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Getting Started With Polyamory

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If you’re getting started with polyamory, then you probably have a burning question:

Does polyamory work???

And this is a really important question. Because it’s entirely possible to build a thriving non-monogamous relationship.

BUT, there are a lot more ways to fail and blow up your existing relationship.

Here’s what you should know if you’re getting started with non-monogamy.

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Josh 0:00
All right, everybody. So in today's episode, we're going to talk about what you need to know if you are just getting started in non monogamy. So go ahead, stay tuned.

Cassie 0:30
Here at Touch of Flavor, we teach non monogamous folks how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:36
This podcast is about answering one question, how do you create loving, passionate, secure relationships outside the box? Even if nothing has ever worked before? If you want to know the answer, you're in the right place.

Cassie 0:49
All of this information is 100% free. So please subscribe to and review our podcast.

Josh 0:59
Like I said, today's episode is for those of you who are about to begin your journey into non monogamy. And maybe this discussion just opened up in the relationship. Or maybe you've been kind of working on it for a month or two now. Or maybe it's something that you've been working on, I’m going to give quotes “working on” for a long time, but haven't actually made progress. Right. But whatever the case, if you're new to non monogamy, chances are you have a huge question.

Josh 1:34
Can this work? Can non monogamy work? I've never done this before. Maybe I know a lot of people whose relationships have failed trying to do non monogamy can this work? And for some of you that question is probably like at the forefront of your mind like screaming at you. And others of you, you might be super gung ho, and excited and really optimistic. But still in the back your head... There's always that question. I've never done this before. Can this work? Or is this going to blow up my relationship? And that is a very, very important question to have.

Josh 2:24
And here's why... It can work. But there are a lot more ways to fail and blow up your relationship.

Cassie 2:33
Yeah, you know, folks, you know, who don't realize the dangers are the ones that tend to end up having the most problems, right? They're the ones who don't see it coming, or the ones who are not aware that there's going to be these things, or maybe they're somewhat aware, but they're not like they're not clear for them. So they kind of sneak up and end up being problems later.

Josh 2:54
Yeah. And you know, when you think about it, like, it isn't really that surprising. And we actually talked about this all the time, like with each other. And if you listen to our other stuff, it isn't surprising that people, a lot of people get the idea that non monogamy should be easy, right? So that's a category like, I’m gung ho! I'm super optimistic, like, but it can be easy, it should be easy. And it really isn't at all surprising that people get that impression.

Cassie 3:18
Yeah. And part of that is, you know, our community, right, like, and it's this idea of like, you know, our relationships should be easy, and the way that people post things, you know, nobody really wants to go and talk about their relationships, like having challenges, you know, so there's this idea that, like, it should be simple and easy. And if you're doing it, you know, it's gonna be fine. Right? If you're, if you're doing it the right way. You're okay. Right.

Josh 3:47
And if if, if things were to go poorly, that's not because it's hard. That's just because you're not cut out for non monogamy like, how many times have you heard that if you've gone in any non monogamous Facebook group, ever? Right? Anytime somebody has any kind of problems. So it's not that it's hard, right? It's not that it's hard. It's just that you clearly aren't cut out for this. And so, you know, it's interesting, because I have our knowledge of all the people that we talk to, but I was I was trying to look up like some statistics on-Are there any statistics of what happens in a relationship that is monogamous, that somebody now brings up non monogamy? And unsurprisingly, unfortunately, there really aren't that many studies, the closest thing I could find is a study by Arvo, which is a legal website who did a survey and you know, depending on like the location in the country 50 to 60% of the people that they talked to said that they would leave if their partner even asked them about non monogamy, right because they had moral objections to it. So all that really tells us unfortunately, is that people's moral and the way they were raised and those challenges that your partner might have with polyamory, when you bring it to them, or you might be having right now are pretty prevalent, which isn't really that surprising. But you want to talk about what we know from doing this about this being easy.

Cassie 5:14
Yeah, well we know is you know that first off, relationships are difficult. And when you're introducing something like this, where it's not something that you're you and your partner are used to, it's not something that you done, maybe you’ve only tinkered with it, like, it creates challenges, it really does bring to light, a lot of things that maybe you didn't know, were, maybe they were issues or small challenges, but like the non monogamy aspects can really put a highlighter on those things that are going on in your relationship already. And what we know is that folks end up in a position where they struggle, right, they end up not knowing how to deal with these really hard conversations that come up these really big emotions that come up. This is something that brings out a lot of feels a lot of not just feels but anxieties and stressors and concerns. And being able to navigate those things is difficult. It's not an easy thing to do.

Josh 6:22
No, it's not. And you know, I actually, I really, really hate this whole perception that people put out about non monogamy being easy, right? Because it, it gives people a false sense of the challenges, right. And in addition to that, Um it just, it is inaccurate.

Josh 6:45
Because I can tell you, when you go in these non monogamous Facebook groups, Um and you have all these people saying that it should be easy. For the mass majority of them, it wasn't easy. Half of them probably like if you dig into what else they're posting what else they're saying they’ve blown their relationships up at some point. So clearly, it wasn't that easy, right. And, you know, I can tell you, this is what I tell people, just our experience, and I say just our experience, but our experience comes from talking to more people who are in this transition than anybody else. I mean, we talked to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people a year one on one. And about half of those calls are people who are new to non monogamy,

Cassie 7:28
Or newer.

Josh 7:29
Yeah, new, newer like in that haven't yet made it work phase. Let's say that. And what I can tell you is that there are a few, a very, very few people who switch into non monogamy and just sail through, right. And those are the people who maybe are some of the people that you see, telling you that things should be easy. But I can tell you, for every one couple that did that and sailed through, there was another nine at least who had serious struggles and a huge percentage of those who blew their relationship up trying to make this work, right. And this is what's so ridiculous about this is when you really stop and think about it. It is ridiculous to expect moving into non monogamy to be easy. Let's think about this for just a second.

Josh 8:27
Okay, you've been on this earth for 30 years, 40 years, whatever, right? So you have 30 years, 40 years of having your relationships, a certain way of having certain kinds of role models of having society, show you certain kinds of relationships, and saying those are the good ones and holding those up as models and learning from those. Right? You have, you know, all those years of how your parents do things, which you know, regardless of whether or not your childhood was great, I know a lot of people's aren't, you know, you're still learning from in terms of relationships. So really, you have everything in your life, everything in your relationships, all the relationships you had as a teenager, all the relationships you've had as an adult, you know, the current relationship that you've been in maybe 10 years, 15 years, 20 years of the way you've done this relationship. And now one day, you decide you're going to go turn on its head. Every way that you have ever done relationships your whole life. You really think that's going to be easy. And I'm saying that because so often I see people who feel so bad when things go wrong, which is so ridiculous, because of course most of the time, things go wrong. Of course, most of the time, things aren't easy. There's nothing else in your life that you do something one way for 30 years, 40 years, 50 years, wake up one day decide to do it a completely different way and expect that to go smoothly. Do you want to add anything to that? Before I get like super hyper?

Cassie 10:12
I was just gonna say like, there's nothing in our lives that we go from basically everything, right? Everything, all the different forces, our upbringing with our society, how we do things. In contrast that we then expect to be easy. Like this would be like, this is the way I ate, right? We talked about people who like go and they change their diets, right? Like, I grew up eating this way I cook this way, me and my partner, that's what we do. Like, it's not easy to change your diet, you're talking about changing an entire relationship and how you relate to people and how you communicate. Right? This is this is not just like one thing, like how you eat a meal. This is a this is a big thing that encompasses a lot of your life, and different parts of your life.

Josh 10:59
And so what happens so people fall in the conflict, they fall into jealousy, they wind up drifting further and further apart. And a lot of times they get to a point where somebody can't do it any longer. Whether that is because of just the problems and the hurting, and the pain that's going on in the relationship and the hell that that is day to day. Or you get to a point where one partner says I can't do this anymore, and the other partner can't go back. And I just want to be really clear about this, actually, because this is really important to understand. I'm not saying if you're non monogamous, the solution to these challenges that you're going to run into with opening things up is to not be monogamous, because I know out there right now I have some partner who's watching this, who's the monogamous one in that relationship? Who's like See, see, see, I knew we shouldn't do it. And, number one, if you are the monogamous person in this situation, that totally sucks. We've talked about that a lot before. Right? That totally sucks. You're you've been in a relationship a certain period of time. Now the rules change, everything's different. That sucks. And here's the problem. If someone in the relationship is really truly non monogamous, you're just going to cause a whole separate set of issues by them trying not to be monogamous.

Cassie 12:29
Yeah, there, there ends up being resentment because that person doesn't get to feel like they get to be who they really are. There is a feeling that you know, you don't love them and care about them for the person they are. It ends up for a lot of non monogamous people like this is who they are not being able to pursue those relationships, and things like that feels like this huge loss of opportunity. And if it doesn't go down the line of resentment and anger, it can also go into a place of just your partner feeling guilty about these things all the time and feeling like a bad person, which then also doesn't serve your relationship and ends up causing problems as well.

Josh 13:10
It's really simple. And we've done whole episodes on this, I'll give you the 10 second version. If being non monogamous is a nice to have, like it would be cool to go out and go to like a party and do things with people every once in a while and it's causing a bunch of stress in your relationship, then sure, feel free to drop it, right. But if you are non monogamous, the problem is trying to stuff that down just results in you getting more and more unfulfilled, more and more unhappy, more and more resentful. And that poisons the relationship and it will blow up in a messy way at some point in the future. And it's actually way more damaging than trying to actually address the problem, right than to address that that potential and compatibility. So I'm certainly not saying that you should not do that. Right. And you need to go in with eyes wide open.

Josh 14:13
So here's what I mean by that and what we see is that when people are moving into non monogamy, they tend to fall into two different categories. Okay.

Josh 14:30
Category one is the relationship between Okay, so Cassie and I are going into non monogamy category one is our relationship has been struggling or subpar for a long time, for a long time. Right? We we haven't been able to communicate. We argue. We've been feeling distant and alone. Our sex life's been sucking Right, we've been unhappy, we've felt unheard.

Cassie 15:03
Unappreciated, unloved. We are not spending the time that we want to be spending together. Like there's, there's these issues there that have been there for a while where things just aren't actually good.

Josh 15:19
And here's what's important about this. So there's two things that are important. One is the contrast, which we're going to talk about in a second. But the second piece, because you may be saying, Well, I don't have all those things, and most people don't, right. It's, I mean, some people do, but a lot of people don't, you know, a lot of times it's one or two of those things, you know, maybe we just, and the big ones, you know, maybe we haven't been able to communicate for years, right? Maybe we just, anytime we go, we argue, we talk in circles, we bite each other's heads off. Nobody ever listens. Everybody's feeling unheard. The conversations go in circles, people are shutting down. And that's been our pattern. And this pattern is really important. Right? That has been our pattern for a long time, is that's how we communicate. The other one that we see a lot where people come in is disconnection, right? We've been feeling distant. I've been feeling alone. We're in the same room. But we're miles apart. We don't spend time together. The physical intimacy, it may be going, it may not. It depends.

Cassie 16:16
We're like roommates.

Josh 16:18
Yeah, we're more like roommates, the partners, or we're just existing together, or we're just a paycheck, or we're just a parent. And these are the patterns that we bring to the relationship. Why is that a problem? I want to talk about that. But there's one important caveat I want to give to this. Because this is what I see happen all the time when I'm talking to people. We're a month into non monogamy. And I'm like, tell me about your relationship like, Oh, it's fantastic. It's great. We communicate so well. We're so in love. The sex is so good. It's amazing. And it's like, Okay, and how long have you doing non monogamy? It's like a month. It's like,

Josh 16:52
Okay, and so, before that month where you've been doing this... Where was the communication? We've been arguing. Oh, for how long? Years. Where was the connection? Oh, it was awful. Felt so alone. And how long? Oh my god, it's been going on forever. I want you to understand something really important here. Right?

Josh 17:20
It is 100% normal to get a boost when you start doing non monogamy together, right? Um. People are feeling excited, there's something new, there's variety in the mix, somebody may feel like they're suddenly getting a need met, you may be having conversations, when you haven't able to talk for a while.

Cassie 17:38
It's an adrenaline rush, right? It's like doing anything brand new, right? You have that brand new thing. Things are going like awesome, it feels cool. It's that newness and excitement. That's a huge driver and making things feel awesome.

Josh 17:54
And here's the thing with that, a lot of times the intimacy improves as well, because this is one thing I see a lot as well. Is couples who their intimacy has been real, real shitty for a long time. And all of a sudden, now it's amazing as best has ever been. And it is. It's the best it's ever been for three reasons. One, variety. Two, depending on your partner, they may be, um you know, they may find that hot, right, they may find you being desire hot. And three, so often, especially when one partner is uncomfortable with this whole situation, there's all the sudden a competition with this person who doesn't exist yet, where they're feeling the need to go above and beyond what they normally would do, and maybe above and beyond what they're actually comfortable doing with you to try and compete with this person that you're eventually going to go mess with. And here's what you need to understand. All of this is temporary, it is a temporary boost. And it ends worse than it started. And this is so important because so often when people are in this bright, shiny, non monogamy is new, right. And like I said, this is usually the first like couple months, couple weeks, to a couple of months, I see people in this phase where they're in this new phase and the real problems haven't started kicking in yet. There's two problems. Number one, you go back to your patterns.

Josh 19:09
If you haven't been able to communicate, and you didn't know how to communicate about the dishes, and the kids, and work and life and all the things that you've dealt with for the last 10 years, 15 years, 20 years together, five years, doesn't matter. You really think you suddenly gained the communication skills to magically communicate not just about that stuff, but also about this other stuff that you never been able to communicate about before?

Josh 19:36
No, you're going to go back to your pattern. Always go back to the pattern without a major change and transformation. You may be feeling super connected right now. But eventually you're going to go back to the pattern that you've been in for years because you didn't and this is what you need to understand, what I'm saying about the pattern. You didn't actually fix the problem. You didn't actually learn to communicate. You didn't actually learn to be more connected. Right, you gave yourself a crutch. And now that crutch has broken. And this is the second problem. And this is where a lot of the horror stories you hear about non monogamy comes from is that being in a non monogamous relationship shines a spotlight on everything in your relationship that sucks.

Cassie 20:21
Oh, yeah. So for example, say we're not getting time together, like my time needs are not getting met and I'm not getting to spend the time that I want with my partner. Well guess what? I see them spending time with somebody else. That highlights that I am not getting the touch and the affection and the desire that I wanted. I get to see that someplace else, right. So it ends up being this thing where you start seeing all the things that you want in the desired someplace else, whether they're there or not, you start to see them, right. And you start to struggle with the things that are that have been there that have been struggles. And you have them even more because now you're face to face with your partner possibly doing those things and getting those needs and those wants in another relationship.

Josh 21:12
And I just I see this all the time, right, we have somebody who's been settling for something in their relationship for a long time. Um. Touch, let's use touch, I'm not even going to talk sex necessarily, let's just say touch.

Josh 21:25
I have for years been trying to get my partner to touch me. They don't touch me. You know, they don't cuddle with me anymore. They don't hold my hand. I don't get those little touches, as they walk through the house. Like they haven't kissed me passionately in I don't know how long. And now I have to see them with this new, amazing, beautiful person. And they're all over them. And every time around them. They're touching them. And they're holding hands, and they're kissing and they're making googly eyes at each other.What's wrong with me?

Josh 21:57
This is how this goes. This is where jealousy comes from. This is where you fall back into those patterns that you had before. Except now even worse, because now you have something to compare it to because now there's jealousy because now you have new shit to argue about.

Cassie 22:17
Yeah, you no longer like it's just I'm not getting my touch needs met. I'll use touch as an example again. It's not only am I not getting that, but you're giving it to somebody else. Right? Not only is it I'm not getting the time that I want, but you're now taking time away and going and doing other things right? There ends up being not only the issues that you had, but more issues, and also, in some ways, more reasons to be upset and angry, and to be reminded of what you don't have that you wanted.

Josh 22:53
Okay, so that's the first category that people fall into people who they had challenges in relationship. And this is a skill because everybody has some challenges in their relationship. Right. But but that's category number one. The second category that we see. And we do see this sometimes is people whose relationship was pretty decent, before they went into non monogamy. Like, you know, they communicated fairly well, you know, they didn't argue they work through things, they felt pretty well connected. You know, maybe it wasn't like turned up to 11. But it was like an eight out of 10. Right, everybody was pretty happy sex is pretty regular stuffs pretty good work through a lot of stuff in life. And now moving into non monogamy and in some ways, this is actually more dangerous than the people who are coming in with problems.

Josh 23:47
Not because it's more dangerous to go into non monogamy in a decent spot, then with other relationship challenges. Of course, that's not what I'm saying.

Josh 23:55
But it's more dangerous because this is where this "it should be easy" myth comes in full force. Because it's one thing to be like, oh, it should be easy. But my relationship already has all these problems. So it's not going to be easy. And I know that like nothing in this relationship has been easy. This relationships been the bane of my life for the last 10 years. Right. That's one place. But coming into, oh, my relationships pretty good. I'm gonna be one of those people who just sails through. That's where this myth kind of comes in full force.

Cassie 24:24
Yeah. Because they're blindsided, right? They don't see the potential issues that could come up. So it's like it came out of nowhere. So go ahead.

Josh 24:35
Yeah. So so people just expect people to sail through and that's what makes it more dangerous, right? It isn't that it is more dangerous in it of itself. It's that the people in this area because they expect it to be easy. A lot of times they take less action than the people who are having problems right. A lot of times if people are having problems in their relationship, they look at non monogamy. Well, okay, one of two things happens either they look at non monogamy like crap, this is going to be hard, I need some help.

Josh 25:11
Or they go through that bright, shiny phase for about a month. And then they look at non monogamy once everything comes crashing down and goes crap, this is going to be hard. I need some help, right. But the people who are coming in the relationship otherwise good. First off, it takes longer a lot of times for those problems to really start appearing, because a lot of times the conversations around non monogamy might go pretty well, you know, it might not bring up all these hurt feelings, all these things already been missing out on shining a light on where we already can't communicate. And we're trying to communicate about non monogamy. And you know, it'll take some time to get through these conversations, and then some time for me to go out to date, and then maybe problems start popping up thinner. Maybe it isn't even until those relationships start building. And now we really have to start dealing with the romantic end of those things. Right? It really depends.

Josh 25:47
But because of that, right? A lot of times these people don't take the same steps to prepare for the non monogamy as the people who are already running into challenges. And this is what's so interesting about this to me is occasionally, you have both people who are in this place of like, Oh, yeah, this is gonna be amazing, totally fine. Like, of course, we're going to flip our relationship on the head the way it's been the last 40 years, and it's gonna be great. Occasionally, you have both people that way, especially if it's like, the very, very beginning of the non monogamy. But what I see more often I don't know about you is I see one person who's like in the background, like, Oh, shit, this is gonna be awful. I'm already struggling with jealousy. I see the danger, I see the problems like how are we going to make this transition? Like, I'm already feeling all this stuff? And we haven't even started being non monogamous yet. And you have that in the background. And they're doing that, right. And the other partner is basically like, Oh, no, this will be easy. They're just jealous. That's all they just need to get over that. And once they get through that, like, we'll be fine.

Cassie 26:52
It'll be cool. It'll be great. It's, it's just that little bit of jealousy stuff. But if it's no big deal.

Josh 26:56
And you know, it's so interesting, because what winds up happening, and I need you to understand this. I was talking the other day to somebody who was falls into this category of my partner sees the problems, I think my partner just needs to get over their shit. And then we'll be fine. Right? Because really like our relationships, good, so this should be easy. And I was talking to him, and he's like, yeah, you know, like, it's kind of like this thing where you can't learn to fly the plane, like you get the plane up in the air, and then you learn to fly it. I was like, you realize that when you do that, that's how you crash your plane.

Josh 27:22
Like, if you are flying a plane, you're up in a plane, hell, let's make this more realistic to the situation, you're up in a plane 10,000 feet up in the air with your family. And you don't know how to fly that plane.

Josh 27:56
You are headed for disaster in a very short timeframe. Right, and we've had past clients describe this to us, it's kind of like walking through a minefield. Because you you're looking at this and you just you don't know. Right? You don't know and you don't know what you don't know. Like you don't know how to have these conversations, you don't know how to deal with jealousy and comparison when and I say when because at some point, it will come up, you don't know how to balance the time, you may know how to create other agreements, you don't know how to create these kinds of agreements, you don't know how to bring, you know how to how to have a relationship with somebody else in a way that is ethical, right, but is also still protecting your partner and keeping your family safe. Like you don't know how to have your partners interact with each other. Like, there's just literally everything that you don't know.

Josh 28:51
And what happens when your relationship is really solid going into non monogamy is everything is great until it isn't. Everything is great until you step on the landmines, right, and then you step on one, and there's a huge blow up. You deal with that. But the relationship isn't quite back to where it was. And then you step on another one, there's a huge blow up. And the relationship doesn't get quite back to where it was. And then you had another one. And eventually one of two things happens. Either people keep going. And their relationship gets worse and worse until they become those couples who have now have a bunch of problems in their relationship. And now they're like, Huh, maybe we should get some help.

Josh 29:27
Or the other thing that happens is they're like crap, this has made our relationship bad. We need to stop doing non monogamy and they do that and shove that down for weeks or months or years. Well, okay, let me let me adjust this. If the person agrees to it, because sometimes one partner is like, we need to shut this down and one partner is like hell no, I'm not doing that. I can't do it. I'll have to leave. Right or they shut it down. And but then that resentment builds up for weeks or months or years. And so now you're like, a couple of years later, people are now having to try non monogamy again. But they never even recovered from the problems they had the first time. And we have a lot of clients that fall in these shoes. We want to talk about that.

Cassie 30:14
Yeah, we have tons of clients where, you know, and two folks are coming to mind, you know, where they were one of these couples of they had a great relationship. Go Ahead.

Josh 30:26
And I'll just throw in here for people watch their story. This is, this is David and Brandi watch their story, they did a whole, a whole, a whole video for us, a whole interview for us about their story, how amazing their relationship was, and how over the years trying to get into the non monogamy took that good relationship and turned that into something that was not good anymore.

Cassie 30:45
Yeah. And it went from a place of like, they had this great relationship. Like, they're both like really adventurous, like, just people that wanted to like explore the world and do all these amazing things together, they tinker with non monogamy. And that's when these these things started blowing up, right? And that's when they started having these these issues that, you know, popped up here, popped up there. And then they stopped, right. And they stopped for a while. And it was funny, because there was actually a point where, you know, Dave was like, Okay, I guess we're just gonna be monogamous now. And Brandi was kind of like a no... like... that... No,

Josh 31:22
Well he thought he thought they were monogamous. Right, until the point that she found a new partner.

Cassie 31:26
Yeah.

Josh 31:27
Like a year, two years, two years later.

Cassie 31:30
Yeah. And she was like, you know, no, I'm not, you know, we just weren't doing it. Because there was problems, right? So here's the thing, you know, that ended up just kind of turning everything on its head, right? Like they went from, you know, this place of like, a really great relationship to having these problems. And as Josh was talking about, like, those problems created, even while they were being monogamous, you know, being monogamous, not practicing non monogamy, those issues, were still there. Those those feelings and those hurts and those, those built up negative emotions about each other and their relationship. Were still there. And then when Brandi was ready to like, start seeing another partner, then it just all came tumbling out again.

Josh 32:21
Yes. So. And this is what's so sad about this, right? Cuz like I said, we have hundreds of conversations a year. And I have these people who are optimistic, and they're like, oh, our relationships amazing. It's great. Like, great, now is the time to learn how to do non monogamy. While your relationship is amazing, because it's gonna be so much easier to learn, and have these conversations and grow and make this a fun experience that it's going to be to try and fix this, when you've run into all these problems. And some people do that they have amazing experiences. But what, like, from a coaching standpoint sucks, and kind of one of the reasons I'm doing this video, is just one too many of these conversations lately, where they're like, No, no, no, like, we're going to be totally fine. Like, you know, non monogamy is easy, our relationship is solid, we'll just, we'll just Yeah, like this is going to be we're just gonna work through this, it's gonna be fine. And then, you know, six months later, a year later, I see the same people back on my calendar. And I get to hear about all the arguing, and the jealousy, and the distance. And how far this relationship that was amazing, the last time that we talked, has fallen. And it was totally preventable.

Josh 33:43
But for this myth... and the thing, I'll tell you, the thing that really gets me is like, that's bad enough. But it's, it's the people who come back. And now one partner wants to fix it, and the other partner is giving up. Right? Like, they have this amazing relationship. They both were willing to like work through this change together. Even if one person wasn't happy with it, you know, even you have one person who was like, really not thrilled with this whole trip into monogamy, but they were willing to do it. And decided to just jump in, wade through this minefield, fly the plane without without learning to fly the plane, right? And now we're talking. And they're like, Oh, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make this work. And their partner is, like, I can't I can't do this anymore. I'm done. I don't believe this is gonna work. I've tried, I did everything I could. And I just I don't have any more ability. I don't have any more ability to deal with this. I can't, I'm done.

Cassie 34:36
And it's sad, because not only is it that, just that moment of like give up. It is all of the opportunities all of the time. Everything that they had, from the point that you talk to them, you know, before to that point, right? It's not it's not just Oh, we got here now, like our relationship has been good for the last six months that we haven't talked to you It's all of those opportunities, all of those moments, those holidays, those interactions, all of those things that have, you know, been bad, that haven't been good that have gotten worse and worse over that period of time that they've missed out on together. And now they're here to a place where they don't know if they're actually going to be able to make it work.

Josh 35:20
So what is it that you need to know if you're getting started with non monogamy? Um, Because that really is where we started this right. And this is, this is the most important point, you know, it's so easy to say, Oh, you know, you're going to go into non monogamy, do this have these conversations X, Y, and Z, like follow these steps, like, which first off, doesn't work, cuz it's different for everybody. But But if I could give you one thing that will move the needle in your relationship, one thing that honestly, the biggest thing, to give non monogamous people that would as the community as a whole make a huge shift in the number of relationships that succeed versus the number relationship fail, it would be this. It would be having people understand, and if you are getting started, you understanding that this whole myth that non monogamy, polyamory should be easy, is just a myth. If you can get that through your head, you will be better off than 90% of the people going into non monogamy. And like I said, really just sit down for yourself. And really just ask what have you ever done in your life that has involved changing 20, 30, 40, 50 years of habits and patterns and role models that has been anything but challenging and difficult. Go ahead.

Cassie 37:18
It can be rewarding, it can be,

Josh 37:19
It can be amazingly rewarding.

Cassie 37:21
So rewarding, right, but not easy.

Josh 37:25
And again, like I said, I'm not. Look, we have a whole bunch of videos on like, what's amazing about polyamory, like I said, I'm not saying here's the warnings! Don't do it! Because a: it can be awesome. And b: a lot of people this is who they are and not doing it's not an option. Right. But I'm saying this because if you go into non monogamy, expecting the challenges, expecting the number of things you're going to have to relearn, expect that you're going to have to actually do that, and learn and put in work, and try and struggle and do the things that you would for any skill struggle maybe isn't the right word, you definitely can wind up struggling. But like, do all of those things that you have to do to get any new skill, any skill that like it has a huge impact on your life, you will be so much more likely to succeed, right?

Josh 38:26
So step one of if you're going to started in non monogamy, is understand, this is not easy. Do not buy the stuff you see online. Like if you really are super skeptical person and you're like, I don't know, I mean, me thinking about this isn't enough to tell me that this shouldn't be easy on the face of it. You know what, go, go on these Facebook groups, look at these people who are telling you that it should be easy, or telling you what to do, go back, look through the past things they've posted, and see how many of them have blown their relationships up over the years. You know, we have a Facebook group that's like, what, 14,000 people and we see this all the time- we see. Go ahead, you're the one who deals with the Facebook group.

Cassie 39:00
Let me- let me take this. Let me take this. We'll have folks, right, that you'll come in. And you know, like this week, someone will post something, right? And they'll come in, and they're like, in my relationship, this is what I do. And we're doing so well. And everything is great. And da da da da da... and let me tell you all these polyamorous platitudes and, and whatnot, and, you know, this is how to do it. And it should be easy for you. And if you can't figure it out, then you're just not non monogamous. And you take that person's name, and you put it in the search of the group. And you can go back a month or two. And you can see the blow ups that they've had in their relationship, or a year ago when they were on the brink of divorce. Right. And, or maybe not even not long ago. Right.

Cassie 39:19
You can go back and you can see the struggles and the uphill battles or the breakups that they've had, you know, some of these same people well, yeah, their new relationship of six months is great. But you find out the one that they had before. Well, they got divorced. Right? So what I'm saying is, is that it's real easy. It's real easy to be

Josh 40:13
Platitude Platypus.

Cassie 40:14
Yeah! Poly Platitude Platypus, right. And say these things and act as though your relationships are in impeccable shape or have always been. And here's the thing, maybe their relationships are great right now in this moment, right? But it doesn't mean that their relationships were easy. And most likely, they weren't, even if their relationships are thriving and doing good right now. There was a lot of difficulty that they had getting to that point.

Josh 40:47
Yeah, so here's the thing. Step one, don't expect this to be easy, right? Step two, you need to fix your relationships. And I don't mean because this is another thing that we see happen pretty commonly is, you know, you'll have one person who's like what we need to fix our relationships first. So you need to break up with your partner, and we need to focus on us. And maybe like six years down the road, we'll finally be in a good enough spot to do it. Right. And that isn't what I mean. But you do need to fix your relationships first. Whether that means you need to fix your relationships now, as you're moving into non monogamy, or whether that means maybe you're already involved. And you know, we treat people like people here. So you're not just going to give people the boot who are decent people who you care about, right. But maybe you need to not take on any other relationships, and you need to work on fixing yours right freaking now.

Cassie 41:47
I like to put it this way, you need to work on fixing the current existing relationships, you need to work at those relationships that are in existence right now. And make sure that they are solid, whatever those relationships are, whether it's one or two, or three, or whatever, those relationships that are now need to be in good, solid standing.

Josh 42:09
Okay, and then you need skills, like, even if your relationship is solid, even if you feel like you're the monogamous relationship master, which, by the way, I've never talked to, okay, but fine, like, even if you feel like that's you, and your relationship might be pretty good. I'm just saying mastery is a, there's always another another level, right. But even if you feel like your relationship is pretty good. Understand that you are not at all equipped for the minefield that you're about to walk through. And I just I don't know, any other way to say this. And like, you know it in the back of your mind, it doesn't matter how optimistic you are, you know, you have no idea how to do this, you know, you haven't done this your whole life, you know, changing the way that you've done things, your whole life generally isn't easy. And you know what's on the line, you can't gamble. Like you're in a relationship, you have a partner or partners that you love. You- Well, for this a partner you love, right? You have a family, you have a life that you've built together.

Josh 43:26
Like, you can't gamble that on expecting this thing that that will not be easy to be easy. If like, listen to that voice that's in the back of your mind, because that is your intuition telling you what your brain should know. I don't, and I'm trying, I'm trying to keep this somewhat moderate, but it is so unnecessary. Like I'm getting emotional, it is so unnecessary. The number of relationships that we see tank the number of families that we see implode, you know the number of households we see split up the number of futures we see gone, because people buy this myth. Do not expect it to be easy. Fix your relationship, get the skills that you need, and understand that those skills are not something that you're going to pick up a book, or get in a Facebook group. Or watch a YouTube video even what is awesome is this YouTube video and suddenly know how to do- like when you're going to school to be a doctor or you're going to school to be a mechanic or you're going to school to be a hairdresser. Like you don't just watch a YouTube video and read a book and go I got this! And it isn't going to go that way with your relationships. Not just because so much the information out there is bad not just because nothing's applicable to everybody and you need- you need stuff customized to you, not just because you're going to do that, and they are one of the 100 different conflicting pieces of information, and have no idea what to actually do and what not to do not just because most of the stuff that you read is going to be the blind leading the blind, right, because it just takes more than that, to learn any important skill.

Cassie 45:32
And I would argue that this is one of the most important skills that you're going to learn, if this is what you and your partner are going to be doing. And you know that this is the path you're going down. Like, there is nothing more important than learning how to do this in a way that keeps you and your partner happy and thriving, and having a great relationship and keeping your family together.

Josh 45:56
Nothing. Right. So whether it's us, whether it's somebody else, it doesn't even find someone who has a crap ton of experience, helping people like you open up their relationship, and learn and get the input and get the advice so that you're not looking back down the road six months, a year, like somebody who I talked to going, Oh, if only.

Josh 46:22
And here's the thing about all this, because yes, non monogamy can be amazing, it can be fun, you can draw closer together, through making that transition, rather than pushing each other away. Not, not because non monogamy necessarily does it on its own, but because you're gonna need to learn that to make it through the non monogamy. Right. But you can come out the other side of this, you know, if your relationship if you're one of those people, your relationship isn't great, right now, you can come out the other side of this transition with more love and more passion and more connection, and better communication and more excited about the future than you have been in the years.

Josh 47:03
And if you're one of those people who things are pretty good in your relationship, you can keep that pretty good. You can get through this, with a minimum of suffering, you can have your relationship be even more awesome, and have people still be themselves and keep all that stuff that made this relationship good and find some things that make it even better. And like I said, only suffer minimally along the way, because there will be some suffering, it's a transition. Totally worth it. But anytime we're making this kind of change, it's not easy, there's feels, there's difficult times. But if you get the help and learn how to do this, and get the skills and break the patterns up front, you can keep that to a bare minimum and come as close to sailing through this process as humanly possible. And that's another important point I'm ranting here you want to throw anything in?

Cassie 47:54
I think you covered most of what I was gonna say, which is, you know, here's, here's the thing, when you get those skills, when you have that guidance, and you've learned how to use those tools, it's like, it's like getting a muscle, right, of course, of course, you're gonna have some some some some some pain here, you might have a little bit of difficulty there, you might have some stressors. But that's like having a personal trainer to walk you through it right and to experience that, versus going out, breaking an arm and trying to work out while you have a broken arm, right? You get to keep your relationship in a place where it is solid and good and continues to be and you might have to flex some of those feel muscles, you might have to flex some of those, those those things. But it doesn't have to be suffering through it too.

Josh 48:49
And here's the other thing that I want you to get, by the way about this easy thing, okay about this, this should be easy thing. So, us an example, I mentioned half of our clients are new to non monogamy and helping - most of you know this - but helping non monogamous people is what we do all day every day. That we're the best in the world at doing right because it's all we do is help non monogamous couples heal their relationships and build amazing things together. And as far as I know, we work with not just more non monogamous people in general, but more people who are newer to non monogamy specifically than anybody else. And I can tell you, even with our help, I've never had anybody no matter how good their relationship was, who sailed through, opening their relationship up and I just want you to keep that in mind. Like going back to this it should be easy. If the people with the most relationships that were on the most point to begin with, both partners the most on the same page who are getting the best help, don't sail through... the chances of us sailing through or like this big to non existent, literally, non existent nobody sails through. Some people do get through it. A very few people get through it on their own without huge drama very few people sail through, right?

Josh 50:19
But - and this is what's so awesome - when you are if you are one of those people, your relationship is pretty good. You can get to a point where you have a ton of fun along the way, right? Where you're drawing closer and where Yeah, you hit some rough spots. But they're few. And they aren't that big, and you recover quickly. And that's awesome. And I was just thinking about that. Like when we're talking about the sailing through ideas, like even the clients we've had, who are like, I would say, have had the smoothest time transitioning, I can't think of a single one who it has been totally smooth. Yeah, ever. Everyone doesn't exist.

Cassie 51:03
Everybody has bumps, everybody has bumps and difficulties.

Josh 51:07
Okay, so just to sum up, you're getting started with polyamory. Top three things that you need to do. Number one, do not expect this to be easy. And if you do, you need to take the actions of really sitting down. And looking at why you expect it to be easy, and how realistic that is for what you are actually doing. And if you would expect anything else in your life to be easy, if you were making the same kind of changes of shifting the way you've done something for 30, 40, 50 years, and turning that on its head.

Josh 51:43
Step two, fix your relationship. Non monogamy will magnify the problems that are already there. Non monogamy is awesome, the relationships are awesome. But whatever problems you have will be magnified in that process. And if you are in a phase where you're like, Oh, this is amazing, like this actually fixed our relationship, then you really need to fix your relationship before that comes crashing down. Because again, if you haven't actually fixed your relationship, and you're leaning on the non monogamy as a crutch. So when that crutch breaks, you're gonna be even worse off than you were before.

Josh 52:24
And third, get help to do this, this is not a transition to go through alone, there is too much at stake to gamble your future and your family and your relationships and the people that you love. And it is, as I said, at the beginning of this, there are so many more ways without the right help to ruin this than to fail. So find somebody who what they do is work with non monogamous people. And they help, they have helped an enormous number of people like you open up their relationships, and they have done that successfully. And they have the stories and the testimonials and the results to prove it and work with that person. Because it's going to be so much better and cheaper and everything else to fix these problems now than it is going to be to do it six months down the road or a year down the road where everything has really gone to shit. And now you're hoping that your partner is not tapped out and is still on board with trying to repair what's wrong.

Josh 53:35
Okay, and if you want our help with that, that is what we do. Book a call, you can go to a touchofflavor.com/talk. Let me pop that up for you. Right here. All right, touchofflavor.com/talk. Okay. And when you go there, you'll see our calendar page. So you go ahead, you pick a time to talk with us, right, you'll go from there, you'll do like a short application with some information that we need to get ready for your call, get a good handle on what's going on. And then at the time you pick, we will call you we will hop in, we'll evaluate where you're at in your relationship, where you're at in the process of opening up, what needs to be fixed in your relationships, where the flash points are that you're heading for in moving into non monogamy. And we'll come up with a plan to get you through that with a maximum of thriving and a minimum suffering and with your relationship and your family actually intact on the other side.

Josh 54:32
Okay, so like I said, touchofflavor.com/talk takes you to our calendar, where you can set that up. So Cassie, as we're wrapping up here, anything else you want to put out to people who are just getting started about those those steps that they need to take in order to make this work? Anything you want to say?

Cassie 54:45
No, I just you know, keep in mind this is not meant to be easy, right? Anything that has that big of a change and that possible big of a benefit on the other end is going to be difficult. It's going to be a challenge. And it's how you face those challenges and what you do to prepare for those challenges that makes all the difference.

Josh 55:06
And you know what, that is a really good point. I want to take a second here, because nothing worth doing is easy. You going to school for whatever career you have now wasn't easy. Some of the, you know, like the the things that you've gotten through at this point with your partner to get to where you're at now, weren't easy. The things that you are the most proud of in your life that have like learning to fly a plane isn't easy, like the things that you are the most, but seriously, the things that you are most proud of in your life, parenting, building the relationship to the point that you already have it, surviving the things that you survived, building the career that you have, or the life that you have, making it through the things that you've made. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. And because this is what got me thinking is was what you were saying. And the bigger the benefit, the things that benefit us the most that are the most awesome in the long term, are the things that are the most difficult in the short term. And non monogamy is no exception, because there is a huge, huge upside on the other side of it. But it isn't easy. So don't expect it to be easy. Avoid those landmines. Find the help that you need. And enjoy the ride. All right, everybody. Think that's it, and we will see you next time.

Josh 56:47
Thanks for tuning into today's show. We release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe.

Cassie 56:53
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.

Josh 57:21
We talked 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're 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.

Cassie 57:45
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to touchofflavor.com/talk. I'm Cassie.

Josh 57:53
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon.