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What Is ENM Relationship And How To Talk About It

An ENM relationship can be a compatible choice for people with similar beliefs.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on July 9, 2023

Art Photo Depicting Enm Relationship

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The ethical non-monogamous, or ENM relationship is a way to have multiple intimate relationships without the restrictions of monogamy.

This type of relationship involves exploring different people, not being locked into a monogamous relationship.

Ideally, both partners enjoy the same things and are equally enthusiastic about the ENM relationship.

The key to ENM is that partners are free to explore different people.

This type of sexual arrangement is a preferred alternative to monogamy for some couples.


How Does ENM Relationship Work?


An ENM relationship works when both partners consent and respect the boundaries they set.

An ENM relationship can be open or closed and it can also be consensual.

ENM relationship challenges mononormativity, which is the belief that monogamy is a natural and healthy relationship.

This belief creates feelings of neediness, jealousy, and insecurity and, to be free of that, some people may want to explore the benefits of an ENM relationship with their partner.

An ENM relationship is very different from monogamy, since it involves multiple relationships.

It requires that both partners agree to the arrangements before they begin the relationship.

This way, you’ll know that you’re both committed to the relationship before it even gets off the ground.

Moreover, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re both happy with your choice of ENM relationship.

You can also agree that you’ll never hurt each other and will never have to face any harsh judgments.

Before attempting ENM, consider its implications of it for you and your partner.

Some people may be unsure whether they’re ready to commit to multiple relationships.

Those who are already committed to monogamy may want to explore the possibilities of ENM relationships, especially if they are not ready to commit for long.

However, this is not a good idea in any case.

This can cause problems for your relationship, so it’s best to discuss this with your partner before pursuing this option.

One of the main differences between an ENM relationship and a polyamorous one is that it requires a high level of honesty and openness.

The ENM relationship also involves high levels of intimacy, but this can also create feelings of insecurity and jealousy.

Therefore, it’s important to discuss this issue with your partner and discuss how ENM could benefit your relationship.

It’s vital to establish trust and communication in all areas before you start an ENM relationship.

The majority of couples who engage in ENM have their own reasons for pursuing such a relationship.

This helps them to set the rules they want.

However, the rules of an ENM relationship can vary from couple to couple.

Some couples will only engage in intimate acts when both partners are present, while others will only communicate through hookups.

It’s important to discuss the possible relationship rules with your partner before moving forward with your ENM plans.

It’s not the time for secretiveness. ENM relationship requires mutual consent. 


Is ENM Relationship Cheating?


An ENM relationship is different from a cheating relationship because the relationship is not secretive.

It also does not involve lying or secrecy.

However, having an ENM relationship will most likely cause feelings of insecurity and jealousy, so it is vital to establish trust before attempting this method.


Possible Downsides Of ENM Relationship


The main drawback of an ENM relationship is the high level of openness, honesty, and communication required.

It won’t resolve all of the relationship’s issues, but it can highlight the problems.

For example, individuals in hierarchical polyamorous relationships tend to report higher levels of sexual satisfaction in the secondary relationship, compared to the primary partner.

The absence of the other partner in the current relationship can cause instability in the current relationship.

In an ENM relationship, one or both partners may experience jealousy.

It does not necessarily mean that the ENM relationship isn’t right for them, but it is an indication that something needs to be addressed.

If you feel jealous, it is time to reevaluate your view of ENM relationship.

It may or may not be the best option for you.

If you think that your partner is insecure or jealous, it may be the time to end the ENM relationship altogether.

Always talk to your partner openly and honestly about the way you feel.


Is ENM Relationship For Me?


The key principle of ENM is the freedom to explore others.

Your partner should be free to explore the other person, and vice versa.

You should also be open to exploring new sexual orientations.

Before agreeing to be in ENM relationship, you must ask yourself if that is what you want.

If you don’t feel comfortable with ENM, you should not feel obligated to get, be or stay in ENM relationship.


How To Talk To Your Partner About ENM Relationship


1. Be honest


You should be open and honest with your partner when discussing ENM relationship.

Try to set up time when you both can talk about your feelings without feeling defensive.

Once you feel emotionally balanced and relaxed, you will be more likely to start a conversation in a respectful way.


2. Be prepared for your partner’s reactions


It can be a difficult topic to talk about, especially if your partner has a history of monogamous relationships only.

They may feel jealous, needy, or insecure.

Be prepared to hear your partner’s reaction and respond to them with kindness and nonjudgment.

The more open and honest you are, the more likely your partner will be open up too.


3. Be sensitive to your partner’s emotional state and let them process


Oftentimes, you will have a more accurate idea of what ENM relationship is than they do.

Be patient and don’t rush the discussion.

You both will need some time to process the information.


4. Be respectful


It’s important to set boundaries when you talk about ENM.

Your partner may not be ready for a discussion on ENM relationship, and it’s important to give your partner enough space to process what you’re saying.

This way, they’ll have more time to consider how to react.


5. Ask yourself one more time


Before talking to your partner about ENM, be aware of your own feelings.

If you’re not sure about what to say, you might need to read up on the subject more.

You should know your partner’s feelings and needs, and be sensitive to your own feelings too.


6. Pick the right mood


Before addressing the topic of ENM with your partner, make sure you consider their state of mind and physiological condition.

If you or your partner is bothered by uneasy feelings, it may be not the best time to talk about it.


Regardless of the type of relationship they choose, it’s important to remember that both parties in a couple can love each other. A couple who shares passion, goals, beliefs and respects one another will be happy.

Knowing this, an ENM relationship can be a compatible choice for people who share similar views.

It’s crucial to make the decision after giving it a lot of thought and talking about it with your loved one.

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