Consensual Non-Monogamy and Other Unique Relationships with Adrian Matthews

This show is all about having messy and sometimes uncomfortable conversations so that we can better understand each other.

This conversation scared me a little bit and challenged some ideas that I had. I think much of my fear of having this conversation stems from potential judgment by listeners.

However, I always leave these scary conversations more enlightened and empathetic for how others choose what works best for their lives.

Adrian Matthews is a relationship expert and therapist specializing in polyamory, open relationships, and consensual non-monogamy. He practices in RI and MASS, focuses mainly on consensual non-monogamous relationships.

Show Highlights:

  • What is consensual non-monogamy?
  • The relationship escalator explained
  • What is constellation therapy and why does Adrian’s practice include it?
  • Exploring the gray areas that aren’t normally talked about in traditional therapy
  • Attachment is at the heart of the therapy relationship – a secure base is critical.
  • Opening a relationship doesn’t make the problems that exist go away.
  • Are people who practice consensual non-monogamy more evolved?
  • We all have needs in our lives that romantic and sexual relationships can’t provide.
  • 2 ways consensual non-monogamy looks in today’s relationships.
  • Why Adrian doesn’t use the term ethical non-monogamy.
  • Ethical non-monogamy is more aspirational in the therapy setting.
  • The definition of polyamory
  • What is solo polyamory 
  • Mono polyamory and when it is appropriate for relationships.
  • Laying the relationship foundation for polyamory to work.
  • Why Adrian does not guarantee outcomes in therapy.
  • The importance of having conversations around consensual non-monogamy.
  • 3 assumptions about needs that guide Adrian during therapy.
  • Ways consensual non-monogamy can subvert the trappings of traditional patriarchal monogamy.
  • Ways men are harmed by patriarchy


Connect with Adrian:


Esther Perel

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