Today’s Solutions: August 11, 2022

Our society is set up in a way which encourages monogamy. This arrangement makes a lot of sense for some people, but definitely doesn’t always work for everyone.

What is a non-monogamous relationship?

A non-monogamous relationship is one in which anyone involved has multiple consensual intimate, romantic, or sexual relationships at the same time. Critically, everyone is aware of this dynamic and it is carried out in a respectful manner, unlike cheating. There is a varying range of terms to categorize non-monogamy, including polyamory, swinging, casual hookups, relationship anarchy, and more!

Many of us haven’t even considered this as a possibility in our lives, resorting to an unfulfilled romantic or sexual life and may be the cause of cheating and divorce in many cases.

To see if this dynamic is right for you, ask yourself these 10 questions. They are phrased in a manner that you are in a monogamous relationship now. If you’re currently single, maybe think back to the last time you were in one.

  1. Do I want to be exclusively sexual with my partner?
  2. Over a period of more than a few years, do I find sexual exclusivity difficult?
  3. Apart from my partner, do my sexual, emotional, and romantic desires spread towards other people?
  4. Do I naturally feel the need to pursue multiple friendships and romantic relationships at the same time?
  5. Does the idea of multiple partners seem intriguing?
  6. Do I desire more emotional intimacy than what my partner can offer?
  7. Do you feel like you have enough time and energy to manage multiple relationships? (Think about your platonic relationships, you may be doing this already.).
  8. Am I happy overall, though I feel a vital element of my relationship is missing?
  9. Has “serial monogamy” (exclusivity with a single person for a while) failed as I ended the relationship to pursue new people?
  10. Does the stability and security of a monogamous relationship feel right to me, but I long for passion, romance, and excitement?

If after answering these questions you are intrigued by a non-monogamous relationship, you next need to consider what type of dynamic you feel comfortable with. Depending on your personal situation there are many ways you can arrange your relationships.

Some people practice relationship hierarchy, where a primary partner is your top priority over other partners. Some choose to equally prioritize their partners, and some people even consent to their partner seeking out other people while they are happy themselves just committing to one person. Some allow sexual intimacy, while some people will just go on dates with multiple partners for a romantic connection.  You might go with the motto, “whatever works”.

There is no right way to play out your relationship, as long as the dynamic is consensual and non-abusive, there is a whole world of interpersonal dynamics to explore. Have fun!

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