Full disclosure: I am not currently in a polyamorous relationship.
Let’s start with the definition of polyamory, here’s the breakdown:
Poly is Greek for ‘many’.
Armor is Latin and means ‘, love’.
In the simplest of terms, polyamory means, “Loving more than one.”
The foundations of polyamorous relationships are very important. These relationships need to be built with consent, communication, and respect for each party involved. It’s essential to a lasting and healthy relationship. After all, it is not only a partnership – it is teamwork.
So let’s dive even further into this topic and clarify some things.
“Are Polygamy and polyamory the same thing?”
No. Polyamory, or polyamorous relationships, are not to be confused with polygamy. The sharing of the word ‘poly’ is the end of their similarities.
Polygamy is the custom of having more than one spouse at a time.
Polyamorous refers to more than one partner at a time and the rules of these relationships fluctuate depending on the partners involved.
“Is it similar to friends with benefits?”
It may share similarities but ultimately, that is for the partners to decide. Polyamorous partners and their relationships vary, just like monogamous people’s relationships vary. Friends, family, lovers, spouses, etc. Any relationship we enter into kind of has its own independent contract between the parties. Polyamorous relationships aren’t any different.
“Why is it unlike a committed relationship?”
It’s not. Actually, polyamorous relationships are very much the definition of committed, the only difference is the fact that there’s more than one partner committed to each other.
“Are polyamorous relationships similar to ‘open’ relationships?”
No, in fact, these again are just as different as polygamy and polyamory. Open relationships refer to the practice of a marriage or relationship in which both partners agree that each may have sexual relations with others. That, however, is not the case in polyamorous relationships. This is a highly associated assumption among people in this type of relationship but, polyamorous partners are committed to one another. There isn’t a lesser meaning or bond on one section of the relationship or a less serious commitment between certain members. It’s just as much of a real relationship as any monogamous couples.
“What kind of rules do polyamorous relationships have?”
Polyamorous relationships acknowledge that there can be, and is diverse love. The rules that apply to typical monogamous relationships are often discarded and new rules are created.
“Are polyamorous relationships just for sex?”
Who knows! This is simply another highly associated assumption that is placed on polyamorous relationships. How polyamorous partners define their relationship or what happens inside of it, is their choice. Things such as not all partners live together and not all interact the same with one another. Remember: any relationship we enter into kind of has its own independent contract between the parties.
“Can I start a polyamorous relationship?”
You can. If this is something that interests you be sure to do your research on the subject and learn from other couples! Polyamorous relationships, as all relationships, call for a foundation. They also require a lot more communication. Please remember to be open with your partner about your interests and desires. Be respectful and make sure all parties consent to the arrangement beforehand with your own rules and guidelines.
Polyamorous relationships all vary. There is nothing strange about it. It simply means loving more than one, and there is nothing wrong with that. I for one, think it is quite beautiful.
Featured image via screengrab from John Tucker Must Die.