Closed relationships are the mainstream style of relationship that we hear about. They are a very traditional way to love here in Ireland. However open relationships are also something experienced by many these days, even though they may not fit the status quo.

Relationship styles are varied even within the terms of monogamy (closed) and polyamory (open). Just because you have an understanding of one style, doesn’t mean it will have the same boundaries as it did previously or as you perceived .. for instance some monogamous relationships say flirting is cheating and others say its not .. relationships need a lot of negotiation regardless of the terminology.

I don’t know if I can whole heartily say yay or nay to either, anything done re-actively and unconsciously can and often does yield painful results. Anything done with awareness and compassion can and often does yield amazing results.

Through working with people grappling with relationships, I have learned the open or closed bit, isn’t the piece we need to focus on as much as the motivation behind it.

Monogamy can serve as a ground for intimacy and building of depth between people, a place of security and healing, it can also serve as a ground for enmeshment and co-dependency and limitations and playing out “roles” within relationships.

Open relationships can serve as a ground for interdependence and validating ones needs, practicing having a voice, a place of exploring and communicating. Equally it can be a place in which intimacy is kept superficial or a theory and distractions are many.

In saying this and although it is based on what people I have spoken to experienced, either relationship style can facilitate either the benefits or the costs of the other, depending on the relationship dynamic in and of its self.

Again its not what you do, its why you do it.

Most of our relationship choices are coming from an emotional place. Sometimes its a wounded place and other times its a very authentic true to self place. You achieve emotional freedom & security when you are working on your self, developing a deeper relationship with self. Figuring out your deeper needs and healing wounds that unconsciously direct your choices, tends to lead to relationships that feel more satisfying.

I don’t believe that either style of relationship truly hold back the quality of relating .. I think we do .. as always we can make it theoretical or debate the pro’s and con’s, the morals … That doesn’t get you further than an opinion. I would rather stay connected to the feelings.. the motivation .. the needs for any type of relationship. Your draw to it.

I believe that within relationships we truly get to see ourselves and experience ourselves. I know not everyone is able for either style of relationship and some are able for many. I also know that either style of relationship might not serve a persons lifestyle, ambitions or meet their needs at different stages of their life.

We can only ever truly choose what serves us and we can only consciously choose that as we get to know ourselves.

Its not about which is better but asking yourself  which fits me best? for where I am right now?and where I want to be in my life? For what I am seeking from relationships, for what I want to feel.

Again, regardless of your judgments. I would invite you to ask why any model of relationship suits you and is it coming from a place that can be fulfilled in the relationship style you choose.

I have grown up with a traditional view of relationships. I have lived aspects of that and lived aspects of nontraditional relationship styles. I brought the same challenges, the same beliefs, the same wounds to each style of relationship. So did everyone I have ever met, who wasn’t developing their relationship with themselves… relationship ground hog day!

The way we connect and relate doesn’t change based on the style of relationship, it changes based on our relationship with ourselves and the dynamic we have with the person/people we are relating to. These are highly impacted by our approach to intimacy and relating and the way we go about having our needs met. As well as the purpose or place in our life that relationships have.

For some its about fulfilling our childhoods dreams, others its about becoming a better version of ourselves and for others its about being part of a unit, a family. For some of us its about sex or a date on a Friday night or a cuddle on a Sunday morning or someone to text when you have a crap day or celebrations or kids or just knowing someone is there…. the list could go on. ..

What ever it is you want from a relationship get really clear about that and your motivation for that. Its only in that clarity you can start reviewing the capacity you have to meet it and the ways you go about getting it met currently.

It’s there that you can start creating more satisfying relationships. With an awareness of your needs and capacity to collaborate with others to meet them.

The quality of your relationships boils down to what you accept from another and what you bring to the dynamic. That is yours. That has always been yours. That will always be yours.

As you decide which type of relationship style authentically serves you and your needs from a relationship. I hope you come from a place of authenticity rather than wounding .. If this isn’t clear perhaps some one on one support would help you!
 

 

 
Sile Walsh signature life coach
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