Couples Counseling & Individual Psychotherapy for Consensual Non-Monogamy
Are you and your partner thinking about an open relationship?
Maybe you are in one right now, but would like some help navigating its challenges. Many people choose an alternative to the traditional monogamous relationship. These other options can bring more freedom, more love, and fulfillment, yet it’s important to do it consciously and know how to manage issues like jealousy, agreements, boundaries and more.
Are you thinking about an open relationship, but want to do it consciously?
In order to determine if this is the right choice for both you and your partner, it’s important to understand what an open relationship entails, and how it will impact your connection. While non-monogamy is a characteristic within relationships, there are different types of relationships configurations.
It could that both you and your partner engage in physical and/or romantic relationships with other people or just one of you does, you only have sex with others without an emotional relationship, or maybe one of you is non-monogamous while the other is not.
It’s critical to understand the meaning behind your decision. Exploring the why and how of your agreement can bring you closer, and build a stronger foundation. For any couple embarking on this, it’s important to have an agreement that feels right for both of you. To get there, you need to have honest and open communication.
Some key things to consider are:
- What needs and desires led you to want to explore non-monogamy? Are you both interested or is one person driving it more?
- What is the state of your current relationship? If you’re currently facing relationship difficulties, opening up your relationship can be more challenging.
- Will you share this with your friends, family or community?
- Is there a fear of jealousy or possibly losing your partner?
- How will you figure out what works for you and find an agreement that feels safe?
Are you currently in a non-monogamous relationship, and want support?
Being able to have intimate, sexual, sensual and often emotional connections with a variety of people is a source of excitement and thrill! Yet, it also can stir up a lot of “what if” questions, which lead to insecurity, fear and doubt. It also requires navigating the needs and wants of multiple people.
Jealousy can actually offer you the opportunity to get in touch with how you feel towards your partner or partners, and what you expect from them. If you notice you are having a reaction to the arrangement, then its essential to explore the deeper feelings under the response.
Competition can start to feel all too real by any of the people involved. If you notice the feelings of wanting to be “as good as” or “even better than,” it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate your attitudes and feelings. This can be fueled by feelings such as hurt, despair, inadequacy or frustration, so it’s important to talk openly about it.
There are so many feelings to deal with that you find it challenging. Being non-monogamous means confronting the limits of your relationships and yourself. It also means being available for multiple people. Feelings can take all kinds of shapes like anger, fear, sadness, envy, joy or frustration. There is the possibility for these to spill-over into your work, family and friendships.
Our therapists are here to help:
Our therapists have extensive experience and training working with couples, the LGBTQ community and polyamorous relationships. We know how important it is to keep in mind that no two relationships are alike, and we will hold a very safe place for you to explore what is true for you, without bias or judgment.
Together, we can help you create a vision for your relationship, whatever configuration works for you. We are here to support you as you navigate and explore all the feelings and questions that arise. Whether you are deciding to open your relationship up to others, want to re-examine your current agreements or navigate through feelings such as jealousy, envy or trust, we will be with you through the process.
In addition to our amazing staff of therapist, The Couples Center offers online support about various relationship topics.
Take the Next Step
To take the first step to achieve the relationship you desire, please contact us to learn more and find the right therapist for you! Our trained and confident relationship therapists work all over the bay area with a variety of non-monogamous couples and individuals! The Couples Center does not discriminate! We are here to help guide you through anything you may need. Our couples counselors in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Palo Alto will start by understanding your needs and desires, and then help you identify what you can do as a couple to have a fulfilling, understanding, and passionate. We also have couples workshops and other events!