If you’re in a polyamorous relationship, communication is key. Here are 5 powerful questions to help take your communication to the next level.
If you’re in a polyamorous relationship, communication is key. Here are 5 powerful questions to help take your communication to the next level.
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So everyone knows that communication is super important to all relationships. But today we're gonna dive into five questions that are vital for your relationship, especially when you're trying to make it work with multiple people.
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Alright, Cassie, what are we talking about today?
We're talking about the best questions you can ask in your relationship for the purpose of good communication. And the reason why I love this topic is because whenever folks have challenges, and they post about it, or they ask about it, what does everybody say you need to have? All you need is communication. And while that is bullshit, because you need a lot more than just communication, communication is vital. It's really important to be able to communicate with your partner. And because it is important, we're going to share some questions that you really want to make sure that you're asking in your non-monogamous relationships, to help them thrive and to work and to be a place where you and your partner feel empowered, are happy, excited. Really, these questions are one of those sort of big markers for making sure that your relationship stays on course.
How many questions?
There's five of them.
Five. We've got a list today.
Yes, we have a list. It's a bullet point list. Five. So if you're like-- got your pieces of paper, pencil, write these down, because these are questions that you should be asking in your relationships. So do we want to just dive in? Or do we wanna talk about communication in general just a little bit more?
Why don't we start just go right into the questions.
Okay. Yeah, that's kind of where I was going. But I wanted to open up space if you wanted to go anywhere else. So the first question is: "Can you help me understand?" And the reason why this question is so important in your relationships, is because so often, one of two things happens. Either one, we hop to assumption, right? Our partner says something and we're like, "I knew it. That's exactly what I thought." And a lot of times, we're wrong. We hear a couple words, and we assume that that's what our partner is saying. But also, a lot of times, we don't understand. We don't get it. Right. And rather than sitting and asking that question, like, "Can you help me understand?" We go into either shame or blame or anger because we don't get it. And this is one of the big things that we talk to our clients about all the time is being curious. And this question leaves space for that. So this is a really, really important question when it comes to getting to a place where you and your partner are working as a team and showing up as individuals who are caring and loving versus getting into that combative place.
Yeah, you know, I think if there are these things, these principles that if they were easy, like if we could implement them perfectly, they would solve a ton of our problems. And you know, this idea of being curious, it's one of those ones that it's really hard for people to do. And this is why, you know, when we're working with clients, we spend so much time actually getting them there. How do you actually show up curious? How do you show up with real genuine curiosity, and actually communicate that? And not just show up with it, but then also communicate that to your partners in a way where it is well received and they aren't feeling blamed? Or like you're actually pointing fingers or stuff like that. But that is why I love this question so much. Because at the root of it, it is that idea of how important curiosity is to the communication. And like I said, if there was one thing that I could point to and say implement this perfectly, and your communication would be fixed. I think it is curiosity.
Oh, yeah. And that's why I love the question is because it's not about being dense or being naive, although we can be. It's about a lot of times we don't fully get things and we don't fully understand them. And then when we're going into it from this place of aggravation and annoyance versus that curiosity, that's where that's where shit hits the fan-- is when we get to that place where we're no longer just showing up really genuinely like wanting to understand. So, if you're in a place in your relationship, and you really want to kind of make a little shift, this is something that can be really helpful.
Okay, what's the second question?
So the second one is, "How can I support you right now?" And, you know, this is a great question. Because when your partner is in that place of being upset, or overwhelmed, or stressed out, or having a bad day at work, or the kids are being crazy, a lot of times what we do is we just step in. When we love our partners, we're like, "Okay, you know what, you've had a bad day at work, so you know what I'm gonna go do? I'm gonna go make you a cup of tea, and I'm gonna go do this thing." And that's really sweet and kind. But it might not actually be what your partner needs. It could absolutely not be what the fix to the problem actually is. So it's really good to when you're in those places of chaos in life to just show up and ask your partner, "How can I support you right now?" And this also works for when there's conflict between the two of you or your partner is upset about something-- just asking, how can I support you in this? What is it that you're really looking for? Versus trying to be a superhero. I know, for myself, I am one of those people, that I care a lot, and I want to fix things. I'm a fixer. So, I'll start fixing things that maybe really isn't what my partner needs. Like, I'm trying to do X, Y, and Z. And really what they needed was a hug, right? I'm fixing the house. I'm calling calling out for food, etc, etc. when I could have just asked. So, it's really important to just ask your partner, how can I support you?
Well, it really is that idea of when our partners come to us with a problem, it's pretty natural, especially depending on your personality type to be like, "Let me fix this." But a lot of times, that isn't actually what your partner wants.
Yeah. It could be they need an ear, they need an apology, they need space, they need you to go away. Sometimes we don't even-- sometimes when your partner is in a spot, they don't want you to fix things. They want you to go away and let them have their feelings and their emotions. So it's really important, rather than trying to guess and fill it in. So the next question, or did you have anything else you wanted to add on that?
That was it. You had mostly covered it so I didn't have much left.
Alright. So the next question is, "What goals are you currently working on, right now?" And I know for a lot of people, when they hear me say that they're like, why would I ask my partner what their goals are or what they're working on right now? And the thing is, is that we all have things that we're focused on. Whether it's one of our hobbies, whether it's being a parent, whether it is, I'm learning a new craft, or I'm doing something in my work or my business. We always have these places in our lives that we're trying to grow. And one of the best ways to keep that feeling of bonding with your partner and using communication to do that, is by actually asking what's going on with them, where their focus is, where their passion is, what their dreams and aspirations are. To spend some time there, versus what we normally do, which is we spend all of our time on, "What are you worried about? What fire are you putting out right now? And what's going wrong?" Like asking your partner, "What is it that you're currently working towards? That your big goals are right now?" And this also helps you be able to support them. When you know, what your partner is trying to achieve, you can be a better support.
Well, I think a lot of times we either assume that our partners are moving in the same direction that we are, working on the same things, which so often isn't the case. And the other problem that we have is when we've been with people a long time, we tend to assume that we know these things, rather than asking. So we don't ask the question because basically in our mind-- and I'm saying this a little facetiously, folks, because you don't really probably think this if I asked you the question-- but a lot of times the way that we act still says this. In our mind, our partner is the same person they were a year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, right? So we don't wind up asking and we don't know where they're heading, and when we don't know where they're heading, it's super hard to-- number one, help them in that direction. But even just to make sense of how they're responding to things a lot of times,
Yeah. And I also feel like you lose the opportunity to bond by being their cheerleader or their support person or just that person to kind of hear their dreams. How often does someone walk up to you and ask you what your dreams and aspirations and goals are? Not too often, right? It feels good to have somebody be rooting for you. And I feel like that's a big missed opportunity, a lot of times in relationships, because people have that sort of mentality that their partner is staying still, that things aren't moving, that their partner has got the same goals and dreams that they did, as you said, a year, two years, five years, 10 years ago, when it's just simply not true. So ready for next one?
Go for it.
Okay, so number four. "How are we right now?" And the reason why this is really important is because it's good to check in with your partner, and ask them how things are going at this time in your relationship. Because often, you and your partner are not on the same page. A lot of times, there are situations where I might not be feeling good and you don't know. You might know there's something up with me. There might be something off, but you don't know that I'm actually not good. So it's about really keeping each other on the same page so there isn't these things brewing in the background. So that way, there isn't problems that are just sitting there causing resentment and anger, and sitting for long periods of time.
I can't tell you how many calls I have with people where they're like,"I thought things were pretty good and then my partner told me they'd been miserable for years." Yeah, that happens. So often. And you know, I think part of this is because I think there's two pieces. I think sometimes people genuinely have no clue. But I think there's this other piece of it, where we kind of know things aren't great. So we intentionally avoid asking, because we don't want to find out how bad it really is. And then when we do find out how bad it really is, people are shocked.
Yeah, there's definitely that. There's this-- it's almost like the bury your head in the sand mentality, right? If I just wait long enough, whatever's bad will go away. And I think that for a lot of people when they're doing that they recognize the initial bad, but they don't recognize that in all that time that they've been avoiding it, that it's actually 10 times worse. Because when you're in pain, when you're in a place where you're suffering in your relationship, the longer that goes unattended, unacknowledged by your partner, the worse it gets for you. The more you feel invalidated, the more you are upset. So it tends to brew even more bigger problems because of the sitting there in the background. And we see it all the time, as you said. I can't tell you how many times we'll we'll talk to folks where one person's like, "I just didn't know it had gotten that bad. Like I knew there was-- I knew we had some challenges, but it wasn't that bad." So, just asking that question very regularly. "How are we right now?"
And so the last question, right? And this one is really, really important, which is, "Do we need help?" And this is a question that you should be asking in your relationship regularly. And I'm gonna kind of break it into two parts. So first of all, "do we need help" does not just mean with relationship stuff. We're gonna focus there in a second. But this can go down to anything. Like, "we're stressed out about the kids. Do we need help? Do we need to ask somebody? Hey, we need a helping hand with this?" If you're trying to fix something in your home, and you're you're spending all your hours that are supposed to be quality time with your partner, beating yourself up trying to get a project done, maybe it's time to ask somebody for support or help or go look for somebody who knows how to do that. It is so important, to be honest in your relationship about this, to be able to be the person who's in the relationship and willing to say, "Hey, do we need help?"
Because so often, both us and our partner, are embarrassed to say something. I can't tell you how many people that we talk to who stay stuck in challenge, because they didn't want to be the person to bring it up. They didn't want to be the person to say, "Hey, I think we can't handle this. Hey, I don't think we can do this on our own." And while, yeah, it takes a level of vulnerability, when you acknowledge that-- when you're the person to bring that question to the table, you get to be the catalyst. You get to be that strong person. Because it does. It takes a strong person to acknowledge that it might not be something the two of you can resolve. And it is so important when it comes to your relationships. And that's why I separated a little bit. But when it comes to your relationships, the longer you go without asking that question, when things aren't going well, the worse off the relationship gets, and the harder it gets to solve those problems.
Yeah, well, this goes back into kind of the question earlier, about people not understanding how bad things are and burying their head in the sand. We like to talk here about inertia. And this idea that our relationships, they don't sit still-- they're always getting better or worse. But the thing to really understand about inertia is that the further that our relationships go one direction, the harder it becomes to turn it around. So on the one hand, like when your relationships are really amazing, and you have like a shit day or shit conversation, you'll you'll survive that bump. But when your relationships have been struggling and hurting for a long time, the further and further you let them go, the harder and harder it gets to turn things around. And you kind of accelerate this downhill thing. And this is why people, they get surprised a lot of times by this breaking point. Because they're not having discussions and they don't understand this idea that the worst things are getting, the faster they're moving downhill. And eventually people hit that point where it's just not working anymore. So getting help is incredibly important.
Yeah. And what I want to say about this is that if there's a yes to this question, if you and your partner come to the table and say, "Hey, do we need help?" And the answer is yes. It's not that you lost. It's not like you're a bad person, right? A yes, this question just means that you have a goal, you have a beautiful thing that you want to build. And you recognize, and you're smart enough to realize that you need help to get there. Right. And that's an amazing positive thing is recognizing, "Hey, this is where I want to get. This is what I want to do. This is what I want to achieve, and I need support in making that decision."
So if you're in a place that you realize that you do need help, I mean, this is what we do, and we're happy to help you. You can go to atouchofflavor.com/talk, it'll take you to our calendar. Go ahead and pick a time that works for you. It'll take you to a short application, fill it out. And then us or one of our team will hop on at the time that you pick. And we'll dive into, what is the help that you need? Like, what is going on? Where's the relationship really at? What's really stopping you from turning this around? And what needs to happen to get you where you want to go? Then it'll be just the most transformative hour that you've ever spent on your relationships. Because, having that conversation like "Do we need help?" is a difficult conversation for a lot of people to have. But then once you have it, then the question becomes, "Who do we go to for help?" And that is a very difficult question, if you're monogamous, and it is even a much harder question, when you're non-monogamous, but this is what we do. It's all we do. And we're happy to help. So like I said, go to atouchofflavor.com/talk and you know, we will help you. Okay. What else do you have Cassie?
That's it. Just I encourage all of you listening to make sure that you are making an effort to frequently ask these questions in your relationship. It will bring you and your partners so much closer together. Okay, that's it.
All right. Have a great week. And we will see you all here again very soon.
Thanks for tuning into today's show. We release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe.
If you're ready to transform your relationship and you'd like to see if you're a fit to work with us, here's what I want you to do next. Head over to atouchofflavor.com/talk and book an appointment to speak with our team. We'll get on the phone with you for about an hour and we'll get you crystal clear on three things. What's really not working in your relationships, what your dream relationships would look like, and a step by step plan to close the gap and save your family even if nothing has worked before.
We talk with hundreds of non-monogamous folks like you every year, and here's the truth: building loving, thriving relationships, that doesn't happen on its own. You need expert guidance to make that happen. And unfortunately, when you are building relationships outside the box, that's impossible to find and we get it. But that's exactly what we do. We've helped clients all over the world, save their families, get the passion back and become best friends again.
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to atouchofflavor.com/talk. I'm Cassie.
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon.
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