In all fairy tales about true love, there are always two people who are destined for each other, and no one ever says that there are such forms of love when romantic and sexual relationships can be built with more than one person. One such form is polyamory. How exactly such relationships work, why this is not considered cheating, and many other things we analyze in our article.
The content of the article
What is polyamory?
Polyamory implies that a person is open to romantic and intimate relationships with more than one person at the same time. Of course, this openness extends to all partners in such an alliance.
But to consider that polyamory is a synonym for treason is fundamentally wrong. These concepts have a completely different basis, although many people only imagine polyamory in such a way. But what is treason? Cheating, betrayal, breaking a promise not to date or have sex with other people. Polyamory, on the other hand, implies that partners have come to a certain agreement on the topic of sex and relationships with other people. And this agreement is based on trust.
Another misconception about polyamory is that polyamorous people just don’t like being in a relationship. Not at all. In fact, according to research in this area, the satisfaction that people get in a monogamous relationship is no different from a polyamorous relationship. The only difference, perhaps, is that in polyamorous relationships there are still more general agreements that are not taken for granted and require separate discussion. But love, care, trust and mutual respect are exactly the same as in monogamous couples.
As for sex: polyamory is not about gangbang. Of course, there are polyamorous relationships in which there are more than two participants and they like to have sex with several partners at once. But most still find such relationships tiresome. And even being in a relationship with two or three people, they prefer to have sex with only one of them at one time.
The main principles of polyamory
While no two polyamorous relationships are the same, nor are monogamous relationships the same, the following principles still apply in any healthy relationship:
As in any other relationship, trust plays a key role in building strong relationships between people. As a rule, trust is built on mutual communication, discussion of the possibility of attracting new partners into a relationship. Among other things, trust includes understanding to practice safe sex, as well as keeping promises that partners have made to each other.
Many people are convinced that polyamory is basically sex. But polyamorous people themselves like to joke that polyamory is talk. And for the most part they are right. Maintaining a healthy and strong relationship between several people requires constant dialogue, discussion of the emotions and feelings of all participants in the relationship in order to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.
Consent is also an important aspect. Polyamory does not mean that a person can have sex with everyone and do what he wants. And if one of the members of the polyamorous union is against sex, this is his right. In a healthy relationship there is no place for coercion and everything happens with the mutual consent of the participants, whether it is trying some new sexual practices or adding new agreements to the lives of partners.
- Mutual respect
Disrespect for the feelings of a partner is a bad sign even in monogamous relationships, let alone polyamorous ones. In addition, respect is required not only for the feelings of one partner, it implies mutual respect between all participants in the process.
How do people know they are polyamorous?
Usually, to realize your polyamory, it is enough to answer just a few key questions. For example:
- How do you deal with jealousy?
First of all, it is important to understand how you feel when your partner communicates with another person. What if he dates someone else? Or will he have sex with someone other than you? We do not say that polyamory means the absence of jealousy, but it implies that a person is open to discussion and open expression of their feelings on this topic. Therefore, if you are ready to talk about jealousy out loud, you may have a predisposition to polyamory.
- Do you like variety in your sex life?
Monogamous couples can also diversify sex, there are many ways for this, ranging from new positions in sex to various sex toys. But for some people this is not enough. Therefore, if you prefer diversity not only in actions, but also in partners, you can safely think about polyamorous relationships.
- Are you ready for a deep emotional connection with more than one person?
Emotional connections are complex, and sometimes even one person is enough to deal with it. But if you feel the strength and interest in yourself to establish such a connection with several people at once, then this is definitely another hint of a predisposition to polyamory.
- Why are you interested in polyamory?
Different people have different reasons for being interested in polyamory. The main thing to remember is that polyamory is not a means to solve problems in an existing relationship or an excuse for cheating. Polyamorous relationships are hard work that require mutual respect, a willingness to build a fulfilling relationship with one more person. And this readiness is required from both partners.
If you feel ready for all this, then you can try a new type of relationship. There is nothing wrong if you try and decide that polyamory is not for you after all.
As long as you and your partners can have an honest and open dialogue, understanding your real wants and needs should not be a problem.
How to Offer to Try a Polyamorous Relationship
It’s hard to talk about this out loud. Especially if you are already in a monogamous relationship with one partner. There is always a risk that you will not be understood or judged, but it is also wrong to remain silent about your feelings.
The first conversation may not go very smoothly and it will most likely take several open conversations, including discussing your feelings on the subject, before you can come to any agreement.
Be that as it may, the main thing in the dialogue is to be honest and be open about why you want to try polyamory. If you want to have sex with several people, you need to be honest with your partner about it. If a monogamous relationship isn’t doing you any good emotionally, admit that too. Tell us what you want from polyamory and what your partner can get out of it.
The only thing you shouldn’t do is try to fix your partner’s dissatisfaction with polyamory – if he does something wrong, this problem should be solved separately, without other people interfering with it.
How to Set Ground Rules for a Polyamorous Relationship
If you and your partner decide to try polyamorous relationships, it’s time to remember that polyamory is not a synonym for permissiveness, and think about what you want from such a relationship.
So, first of all, decide what are your expectations? This understanding will help you set boundaries in your new relationship. For example, if you are excited about the possibility of going on first dates again, and your partner does not want to hear any details about it.
Next, make a yes-no-maybe list that describes all the practices that you both agree on, which you can think about, and which you or your partner clearly reject. This is not so much about sexual practices, but, for example, about the possibility of bringing a new partner to your home with an overnight stay or staying overnight in another house.
And don’t forget that the rules set at the very beginning don’t have to be immutable. In fact, the more often you discuss your relationship, the easier it will be for the two of you to understand if something in it is going wrong and needs intervention. Or revision of the rules.
Emotional boundaries in relationships
There are such boundaries in all relationships, but in polyamorous relationships they can be more specific. We present some examples:
- Serious or non-serious relationship
Are you ready for the fact that your partner will build a serious relationship with someone other than you? What will he say to someone else “I love you”? Or would you prefer this relationship not to develop into something long-term and sustainable?
- Share details with each other or not
Do you want to know the details of your partner’s dates with others, or even the details of his sex? Are you ready to share such details yourself?
- How often do you want to see others
This implies not only one-time dates, but also what holidays, with which partner would you like to spend? Meet only on weekends or on weekdays too?
Physical boundaries in a relationship
Typically, physical boundaries involve sex, spending time together, and the way you show affection to each other. For example:
- Kissing, hugging, and anything that doesn’t involve sex
You may not have anything against sex, but kissing is already something personal, and you would not want to share it with someone else.
- Spending time with your partner’s partner
Do you prefer to avoid being in the same place as your partner’s partner, or are you fine as long as they don’t make out right in front of you? Or maybe you don’t even mind going on a triple date?
- Sexual practices and safer sex
What kind of sex do you prefer? Vaginal, oral, anal? Do you want to keep some kind of sex just between you and your partner? And does sex with other people have to be safe?
Setting boundaries that suit all partners in a relationship is just as important as trust and an open dialogue about your feelings and desires.
I LOVE TWO AT THE SAME TIME. THIS IS NORMAL? Polyamory and monogamy.