Open relationships

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Non-Monogamous Relationships in NYC

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What Are Polyamorous/Non-Monogamous Relationships?

Non-monogamy (also sometimes referred to as Ethical non-monogamy) is the umbrella term for any relationship style outside of monogamy, including polyamory.

Polyamory is a specific type of non-monogamy, but not all non-monogamous relationships are polyamorous.

Polyamory is when an individual or partners have multiple simultaneous romantic relationships. The origin of the word comes from Greek and Latin meaning “many loves.” As the name suggests, it emphasizes the emotional connection between people, not just sexual activity. In polyamorous relationships, a couple can have multiple committed relationships, and everyone involved is aware and has given mutual consent.

We specialize in therapy for non-monogamous relationships in NYC.

Non-monogamous relationships have slowly become more visible and mainstream in recent years.

    Even though a growing number of individuals who identify as polyamorous or non-monogamous, there remain many misconceptions about them. Polyamory doesn’t necessarily mean that polyamorous people are in multiple relationships at the same time, though that is certainly a possibility. It just means they’re open to the idea of loving more than one person. For some people, polyamory is about having multiple committed relationships; for others, it’s about enjoying casual connections.

    What Do Polyamorous/Non-Monogamous Relationships Look Like?

    For some monogamous people, the idea of non-monogamy or polyamory may be confusing. Some may incorrectly claim that there’s no difference between non-monogamy and cheating, which is a common misconception. The “ethical” in ethical non-monogamy refers to the fact that all parties involved are aligned and consent to the terms of the relationship. In polyamorous relationships, everyone involved understands that their partner sees other people, and each party is allowed to negotiate the boundaries. Much like in monogamous relationships, there’s ideally no secrecy or deception between partners. Poly, then, can look and feel different for each individual. It can be as simple as a couple who has an agreement to see other people outside of their relationship. Ultimately, polyamory is about believing and feeling that not only one person can fulfill all your needs. You can experience a specific form of love with different people, and it’s understandable and acceptable to want that. If you’re new to the concept of open or non-monogamous relationships, it can feel like having so much love that you want more than one person to share it with. It can also feel like hard work trying to ensure that all parties feel safe and that everyone involved is on the same page.

    Polyamory also has many terms that help people understand the concept and feel like they belong in this type of relationship:

      There’s solo polyamory, which is when someone is polyamorous but lives an independent lifestyle. That means you don’t want to share your living space with partners, finances, and other traditional relationship milestones. Still, you’re open to the idea of committed relationships.

      Hierarchical polyamory refers to a relationship where some partners take precedence over others. It means there’s a primary partner you live with or see most often and other secondary or tertiary partners.

      There’s also the term polycule, which is when you have multiple polyamorous relationships that are interconnected. Additionally, there’s kitchen table polyamory and parallel polyamory.

      All these representations of polyamorous people prove that polyamory can look and feel different to everyone. The important thing is that all parties involved feel comfortable with the setup, whatever that may be. And, the foundation of every polyamorous or non-monogamous relationship is communication, where there is honesty, respect, and transparency.


      NYC Therapists Who Specialize in Therapy for Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous Relationships

      Connecting with the right therapist is the most important factor in your search. We’re here to help you find a great match.

      What Does Therapy for Non-Monogamous Relationships in NYC Look Like?

      Therapy can help polyamorous individuals and those in open or non-monogamous relationships.

      Non-monogamy and all its forms are often seen as taboo. It’s a common early challenge for people interested in non-monogamy to feel guilty or “wrong” for desiring, thinking, or even being curious about a relationship outside of monogamy. At Clarity Therapy, we affirm and accept all consenting relationship styles and take a non-pathologizing approach. 

      Regardless of the type of relationship you’re in, therapy is a great outlet that can help you understand your relationship(s) better. It’s a safe, nonjudgmental space to talk openly and honestly about your relationships, especially if you’re only just beginning to feel interested in or comfortable with the idea of non-monogamy. 

      Working with a polyamory-affirmative therapist can help you feel seen, heard, and understood in your relationship(s)

      For those in established open relationships, therapy can also be a space to process any concerns about your relationship(s), which can help you feel more confident and secure.

      Polyamory isn’t for everyone, just as monogamy isn’t for everyone. Therapy that supports open relationships can guide you in exploring your options, figuring out what works best for you, and processing any challenges you might face along the way.

      If you’re already in a polyamorous or non-monogamous relationship, working with a polyamory-affirmative therapist can help you feel seen, heard, and understood in your relationship(s). It’s a space to be yourself without judgment or pressure, allowing you to get a deeper understanding of what you want, need, and deserve in a relationship.

      Therapy for non-monogamous partnerships can help address the following:


      Establishing boundaries is crucial in any relationship, but it’s imperative in polyamorous and non-monogamous relationships. It helps if you’re clear about what you’re comfortable with, your limits, and your needs. Boundaries can help prevent any hurt feelings or misunderstandings down the line.

      People still exploring polyamory or non-monogamy might benefit from setting boundaries around:

      • How many new partners they’re open to
      • What kinds of activities they’re comfortable doing with other partners
      • How much time they want to spend with other partners

      Polyamory and other non-monogamous relationships can only work if all parties involved feel comfortable. Boundaries help ensure everyone is on the same page.


      It can be confusing for others to understand how there’s still jealousy in non-monogamous relationships when everyone involved consents to seeing other people. Jealousy is normal, and it’s something that therapy can help you work through. If you’re feeling jealous, your therapist can help you understand where these feelings are coming from and improve how you cope.

      Like any relationship, polyamory is still a partnership between human beings. Human beings experience jealousy, possessiveness, and insecurity. Therapy for non-monogamous relationships in NYC can help you understand and work through your feelings of jealousy so they don’t get in the way of your relationships.

      Establishing Trust

      In a relationship with multiple partners, it’s key to create and maintain an environment that’s open and receptive to each partner’s unique preferences, desires, deal-breakers, and opinions. There’s an emphasis on frequent and open conversations surrounding sexual practices, boundaries, and what each partner is comfortable with. The bottom line is fostering a relationship with your partners that’s built on mutual trust, understanding, and respect.


      Communication is key in any relationship. Non-monogamous relationships involve more people than monogamous relationships, so there’s just as much or more potential for miscommunication. Therapy can help you learn how to communicate better with your partners about your relationship(s), any challenges you’re facing, and what you need from them.

      Communication also goes beyond your partners. Since non-monogamy is considered untraditional to many people, you may not feel comfortable talking about your relationships with family and friends. Therapy can provide a safe space to talk about whether you want to come out to the people in your life and how to deal with their reactions. It can also be your guide in navigating society, one that’s not always accepting of non-traditional relationships.

      Attachment Anxiety

      Non-monogamous relationships have many of the same challenges that monogamous relationships face. There’s the challenge of time management, balancing different needs, and communicating effectively. The only difference is that non-monogamous relationships have more than two people to consider. Therapy can help you work through any attachment anxiety you might be experiencing.

      You want to feel safe when you’re in a non-monogamous relationship. Therapy for non-monogamous relationships can help you understand these feelings and work through them so they don’t hinder your growth as an individual and your relationships.

      Polyamorous relationships require a certain level of understanding, communication, and trust to thrive. Therapy can provide the guidance you need to manage successful and fulfilling non-monogamous relationships.

      What If I’m Not Ready To Start Therapy? 

      Therapy with a competent non-monogamy-affirming therapist can help whether you need guidance in navigating your relationships or your identity regarding partnerships. 

      However if you’re not ready to start therapy, that’s okay. Therapy requires vulnerability, which can feel scary or uncomfortable at first. It’s helpful to know that therapy is a healthy and supportive space when you need it. Therapy is also a way to learn more about yourself and grow as an individual. All reasons to seek therapy are valid.

      Therapy can still be productive for those who aren’t ready to discuss their non-monogamous relationship openly. Therapy can help you:

      • Understand what’s normal in different circumstances, like pain, jealousy, anxiety, and insecurity.

      • Learn how to better manage stress and cope with negative feelings such as shame

      • Make a plan and reach your goals or prepare for the future

      • Feel more confident and live more authentically in your daily life

      • Unburden yourself from past negative experiences or trauma

      Knowing when it’s time to seek therapy for non-monogamous relationships in NYC also takes courage and self-awareness. You can read about open relationships and learn from other people’s experiences. Books like The Ethical Slut and More Than Two can help you learn more about polyamory and non-monogamy in a non-judgmental way.

      Also, consider taking our confidential therapist matching questionnaire to get matched with a polyamory-affirming and competent NYC therapist for a free phone consultation.

      Looking for a polyamory-affirming therapist in NYC?

      You’re welcome to love your way.

      At Clarity Therapy, we believe in affirming progressive relationship values. Our polyamory-competent and affirming New York City therapists understand that monogamy isn’t the only way to love, and therapy can help you explore what works best for you.


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