At every stage of our lives, we are bound to encounter conflicts. Whether it be at home, school, work, or within personal relationships, conflict is definitely an inevitable part of our lives.
In a perfect world, there would be no conflict. We’ll all be happy and jumping around in glitter and rainbows. However, in this world we live in, conflict is everywhere. Especially when exploring new horizons like non-monogamy.
This is why conflict resolution is an essential life skill. We’ll never know when conflict will come, so being able to address it head-on will come in handy.
Common Swinging Conflicts
Conflict comes in all shapes and sizes. Since swinging is something new to you, conflict may arise between you and your partner. These conflicts may be, but are not limited to, the following:
- Differing expectations: Going into swinging with different expectations leads to conflict more often than not. Committing to something with your partner while you are on different pages will definitely be a recipe for disaster.
- Compromised Trust: Trust is essential in every relationship, let alone in a swinging one. Transitioning to non-monogamy is hard enough, but it is definitely not a piece of cake when your partner breaks your trust. It may be unintentional, but some of your partner’s swinging choices might make you feel betrayed. You won’t be able to enjoy yourself if you are going to focus on your compromised trust.
- Vague Rules: Even though you think you are very well-prepared for the swinging lifestyle, some things in your swinger rules might just get lost in translation. As mentioned earlier, this may lead to different expectations between you and your partner.
- Personal Insecurities: No matter how prepared you think you are, you may feel your insecurities come up at any point in your swing. There might be different triggers, but the most common one is seeing your partner being involved with someone else. This may stir up feelings of being replaced, traded for, or just generally not being good enough for your partner. This may also include physical insecurities.
- Jealousy: Seeing your partner connect with someone else during swinging might incite pangs of jealousy and lead to a deeper conflict between the two of you.
Troubles With Other Swingers
Aside from these internal conflicts in your relationship, mishaps between you and the other swingers might also occur. You and your partner may find yourselves caught between:
- Gossip – You can not control what people take and give from the swinger party. You would not be able to guarantee what the other parties would say about you outside of the swinging bubble. Unfortunately, it may be too negative or worse, entirely false.
- Body shaming: During swinging, you and your body are exposed to the scrutiny of the other parties involved. There might be instances of body shaming or leaving unnecessary remarks about your weight, body type, or how you look.
- Rude communication: Depending on what kind of swinging activity you’re into, the parties involved should have clear communication. Since most of the swingers, you’ll encounter will be people you just met or don’t personally know, communication might be tricky. Sometimes, conversations and orders can be delivered rudely and get out of hand.
- Broken Rules: Setting rules and boundaries are like the Bible of swinging. The reason why these rules are in place is to ensure all parties’ seamless experience throughout the swinging process. Conflict arises when swingers break these rules or push the set boundaries.
- Bullying: Bullying can also occur in swinging. Aside from gossiping and spreading false rumors, bullying is also manifested in the silent treatment, ignoring you during swinger parties, or it may go as far as cyberbullying.
Defusing Drama & Moving Forward
There are a lot of other conflicts that can occur during swinging. With that said, how should you handle these conflicts? You should CARE:
First off, Communicate. This applies to both you and your partner, as well as in dealing with conflicts with other swingers. Communication is king.
Express how you really feel. Do not sugarcoat things; just be honest. Focus on discussing what’s bothering you, rather than attacking the person themselves.
Secondly, Actively Listen. It would not be fair if you were the only one talking about your feelings, right? Let your partner or the other swingers share their side of the coin with you.
That doesn’t end there. Be objective in listening actively. Understand what they are trying to say, rather than focusing on your anger or emotions.
Third, Review your Options. Now that all parties have made their cases, discuss your options on how to deal with conflicting reasons moving forward.
Lastly, End the conflict. You should end the conflict not just by simply tossing it aside, but by addressing it and coming up with solutions.
Aside from practicing CARE, here are specific tips on how to handle conflicts during swinging:
- Follow swinging etiquette: No matter what happens, always follow swinging etiquette. Most swinging parties practice this, and always keep it in mind when resolving conflict between you and your partner or between other swingers.
- Consent is king: To avoid overstepping boundaries, always ask for consent. It does not matter how comfortable you are, just make sure that everything that is happening is consensual.
- Deal with bullies calmly: Addressing bullies can be very challenging, but this does not mean you don’t have to do it. Do not focus on getting back at them for what they did. Instead, be calm and talk to the bully or bullies privately. If it persists, do not fight back. Do not add fuel to the fire. Contrary to popular belief, you should not avoid conflict by looking for other swinger parties or events to attend, provided you have exhausted all attempts to communicate with your bully/bullies.
- Revisit the rules you have agreed upon: Once there’s a rule-breaking that occurs, make sure to communicate with your partner. Maybe it’s time to revisit the rules you have set for swinging so that no one will break a rule just to enjoy themselves.
As long as you are alive and are trying out new things and perspectives, conflict is inevitable. Transitioning from a monogamous to a swinging lifestyle has a lot of room for conflict, but it should not be a cause of worry if you are equipped with the skills to handle it constructively.
Swinging is already hard and scary initially, you do not need the conflicts that come with it to be scary, too. Look at it as an opportunity for growth and chalk it up to experience.
Let go of any expectations that swinging is a magical experience that does not involve any conflicts or issues.
Swinging is never entirely smooth sailing. There will be rough waves and bumps along the road, but they don’t have to knock you off course. instead of getting rattled and knocked down by them, you grow and learn from them.
Resolving conflict ultimately boils down to trust and open communication. Trust your partner enough that, together with your swinging buddies, you will be able to address conflicts head-on and will be able to come up with win-win situations for everyone involved.