Polyamorous Relationships with Dr. Jenni Skylar

Dr. Jenni Skylar of the Intimacy Institute has a mission to give all people permission for pleasure by promoting sexual health and healing. We offer comprehensive counseling, experiential education, and culturally competent training services to help each client deepen their connections with themselves, their partners, and their communities. She believes that socio-cultural messages that perpetuate the performance of sex and relationships…and, attachments wounds from childhood that “run the show” in adult dating.

Dr. Skylar invited me in to discuss modern relationships, from monogamy to polyamory!  We don’t hold back during the authentic conversation to go deep beyond the surface level discussion to discover the intimacy behind the lifestyle choice common today.  Are you in Denver on April 25th, 2019 from 6:30-9:30? If you would like to join us for a fun and educational live event with expert panelists then grab your tickets for the upcoming live event in Denver, Co by clicking here now!  50% off one day only Monday, April 22nd!  

Have you heard of polyamory?

Neither had I until recently. So I had to look up this dating term when I first heard it to learn more. So let’s define it shall we?

Polyamory (from Greek πολύ poly, “many, several”, and Latin amor, “love”) is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved. It has been described as “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy”

As I hope you know as you continue to read, this article does not place judgement on the choices of other people in or out of relationships. What we choose as our most authentic relationships is entirely up the people in those relationships. I have compassion for all types of relationships, otherwise I wouldn’t be a very good host of the Believe Be Real Be Bold podcast. Listen in on the whole conversation with Dr. Jenni Skylar now on iTunes or Spotify!

My biggest take aways from my conversation with Dr. Skylar were…

14:56- The beauty and power of relationships is that we can work towards secure attachment together. Dr. Skylar is living proof of this practice!

17:29- Monogamy is “mating for life”. Geese, Pandas, and Penguins do this. Some humans do this, they meet in high school and mate for life.

19:22- Bound by emotional resources and sexual resources, we call that the monogamous relationship for simplicity.

20:30- The difference between swinging relationships and open relationships.

22:55- Can one person meet all of our needs? No, but let’s frame it in The 8 Spheres of Intimacy. 

39:35- Watering your own garden so that you can water the relationship garden is key! When putting all or your eggs in one basket, begin with your own first!

I also wouldn’t venture to write this article without listening to the other side of the very personal arrangement and lifestyle choice for couples. As I commute through Denver, I took the time to listen to a couple of my favorite podcasts that have spoken on polyamory. And I was curious to hear what couples engaging in this lifestyle had to say.

First, I tuned into The School of Greatness episode where Lewis Howes interviewed Aubrey Marcus, an incredibly influential business person. Secondly, one of my favorite dating podcast for entertainment is Girls Gotta Eat with Rayna Greenberg and Ashley Hesseltine, where they interviewed a couple who have chosen this open relationship lifestyle on a recent podcast episode based out of New York City.

I heard a common theme from all of the interviewees. “I know that one person can’t satisfy all of my needs”. I’m sure their choices are based on more than just this perspective, but to get right to the point, I’d like to focus on this quote and why I am choosing to interview experts on the subject on the Believe Be Real Be Bold podcast!

If you’ve been following our podcast for a while, you will find a common theme from our expert guest. Setting intentions when dating, establish healthy boundaries, managing your own expectations, and creating self-love are big keys to living a life with a fulfilling relationship.

On episode 6, Nick Mancini and I discussed core values as a foundation in his Marriage and Family Therapy business in Denver, Co. Listen to the full episode by clicking here now to learn more from Nick!

Later on in season one, Erika Holmes and I spent the good part of an hour discussing a new technique called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which takes your core values into consideration when formulating healthy boundaries in your life. Listen again if you can’t recall the whole discussion by clicking here now!

I spent time discovering my own core values because I had never ventured there before. Once I worked through this challenging exercise, I was able to face polyamory as a lifestyle more clearly and objectively. Therefore, when it keeps popping up in my life I can listen with curiosity and compassion for where couples participating wholeheartedly are coming from!

The point being made, as I said earlier, is that not one person is able to fill all of your needs completely. And they are almost 100% correct. The actual truth is the there is not one OTHER person besides yourself that can fill all of your needs. And when searching for an amazing relationship with a partner, it’s not about finding someone that fills you up…. That’s your job and yours alone.

Dr. Skylar shares her 8 Spheres of Intimacy with us to illustrate that there are depths at which she spends time with her clients to discover what core need isn’t being met to help couples find there deepest level of intimacy by collaborating vs. competing!

It’s not fair to expect your partner to “complete you”. Understanding that is one of the biggest reasons why I have gained so much from hosting the BBR Podcast these past six months. I have discovered that happiness is an inside job, done for me and by me. If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on this, please read a recent blog I wrote, It Starts with You. This is at the core of the practice of self-awareness. If you are aware of what makes you the happiest, you realize that you are the largest contributing factor in that equation. Not a single piece of external validation will ever fill your needs, not even the love of your life!

Each of the interviewees discussed the level of self-awareness they must possess if they were to be successful in polyamorous relationship. Although there are many ways a person can go through their journey of self-discovery, this is the part of their conversations that I disagree with because their point was that there was a need to put aside the natural jealousy and look at what it was their partner was able to give them in the relationship.

As one of the ethical components of polyamory is to share your dates and experiences with your partner, I can imagine that it isn’t easy to face the feelings that come up in that conversation; such as jealousy. It seems counterintuitive to me that ignoring those feelings of jealousy (as explained by an interviewee) is a healthy choice and setting aside personal boundaries to encourage your partner to date, sleep with, or hook up with another falls into the definition of commitment. Ashley Hesseltine commented that she knows she wouldn’t be able to make a relationship like this work because of that tinge of jealousy. That’s the beauty of this conversation we can have about growth in and out of relationships of any kind. View the entire podcast episode on YouTube below!

Would you like me to invite an expert guest onto the podcast to discuss this lifestyle choice compassionately and from a professional angle? Comment below or email us now so that we know you’d like to explore more topics!

To learn more about the core values of the Believe Be Real Be Bold podcast and how we educate listeners across the world to show up as their most authentic selves, subscribe on iTunes or Spotify now to hear the latest episode when they come out each Monday!

Dave Glaser is the owner and head online trainer at Fit Life Champions and an Enneagram Coach for singles that wish to become more resilient while seeking an authentic relationship. Download your free 3 Step Guide to Finding Lasting Love at www.believeberealbebold.com and receive a complimentary online profile review now!

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