Have you ever felt like loving more than one person at the same time? You are not the only one. For many, a monogamous relationship simply doesn’t fit with their desires.
Others are totally against the ancient societal conventions that still dictate what is accepted and what is not in a relationship, sometimes resulting in betrayal and lies. So, if you find yourself in such a position, don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with you! Also, you are not the only one and it might be of comfort knowing that there are ways you can have loving relationships with more than one partner.
One of such ways is polyamory (we are going to get deeper at what it is and what it entails), which is becoming increasingly common. As it often happens, despite its increased popularity, the term”polyamorous relationship” is not completely clear to everybody, even to those involved in this kind of relationship.
This is the reason why we created this essential guide on everything you should know about polyamorous relationships. It is aimed at clarifying everything for you as well as defining what this relationship entails and what it doesn’t.
If you are one of those people who have never heard of it, you also don’t need to worry! Keep reading and discover about this way of living a relationship: this article is all about it. You might want to try it out in the end, who knows!
What Does Polyamory Mean?
As scary as the word “polyamorous” might sound, no it is not a rare sickness. Instead, polyamory is a word coming from ancient Greek and referring to the desire for or the practice of intimate relationships with more than one partner at the same time, with the consensus of all the parties involved in the relationship.
Mind you, however, that it is not the same thing as a so-called “open relationship”, as polyamorous relationships are made of multiple loving partners. We will outline the differences between these two kinds of relationships further on in this article.
The word “polyamorous” is self-explanatory: it is made of two words: the Greek “poly”, meaning “many” and the Latin word “Amor”, meaning love. Many refer to this type of relationship as a consensual and ethical non-monogamy.
It might surprise you to know that research has found than more than 20% of Americans have participated or are currently in a consensually non-monogamous relationship. And the popularity of this kind of relationship is growing!
What Is A Polyamorous Relationship?
A polyamorous relationship is simply a relationship in which people reject the classical view that exclusivity (both sexual and relational) is necessary for deep and committed loving relationships. People in this relationship engage in conscious jealousy management and commit to openly communicate desires and expectations in the relationship. All parties involved consent and are aware of the other partners’ relationships and they accept them.
Some experts have identified the presence of a “primary couple” that openly and with consent from both people involved, engage in other romantic relationships with different partners. From time to time, the primary couple might decide to build new sexual bonds with other people as a couple.
For other people, however, polyamory means being in two completely separate relationships at the same time, without the need for a “primary couple”.
Defining the boundaries or the characteristics of a polyamorous relationship should be the task of the partners.
How Does A Polyamorous Relationship Work?
In our society, monogamy is the accepted standard for relationships. We are so used to it, that when it comes to non-monogamous relationships, not many seem to have the logistics of such relationships clear. It is common to have a hard time in the beginning in understanding the dynamics and getting used to a completely different way to live a relationship. But with the right attitude and information, it is possible.
The key to such a relationship to be successful is that everyone involved should be open and extremely honest about their desires and their other relationships. Open communication between the partners is an essential characteristic to avoid the arousal of issues.
Jealousy might still be a problem, no matter how open you are with your partners. And to be honest, it is completely normal. This is why, in some polyamorous relationships, the partners decide to put limits on the amount of time spend with each partner or on the people allowed to enter the relationship.
Keep in mind that just as challenging as it can be to keep a relationship with a single and exclusive partner, the same can be said about polyamorous relationships. Actually, under many aspects, the latter can be even more complex to keep together, because of the increased emotional ties and preoccupations. Generally, the more people involved in a relationship, the more complex it can get to manage it. You should keep this in mind before engaging in a polyamorous relationship. For example, it can be difficult to eradicate all the insecurities that jealousy incentivizes.
Other challenges, as with more “traditional” relationships, involve trust, clarity of intentions and open communication.
One big positive aspect of choosing to be in a polyamorous relationship is the improvement of communication. In such a relationship, all secrets and betrayals are removed from the equations, as the menace of “affairs” is virtually eliminated.
What Is the Difference Between A Polyamorous Relationship and An Open Relationship?
Even if both kinds of relationships are characterized by being both non-monogamous, the two are indeed different. An open relationship is mainly defined as a relationship in which partners are allowed to have sex outside the relationship, without forming intimate and loving relationships. On the other hand, polygamous relationships are not limited to sex. Members of the relationship can decide to form new intimate relationships with other people while openly communicate it to the other partners.
The main drivers of polygamous relationships are deep emotional bonds and intimacy, which are not present in the casual sexual encounters of open relationships.
So know, you should know it all about polyamorous relationships! If you wish to do so, you can try to put your knowledge into practice and try out this type of relationship!