Freelationships: A New, Empowering Relationship Paradigm
Jan 03, 2020
COMPLETE FREEDOM & RADICAL SELF EXPRESSION IS POSSIBLE IN THE CONTEXT OF A DEEPLY COMMITTED PARNTERSHIP! And it feels AMAZING! Do you believe me?
Freelationship : An intentional union of two people in pursuit of mutual Self-discovery, Personal-Growth and Mission-Driven Purpose. Celebrates & Encourages Authentic Expression, Vulnerability and Fluidity within the committed Union. Recognizes that the constructs of our Partnership will change and evolve as both individuals continue to change and evolve. Nourishes the Life Force of the Union with Badass Communication and Mutual Desire to Mindfully tend to the connection.
As my beautiful beau and I have continued to create, redesign and lovingly tend to our Partnership over the last 2 and some years, I’ve been thinking:
I’m not a huge beacon for labels. And yet, as a teacher and leader in the Relationship world, I want to talk about mine & Warren's partnership with clarity in what we are creating together.
I struggled to figure out “what” to call us, because I feel the existing paradigms are limited and outdated.
The term Monogamy literally means the “practice or state of being married to one person at a time.” This is the actual definition. I’m more curious about What does monogamy mean to people today? How does it feel in their body when they hear the word monogamy?
And so, it was there that I began my observational research. I began observing what my clients and tribe were saying to me every single day. I began to ask questions about people’s preferences for Monogamy versus Polyamory. And I noticed some very interesting patterns!
Let’s start with Monogamy. Monogamy is the “traditionally accepted” practice her in the West. It was, what most of our parents and their parents were involved in. And until recently, most people unconsciously signed up for this agreement, without any deep examination of what it means for them personally. Many of us commit to marriage vows that we didn't even write, making blind and empty promises for the future.
Because of this “don’t ask and simply accept” mentality around Monogamy, I think the practice itself has begin to build up a tainted rap.
Because people have been doing Monogamy blindly with no skills or education for so long, most people find themselves in positions of Frustration, Resentment, Stagnancy or Disconnection.
They expect, that with out any work, investment or intention that they are simply going to be able to maintain a Thriving Union over time. Because they love each other.
Love is the juicy & potent ingredient that sparks such a Collaborative Union. And yet, there are very different factors that determine the success and joy of a Relationship over time.
Today, I notice that the construct of Monogamy is clouded with (for many people) ideas and lenses from past experiences. Because so many people have suffered in the painful confides of restrictive monogamy, this distaste makes sense to me. I see how in a lot of ways, traditional monogamy is/can be associated with: Jealousy as a means of love, looking to your partner for personal fulfillment, restrictions, closed, non-communication, “keep the peace”/brush it under the rug tendencies, fear, rigidity, rules, walls, expectations, blame, unskilled conflict, fantasy.
Because of this, it doesn’t feel good to refer to mine & Warrens partnership as a “Monogamous Relationship”. While we do practice sexual monogamy at the core of our union (right now), we are far different from a traditional (dare I say unhappy?) monogamous union.
And from this sad and tired paradigm, Polyamory was born. People started wondering, why would I want to be a part of this trapped and painful dynamic? What seems to be missing from Traditional Monogamy is openness and radical self expression and badass communication skills.
This is what polyamory is all about! That, and the idea that there is not a commitment to one single other person (like my commitment to Warren). Rather, I view polyamory as a commitment to Oneself. In which, the person can do whatever they desire in order to honor themselves in any moment. Polyamory is more widely known for it’s practice of having multiple sexual and intimate partners, but there is much more depth and practice that makes up the paradigm of polyamory, as I see it.
I love a lot of the ideas polyamory has to share (radical honesty, true acceptance, authentic self expression, openness and fluidity), but I prefer to create a commitment and Badass Life together with one central person, instead of spreading myself between multiple intimate and sexual partners. That’s just my personal preference, and there is NOTHING wrong with anyone who has a different preference! And I recognize that one day, that may change. Where is the relational paradigm that accepts the ever changing and dynamic needs of human beings?
And so, with this I birthed Freelationships. This, is what I want to help millions of people achieve in their committed partnerships today. Continually practicing the constructs of Badass Communication, Compassion, Openness, Rockstar Listening, Radical Acceptance, Truth Telling, & Authentic Self Expression WHILE in the context of a deep commitment.
In a Freelationship, we accept and agree that one or both of our feelings will GET HURT in this process. This is okay with us! Because, I won’t withhold the Truth in attempts to “spare my partners feelings.” Because in Freelationships, it is understood that the truth, even when painful to receive, is the only way to Grow Forward.
A Freelationship doesn't attach to any certain set of constructs or agreements. In a Freelationship, we recognize that what works for us now may not work in five minutes or five years! We practice fluidity and non-attachment to the way things are right now.
Have you ever experienced a True Freelationship before? If not, are there shifts you’d like to make in your current construct, in order to move towards a Mutual Freelationship? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!! <3
As always, thank you for taking the time to read and tune in.
Written by Nikki Sunshine: Love & Intimacy Coach, Educator, Public Speaker