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  • Writer's pictureThe Brawn

Navigating Your New Relationship With Polyamorous Informed Counseling

Updated: Mar 26

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

When it comes to love and relationships, we may often find ourselves feeling limited or confused around the great complexities and “rules'' that can sometimes come along with them. While we have seen a positive movement towards a fuller understanding that love can come in all shapes and sizes, be between men, women, and/or nonbinary individuals, and may consist of three or more people, the challenges and dynamics of navigating these relationships often do not receive as much awareness or exposure. Love is infinite, and sharing your love as part of a polyamorous relationship can be extremely rewarding. But as with anything of great reward… success will take a lot of work as well! In polyamory counseling, you and your partners can discover individualized ways to navigate new relationship dynamics while learning more about yourselves and each other. If you’ve been thinking about polyamory or recently joined a polyamorous relationship, seeking counseling is one of the best ways to navigate the challenges that may come along with it.

What Is Polyamory?

Just like love comes in all forms, so too can polyamory. These types of relationships are defined as people who form loving relationships and are romantically involved outside of the heteronormativity standard of what a binary relationship looks like. This certainly does not infer that all parties are engaging in romantic connection with each other– in fact, a main goal of polyamory is to encourage and empower each individual to engage in relationships through whatever form may work best for them. Perhaps the most important aspect of this is clear communication and agreement around boundaries– especially when considering that each individual partnership within polyamory deserves to be seen from its own unique perspective without interplay of other dynamics. Once these factors are given ample consideration, polyamory counseling can focus on the specific challenges and needs of each one.

The Benefits Of Polyamory Counseling

Seeking counseling in general is a great way to process your thoughts and emotions, but polyamory counseling is particularly focused on helping you navigate new relationship dynamics. Whenever more than two people are involved, there are naturally going to be more emotions in the mix. Counseling can benefit both a single person struggling with their relationship as well as full relationship parties.

Helpful Communication

While communication will be key to any relationship, the necessity increases and perhaps even takes different forms when looking at polyamorous ones. The more people that are involved in a romantic relationship, the more work is needed to ensure strong communication. Honesty and openness are strong core values that often become the greatest tools in overcoming challenges seen around polyamorous relationships, and seeking the help of a polyamorous counselor can provide valuable insights to improve these vital skills. Here are just a few examples of what polyamory counseling can help build skills around:

  • How to express your own emotions to your partner(s)

  • How to ask for respect and stand your ground

  • What boundaries you need to set to feel safe and how to enforce them

  • What specific communication challenges lead to problems in your relationship(s)

  • How each person in the relationship interacts and what the best methods are for cultivating a healthy communication environment

By creating a strong sense of communication, you can successfully navigate a polyamory relationship while keeping everyone safe and validated.

Understanding Emotions

Humans are emotionally-based creatures, and especially when considering how normative and rigid monogamous relationship values can influence our perceptions, there are many emotions which can crop up when considering or starting a polyamorous relationship. While jealousy and fear are common and completely normal emotions to experience when first making the change, counseling can help make sure that these feelings do not end up ruling your relationship.

In polyamory counseling, you’ll learn to target the true source of your emotions and discover more about why our reactions are the way that they are. Learning how to manage our own emotions is a crucial step that will lead to better expression towards our partner(s) and help everyone feel comfortable in the new relationship.

Building Trust

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

Having open communication is the best way to build trust in a new relationship, but knowing we humans are prone to error, there are unfortunately many scenarios which can cause that trust to break. While this barrier is common and can be extremely difficult to restore, it doesn’t have to mean the end of a relationship. The beginnings of a polyamorous relationship are often indeed susceptible to being messy, undefined and confusing– but early mistakes are also learning opportunities! With a polyamory counselor on your side, you can dissect the events that led to problems and learn from them. When analyzing our own actions as well as those of our partner(s), we can help anticipate future problems and prevent, or at least know how to handle them.

Polyamorous counseling is also helpful in detangling trickier situations. Say a partner tells you they are going out with someone else for dinner and doesn’t come home until morning– if you were under the impression that they were just going on a date, it may feel like a betrayal to learn that they have spent the night. It is also possible that simultaneously, your partner assumed that spending the night was part of “having dinner”, and now could feel attacked by any negative reaction. With the help of a polyamorous counselor, we can aim to identify and rectify the miscommunication and learn ways to communicate more clearly around expectations, boundaries, language and definitions so that new and more understanding patterns can begin to flourish.

Support & Validation

Being able to talk to our partner(s) about our emotions and expectations isn’t always as easy as we want it to be– and this is where the value of a knowledgeable and impartial third party can be very beneficial when first clarifying and understanding communication in a safe and open manner. While polyamory counseling can help partners in groups, it’s also beneficial for solo sessions, where a polyamory counselor can help you understand your own emotions and ideas in ways that may make it clearer or easier to present to your partner(s). Getting external validation and support doesn’t mean your relationship is weak– it just means that you value yourself and know what you need to help strengthen it.

Do You Need Polyamory Counseling?

Whether it be your first venture into the polyamory world, you have had much experience with the concept, or you are just curious about how you can expand your views on relationships, polyamorous counseling can be a great benefit for anyone who strays from the monogamy standard.

Polyamorous relationships can be extremely rewarding, but present unique challenges to navigate, particularly in the early stages. With polyamory counseling from Connected Roots, our focus is to strengthen and grow emotional and communication abilities so that you and your partner(s) can learn how to best navigate your new relationship. Call us today at 720-593-1062 to learn more about our polyamory counseling options.

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