Whether your relationship has just kicked off, or you’ve been together for a long time, considering a polyamorous or an open relationship will be a whole new experience. Even if you’ve been in such a relationship in the past, every relationship, and the rules that keep things from becoming a jealous mess varies.
Most people have heard the terms polyamory and open relationship, but not everyone clearly understands the meaning or how they work. Both polyamorous and open relationships are types of consensual non-monogamy, and technically, polyamory can be a form of open relationship, but expectations tend to be different in these relationship styles.
What is a polyamorous relationship?
A polyamorous relationship is a non-monogamous relationship that is different because multiple partners are involved. For some, it involves being in a relationship with various people but having one main partner. For others, it involves being in two different relationships.
Often, polyamory is mistakenly considered the same as an open relationship – which is not always the case. Polyamorous relationships are unique because they are made up of multiple, loving partnerships.
The point of polyamory is to fall in love with multiple people, without any relationship hierarchy. For instance, a person could be solo poly (seeking poly relationships whether or not they’re in a relationship with anyone), and they may enter into two different relationships at the same time and see each as equal.
What is an open relationship?
This relationship occurs when a couple has mutually agreed to have a non-monogamous lifestyle. Either or both of them could have other sexual or romantic partners. An open relationship is done with the consent of all parties involved. Otherwise, it will be infidelity.
Sometimes, an open relationship is used as an umbrella term to describe relationships that are not sexually or romantically monogamous, including polyamory. Other times, the term is used to describe non-monogamous relationships that are not polyamorous, which means that parties involved are allowed sexual experiences outside of their relationship without love or romance.
It is common for couples to have agreements on what they can and cannot do with other people. These agreements are different with each couple and may change with time, depending on the needs of those involved.
The difference between polyamory and an open relationship
Most people consider polyamory the same with an open relationship; however, that is not always the case, even though they are both considered non-monogamous.
In polyamory, the relationship is not entirely about sex, whereas open relationships involve having sexual relationships that do not lead to relationships. The point of polyamory is to have many relationships – since love and emotional connections are the driving forces.
Non-monogamous relationships are becoming more widespread. It is incredibly exciting that more people are speaking up more openly about their sexual desires. Just talking about the topic is huge, whether you act on it or not.
For a polyamorous or an open relationship to be successful, both partners need to be open and honest about what they want from the relationship. It is vital to maintain open communication to avoid issues.
While the boundaries in non-monogamous relationships are different from those in monogamous relationships, they still exist – whether by determining who can enter into a relationship or setting limits.
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