• Relationships

    How To Overcome Jealousy

    In my experience of open relationships, jealousy often stems from comparison. Do you find that you compare yourself with your partners’ exes, other lovers, or even their friends? Does it bring up a feeling of competitiveness, fears of not being enough, and maybe even of being abandoned? If so, I have something that might help. (And this applies to monogamous folks too – jealousy is definitely not an issue that only crops up in polyamorous relationships.) The first thing to know is that comparing is a very human thing to do. It’s how we understand who we are and make sense of the world, by being able to identify the…

  • Relationships

    How To Change Your Mind

    This is a big topic for me. Not because I have an awful lot to say about it, but because the resistance I feel to changing my mind is colossal. For a whole bunch of reasons, some known and some unknown, I have reached adulthood with the belief that to change my mind is to be flakey, inconsistent, and unreliable. Sticking to my word, on the other hand, means I am deserving of trust and love, and so being dependable is something I often strive for – at the expense of taking care of my own needs. Naturally, this comes up most acutely in relationship. Open relationships in particular require…

  • Relationships

    What Is a Polyamorous Relationship?

    Polyamory is the sometimes challenging, often liberating, and almost always unpredictable practice of having multiple simultaneous intimate, sexual relationships with different people. But more than this: polyamorous relationships, when done successfully, force us to confront the things we’re scared of in a much more immediate way than monogamous commitments. So what does polyamory really mean, and why would we choose it?

  • Relationships

    Coping With Loneliness (In & Out of Relationship)

    I recently had a conversation with a friend about how ironically lonely it could be to have polyamorous relationships. Or, perhaps more specifically, even to be part of the polyamorous community. Not to mention how hard coping with that loneliness could be. The thing is, it’s so easy to not be alone. Or rather, it’s so easy to take small actions that will temporarily quench the loneliness we feel, but that don’t have the depth or the connection or the commitment or presence to really feel satisfying. How do we learn to be satisfied with ourselves without needing to seek validation through constant contact with others?

  • Relationships

    When To Say, “I Love You”

    Last Valentine’s Day I sent messages to everyone in my life who I loved, who I wasn’t already in the habit of telling regularly, and told them so. This included family, housemates, close friends old and new. This is not a common thing for me to do. Sending those messages made me feel nervous; a fluttery kind of embarrassment around the vulnerability of being seen. And, of course, the fear of being laughed at, rejected, or ignored. But those were platonic relationships. Easy! (Relatively.) What about lovers? What about those with whom we have no intention of jumping on a relationship ladder with? Or even those we do? How and when…