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  • Writer's pictureMelisa De Seguirant

Ethical Non-Monogamy: Cultivating Supportive Metamour Relationships

Updated: Mar 25

What have your metamour relationships been like? What successes and challenges have you experienced? Do you prefer meeting your metamours or not? If so, how far into dating? How do you deal with jealousy when it arises? How do you navigate information sharing, hierarchy and power dynamics?


HOT TAKE ~ The quality of the relationship between metamours impacts the health of the entire relational system


INSIDE SCOOP ~ While metamour relationships are unique to ethical non-monogamy, many of these ideas can be applied to relationships with chosen family, queer platonic life partners, friends and in-laws


 


CHECK-IN ~ Are unrealistic expectations exacerbating your metamour woes?


Many of us enter into ethical non-monogamy with high hopes for creating fulfilling relationships with our metamours and/or between our partners. #polyculegoals


Sometimes expectations get us into trouble. Having realistic expectations doesn’t mean we don’t get to voice our hopes or work towards the relationships we desire, but it does mean being flexible and allowing space for difference and room to grow.


REMINDER ~ It is probable that not everyone in your polycule or relational system will have the same interest in connecting, share the same relational goals, be at the same place in working through jealousy or attachment insecurity, or simply have the same capacity to engage. 


DISCUSS metamours with your partners early on, and communicate about the dynamics regularly during your relationship check-ins. Consistent, transparent communication will help to manage expectations and keep everyone on the same page.



Let’s not equate being ethical in our non-monogamy practice to feeling rainbows, butterflies, and #compersion all of the time. It is completely natural to experience moments of fear, jealousy, discomfort, anxiety and a host of other unpleasant emotions in ANY relationship structure!


It is OK to feel your feelings! In fact, NOT acknowledging true feelings often causes more problems than the feelings themselves. You aren’t “doing it wrong”, or “bad” at non-monogamy” if you experience jealousy or insecurity. You are human!


Seek out strategies to work with and through any feelings of discomfort, and transform your experience in non-monogamy over time. Locate safe-enough spaces to do this work. Be patient with yourself. Growth takes time. 


 

Okay, so what do we do to foster supportive metamour relationships?



Check out these ideas ~






 


We can’t end the discussion without talking about the MAGIC that can be created when strong metamour alliances are formed! Positive metamour relationships increase trust and attachment security within the entire system … everyone wins! Some polycules grow so close together over time that they choose to partner in various ways to tackle all sides of life. Interdependence at its best!


While it is wise to be mindful of any unrealistic expectations we may have for our relationships with our metamours, having NO expectations or assuming the worst is equally unhelpful. Instead of approaching new metamour relationships from a place of skepticism and distrust, adopt a beginner’s mind and lead with hopeful curiosity. It’s possible your expectations will be exceeded and your chosen family will grow even bigger!



And finally, let’s talk about compersion!


Supportive metamour relationships make way for comparison to exist. Sometimes watching our loved ones form loving, supportive connections with others can flood our systems with joy! It is not a necessary goal of ethical non-monogamy to feel compersion, however many people do experience some form of it over time. 


My take: The capacity to be overjoyed with delight in another's happiness is a beautiful attribute to be cultivated regardless of our relationship structure 💖

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