“From a mind filled with infinite love comes the power to create infinite possibilities.”

-Marianne Williamson

Definition of Polyamory

Polyamory is the practice of having more than one romantic relationship at a time, or having a romantic relationship involving more than one partner. While there are some differences in how each person or relationship defines polyamory, there are also many similarities between types of polyamorous relationships. Polyamory is designed to be above all honest, responsible and ethical. The practice of loving multiple people simultaneously is not new, though people in polyamorous relationships often face some social stigma. Many polyamorous people believe that love is unlimited. People of all sexualities can be found in polyamorous relationships, including heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and pansexual. Polyamory is not intrinsically sexual in nature, and people can be in intimate relationships, romantic relationships, or a combination of the two. Some asexual people are polyamorous, and aromantic people can be poly as well. While some people who are polyamorous engage in casual sex and are in open relationships, casual sex is not a characteristic of polyamory.

About Polyamorous Relationships

Polyamorous relationships come in all shapes and forms. Some people utilize hierarchical formats, while others have more of a focus on individual relationships in a non-hierarchical way. Some people might use polyamory as a definition for being able to have casual sex, though this is not in alignment with the accepted definition of polyamory. Polyamory is also not synonymous with being a polygamist, a different type of relationship structure. Enjoying polyamory best starts with understanding what it is. It is not swinging, it is not a term for all forms of open relationships, but rather it is a term that is used to describe people open to or in committed, loving relationships with multiple people.

The Bottom Line About Polyamory

Consensual non-monogamy, or ethical non-monogamy, is an umbrella term used to describe open relationships, swinging, and polyamory. Polyamory is different than both swinging and open relationships in the sense that the focus is on committed and loving relationships with multiple partners. Research has pointed to evidence that more than 20% of Americans have been a participant in consensual non-monogamous relationships at some point during their lives. If you are looking to be polyamorous with a partner, take care to be open and nonjudgmental with your communication. Respect your partner’s feelings and beliefs and do your research. Polyamory can be very rewarding, providing both commitment and flexibility within relationship structures.

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