is personal introspection. As one panelist advised, “Never underestimate that the problem may come from within.” One couple noted that their jealousy was initially difficult to identify. Once they started managing it, they learned to explore where uncomfortable feelings stem from and strengthen their trust in each other.
A common thread between the couples is that they discovered the vast array of possibilities within ethical non-monogamy through connection, community, and resources. The panelists reminisced about attending Poly Cocktails, an event that brings hundreds of like-minded people together. Whether that’s at Poly Cocktails or at our Curious Fox Social or somewhere else, finding a community is invaluable. It not only provides support, but also lays out examples of different relationship structures that work for each couple. The panelists also read up on popular books and resources that were praised by others, especially Opening Up.
One of the panelists reflected on a question they posed as they first started exploring ethical non-monogamy: “What kind of relationship do we have if it can be broken by this one thing?” This sentiment provides a mental framework; it politely challenges us to consider how we view our own relationships and their inherent robustness. After acknowledging their resilience, the pressure was lifted from the panelists determining if they “could” or “could not.” Imagine isolating your exploration as an experience, such as going skydiving. With curious eyes and ears we can try something new and decide to abstain later. This even affords us freedom to explore our fantasies and “what ifs.” We are on a journey of discovery – find what works for you!