In recent years, polyamory (having more than one sexual or emotional relationship) has been popularized on TV, major dating sites such as Occupied, and even research. Experts have studied consensual relationships that are learned a lot from them.
According to Terri Conley (an associate professor of psychology at Michigan), consensual non-monogamy could include polyamory, swinging, and other forms of open relationships. Although there are no statistics on the number of polyamorous relationships in America, a 2016 study published by the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy showed that approximately one-fifth of Americans engage in consensual nonmonogamy at some point in their lives.
These relationships can still be stigmatized. People in polyamorous relationships often keep their identities secret from family and friends.
“Often they are afraid of losing their jobs or not getting a job or losing family or friends who will not respect them anymore, or that their children might be taken away,” said , a professor of philosophy from the University of British Columbia.
Jenkins, a polyamorous partner, warns that relationships don’t have to be one-size-fits-all. She says, “One impression I don’t want is that polyamorous relationships work better for everyone.” “We are all very different.”
Experts in relationships believe that polyamorous relationships can offer valuable lessons to monogamous couples. Researchers say that polyamorous relationships are especially successful in certain areas.
Monogamous relationships that work well require communication. He is a professor of clinical psychology at Stony Brook University and studies monogamous relationships. This is where polyamorous relationships excel.
A May 2017 study published in One found that polyamorous people communicate better with their primary partners than their secondary partners. This may be because primary relationships can last while other relationships are pursued.
UCLA professor of psychology, who studies monogamous relationships, says that this is one area that is particularly relevant for monogamous couples. He says that studying non-monogamous non-monogamous relationships is not like studying monogamy in a completely different country. “Consensually non-monogamous couples may have a lot of lessons to offer everyone about negotiating desire, competing interests, and other aspects of life.”
Definition of the relationship
Polyamorous partners often set boundaries and agree on how each relationship should look. Conley believes these agreements can also be beneficial for monogamous relationships where partners may assume they are on the same page about monogamy.
If you decide to get into a relationship, there might be more to the conversation: Does it mean that we are monogamous? Conley explains, “What does it mean to have monogamy?” “Eating out of someone else’s thoughts is cheating for some people. Intercourse is acceptable for others.
There are many types of polyamorous relationships. According to (Tucson Counselling Associates), a psychologist who works with polyamorous partners, sometimes partners will get to know one another and form a family-like network. Kincaid describes another style of polyamory, called “parallel Polyamory.” This means that all partners are aware of one another but have very little contact.
Kincaid said that she works with couples to determine the best model for them. However, she recommends kitchen table polyamory as it is more efficient for all to communicate directly. Time management is a major challenge for polyamorous couples, Kincaid says.
Kincaid states, “Love isn’t a finite resource. But everyone jokes about it.” “You can have multiple partners that you like to see a lot, but you must negotiate space and time.”
Practising safe sex
A 2012 study found that people in polyamorous relationships are more likely to engage in safe sex than individuals who cheat in monogamous relationships. Monogamous people often consider monogamy safe sex. Therefore, “sexually unfaithful” individuals might reject safer sex strategies if they are in stable relationships.
Kincaid explained that she helps clients complete a questionnaire on what sexual acts they are comfortable doing with their partners. assistant psychology professors at Chapman University, conducted the 2012 study. She said that consensually non-monogamous couples often agree to use condoms with their partners, as well as get information about history with each other.
Moors states that they must navigate many people’s sexual health and relationships. “Important in that is that there are very clear conversations about sexuality that are occurring in consensual non-monogamous relationships, which may not be happening with monogamous relationships.”
Moors states that monogamous relationships often include couples who “stop using condoms to conceal their intimacy: now we’re actually dating.” However, if a monogamous couple cheats on their partner, there is no guarantee that they will continue safe sex.
It might seem that multiple romantic partners can cause more jealousy than monogamy. According to a 2017 study published in Perspectives in Psychological Science, that’s not always the case.
The study, which included 1,507 monogamous couples and 617 consensual, non-monogamous couples, found that those in consensual relationships scored lower on jealousy than those in monogamous ones. It also revealed that those in non-monogamous consensual relationships (including those who engage in polyamory, swinging, and polyamory) scored higher on trust and distrust than those in monogamous relations.
Monogamous couples were extremely jealous. According to Moors, they were more likely to check their partners’ smartphones, look through their email, and carry their handbags around,” Moors states. “But those in non-monogamous consensual relationships had a really low rate of this.”
Davila is also a couples therapist. She says she has observed monogamous couples not address jealousy, while consensual non-monogamous couples may be more open to their feelings. Davila states that jealousy is normal in consensual relationships. They see the feelings that arise and work actively to manage them.
Maintaining an independence
According to , polyamorous couples excel in allowing their partners to have their independence. Conley and Moors discovered in their 2017 study that monogamous couples are more likely than polyamorous to sacrifice their personal needs for the benefit of their relationship.
Kincaid states, “The greatest thing I admire about poly people” is their ability to focus on their needs and find creative solutions. Kincaid also says they rely more on friends or multiple partners than on putting everything on one person. “Once they get in a relationship, [monogamists] tend to place their romantic partner first.”
She recommends that you do the former to strengthen your relationships and receive more support from your loved ones.
He said it was possible to see how other people’s needs might help strengthen non-monogamous consensual relationships.
“If we are a monogamous married couple, we must figure out how to solve our problems. Karney states that we can either avoid, solve or end the problems. If I’m in a non-monogamous relationship with the same problem, it might not be necessary to solve it.