Polyamory is a relationship style in which individuals have romantic relationships with multiple partners simultaneously, with the knowledge and consent of all parties involved. In other words, no––it's not cheating.
This relationship style is becoming more visible and accepted in our society, but it's not for everyone. Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of polyamory, as well as how to approach the topic and make the decision to try it.
One benefit of polyamory is that it allows individuals to have multiple emotional connections and experiences. By having multiple partners, individuals can explore different sides of themselves and find fulfilment in different areas of their lives. It also allows individuals to have a greater pool of potential partners, which can increase the chances of finding a compatible partner. Additionally, polyamorous individuals report feeling a greater sense of emotional and sexual satisfaction than those in monogamous relationships.
Another benefit of polyamory is that it allows for greater communication and honesty within the relationship. Polyamorous individuals often prioritise open and honest communication, which can lead to deeper connections and stronger relationships. By having multiple partners, individuals in polyamorous relationships are also more likely to develop skills in effective communication, boundaries, and conflict resolution.
While there are benefits to polyamory, there are also some downsides to consider. One disadvantage is that it can be challenging to navigate the emotional complexities of multiple relationships. Managing feelings of jealousy, hurt and insecurity can be difficult and requires a lot of work from all parties involved. Additionally, polyamory can be challenging to society's norms, which can lead to social isolation and discrimination.
Some people in polyamorous couples do have a designated 'primary' partner or even live together as a group.
For people considering polyamory, it's essential to establish clear boundaries and expectations with all partners. Communication is key in any relationship and especially in polyamorous relationships. It's important to have open and honest discussions about what everyone is looking for, what boundaries they have and what they're comfortable with. All parties should also be on the same page in terms of safer sex and protecting against sexually transmitted infections.