Ethical non-monogamy (ENM) has become quite popular over the last decade, as more and more people have realized that a monogamous relationship simply doesn’t suit them. They much prefer a relationship where the people are allowed to have more than one romantic and sexual partner at a time, and everyone involved is aware and supportive.
While ENM can be incredibly beneficial for some people, there are general guidelines to follow to ensure loving and successful relationships.
Make Your Agreements Clear
There are no set rules to ENM. Each couple/group can decide for themselves how to proceed. Having said that, it is important that everyone communicates clearly about what the relationship dynamic will look like. This means both (or all) people agree to something defined and specific, making the agreement ethical and loving.
Honesty is Key
Without question, the entire ENM relationship must rest on a foundation of honesty and transparency. All individuals must be clear about their boundaries, expectations and limits. It’s also a good idea for all parties to check in with one another from time to time to see if feelings have shifted or anything needs adjustment.
Genuine Care and Compassion is Required
Being non-monogamous does not mean that you care less about other people’s needs and feelings. Quite the opposite, in fact. ENM requires that everyone involved have genuine care and compassion for their partners.
You’ll Most Likely Experience Challenges
Even loving people with the best of intentions will find that ENM relationships have their ups and downs. Human beings trying to connect with one another will always be faced with challenges. Be prepared to experience a wide swath of emotions and ride the waves.
Ethical non-monogamous relationships can be fun, healthy and incredibly liberating. And if you follow these guidelines you’ll stand the best chance of having a successful and loving relationship with whomever you choose.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring counseling, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may help you.