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Question: Article

Lifestyle Tips 101: Seven Vital Tips for Communicating With Your Swinging Partner

By Lifestyle Expert Robyn Scott

Obviously, communication is vital in any relationship. Now youíre thinking about opening up your relationship to swinging, or have already done so. This introduces a whole new dynamic which may challenge the level of communication you have with your partner.
Not every couple will readily agree on boundaries and desires when stepping into the swinging lifestyle. This need not result in arguments if communication is handled properly. Here are some tips that will help you define boundaries for each other productively while still allowing you both to explore your curiosities that come with an open relationship.

1) Talk, talk, talk. Communication seems obvious, but it is a common element that is lacking in many troubled swinging relationships. If you do not communicate, you will end up getting hurt, period. Some things that you encounter in this lifestyle will not be easy to talk about, but it still needs to be done. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Even if it seems trivial, speak up. Your partner is not a mind reader. If something happens because you did not speak up about your feelings, the fault lays with the one who didnít communicate.

2) Make up scenarios that could happen while swinging. Ask each other how you would handle yourselves when presented with this hypothetical circumstance. Itís okay not to know the Ďrightí answer. This is all about brainstorming and gauging each othersí potential behaviors. Itís so much easier to present fictional situations to one another than to suddenly be faced with them in real-life and not know how to handle them. Discussing the Ďwhat-ifsí will help you both have a healthy discourse, understand one anotherís feelings, and develop boundaries.

3) If something bothers you, whether in hypothetical situations or in real life, point it out. Donít do so in an accusatory manner. If you take the wrong tone from the outset, your partner will probably react instinctively, with a defensive air. Discussions cannot be productive if you are confrontational and defensive with each other. Hear each other out, and then work through the feelings together. Remember, your boundaries are going to change depending on what is thrown at you in the lifestyle. Neither one of you can predict every single situation that you will face, but itís okay to make mistakes. This is how you learn. Talk through it civilly and never bottle up any feelings. This only leads to resentment down the road. Remember that attitude is everything.

4) Pay attention to one anotherís needs and reactions. Remember that this is about both of you. If your partner seems uncomfortable or agitated in some way, reach out and offer support. Unmet needs, and a feeling that your partner is not paying attention to you can lead to issues. Itís easy to get excited about the prospect of swinging, but keep a reign on your feelings and remember that your partner is also going through a range of emotions.

5) If a need is not being met, donít complain, criticize or place blame on your partner. The best way to approach an unmet need is by telling your partner how you feel. Try not to dwell on what you feel they did wrong. Focus instead on what you would like to see done differently. Then, make a request for different behavior. (i.e. ďWhen you spoke to that woman most of the night and didnít speak much to me, I felt a little neglected. I donít mind that youíre paying attention to other women, as long as you are making me feel included too. I would love to be invited into the conversation in the future so I can get to know her just as well. Can you do that for me?Ē) Again, pay attention to your tone and body language when you are making a request of your partner. It isnít always the words we speak; It is how we convey them with verbal and nonverbal queues. If you feel heated about something, take some time to yourself to calm down and prepare for more rational communication. When we get upset, the ďangerĒ center in our brain literally blocks the rational portion of our minds by swelling up so much. Time actually allows that portion of our brain to chill out and allow us to think normally again.

6) Listen to your partner. You may not feel that anything needs to be addressed, but if they have the courage to speak up about an issue, listen in earnest. Good listening entails facing your partner, using eye-contact and not engaging in nonverbal communication such as eye rolls, crossed arms or contemptuous facial expressions. When your partner expresses something, donít just write it off as Ďno big dealí. Show concern and ask questions in return to have your partner clarify their feelings. This shows genuine interest and a desire to fix the issue- no matter how silly it may seem to you.

7) Your partnership is always your priority. If you remember this in all that you do, you have a good foundation of thinking.

For more lifestyle tips, visit:
Carpe doíem (Seize the swinger)



Dear (Anonymous),

Enjoy :)
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