Where do you even start?
This conversation, more than most others, has the potential to damage or even destroy your existing relationship.
1. Know why you want to explore ethical non – monogamy.
This means you need to be really honest about your own motivations. If your real motivation is to transition out of the relationship, then you’re not looking for polyamory. You’re looking for permission to end the relationship.
2. Don’t try to legitimise your current affair partner.
If you have been breaking your monogamous commitment, you’ve been cheating. Your partner will (understandably) feel betrayed. It will damage your current relationship. Polyamory is hard enough to start even when your relationship is healthy, but if your relationship has conflict and discord, polyamory will only make it worse.
3. Expect conflict when you first raise the issue.
You may have been considering the implications of no longer being monogamous for many weeks or months. But this is all very new for your partner. This conversation will probably spark insecurity, fear and even anger.
You will need to have excellent listening and conflict resolution skills.
4. Introduce the subject slowly.
Watch movies or TV with a polyamory plot line. Find some porn with multiple participants and talk about the relationship dynamics of the scene. Confess a celebrity crush. Mention people you know who are swingers, or polyamorous and ask your partner their opinion.
Have some honest conversations about what monogamy and faithfulness mean to you.
5. Be realistic about the timeline.
With very careful and thoughtful dialogue, it can take months or even more than a year before you’re ready to take the step into having another relationship.
6. Look after all your relationships.
Once you start, your existing relationship will undergo many changes, and you will make many mistakes. Be gentle and take care of your existing relationship. Your newer relationship will also need care.
7. Date separately.
Seriously. Date separately.