Polyamory Or Monogamy

Polyamory or Monogamy Which One Is For You?  Polyamory means having simultaneous close emotional and possibly sexual relationships with two or more other individuals with the knowledge and consent of all partners concerned.  The growing practice of polyamory in the United States indicates a significant shift in the way marriage and intimate relationships have evolved over the past few decades.  For some individuals, monogamy could be a better choice and for others, polyamory may be a better fit.  How do you know which one is best for you? If you’re not sure what would work for you, I highly suggest you find out sooner rather than later, especially before you get involved in a committed relationship as changing your mind from monogamy to nonmonogamy without a discussion with your primary partner can be deemed an infidelity.   The emphasis in relationships is openness, caring, and mutual consent.  Being attracted to what another person might offer needn’t be an irreversible disintegration of the relationship.  Learning how to have a dialogue about possibly opening up your relationship can go far in keeping your relationship truthful, transparent,  and trusting.

As a Marriage Counselor, working with all types of couples, monogamous and nonmonogamous, I come across individuals who are in monogamous relationships where one partner makes a unilateral decision to open up their marriage.  And because that partner didn’t make his/her intentions explicit an infidelity has occurred.  In Affair Recovery, learning how to talk about possibly opening up your marriage is an option that could be considered.  See my blog: https://couplescounselorsandiego.com/relationships/id-like-open-marriage-conversation/

As a Marriage Counselor consensual non-monogamy and the New Monogamy is the preferred term in the academic world and is being talked about in Marital Therapy in my office as well as in other innovative clinicians’ offices throughout the country.  What I mean is, while serial monogamy is popular, lifelong monogamy is obsolete and whether we like it or not, polyamory is catching on.  Author Deborah Anapol gives pertinent information from her book “Love Without Limits.” see blog article https://couplescounselorsandiego.com/relationships/polyamory-monogamy-one/

It’s extremely rare these days to find someone who has had only one sexual partner or “significant other” throughout his or her life.  There are definitely some people who are far better off taking it one person at a time, and then there are those who can have multiple partners sequentially or at the same time.  There are those who practice polyamory with ingenuity and vulnerability and those who justify what they refer to as polyamory but is really self-deception and lack of integrity by indulging in multiple affairs as a means of hedonism.

What’s important is not so much the Glamour of multi-partner relating as it is allowing love to dictate the form rather than attempting to force love into whatever mold the mind has decided is right.  Polyamory is less about how many people you are having sex with or feeling love for than it is about allowing love, not lust, to lead you into whatever form is appropriate.

There are pros and cons to both polyamory and monogamy but the main point is that it is not a question whether it’s possible to have one partner or two or several or none at all but rather a question of whether to allow love to lead and surrender to the direction that love chooses rather than surrendering to cultural conditioning, peer pressure, social censure, or unruly emotions.

When love, not lust, is freed from restrictions dictated by law and society it very often veers from the monogamous standard our culture has sought to enforce.  Understanding and educating yourself about polyamory opens up discussion about the different realms of open relationships and multi-partnering. Some people find the aspect of allowing love to lead unfamiliar and often difficult to comprehend at first. Obtaining the information you need about the subject will help you gain better understanding and perspective that may be helpful to you in making an informed decision about alternatives to monogamy and the nuclear family.  In this day the incidence of polyamory is far higher than anyone suspects as people keep their private lives private.

Whether working with Monogamous Couples or Polyamorists I have no position on whether people, in general, should be monogamous or not.  That fact is that it is very rare to find anyone who has had only one sexual partner for his or her entire life.  Monogamy works for some people and does not for others.  It’s a matter of what works for you and your relationship.  Having a dialogue about what you want in your relationship is a start.  In Couples Counseling,  I help Couples initiate conversation that may seem difficult and make them feel vulnerable, as talking about what you want sexually is unfamiliar and awkward to some.  As a Marriage Counselor, I characterize my position on polyamory as pro-choice rather than antimonogamy and have no position on whether people in general “should” be monogamous or not.  Individuals need to do what is right for them.  There is no judgment or criticism in however you choose to relate in your relationship.

What works for one person may not be the same for all people or even for the same person in different stages of their life.

For more information on polyamory and if it is suited for you and your relationship please give me a call at (858) 735-1139 or email me at [email protected]

 

Do You Think You Want An Open Marriage?

Do You Think You Want An Open Marriage?  Some people think open marriages are another form of affairs, infidelity or betrayal, that lead to the demise of the marriage.  Some people believe open marriages can be hurtful and damaging to relationships in general.  Open marriages and polyamory are being talked about more so than ever before as the subject is not so shocking to most as the terms have been normalized by experts in the field and mainstream media.  Monogamy or consensual nonmonogamy is becoming more a topic to discuss among people who are interested in alternatives to traditional lifestyles.

Whether you want a monogamous or nonmonogamous relationship it is important to talk with your partner about your boundaries if you’re considering opening it up.  Not everyone has the same idea of what “open” means.  As a Marriage Counselor, I work with couples who have open relationships and some who don’t.  I am currently working with a couple where the husband is in a polyamorous relationship and his wife is not.  What I mean is, while serial monogamy is popular, lifelong monogamy is obsolete and whether we like it or not, polyamory is catching on.  Author Deborah Anapol gives pertinent information from her book “Love Without Limits.” see blog article https://couplescounselorsandiego.com/relationships/polyamory-monogamy-one/

If you’re ready to explore an open marriage, here are 3 steps author Tammy Nelson (The New Monogamy agreement) suggests be taken before actually following through with the process:

Step one

Talk about what your definition is of open. Is an open marriage just an excuse to have an affair? Do you already have someone that you are interested in and you want to pursue the relationship, but you want permission from your partner?

If that’s the case, then you need to slow down the open relationship conversation and start talking about the affair that is either about to happen or is already going on. An open relationship isn’t about integrating a third party who is going to interfere with your marriage or your monogamy. An open marriage is something that you both agree will enhance your relationship, not hurt your intimate connection.

Step Two

What is your vision of what your open marriage will look like in a year? This is an important conversation for several reasons, it will help you get clear about where this open relationship idea might be going.

You might think, “Oh, we will be done with this little experiment in a year. I just want to try it, I think I can get it out of my system after a month or two, or after we have sex once or twice with other people.” But your partner may think, “I am hoping we will have outside partners that may be living with us and sharing our lives within a year.” When you share these two very different visions, you will soon realize that you have a problem. You will need to look more carefully at your ideas of an open relationship.

Is having an open relationship about finding casual sex and a little swinging on the weekends, or is it more about finding love and a polyamorous relationship where you can expand your emotional connection and integrate other partners as long-term relationships into your lives?

Step Three

Go over the rules. Be clear about what your boundaries are regarding sex, including what you define as safe touch, kissing, whether you agree to intercourse, if it is ok to be in the same room, or if you want to watch your partner be sexual or not, if you need to approve of each other’s outside partners, if there will be contact outside of the date nights, etc.

As a Marriage Counselor, I ask my clients who are considering opening up their marriage if they are able to comfortably talk about everything and anything when it comes to their relationship.   Being able to talk about sex and jealousy is certainly a good start when considering open marriage.  Open marriages survive the same way monogamous marriages do through good communication, love, mutual respect, and consideration.  Whereby in open marriages, the communication needs to be more intentional for obvious reasons.

For more information on initiating a conversation about Open Marriages please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

Polyamory Or Monogamy Which One Is For You?

Polyamory or Monogamy Which One Is For You?  Polyamory means having simultaneous close emotional and possibly sexual relationships with two or more other individuals with the knowledge and consent of all partners concerned.  The growing practice of polyamory in the United States indicates a significant shift in the way marriage and intimate relationships have evolved over the past few decades. For some individuals, monogamy could be a better choice and for others, polyamory may be a better fit.

How do you know which one is best for you?  If you’re not sure what would work for you, I highly suggest you find out sooner rather than later, especially before you get involved in a committed relationship since compatibility seems to be the name of the game.  Polyamory is a new language for alternatives to monogamous relating.  Consensual non-monogamy and the New Monogamy is the preferred term in the academic world and is being talked about in Marital Counseling in my office as well as other clinicians who provide counseling to non-traditional lifestylers throughout the country.  This cultural obsession with monogamy has headed in the same direction as the gold standard, slavery, and for the younger generation, dating in general.  What I mean is, while serial monogamy is more popular than ever, lifelong monogamy is obsolete and whether we like it or not, polyamory is catching on.  Here is the latest information from author Deborah Anapol from “Love Without Limits.”

1. There is no evidence that monogamy is better in terms of relationship longevity, health, sexual satisfaction, happiness or emotional intimacy. There is also no evidence that polyamory is better.  Given that information, individuals should go on what feels right to them and their partners.

2.  Gay men are more likely than heterosexual couples, lesbians, or bisexuals to practice consensual non-monogamy and still struggle with jealousy issues.

3.  Polyamory is not necessarily easy, especially if family of origin issues and personal issues are not addressed and still present as issues.

4.  Women are not necessarily in favor of monogamy.  They don’t appreciate being lied to or having to go along with a double standard.

5.  Children raised in consensually non-monogamous families have been shown to do as well on many measures of health and achievement as children in monogamous families.

It’s extremely rare these days to find someone who has had only one sexual partner or “significant other” throughout his or her life.  There are definitely some people who are far better off taking it one person at a time, and then there are those who can have multiple partners sequentially or at the same time.  There are those who practice polyamory with ingenuity and vulnerability and those who justify what they refer to as polyamory but is really self-deception and lack of integrity by indulging in multiple affairs as a means of hedonism.

What’s important is not so much the Glamour of multi-partner relating as it is allowing Love to dictate the form rather than attempting to force Love into whatever Mold the mind has decided is right.  Polyamory is less about how many people you are having sex with or feeling love for than it is about allowing love (not lust) to lead you into whatever form is appropriate.

As a Marriage Counselor, I see a diversity of relationship forms in Marriage Counseling.  Whether working with Monogamous Couples or Polyamorists I have no position on whether people, in general, should be monogamous or not.  That fact is that it is very rare to find anyone who has had only one sexual partner for his or her entire life.  Monogamy works for some people and does not for others.  It’s a matter of what works for you and your relationship.  Having a dialogue about what you want in your relationship is a start.

In Couples Counseling I help Couples initiate a conversation that may seem difficult and make them feel vulnerable, as talking about what you want sexually is unfamiliar and awkward to some.  As a Therapist, I characterize my position on polyamory as Pro-choice rather than anti-monogamy and have no position on whether people in general “should” be monogamous or not.  It is encouraged for people to do what is right for them.  There is no judgment or criticism in however you choose to relate to your relationship.  What works for one person may not be the same for all people or even for the same person in different stages in life.

For more information on polyamory and if it is suited for you and your relationship please give me a call at (858) 735-1139 or email me at [email protected]

Why Some Women Wear Makeup

Why Some Women Wear Makeup.  Like my past blogs, entitled, “Why Some Women Wear Red Lipstick” and “Why Some Women Wear High Heels”, I’m sharing my perspective on why some women wear makeup, myself included.  Depending on how little girls were raised, wearing makeup can be encouraged or discouraged.  In my case, my mother didn’t want me to wear makeup until I was older.  She said I could wear makeup when I turned twenty-one so I compromised and said sixteen.  Depending on what culture you come from makeup can be construed as a positive or negative.  I come from an Asian background so wearing makeup was not encouraged.  It was said to make our skin become older sooner rather than later.  The script I was told growing up was that women who wear makeup at a young age did so because they wanted to attract men and were promiscuous.  Also, depending on what religion you practice can influence the support or nonsupport of wearing makeup.  As a Marriage Counselor and licensed professional in private practice, I pride myself in having a presentable appearance so wearing makeup is something desirable.  I understand and respect not everyone wants to wear makeup to any degree and that is their personal choice.

      

A new study published in the journal Perception finds that men perceive women who wear makeup to be more prestigiouswhile women perceive other women who wear makeup to be more dominant and also more promiscuous.  This article pretty much confirms what a lot of other studies say about what males and females think about women and makeup.  Makeup tends to add an aesthetic appeal for both sexes, however, men tend to view women who wear makeup with prestige while some women viewed them with dominance as women’s perception can be caused by jealousy.

Whatever article on beauty you read can share different opinions and research on what makes a person attractive or not that attractive.  I believe people, women, and men who want to wear makeup, do so because they choose to.  As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I work with individuals, couples, and families.  I work with women who come in because their self-esteem and confidence aren’t where they would like it.  Although physical attractiveness is not the priority for boosting self-esteem and confidence, it sure does help.  Personally, when I choose to wear makeup it’s because it makes me feel “put together.”  Feeling put together puts me in the mind frame of “being together” therefore, being perceived as having my “sh_t together.”  I feel confident and am ready to take on the day.  During the times I choose not to wear makeup I have to admit I feel a little lethargic and apprehensive to be as industrious as I know I can be.  And I might add, I have observed people treating me a little bit differently when I’m not wearing my makeup.  Not as accommodative or friendly.  Perhaps that could be because my confidence isn’t radiating like it does when I do wear the amount of makeup that makes me feel put together.

Men and women tend to have different perspectives about makeup.  And again, depending on what study or article you’ve read they range in many conclusions from experts all over the world.  For the most part, males and females agree on the aesthetic appeal of the makeup-wearing woman.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  There’s much more to a woman’s personality and appeal than her appearance.  So I say do what makes you feel comfortable and confident.  That’s a good start in exuding what it is you know and what you want other’s to know about you.  We all are intelligent, competent beings, but as long as looks continue to impact how we come off to others, wearing makeup, not only enhances your looks but making you feel good about you, can be your advantage.

For more information about knowing when to put it on, remove it, or lay it on lighter please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

 

 

How To Have The “I’d Like To Open Up Our Marriage” Conversation?

How To Have The “I’d Like To Open Up Our Marriage” Conversation?  Have you been married for a couple of decades or been in a long-term relationship and your love life has flatlined?  You’ve heard of people “swinging” or even, worse, having affairs, to spice up their sex life.  Rather than cheat, having a conversation about possibly having an open marriage could be an alternative.  Typically one person in the relationship wants to open the door to outside connections and the other hasn’t ever even considered the possibility and is totally shocked by the idea.  A lot of people don’t even think about monogamy until they make a connection with someone and don’t necessarily want to give up their primary relationship (husband/wife) or get a divorce and split up the children and any other resources the couple has acquired.

As a Marriage Counselor who understands and works with non-traditional relationships, I help people who are experiencing a dry spell in their sexual connection who come in wanting to know how to reconnect or enhance what they once knew was an intense bond. They are conflicted as their relationship was established under conventional and need help with other ways of relating that require care, thought, practice and work.

Without threatening your primary relationship by acting out your fantasies with others through affairs with people you find interesting or sexually attractive, having the conversation with your partner is much more appropriate.  Betrayal and deceit are much more difficult to recover from than merely having a discussion about what it would look like to open up your marriage.  The mere fact that you are having a dialogue about the subject makes you both more vulnerable.  This risk-taking interaction can bring about an intimacy which creates a positive change in the way you interact emotionally and sexually. Feelings of closeness and preferring to be with your significant other can surprise you as a result of the conversation.  When you are free to “be” in a relationship rather than “obligated to,” or “have to” due to a sense of “duty,” the choice enables you to want to be with the individual who is ok with your choice.

Open Up Our Marriage

Case in point, As a Marriage Counselor, I work with non-traditional relationships that include LGBTQ and Polyamory relationships.  In my work helping this population, I have come to appreciate the many different ways in which people can develop caring and loving relationships.  In that I believe not one person can satisfy all our needs, perhaps it is necessary to open up our realm of how we get other needs met in good and thoughtful ways with other people while exercising ethical non-monogamy while in our primary relationships.  As those who believe and want to be in Monogamous relationships, I am reaching out to those who want something more than what has been handed down to us about Monogamy by its definition.

I don’t believe people are wired to be monogamous.  Monogamy is a choice that I respect. As with all choices, I respect and want to assist those who are looking for something as an alternative. If you believe in consensual nonmonogamy and a non-traditional relationship is what you are looking to develop, please contact me at (858) 735-1139.  I can help guide you to make thoughtful and informed decisions about how you want to live your life.

 

 

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