For a lot of people, monogamy isn’t just important to a relationship, it’s essential to the very foundation of a relationship. But for a lot of other people, monogamy just isn’t what they want out of a relationship. They might prefer polyamory, or having multiple romantic and/or sexual partners. And if this is something you’re curious about or interested in, then this is the article for you.
Monogamy vs Polyamory
To the naysayers, polyamory is just an excuse to cheat (it’s not, and we’ll get into that later) or have more sex, and it doesn’t lead to sustainable relationships (it does, and we’ll get into that too). Why choose polyamory? There isn’t one single reason. For some people, monogamy just isn’t something they need or even want out of a relationship. Some people might want to try a specific sex act that one of their partners is not interested in doing, but other partners are. Others might just prefer to be open to new relationships and connections while maintaining their current one.
There are countless types of polyamorous relationships. Some couples engage in open relationships, where the couple remains committed to each other but each partner is free to have sex with other people. Some people have three-way relationships or “throuples” as it’s sometimes called. Some people just enjoy having a bunch of partners at once and don’t use any kind of label. There are as many types of polyamorous relationships as there are people in polyamorous relationships. Whether it’s a question of expanding a current relationship or creating new ones, polyamory offers infinite choices of relationship styles.
Of course, like monogamy, polyamory does have some drawbacks. For instance, if jealousy tends to be an issue in your relationships, consider how having more people involved could exacerbate the issue. It might also get complicated if you find yourself having to introduce a rotating circle of partners to friends and family who don’t “get” the whole polyamorous thing.
How to make your relationship succeed?
Before beginning a polyamorous relationship, it’s important to set ground rules between yourself and your partner(s). As I said, polyamory is not cheating. Cheating is going behind your partner’s back, but polyamory is you and your partners agreeing to say, sleep with other people or any of the other examples mentioned. But this agreement needs to be clear. It’s important to be honest with your partners about what you want, what they want, what you’re willing to compromise on, and what you are firmly against. The bright side is that this open communication and honesty can lead to much stronger and healthier relationships. So the idea that a polyamorous relationship cannot be sustained if frankly a bit silly. If anything, a polyamorous relationship, when done with respect and open communication, can become even stronger and last even longer than a monogamous one.
You should also make sure that you’re engaging in polyamory because it’s what you want, not just because your partner wants it. And vice-versa, you shouldn’t make your partner enter into a relationship that they aren’t fully comfortable with. Polyamory is great, but it won’t work unless everyone is 100% on board. But if they are, then go out and enjoy as many loves as you want!
Written by Adina Heisler
Adina is a writer, part-time drag king, and sex-positivity and education advocate based in Toronto, ON.