Emma Marshall, 23 years old
This column chronicles our challenges, boundaries, and successes in a polyamorous marriage. Living and loving in a polyamorous lifestyle is a polyamorous dating rules yet sometimes complicated adventure. Just like being monogamous, relationships involve people, and people are prone to interactions fraught with pitfalls and compromises. If there is one thing I have learned on this journeyit is that no two people as well as no two couples are alike. In my relationships, negotiations and communications need to take place around me and my spouse, my boyfriend and his spouse, his spouse and her partner, my spouse and any partners, my family, and my family and my boyfriend. Worth it? I know I stressed communication in my previous articlebut in my mind it cannot be stressed enough. If communication breaks down anywhere in the polyship, it can cause issues for any number of interrelations.
You might picture a romantic relationship as two people committed exclusively to one another — also known as monogamy. Consensual non-monogamy, on the other hand, involves relationships with more than one person, with the consent of everyone involved. Polyamory is just one of the ways to practice consensual non-monogamy. You may have also heard of other forms, like open relationships and swinging. But this is a common misconception. Cheating includes deception and betrayal, like if you and your partner have agreed not to have sex with other people, but your partner breaks that promise. The difference between cheating and polyamory is that people who are polyamorous have shared agreements about sex and relationships with other polyamorous dating rules. In fact, one research study showed no difference in relationship satisfaction between people who are monogamous or consensually non-monogamous.
Polyamory, as well as other non-traditional ways of structuring relationships, are increasingly common among all cross-sections of society. If you're looking for others who subscribe to polyamorous relationships, here are five great websites to check out. OkCupid offers a curious and fun mix of singles looking for all sorts of partnerships, and for whatever reason, it has attracted a significant number of polyamorous singles and couples looking for other folks to share their love with. Perhaps it's the flexibility in their gender and relationship statuses—for instance, you can list yourself as 'attached' as well as 'looking' at the same time. Or, maybe it's the open feel of the site that welcomes folks of all loving beliefs to its folds. The folks who run FetLife, as well as many of its members, may cringe at joining the ranks of the dating sites listed here, as the alternative lifestyle social networking site makes a point of staying away from typical 'dating' searches and features found at the other websites on this list.
More about polyamorous dating rules:
This makes sense. Rules provide a feeling of order and structure. What will prevent our partners from leaving us? How will we have our needs met? I have been in just about every poly configuration you can name: single person in polyamorous dating rules relationship with one member of a couple, married person with a monogamous spouse in relationships with single poly people, married in relationships with other partnered people, unmarried in a loose network of single and partnered poly people. Through all of those relationships spanning a number of decades, I have found that a framework of rules provides the illusion of safety, but rarely provides any real safety. These are:.
This document contains details about these bottom lines as well as best practices in all 5 areas. All partners are equals and enter into these relationship agreements in full awareness with informed consent. Each individual is responsible for making their own decisions and considers the affects of their decisions on everyone they love. We understand that these relationship agreements are not all encompassing, and we may make verbal agreements in addition to these bottom lines. Due to unforeseen circumstances, forgetting, misunderstanding, if an agreement is broken, we will agree to polyamorous dating rules clearing conversation as soon as possible. The intention of the clearing conversation is to practice empathy and forgiveness and to get back into relationship integrity.
Contrary to popular belief, an open relationship is not the same as a polyamorous relationship. In fact, many polyamorous relationships are unique in and of themselves. Without rigid guidelines or limitation, polyamory remains a mystery to many people. But there are, however, a few ground rules that most polyamorous relationships follow in order to be successful. Page 7 will likely surprise you.