Love is infinite and limitless, so why not spread it wide and far? This could very well be the attitude of those who live the polyamorous lifestyle. It could also merely be about the fact that there are people who don’t believe that there’s only one true soulmate for everyone.
Or it could be one of a zillion other reasons, tbh. When it comes to polyamorous relationships, there really is no one motivation… and that’s fine. Whatever floats your boat is totally fine with us.
So, if you’re considering polyamory, we’ve compiled some invaluable advice from people who are actually living the lifestyle.
Before we begin, however, here’s a quick cheat sheet on what polyamory actually is.
What is Polyamory?
Polyamory is when a couple are able to engage in romantic relationships with others whilst keeping their primary relationship with each other.
In this case, both primary partners have consented to this lifestyle, and oftentimes there are ground rules and guidelines that help them make it work optimally. Polyamory is not to be confused with an open relationship, however…
What is an Open Relationship?
An open relationship is merely sexual and is when a primary couple are able to be with others in an intimate way. Those who are in an open relationship often also have rules and guidelines in order to make this kind of relationship work.
But then there too is something called polygamy…
What is Polygamy?
Polygamy is when one person is married to multiple partners.
Got it? Good!
So, You’re in a Polyamorous Relationship… What Are Your Thoughts?
“If polyamory had a motto, the motto would be, ‘love is infinite. Time and energy are not.’ The other motto would be, ‘Communicate, communicate, communicate. (And use Google Calendar.)’ Some poly relationships are totally equal. Some have primaries and secondaries. So, for example, your wife might be your primary and your girlfriend might be your secondary. This is fine as long as everyone is on the same page about expectations.” - TryUsingScience
“The core of polyamory is spreading love by loving others. It's not about lots of sex, even though I understand that is how it seems from the outside. When I had two partners I was happier than any other time in my life. I felt loved and the times all three of us were social together remain some of my favourite memories. To love someone and feel real happiness when they find love with another is a fantastic feeling. It's all about making your life for who you are. I'm polyamorous and happy.” - spaceshipinmypants
“It went terribly. Probably because I had never been in one before and I was in a committed relationship for several months before my GF asked to switch to one. Then the next six months were a slow downward spiral into depression and loss of intimacy. Would not recommend.” - travvo
“In short, it works pretty darn well. It's somewhat more complicated and sometimes harder, but not as much so as you might think. It's prompted a lot more communication and similar positive side effects. The impact on our sex life has been somewhat positive (guess what? more communication is a good thing!), but not terribly dramatic.” - EvanDaniel
When it comes to polyamory, there are of course mixed reviews. But for those who have yet to embark on this kind thing, this may prove helpful:
Polyamory May Be Good For You if:
- You crave adventure and variety within your (sexual) relationship
- You would like to explore and expand your emotional and sexual experiences
- You are good at communicating with your partner
- Like to have time for yourself
- Are confident in your current relationship
Polyamory May Not Be Good For You if:
- You’re prone to jealousy
- You do not like change
- You’re looking for something to ‘fix’ your current relationship
- You’re considering it just to make your current partner happy
- You consider polyamory to be cheating
With that, it may be useful to know that the polyamorous lifestyle actually encourages honesty, open communication, and almost entirely eradicates cheating (which is a big cause for divorce).
Then again, this lifestyle definitely isn’t for everyone. So, it’s important to do a lot of research before embarking on this kind of thing. We recommend taking a look at the book, The Ethical Slut, which has helped many a couple understand the lifestyle. Happy reading!
Helena Lorimer, Sexual Health and Wellness Expert at JOUJOU