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  • Writer's pictureLisa Shouldice

Help! How Do We Open Up Our Relationship and be OK?

This is a clinical issue that comes up in our clinic as we work with #Lesbian, #Bi-Sexual, #Gay and #Queer relationships as individuals and in couples’ relationships as well.I have found open/poly relationships are common in our population. Couples want to open up their relationship to explore #sexuality together/separately. They may want to keep love as a natural, wonderful thing they do not want to block in a seemingly unnatural way. But how to we do this in a good way and take care of each other? #Communication is huge and may seem obvious, but is it actually really challenging. We often want to please our partners and fear upsetting/triggering each other, especially at this #vulnerable time. Protecting each other can be a block to talking about needs, attraction(s) and related feelings. Create a safe way to do this, ensuring your partner really is ok with opening up your relationship to date other people etc. Talk about boundaries and how to do it in a good way, ensuring you are emotionally taking care of each other as you connect with others.Triggers can change and fluctuate. This is normal and human to experience fears, insecurities and even the protest state can be triggered. This is the feeling that we are losing our partner and we experience this as a threat. While this is normal and even likely, you can make a commitment to open up love&/or sex and emotion connection, deciding you want to do it differently than we often have in a heteronormative and monogamous society. Ensure your relationship is strong. Do not open your relationship as things are not working. Make sure you have time together to keep it strong as well. It can be tempting to put all energy into the connections you are building, but we must maintain all relationships in our life. Be flexible about boundaries changing. There is an expanded circle of trust that needs to come into this important enterprise. Self-insight and emotional intelligence must be continually worked on by all partners so we can trust each other. If you have a primary partner, allow them to talk about struggling with this if they need to do so. This is part of creating emotional safety. It takes work to open things up in a healthy way. It is possible but energy and commitment to do it right.

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