Understanding polyamory

Keep an open mind about everything, even what you’re not used to

What exactly is polyamory? According to morethantwo.com, “A polyamorous relationship is a romantic relationship where the people in the relationship agree that it’s okay for everyone to be open to or have other romantic partners.” The two people involved in the relationship are compliant with their partner being romantically involved with multiple people.

Photo illustration by Sebastien Mehegan / Administrative Executive Editor

Photo illustration by Sebastien Mehegan / Administrative Executive Editor

It is common to confuse polyamory with polygamy because they sound so similar. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, polygamy is a “marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time.”

People involved in a polyamorous relationship view their partners as more than just a number and do not “collect” spouses.

Polyamorous people are not “cheaters” because each person knows that the other is seeing multiple people aside from them. Without this level of consent, it would not be a polyamorous relationship.

A common misconception of polyamorous relationships is that they are the same as an open relationship. An open relationship, as defined by openrelationships.org, is a “committed relationship between two individuals who want to share a life together but agree to a non-monogamous lifestyle.” This means that, although the two people express romantic feelings for each other, they do not want to be totally tied to just one person.

To the average person, these two types of relationships may seem very similar, but to those involved in one of these relationships they are completely different.

While both of these types of relationships require consent from both parties in order to see other people, the emotional connection involved in each relationship is different.

These types of relationships may not be for everyone, but if it works for those involved, they should not be judged.

People who are more old-fashioned or conservative background might be less open and accepting of this type of lifestyle. Polyamorous relationships do not line-up with everyone’s ideals. But just because you do not agree mean that people who willingly chose to take part in these kind of relationships love their partners any less.

It is important to understand that people have different beliefs when it comes to relationships and romantic partners. A person’s relationship status, whatever it may be, does not define them.

Communication is extremely important for a successful, strong, healthy relationship.

Education about various relationship types, such as a polyamory, is important in terms of being understanding and accepting of others.

People in a polyamorous relationship connect with multiple people for different reasons just like people connect with friends. You might have one specific friend you go to for emotional support, another for help with school and another to just have fun with. It is essentially the same thing for people in a polyamorous relationship, but in a romantic aspect.

Relationships, like a polyamorous one, put truth and honesty above all. This is something that everyone who is currently in, or looking to be in, a serious relationship should follow.

Not all relationships are similar, but they all have the same general idea; to respect and love your partner. As long as there is good communication from all fronts in a relationship, other people should not judge them.

The most important things for people going into relationships is to understand what they are getting into with their partner. Be sure to discuss what you want out of the relationship so you are not getting into something you cannot handle. If the person you are getting involved with is seeking to be in a polyamorous or open relationship and you cannot handle that, speak up. Starting off your relationship on the right foot with an open and honest conversation is essential.

Keep in mind that there are people who partake in numerous types of relationships; some people might not feel the same about what you consider “normal” and it is important to be open-minded and accepting of others’ choices.

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