Every relationship has a story. The story of my relationship became the story of an open relationship. Of polyamory. This is what happ[ened.
We all look for love. We all look for excitement. How can we keep our need for exciting moments fulfilled when we are in a long term relationship where we hold back ourselves and our partners, trying to fit in the picture society created of people and their relationships?
All people seem to be looking for the perfect partner. Dating sites are very popular, although old fashioned flirting in disco’s and bars never ceased popularity either. Girls gossip with their friends about boys, and the boys pay attention carefully. Who will ask who to go to the prom? Who dares to ask for a secret kiss?
Who is getting married?
Finally… we meet our perfect match. The ideal man or woman to spend the rest of our lives with. Oh, how we love this person! Wouldn’t we give anything in the world to keep this person at our side? We would. We’d do anything.
Monogamy: a clingy commitment
And we do. We get clingy. Insecure. Impatient.
Why didn’t he ask me to marry him yet? Is he getting cold feet? Why is she late from work again? Would she…? No, you’re not going to watch soccer with the boys, you promised to stay at home with me and watch tv. Yes, you’re coming with me to my parents this weekend because it’s my father’s birthday and you should come. Yes, this summer we go on holidays together. I know you like sunbathing all week and I rather go rafting, but we should go together. I understand your point of view, but this is how things are supposed to go.
Why on earth are most relationships a compromise in which none of the partners involved is happy? If we love our partner so much, why is our partner the person in this world we limit the most?
Fear and insecurities
We limit our partner because we are afraid. We are insecure about ourselves. We think that our partner will stop liking us once they really get to know us. When they discover what we are like when we are angry or sad. We are afraid they will stop loving us when we gain some extra pounds.
But our thoughts are not the thoughts are partner has. Our thoughts are projections of things our partner may think. We create possibilities that have not happened, which never may happen, which are unrealistic and probably exaggerated.
You have beliefs that limit you. Conscious or unconscious reactions triggered by actions from other people that are totally unrelated to your current situation.
The bad news is: you have to put energy in overcoming these fears and insecurities. The good news is: you can do it. 🙂
Take your responsibility for your feelings and dare to face them. It’s well worth it because on the other side of your fears and insecurities is a whole world of peace and happiness. Love and excitement.
How to be free of negative feelings
You can of course ignore or fight your negative feelings, but that’s only a guarantee they will come back. There are some pretty amazing methods available online you can use. Try for example Morty Lefkoes Eliminating Limiting Beliefs. I’ve tried it and it works. Best thing: it’s free to try! With this method, you learn to figure out why you have negative thoughts. Often they are created as a pattern when you were young. By finding the source that originally created this limiting thought pattern, you can now re-evaluate the original situation, discover your negative belief was something you projected or created, and unlink it from your negative thoughts.
Other methods, like the Sedona Method or the Emotional Release Technique, let you dive into your emotions. Really feel them, find the message they bring to you… and let them go.
My story of moving towards polyamory
In the past, I have tried to exclude negative feelings and beliefs from my existence. But that did not work at all. In my most vulnerable moments, they would come straight back at me. I would like people, but letting people come close, mentally, was not possible. I would turn introvert, get grumpy, ignore the person I liked, or mentally flee to a safe place in my mind. I would force myself to be in contact with a person. This approach only resulted in men taking advantage of the situation and me. Which again resulted in creating more pain and insecurities for myself. When I met my boyfriend Seb, I decided he was too special to use this approach. I wanted him to come close. To see the real me.
A few days after we met I went to a big forest in Denmark to collect data on shrubs for my Master thesis. I was alone in this huge nature area for nine weeks, only meeting people twice a week in the supermarket. There was so much time to think, and it all came back at me. I felt safe with no people and many trees around me, and I was able to feel the feelings I had. The sadness for everything that happened which I wish did not happen. The anger for my past, where I created the link between men and feeling unworthy and ugly. I cried, shouted, cried more. Really felt all emotions. And after that, I experienced a feeling of peace and quietness. I was thankful for all I had learned. I wrote the girl I used to be a long letter, telling her there was nothing to be ashamed of. That she was such a sweet and beautiful girl, now grown into a woman with so many things to live for.
When I saw my boyfriend again, I was able to be really open and present with him. I could really love him and allow him in my heart.
Feelings of insecurity
But still, I am insecure and afraid from time to time. A few weeks ago the fear for other people’s reactions showed itself. We are not the mainstream kind of family I guess, and we choose differently from many other people. I accept that many people will have their opinion about the fact we have a tiny television with only three channels to choose from, that we feed our kids hardly any sugar, that our house is full of homemade art, at least 50 different sorts of spices and kids’ toys everywhere. I graduated but have no ‘normal’ job (I’m a healer, writer, talk with horses, and create new projects on a regular base). I accept all of that. But now we are opening up our relationship I was a little insecure about what would happen. Luckily, this moment of insecurity came when I was surrounded by masters of personal development like Steve Pavlina, and they supported me to really feel the emotions I was feeling. To accept them and let go. To feel what emotion would be under the first emotion, feel that emotion, and let go. It’s like peeling a union. You will find new emotions and layers you would not have expected. Until all that remains is a peaceful feeling of nothingness. Freedom. A weight that is released from your shoulders.
There are still limiting beliefs in me, especially considering sexuality. Even though it scares me to deal with them, I do look forward to that. And even more to the other side. Insecurities considering other people’s opinions ceased dramatically! Without bothering too much of what people might think, I can write my Seb and I opened up our relationship. What if my parents will read this? Or my kids? They may. And that’s okay. But let me explain what I consider to be an open relationship.
My open relationship
Seb and I have an open relationship, we practice polyamory. But what is that? Does that mean we sleep around with anybody? Not at all. Not now anyway. If that is what feels right in the future than I see no reason why not to. But for now, this form of non-monogamy is not focussed on sex.
To me, an open relationship is a relationship in which you support the other person to completely and totally live the life they wish for themself. To discover who they are, to connect with people without limitations, fears, or feelings of guilt. To enjoy life to the fullest and to be the happiest person they can be.
I want the people I love to be happy. I want to be happy. I want this world to be a happy place. That’s all 🙂
What happened since we decided to go for a non-monogamous version of our relationship and to be open for whatever manifests itself into our world?
I have let go of the fear to do wrong things. I have let go of limiting thoughts telling me to hold my feelings back. I have let go of many constraints.
What did I get instead of those fears?
A hell of a lot of hugs for starters! Because I let go of so much fear, I can let love flow freely through me, and share these loving feelings with others. I met people I never met before and developed deep friendships and partnerships with people within the time it takes to look other persons in the eyes and see them. Both men and women.
When I needed a shoulder to cry on, I found one.
When I needed someone to curl up against, I found someone.
When I felt like kissing someone, I found someone. Even two. At the same time. 😉
Think about these questions about relationships:
- If everything I do comes from a huge source of love, how can anything I do be wrong?
- Why would I limit myself and my loved ones in any kind of way?
- If I feel 100% happy and free of fear, there is nothing to be afraid of, as long as I stay in tune with my heart?
- If I can be 100% open and honest with myself, I can be 100% open and honest with people around me – without fear of reactions and judgment?
This article was written in 2012. In 2016 we decided to separate, for reasons that were not caused by our open relationship, but that was highlighted by polyamory. This is one of the things polyamory tends to do in my experience: it brings everything to the surfaces and creates amazing opportunities for growth.
Here are some articles I have written over the years:
- The Challenges in Polyamory
- What to do when he’s away
- Will my partner find a better match?
- How to deal with Fear in Polyamory
- Did Polyamory kill My Relationship?