How to Transition From Monogamy to Polyamory

Polyamory, the practice of having multiple love relationships concurrently, and with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved, has been getting a lot of media attention in the last couple of years. Many married and traditionally monogamous people are now interested in knowing if polyamory may be something they and their spouse can try. But before you and your spouse dive into finding other lovers, and other relationships, there are a few things you may want to think about.

Polyamory is not for the faint of heart. It is not for people who are fearful and skittish, because experimenting with opening your monogamous relationship to other loves will likely bring to the surface some of your most deep seated insecurities. You can communicate and work through them, but it will almost surely be painful and difficult and if you aren’t ready to face some tough issues, then now is probably not the right time for you to try polyamory.

Polyamory is not medicine for a troubled relationship. If your relationship is rocky already, it is probably not a great time to try opening it up and involving other people. The monogamy to polyamory transition works best when it is started from a stable, strong relationship.

Both you and your partner should be on the same page about wanting to try polyamory. If one person is pressuring the other to open the relationship and the other person really wants to remain monogamous, then there is likely to be tension and possibly even resentment surrounding the idea of trying polyamory. Successful polyamorous relationships work when both partners want to be polyamorous. While there are poly-mono relationships, ones where only one person is poly and the other is monogamous, these special pairings come with their own set of challenges to cope with.

Honest communication is key in any polyamorous relationship and is particularly critical in the first stages of transitioning from monogamy to polyamory. It is important for each partner to state clearly their desires, expectations and fears and for the other partner to listen non-judgmentally and compassionately. During the transition, keeping the lines of communication open by checking in often with your partner will likely make the foray into polyamory much smoother. People often say that their communication skills improve from discussing polyamory with their partners. Polyamory certainly is a topic about which many people have very strong opinions and emotions, but by following these guidelines, you too can make the transition from monogamy to polyamory and successfully incorporate other loves into your relationship.

Watch the first and only web serial sitcom about a polyamorous family at

Follow polyamorous filmmaker Terisa Greenan on twitter @terisagreenan

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