Different kinds of dating relationships

There are hundreds of different relationship models beyond the default mode of monogamy.

I highly recommend by Tristan Taormino for a primer on how different structures have worked for various people (and what to do when they don’t work for you). You and your partner might be cool having sex with other people as long as you’re both involved in the encounter.

But just because you have that person in common doesn’t necessarily mean you like one another, and that’s O. Learning to be civil and kind is a good practice, and if you have a metamour, you shouldn’t feel pressure for your relationship to be more than cordial.

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“Monogamish.” “Ethical slut.” “Polyamorous.” “In an open marriage.” These days, it can that seem there are as many words for people who engage in non-monogamous relationships as there are LGBTQIA signifiers.

If you have friends who are non-monogamous, you might be curious: How does it work for them, and how could it work for you?

What really happens in a poly relationship is that each individual knows their own desires and boundaries.

Each couple, throuple, or group discusses where those desires and boundaries overlap and which ones require compromise.

Poly people have a word for the opposite of jealousy: compersion.

Compersion basically means feeling happy that your partner is happy.

Being poly does not give you a license to do whatever you want indiscriminately or without consequence.

If two people in an open marriage decide that, for example, co-workers are off-limits, and the husband sleeps with his secretary, that’s a violation of their agreement!

The truth is, many men are bi-curious, and being in an open relationship can be the perfect way to explore sex with people of different gender identities.

Personally, I’ve always felt that being non-monogamous is as innate a part of me as being queer. I have some friends who were dirty cheaters before they found ethical poly, and some people who have been poly since they were teenagers.

You might think of monogamy as an off-the-rack garment, while polyamory is a bespoke suit that you design yourself!

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