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There are variations of this advice such as “No one can love you if you don’t love yourself”, or “You can’t love others if you don’t love you” but for those who find self-love tricky it can become another reason to just walk away from connection.

So how useful is this advice? What do people mean by it and what can you say to someone instead?

We’ve all seen people bounce from relationship to relationship searching for something they just don’t seem to find and hurting themselves and others in the process. Maybe you’ve done it yourself too.

Often this…

Image credit: TimetravellingIvy @ Medium

Polyamory, (sometimes also called ethical non monogamy) is growing. With many people actively choosing to form romantic partnerships with more than one person at a time or being part of open relationships, there are many more profiles on dating apps declaring non monogamous intentions.

But as someone who may not have considered non-monogamy before, what do you need to know before you start dating someone who chooses this relationship style?

There are many types of relationship and connection under the ethical non-monogamy umbrella

From open relationships which tend towards a more traditional swinger style (sex but no commitment) to polyamory…

Most people we meet are passing through. They’re the person we chat to on the bus or the work colleague we sat next to for two years but never really clicked with. It’s the person we meet every week on a night out but never find out anything personal about.

And I’m not just talking last names or where they live, I’m talking about intimacy. There are some people whose conversation and connection to you runs deeper, whether you know all about their lives or not.

Some people just spark joy.

And some don’t. There’s nothing wrong with them, and…

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For me part of the appeal of polyamory is the infinite possibilities of emotional connection. There’s no one love, no one person I pour my heart out to and rely on. I have many loves and many ears. In the same way I enjoy the feeling of being there for many people, offering comfort and emotional support. I’ve never felt more connected to human beings than I have since becoming ethically non monogamous.

But I’ve noticed a lot of ethically non monogamous people choose to rely on one person for their emotional needs

Usually that’s a spouse or nesting partner…

Are they flirting with you?

If you’re wondering this, the answer is often yes. But the real question should be *why* are they flirting with you?

There are hundreds of articles which will tell you how to look for signs of sexual attraction in someone. Not everyone is an expert in body language but often instinctively we notice those little clues.

Sometimes they aren’t so much clues as huge banners, like your crush literally telling you they find you sexually attractive and why.

Yet still that little question mark still lingers. Do they?

Let’s face it, “are they flirting?” is…

Image credit: Timetravelling Ivy @ Medium

This morning I received a message from a guy on a dating app. The kind I received is common but today it made me think.

He said (and I paraphrase)

“I don’t want a traditional relationship because I feel trapped in them, but I don’t just want one-night stands, I want some intimacy.”

This is a regular theme in the contact I get. As a polyamorous woman, men see me as a halfway point between stifling relationship with all the emotional labour it entails, and meaningless sex which leaves you feeling empty.

The reality is the problems they encounter aren’t…

Image credit: TimetravellingIvy @ Medium

Polyamory seems to be having a boom time with lots of people realising there are other relationship structures than ‘fall in love and stay monogamous forever’. I took the brave step to ethical non monogamy just over a year ago, here are a few things I wish someone had told me.

I’m gendering this post because I believe much of this advice is woman-centric.

You’ll be drowning in dick, but most suitors are not worth your while

The first thing I noticed was how many matches and messages I had compared to those of my husband. He’s a great catch…

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The friend zone is not a thing. We know this. No one owes you their sexual attention for any reason whatsoever.

And yet having a crush can be such an all-encompassing feeling fuelled with expectation it creates a sense of longing which can become selfish and entitled.

No one means to feel this way, and certainly no one means to cause anyone else to feel it either.

Transitioning a friendship into more than friends isn’t something you should take lightly, but sometimes leaving things unsaid can be as damaging as making a move.

I’ve experienced this from both sides, as…

Image credit: TimetravellingIvy @ Medium

Whenever anyone asks me to describe polyamory, I struggle to find a suitable website to direct them to. Explaining my beliefs and how I like to manage my relationship models is something I sometimes find hard to put into words without a little contemplation. So here it is.

The word itself is a mash up of Greek and Latin and translates loosely as ‘many loves.’

This is the real difference here between other forms of ethical non monogamy and polyamory. The love.

I tend towards consensual non-monogamy rather than pure polyamory since not all my sexual connections will become partners…

Image credit: TimetravellingIvy @ Medium

Are you GGG (Good, game, and giving?) It’s something Dan Savage talks about a fair bit as being an important quality within partners.

I’ve met a lot of people who’ve professed to be these things, but they haven’t really worked out so well for me.

Good, game, and giving is excellent, but it’s the second level of needs for me.

Having just started a relationship where my partner has the three R’s I can see where looking for a GGG guy has left me missing some important factors.

A few months ago, I made the decision to do better for…

Timetravelling Ivy

Just navigating my world through psychology, spirituality, and sexuality

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