What is non-monogamy?

In a world where most couples are still pretty traditional, being open to non-monogamy takes effort and bravery. If you’re a person who is interested in different types of non-monogamy, then it’s time to dive into the world of these unusual but somehow alluring love bonds.

  • Lily(Hongli Chen), 49
    Luohe, China
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  • Julieth, 29
    Bogotá, Colombia
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  • Veronika, 29
    Kyiv, Ukraine
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  • Gene, 36
    Shanghai, China
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  • Daniela 🤍, 34
    New Orleans, USA
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  • Adelina, 29
    Jiaxing, China
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  • Emma, 24
    Medellín, Colombia
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  • Ysabel, 44
    Bogotá, Colombia
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  • Gwen, 26
    Lyon, France
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  • Antony, 43
    Paris, France
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  • Mia, 47
    Chonqging, China
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  • Olena, 46
    Odesa, Ukraine
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Most couples tend to be in “classic” love bonds – but what is non-monogamy and how does it work? Read further to find out about different types of non monogamy to choose the best one for you!

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What are the different types of non-monogamy?

Monogamous people often can’t fully understand the idea of being with multiple people at once, but different types of non monogamy make it easier for couples to find something that actually suits them.

Actually, the whole concept isn't exactly new – so let's find out more!

Historical and Cultural Context

Non-monogamy has been practiced in different forms in many cultures throughout history. Examples include polygamy (multiple spouses), polyandry (multiple husbands), and various forms of communal living or group marriages. These practices have roots in ancient civilizations such as ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and various indigenous cultures.

Anthropological Evidence

Anthropological studies have documented non-monogamous practices in different societies worldwide. Examples include the Mosuo people in China, the Trobriand Islanders in Papua New Guinea, and the traditional polygamous societies in parts of Africa. These cultures have long-standing traditions of non-monogamous relationships, challenging the notion that monogamy is the only or default relationship structure.

Historical Figures and Literature

Non-monogamous relationships can be found in the lives of historical figures and in literary works. For instance, ancient texts like the Kama Sutra from India and the works of ancient Greek philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, discuss and explore various forms of non-monogamy and alternative relationship structures.

Some researchers argue that non-monogamous behavior can be traced back to our evolutionary past. They suggest that humans have a natural inclination for both monogamous and non-monogamous relationship patterns.

Contemporary Non-Monogamy Movements

In recent decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in non-monogamy, leading to the emergence of contemporary non-monogamous movements, such as polyamory and open relationships. These movements build upon historical and cultural precedents while adapting to modern contexts and evolving societal norms.

Evolutionary Perspectives

Some researchers argue that non-monogamous behavior can be traced back to our evolutionary past. They suggest that humans have a natural inclination for both monogamous and non-monogamous relationship patterns. Evolutionary theories propose that non-monogamy may have served various purposes, such as increasing genetic diversity, forming social alliances, or sharing resources within communities.

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What is ethical non-monogamy (ENM)?

Some individuals want to be with multiple individuals at once without actually hurting their feelings. So, what is ethical non-monogamy and how does it work?

A Brief History of Ethical Non-Monogamy

Ethical non-monogamy is not a new concept. Various forms of these unusual love bonds have been practiced throughout history and across cultures. However, it gained more recognition and visibility in the latter half of the 20th century and also continues to evolve today. The feminist movement and the sexual revolution which happened in the 1960s and 1970s challenged long-living traditional norms, paving the way for different approaches to love and intimacy. Since then, ethical non-monogamy has actually gained attention and acceptance as a pretty valid relationship choice.

Common Misconceptions

Just Sex

Ethical non-monogamy is frequently misunderstood as solely based on casual sex or promiscuity. Meanwhile, ethical non-monogamy explores and highlights a much broader scope. It prioritizes forming actually strong bonds, personal growth, and developing meaningful love bonds based on actual consent and respect. While sexual adventures can be part of it, ethical non-monogamy prioritizes what people feel and how they try to build their future together.

Lack of Commitment

Another misconception is that ethical non-monogamy lacks commitment or stability. In reality, ethical non-monogamous relationships can be pretty much committed, emotionally invested, and enduring. The actual devotion lies in the mutual agreements and previously discussed boundaries established by all lovers involved, making sure that everyone's needs and expectations are heard and fulfilled.

The actual devotion lies in the mutual agreements and previously discussed boundaries established by all lovers involved, making sure that everyone's needs and expectations are heard and fulfilled.

It's Cheating or Unethical

Ethical non-monogamy is often confused with cheating or unethical behavior. However, the fundamental distinction lies in the consensual nature of ethical non-monogamous relationships. All partners are fully aware and have given informed consent to take part in non-monogamous dynamics. Ethical non-monogamy prioritizes honesty, genuine feelings, and mutual respect, making sure that all individuals are involved in the decision-making process.

One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Ethical non-monogamy is sometimes mistakenly assumed to follow a standardized approach. In reality, ethical non-monogamy usually allows for individualized relationship connections that align with personal preferences and boundaries. It recognizes that each love bond is unique and requires ongoing dialogue and negotiation to ensure the happiness and satisfaction of everyone who enjoys it.

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What is consensual non-monogamy?

When two people feel like they want to be with someone else while still being together, it’s often called consensual non-monogamy. Let’s find out more about how it works.

A Brief History of Consensual Non-Monogamy

Consensual non-monogamy has roots in various cultural and historical contexts. Historical evidence suggests that non-monogamous relationships were present in ancient civilizations such as ancient Rome and Greece. In recent decades, consensual non-monogamy gained recognition and visibility through the works of relationship pioneers like Margaret Sanger, who advocated for birth control and sexual freedom, and the emergence of the modern polyamory movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

Common Misconceptions about Consensual Non-Monogamy

Lack of Commitment

Consensual non-monogamy is often mistakenly seen as lacking commitment or stability. However, within consensual non-monogamous relationships, commitment exists based on the agreements and boundaries set by all partners involved. Emotional bonds, shared values, and long-term investment are honored and nurtured, showcasing a unique form of commitment.

Taking part in consensual non-monogamy should be a conscious choice made by all partners involved, rather than a quick fix for existing relationship challenges, presenting a unique perspective on relationship dynamics.

Jealousy Cannot Exist

A unique misconception is that consensual non-monogamy eliminates jealousy entirely. While consensual non-monogamy encourages individuals to explore and address their emotions, including jealousy, it acknowledges that jealousy can still arise. However, consensual non-monogamous relationships provide a framework for open communication and support, allowing partners to navigate and address jealousy in healthy and constructive ways.

It's a Fix for Relationship Issues

Consensual non-monogamy is sometimes mistakenly seen as a solution for underlying relationship issues or a means to fix struggling partnerships. In reality, it requires a strong foundation of trust, open communication, and actual emotional connection. Taking part in consensual non-monogamy should be a conscious choice made by all partners involved, rather than a quick fix for existing relationship challenges, presenting a unique perspective on relationship dynamics.

a black couple on a date

What is hierarchical non-monogamy?

Sometimes partners just aren’t equal – it happens when you can’t love everyone the same way. That’s one more option for people who want to explore different types of love bonds.

A Brief History of Hierarchical Non-Monogamy

Hierarchical non-monogamy does not have a specific historical origin. The concept of prioritizing certain relationships over others is deeply rooted in various cultural and historical contexts. Different forms of hierarchical relationship structures have been practiced throughout history, influenced by factors such as societal norms, religious beliefs, and individual preferences. Hierarchical non-monogamy gained more visibility and recognition with the rise of the modern non-monogamy movement and the exploration of alternative relationship structures in recent decades.

Common Misconceptions about Hierarchical Non-Monogamy

Lack of Equality

One misconception about hierarchical non-monogamy is that it inherently promotes inequality or unfairness among partners. While there are distinctions between relationship tiers, this does not imply that individuals in secondary or even tertiary relationships are treated as lesser or undervalued. Hierarchical non-monogamy can be consensually agreed upon by all parties involved, and the love bond is based on mutual understanding and also clear communication.

Lack of Emotional Connection

Another misconception is that secondary or tertiary bonds in hierarchical non-monogamy lack emotional depth or significance. However, emotional bonds can still be present and meaningful in these relationships. The level of emotional involvement may differ due to the agreed-upon hierarchy, but it does not necessarily diminish the emotional connection or fulfillment experienced by individuals involved in secondary or tertiary partnerships.

Hierarchical non-monogamy helps ongoing communication and adjustments to ensure that the needs and well-being of all lovers are considered and addressed.

Inflexibility

Hierarchical non-monogamy is often mistakenly assumed to be rigid and inflexible in its structure. While there may be established boundaries and previously discussed agreements, these structures are subject to negotiation and can evolve over time. Hierarchical non-monogamy helps ongoing communication and adjustments to ensure that the needs and well-being of all lovers are considered and addressed.

One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Hierarchical non-monogamy is sometimes misconstrued as a one-size-fits-all approach. In reality, hierarchical non-monogamy can be shaped and customized based on the preferences and agreements of the individuals involved. Each hierarchical structure is unique, reflecting the specific dynamics and needs of the people participating in the connection.

a romantic couple posing in the field

Dating.com - one of the best non-monogamous dating sites!

If you feel like you are ready to try something new, and want to find someone who shares your love goals, then it’s time to join Dating.com! On this platform, you can easily find suitable potential partners because of the advanced searching algorithm and matching system.

Dating.com makes it easier for people with different types of romantic and sexual preferences to find reliable and simply amazing partners. Explore new love horizons online!

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