Ethical Non Monogamy, Polyamory, Open Relationship: Similarities and Difference

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If you are wondering about what is an ethical non-monogamous relationship, don’t worry, we have got it covered. Our society, in general, considers any form of non-traditional relationship unethical. However, it isn’t the truth in all cases. 

Here, we will look into the details of ethical non-monogamy, polyamory, and open relationship. Apart from that, we will delve into the similarities and differences of ethical non-monogamy, open relationships, and polyamory. Therefore, without wasting any more time, let’s dive right into the matter.

What is Ethical Non-Monogamy?

Ethical non-monogamy or consensual non-monogamy is a form of relationship that involves the participation of multiple people. Here, consent from all the parties is essential. As per a research study, 4% of North Americans engage in ethical non-monogamous relationships. Even though it is a minority, it shows that ethical non-monogamy is a way through which you can go about with your relationship. 

When we look from the societal perspective, ethical non-monogamy is often stigmatized. Most people consider it immoral and equivalent to infidelity. But, in reality, it is different as it focuses on consent. Many others engaging in non-monogamous relationships face rejection from their families. They also get looked upon by the society when it comes to raising children. 

However, there is nothing wrong with engaging in a consensually non-monogamous relationship. As per a study including 348 participants- with both monogamous and ethical non-monogamous couples, the level of satisfaction was similar. 

In an ethical non-monogamous relationship, you can have diversification, fulfillment, and sexual fluidity. Here, you can engage in exclusive sexual and (or) romantic relationships. 

There are different types of ethical non-monogamous relationships. They include polyamory, swinging, and open relationships. It means that ethical non-monogamy is a broad umbrella term for different types of consensual non-monogamous relationships. 

Therefore, there isn’t much to discuss on ethical non-monogamy v/s open relationship. However, the number of people who prefer to engage in these relationships varies drastically. As per a study including college students, 78.7% of the participants didn’t show any interest in having an ethical non-monogamous relationship. Here, 12.9% of the participants were ready to have such a bond, and 8.4% were open to the thought.

What is an Open Relationship?

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An open relationship is an ethical non-monogamous relationship, where a person has more than one partner. Here, an individual would involve in a romantic, sexual, or emotional bond with multiple partners. 

Research shows no difference in relationship satisfaction in a monogamous and open relationship. If there is anything, an open relationship has higher levels of satisfaction compared to a traditional relationship. Around 4 to 9% of Americans engage in open relationships, and they find it highly satisfying.

As per another report including 2270 respondents, 32% of the people belonging to the gay community preferred open relationships. 22% the bisexuals also opted for this type of bond and 5% of lesbians also showed a liking for open relationships. 

When you engage in an open relationship with your partner, you set up a middle ground for polyamory and swinging. Here, the bond you create with another person has to be with the consent of your primary partner. Besides, it is essential, to be honest about your sexual needs and desires with your partner. You have to do so before bringing in new people to your relationship. 

Since open relationships shatter the traditional structure of a relationship, our society finds it challenging to accept it. There can be circumstances where people fail to understand the concept and stigmatize open relationships. However, the crucial factor while engaging in this non-traditional relationship is that there needs to be consent, mutual respect, understanding, and honesty. Since jealousy can be a concern, you and your partner have to work through this and set ground rules.

What is Polyamory?

In this type of relationship, there will be more than one partner, where all the people involved have full knowledge of the relationship. In recent years, there has been an increase in the representation of polyamorous relationships. In these forms of relationships, there have to be boundaries that you have to set with your partner. There are different structures in which you can engage in a polyamorous relationship. They include:

  1. Polyfidelity refers to having a sexual or romantic relationship with partners belonging to a group. They won’t engage in any form of relationship with people who are not part of that group.
  2. Triad or throuple means three people involved in this relationship are dating one another.
  3. Quad is similar to a triad, where four people are dating each other. 
  4. Vee is a polyamorous relationship where an individual dates two people. But, these two people don’t date each other. 

Ethical Non-Monogamy v/s Open Relationship v/s Polyamory: Similarities and Differences

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When we look at ethical non-monogamy v/s open relationship, there aren’t any specific differences. It is because polyamory, swinging, and open relationships all come under the umbrella term called ethical non-monogamy. 

In a polyamorous relationship, emotions play a vital role and focus on having similar relationships with the same intensity with multiple people. Whereas on the other hand, in an open relationship, there will always be a primary partner. But, in polyamory, it isn’t necessary. Lack of core couples in polyamory is something that distinguishes it from an open relationship.

When we look at their similarities, they both prioritize consent, mutual respect, and understanding. In these kinds of bonds, clarity and honesty are integral. However, jealousy can be a concern that affects these relationships. 

Since these relationships might seem complicated for some of us, it is essential to bring in communication. Here, you and your partner(s) have to be open to each other and interact without any hesitations. Through this, you and your partner(s) can build a strong foundation. It would inevitably help in creating an effective relationship.

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