3 Practices For CNM Relationship Success

3 Practices For CNM Relationship Success

Have you ever wondered if there were practices for CNM relationship success? CNM (Consensual Non-Monogamous) relationships which can also be called ENM (Ethical Non-Monogamous) relationships take work just like any other type of relationship. So if you want to learn more about yourself and how to build a stronger ENM, CNM or other type of relationship, keep reading as we reveal 3 easy practices that will help you find your relationship success.

A Healthy Mindset Matters

Before you begin to work on your outer influences, which are your relationships, you need to set yourself up for success via building a healthy mindset. Just like a healthy diet helps your physical wellbeing, a healthy mindset helps you with your psychological well being. 

There are some very well documented regimes, practices and resources that can and will help you develop your own healthy mindset so it makes sense that you seek out ones that work best for you and your needs. We suggest giving a few of the following a try if you are new to building a healthy mindset:

  • Meditation
  • Join Supportive Groups
  • Participate in Physical Activities
  • Seek out Hygge (google this one, its fun!)
  • Reduce Consumption of Mass Media

Keep in mind that building a healthy mindset takes time and you will have a wavering flow of being in one and sometimes out of one. The key is to consistently put in the work so that you are in a constant state of an improvement cycle. 

Finally, on mindset, understand that there are many on similar journeys and all have a different way of creating their own healthy CNM mindset. All ways of developing a healthy CNM mindset have merit and should be acknowledged but may or may not be right for you.

CNM Relationship Success

There is no set formula or way of doing things that will guarantee someone will have CNM relationship success. But with that said if you do the work and recognize ways of being and showing up you can set yourself up for a more successful CNM journey. 

Let’s look at three key components in developing your own success practice in CNM:

CNM Relationship Success Practice #1

Set Your Boundaries

Boundaries are meant to keep you safe and provide a roadmap for your partners. They are not meant to be anything untoward or hurtful and should always be considered and respected.

When you set boundaries for yourself and they reflect your wants, needs and desires you are providing a way of identifying relationships that are not meant to be and/or ones that need to be refocused into alignment. People who truly respect you and your boundaries will be more than happy to align with them, if they don’t, then that relationship needs to be re-evaluated.

CNM Relationship Success Practice #2

Red Flags

Once you are firm on what your current boundaries are now it is time to start looking at events or situations that push past them. A red flag is simply a method of acknowledging a transgression of what you have deemed, for yourself, as a point which you do not wish to cross. 

Recognition of red flags can and will take time for more subtle instances but regardless of the magnitude they should still be considered red flags. As an example think of a scenario where you have a boundary of no impact play and you have informed a new partner of this boundary. During an intimate encounter your new partner spanks you – this is a red flag regardless of their reasoning of “being caught up in the moment”.

While the above is explicit, red flags can come in many forms and as you practice recognizing them it will be easier to stay true to your boundaries and in time remove red flags initiated from your relationship circles.  Also as you grow and evolve your boundaries, and red flags, are likely to change so make sure you revisit them often and speak to them with others so there is awareness around them.

CNM Relationship Success Practice #3

Speak Up When Red Flags Come Up

Red flags should always be brought to light by giving them acknowledgement and verbal recognition. We all learn in different ways and a person that does create red flag situations needs to know they have transgressed if they are to be able to learn and grow from the transgression.

Speaking up about red flags also reaffirms your boundaries and identifies you as a person that is an ally for others who might not have the same courage as you do for putting voice to a situation. 

In speaking up in regards to red flags that come up you will create a relationship with yourself and with those around you that boundaries matter and crossing them will have recourse. Recourse is not a bad thing when it comes to being true to your needs and can be as simple as a conversation or much more depending on feelings about what has happened.

Next Steps to CNM Relationship Success

By setting clear boundaries early on in a relationship, you potentially nip in the bud any relationship that will negatively affect you. If you are diligent with your relationships you might even create a daily reflection practice to evaluate how relationships are going for you. 

Keep in mind that every relationship will have ups and downs but this is a practice to create transparency and wide open communication for everything right from the get go.

A daily reflection could look like this:

  • What went well today in my relationships?
  • What could have been better?
  • Did any red flags show up?
  • Were they resolved?

This daily reflection can do two things. It quickly helps you find and keep likeminded people in your CNM relationship circle, and it also allows for mutual respect to be born if people don’t see eye to eye on everything.

It’s never about always agreeing, it’s about having the space to share and discuss anything and everything. All questions and curiosity should be free flowing in a healthy relationship. 

Where there is no space for your questions or curiosity, there’s no space for you.

Read that again.

If you only take one thing away from this article let it be that. Let that one statement be applied to every single interaction you have with any other human. 

As with anything the deeper into practice you take these, the easier and easier they will become. Knowing that you are both committed to creating this safe space, you can bring anything into discussion. When it’s received as a way of strengthening and deepening connection, the ego can step aside. 

It is a slow process but it allows you to avoid getting caught up in NRE, lust, intermittent reinforcement and many other feelings that might not best serve you.


Instead of trying to impress, be authentic and real right up front. From the beginning, lose the mask and share your true self. This practice will hopefully invite your new partner to show their true selves as well. Be open to calling out anything that feels off – they are most likely red flags if you look at them hard enough.