Relationships can be rewarding, loving and fulfilling parts of our lives. They provide support, intimacy and companionship. And for some people, a traditional monogamous relationship, involving a committed partnership between two people, is not enough. Enter polyamory, or the practice of more than two people involved in a loving, emotionally intimate, non-monogamous relationship. It’s important to know that polyamory is not the same thing as polygamy. Polyamory involves multiple committed relationships at once and–this part is key—they involve the consent and knowledge of everyone involved. It’s not the same thing as swinging (where couples knowingly seek recreational sex outside of a relationship) and it’s not cheating (where one person in a relationship strays without the permission of the other). Polyamory is about consensual non-monogamy, in which multiple couples commit to loving more than one person at a time.
Many People Believe That Polyamory Is Good for You
It’s also more common than you think. A recent study in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that in regards to consensual nonmonogamy (CNM), “more than one in five (21.9% in Study 1; 21.2% in Study 2) participants report engaging in CNM at some point in their lifetime.”
In the past, it has been hard to gather accurate statistics about polyamorous relationships. This might be because polyamorous couples are closeted and hesitant to admit their relationship structures to others, for fear of judgment from their friends and from society. The good news is that as society evolves, and relationships evolve, people are becoming more open and more interested in what a polyamorous relationship might mean to them. Findings from another study published in the journal Psychology and Sexuality suggest “people are more uncomfortable with the idea of strictly sexual relationships (i.e. swinging relationships) than relationships involving multiple romantic/emotional attachments (i.e. polyamorous relationships).”
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