Monogamy isn’t for everyone. And while polyamory has always existed, for many people, consensual non-monogamy in relationships is becoming more common (about 1 in 5 people in the US partake in it).
But here’s what’s interesting — even if it isn’t your thing, there are actually quite a few lessons that monogamous couples can learn from the polyamorous.
In order for non-monogamy to be consensual, you’ve got to talk about it. Whether it’s setting boundaries, negotiating agreements or talking through concerns, polyamorous relationships require a lot of communication. Studies have found that people in polyamorous bonds are often better at communicating with their primary partner.
Defining your relationship
Just as polyamory can take many forms, monogamy can be defined in different ways — for some people, merely having sexual thoughts about another person is considered cheating. The thing is, monogamous couples don’t usually discuss such definitions of their relationship, which can cause problems down the line.
Studies have also found that polyamorous people are more likely to practice safe sex than people who are cheating in monogamous relationships.
While it may seem counterintuitive, people who engage in consensual non-monogamy generally exhibit less jealousy than monogamous couples, because they actively communicate and work through any negative feelings that may arise. Trust is key in any relationship, but especially in non-monogamous ones.
By definition, polyamorous people express their wants and needs when it comes to sex, which not only gives them a stronger sense of self, but also helps them maintain independence. Monogamous couples, on the other hand, often compromise their own needs for the perceived benefit of their relationship.
Either way, there’s plenty we can learn from each other. And of course, whatever your sexual proclivity is, we’re all for it. You do you.
Read more about what monogamous couples can learn from polyamorous relationships.