21st May 2016
Guest writer for Wake Up World
One the greatest struggles of our modern monogamous relationships is the limitation of only being able to romantically “love” one person at the same time. It feels confusing and counter-intuitive, because we know we can “love” so many people at once, across our family, friends and others. But in monogamy, if we love more than one person romantically, we are causing harm to the relationship and violating the agreements we have made to be exclusive. Some people lie and cheat because they cannot reconcile their love for another with their love for their partner. Others feel forced to break- up. Others live feeling ‘trapped’ and miserable, wondering what might have been if they had pursued their desires.
In my journeys through love and I life, I have experienced another way. It might not be the ‘right’ way for some, but for me, it feels more natural…
Being polyamorous and accepting that we can have multiple romantic loves simultaneously has given my partner and I deeper feeling of bonding and freedom than we could have ever imagined. We can express our love for each other while also feeling safe exploring and sharing intimacy with others. We have had to continuously work through our shadow selves together as we continue to transition through this place — and it has not always been easy.
Indeed, this lifestyle is not without its challenges. It requires rigorous honesty, excellent time management, deep commitment, and direct up-front communication. It also asks partners to learn to better cope with that little green-eyed monster, jealousy, moving past it to a place of compersion. If you have never heard of it, compersion refers to feeling happy and positive when you partner has feelings, fun times, or enjoyment with another person.
Are you strong enough to feel good about your partner spending intimate time with someone else? Does the thought make you feel insecure or upset? It is quite natural for this thought to make you anxious, because you have probably been conditioned to believe that it would be wrong to share your partner in this way. It can create feelings of fear and uncertainty that if permitted to explore these feelings, your partner might leave you.
So how can we safely approach polyamory and work through the feelings of jealousy and insecurity that it might create? How can we communicate about opening up our relationships in a way that will not harm what we have already built? How do we learn to be fearlessly open and honest with ourselves? Is it really possible to romantically love more than one person at the same time?
Dr. Kelly Discusses Sex, Love & Non-Traditional Relationships
Listen to psychologist and professor of human sexuality, Dr. Kelly’s appearance on the Positive Head Podcast for her personal insights on approaching polyamory, including discussions of sex, love, non-traditional relationships, jealousy, compersion and more. If you have been curious about opening up your relationship, or have concerns about having multiple partners, this could be a great resource for you.
Join Dr. Kelly and her partner Jimmy Ohm on Lucid Planet Radio, as they speak honestly and candidly about what it is like to have multiple intimate relationships with multiple people. Discussing her journey as a bisexual woman moving from marriage, to divorce, to open relationships to polyamory, Dr. Kelly offers a unique perspective, merging her professional training with lessons from her own personal journey.
Previous articles by Dr. Kelly Neff:
- What You Need to Know About Naturally Treating Your Thyroid Condition
- Cannabis Legalization: The Time Has Come for Evidence-Based Cannabis Policy
- Are You Sick of Feeling Sick? These 4 Steps Can Help You Naturally Heal Your Immune System
- Why You Should Eat Raw Hemp Seeds Every Day – Plus 30 Recipes to Help You Do It
- Exploring the Path Towards a New Economic Paradigm
About the author:
Dr. Kelly Neff is a renowned psychologist, author, founder of The Lucid Planet and the host of the hit new show, Lucid Planet Radio. She has reached millions of people with her articles on psychology, transformation, and wellness. Before she became a full-time author, Dr. Neff spent seven years as a psychology professor where she helped thousands of students learn about health, relationships, love and sexuality, and co-authored the groundbreaking manual in her field, Teaching Psychology Online. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University.
Dr. Neff is an avid participant in the visionary art, music and culture scene in her home state of Colorado and beyond. When she’s not at home with her partner, EDM Producer Bass Traveler (Jimmy Ohm), and their animals, you might find her traveling the globe to give workshops, speeches and do research at transformational festivals like Sonic Bloom, Envision, FireflyLucidity and more. In her spare time, Dr. Neff loves nature, practicing yoga, meditation and Reiki, as well as dancing, socializing and writing.