5 Ways Non-Monogamy Has Made Me a Better Person
This is going to be triggering to some of you, but I am 100% confident in saying that non-monogamy has, in fact, made me a better person – a better me. Relationships are our most powerful self-development vehicle, our partners can be our mirrors, our biggest fans, and our biggest challengers. And in my personal relationship design, my partner and I are free to connect with other people sexually and romantically outside the relationship we have between the two of us.
When I share this with new people, I watch as their eyes widen into the size of quarters as if they had just landed from a skydive with a wide open field in front of them. At first look, it feels expansive, limitless, exciting and then their brains kick in and they are struck with terror at its vastness; it feels dangerous. It’s this fear that my partner and I challenge regularly and what’s so liberating about this is that once we’ve faced it, it dissipates into the rearview mirror and we can keep evolving, growing, expanding.
So, what fears and limitations does non-monogamy challenge you to face? In my experience it has made me face my personal insecurities, my insecurities in my relationship, it has been the catalyst for radical honesty in our communication with each other, it has expanded my mindset to one that is limitless, it has freed me to celebrate other’s beauty and talents without needing to compare them against my own, and it has transformed the way I look at triggers – I’m no longer afraid of them, I welcome them into my life experience.
Facing my personal insecurities
Let’s first touch lightly on jealousy – I promise to go deeper on this in a later article – and recognize it for what it is. Many of us hide behind jealousy as a personality trait, it is not. Jealousy is simply a check engine light alerting us to an insecurity we have in ourselves, our relationship or it might even be showing us something that we want for ourselves. By writing off jealousy as a personality trait, you are missing the treasures that await you at the end of the hunt.
Non-monogamy has introduced many beautiful and wildly intelligent women into my fiancé and I’s lives and when I feel jealous, I dive deep within myself. I’ve come to embrace discomfort because I know the process will be worth it. There was once a girl who was wildly successful in her business and fully financially independent. I hated her and I hated how much my partner admired her and thought she was the coolest.
I let myself be mad, I let myself feel jealous and then I asked myself WHY I was so jealous of her. THIS is where the magic is – As I took a closer look, I realized that I wanted what she had. I wanted a successful business, I wanted abundant finances. She was tall, gorgeous and successful and as soon as I spoke those words out loud to myself, my hatred for her dissipated – it evaporated into thin air because now I was clear on what I wanted for myself AND could take action. She’d been a mirror to show that to me and I became grateful to her for that.
Speaking up about my insecurities in my relationship
I want you to reflect on your current or past relationships and note the things that you thought, but never spoke with your partner. Insecurities or grievances you neglected to share because it was too uncomfortable or there was ‘never a good time’. Side note: There is never a perfect time 😉
In non-monogamy, if you don’t share what’s on your mind, it’s only a matter of time before it gets squeezed out of you. In an open relationship, everything is out there in the open and if you feel the need to keep something to yourself, it’s more than likely going to get blurted out when they go out on a date and do something for their lover that triggers something that you’ve desperately wanted.
I’ve learned that nothing is too small to share and my partner and I have learned to hold space for each other to share our feelings. We’ve come to trust that behind every sweaty conversation is bliss, openness, and a deeper connection.
Adopting a limitless mindset
I have a lot to say on this one, but let’s start with the jist of what I want to share: You can have it all. I have come to realize that our current mindset in society is all so limited. Why can’t you have it all? Why all the limited beliefs? Why can’t you experience all angles of your curiosities in life and sex? Why rely on a single person to get everything from? What is this need for sacrificing? Why do we feel the need to suffer and only take what we can get?
My fiancé is an absolutely incredible man – we’ve been dating for 8+ years and are getting married in just a handful of months, but we are not each other’s everything. He loves being with his tall blonde playful future wife and he still would love to explore a girl who fulfills his Avril Lavigne fantasy or reconnects him to his spiritual zen boy vibe. I am never going to be that girl for him and I don’t need to change myself for him. He can have it all and I am free to get clear on my needs and desires and have it ALL.
I’ve stopped comparing myself to other women
More often than not, I have stopped falling in the trap of comparing myself to other women’s beauty, bodies, accomplishments, and talents. Non-monogamy has opened my eyes to the truth that my partner finding another woman attractive doesn’t take away from his love for me. It doesn’t mean that I am less than, it doesn’t mean that they are better or worse. It’s obliterated this need to create a hierarchy between me and other women because we are all different in gorgeous ways and that feels freaking great to embrace after so many years of playing this nasty game of comparison.
I’ve come to LOVE my triggers, finding comfort in discomfort
No, I do not identify as a masochist 😉 but I do welcome discomfort into my life because I know there is FREEDOM on the other side of getting curious about my triggers and beliefs. We all know the intense feeling – it could show up as pursed lips, knots in our stomach, feeling like hot lava is getting poured over our bodies, or even a full blown panic attack.
Feel your feelings. Accept yourself in all that you feel, but don’t live there. Don’t leave that rock in your shoe, shake that sh*t out. Ask yourself why you believe that to be true! Is this conditioning? Is this something I learned from my mom? Is this something I’ve harbored from a past relationship? Is this something I want to continue to believe? How is this affecting me negatively or positively?
I’ve recently laughed out loud at myself immediately after I slip into a moment of being reactive and ‘snap’ because it becomes a ‘Ohhhhhhh you sexy lil minx. Let’s grab our naughty nerd glasses and do some investigating because there’s something there!’ hahaha
I’m not even joking. Be brave and love your triggers, get curious about them, work with a therapist, a coach or go for a walk and make a voice note and talk it out. The most delicious FREEDOM is on the other side of that small investment of time.
And there you have it – this is how I believe non-monogamy has made me a better person. I’ve been exploring this relationship design for 8 years now and have never felt more expressed, free, challenged, and limitless in my entire life. Even if this design isn’t a fit for you and your partner(s), how has your relationship been a personal development vehicle for you?