Moe Ari Brown, LMFT
Hinge's Love and Connection Expert
I resonate with this question so deeply. The beauty of exploration is that we get to be intentional about what feels aligned with not only who we’ve been, but who we are now and are soon to become.
When my partner and I began dating eight years ago, many of the traditional narratives and structures for relationships didn't include us. While that was sometimes challenging, it presented me with an opportunity to reimagine what my relationships could be like outside of traditional boxes. It gave me the space to evaluate how I wanted to love and be loved vs how I felt I should. This was liberating.
There are many ways to explore and structure a polyamorous relationship.
I invite you to think of polyamorous and non-monogamous as identities and/or ways of structuring relationships⏤not "lifestyles".
This shift in thinking can help you explore if you desire intimate romantic and/or sexual partnerships with more than one person. If the idea resonates with you, it's confirmation that you have an interest in relationships beyond monogamy.
I encourage you to learn more about the ways other people are already navigating non-monogamy. Some choose to maintain a primary relationship with multiple secondary connections. Others may form a “polycule”—multiple relationships at once that may or may not overlap. Some are even self-partnered! See which relationship structures feel aligned with your vision for your life.
Then, talk to potential dates openly about your desires. Try asking a question like, “I want to openly explore non-monogamous relationships with the people I date. Do you have any experience or interest in non-monogamy?” You might find that others are also figuring it out or have something helpful to offer from their experiences.
Lastly, just like with monogamous relationships, you’ll make adjustments to how you manage relationship boundaries by putting all of your new knowledge into practice. This could look like laying out communication expectations about new partners or dates, or setting up times to check in about how things are going.
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