What Is Polyamory?
Polyamory is amazing, it is complex, it’s easy, and it’s hard. Polyamory is a form of ethical non-monogamy that requires the knowledge and consent of all parties involved. There are many ways to practice poly. How it’s done will vary with every poly person that you meet. Polyamory is not cheating or having a piece on the side. Many people choose to label themselves as poly because it gives space for relationships to develop freely and be about more than sex. Polyamorous people often desire fully committed loving relationships. Its not all about the sex…unless you want it to be.
Why So Poly?
For a lot of people (myself included) poly is not a choice but more of an orientation. It is an integral part of who we are as people. For others, polyamory is a lifestyle choice based on the acknowledgement of how unrealistic societal norms are about finding one person to be everything for you and complete you.
My Lover Is Poly, What Now?
Now is the time to evaluate yourself and your relationship. It can be very hurtful for your partner to tell you that they aren’t or don’t want to be monogamous anymore. Both of you should take this time to acknowledge the strength of the other. Pat yourself on the back, most people wouldve run at the first mention of bringing other people into their relationship and thrown cheating accusations but you’re here doing the research. Thank your partner also, it would have been easier to bottle their feelings, lie, or cheat. But instead they came to you and made themselves very vulnerable in an attempt to communicate their needs.
How Successful Are Poly Relationships?
Poly Relationships can be very successful. When done correctly polyamory can bring joy, new friends, and an abundance of love into your life. The key to being successful is partner selection. If your partner is jealous, possessive, and unwilling to unlearn traditional beliefs about love then poly may not work for them. Keep an open mind and be willing to make changes as needed. At its core poly relationships are just like monogamous ones, just with more people, a lot more communication, and google calendar.
So You Think You Can Poly?
If you’ve gotten this far and you think you might be or want to try poly then the next step is to talk to your partner. Be prepared for the worst. If you haven’t hinted about open relationships before then your partner may feel blindsided, hurt, and distrustful. It is important to be honest and reassure them that you love them. The journey ahead of you will be hard and you may want to get as much help as possible. I offer counseling for couples transitioning to new relationship styles where I can help you and your partner avoid the poly relationship landmines.
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Do I really need therapy?
Therapy is beneficial for everyone not just for those who are on the verge of breaking up or those who have experienced trauma. My resources will give you the tools you need to cope with the daily stresses of life and become the healthiest you that you can be.
What will it cost?
Marriage counseling is often not covered by the American healthcare system insurances. I have set my prices to increase access for people who often can not afford such services. Families who qualify for state benefits will be priced on a sliding scale at my discretion. I do not accept insurance. Being paneled with insurance companies can drastically limit the services I can provide. I prefer to design your relationship counseling around your needs rather than your insurance company’s needs. Therapy is an investment in yourself, your relationships and your future. All new clients will be encouraged to invest in themselves and the health of their relationships, the stakes are high.
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I collect payment at the end of each session. I accept debit/credit and multiple payment apps such as paypal and Venmo.
Who are these services directed towards?
My services are available to all people. However, my expertise is in African American relationships. Because I am so passionate about relationship therapy, my practice is focused on couples, families, and individuals who would like to address interpersonal relationship issues only.
How much time should I commit?
I ask that for general couples counseling you commit to one hour a week for at least four months. After that we can discuss your progress and assess if weekly appointments are still helping or if moving to biweekly would work. As time goes by, the intention is to lengthen the time between appointments and eventually you would just come in for periodic tune-ups
Premarital counseling is usually done over a three- to six-month period. You can come in once a week or every other week until all eight – ten sessions are complete.
Divorce counseling varies a great deal, but I do request that you commit to weekly appointments for the first month and then at least biweekly appointments after that. Over time we will then cut down to monthly meetings and then check-in appointments every few months.
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I ask that if you are not going to be able to attend a session that you cancel 48 hours ahead of time. I understand, life happens and sometimes you will need to take a break for a week. For last minute cancellations I like to be reasonable so, the first time you have a late cancellation there will simply be a $45 fee. In the future, however, if you cancel with less than 48 hours, you will be charged your full session fee. Last minute or continual cancellations can be indicative of your commitment level to the counseling process.
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