Here are some of the unique strengths of non-monogamous relationships
PS: THIS IS BY NO MEANS ENDORSING ANY CHOICES BUT EXPLORING REALITIES AND LESSONS THAT CAN BE IMBIBED.
To begin with, let’s define the concept of polyamory on non-monogamous relationships. Polyamory essentially implies having more than one consensual sexual or emotional relationship at once. Experts who have studied these consensual non-monogamous relationships say they have unique strengths to offer that any couple can learn from.
Consensual non-monogamy may include polyamory, swinging, and other varied forms of open relationships. While comprehensive data is not available about how many people in America indulge in polyamorous relationships.
A study conducted in 2016 published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that one in five people in the U.S. engages in some form of consensual non-monogamy throughout their lives.
But these relationships can be rooted and immersed in stigma and people in polyamorous relationships keep them a secret and hide them from friends and family.
Having said that, experts who undertake relationship studies say polyamorous relationships can also provide useful lessons for monogamous couples. Here are a few areas where according to researchers polyamorous couples are particularly successful and in a way ahead of others :
Successful monogamous relationships thrive on communication about one’s desires, needs, and problems. And this is one of the key areas where polyamorous couples excel.
The study reveals that polyamorous individuals tend to communicate better with their primary partner than secondary partners as greater communication may be necessary for primary relationships to endure while other relationships are pursued.
Defining the relationship
Polyamorous partners often tend to define boundaries, expectations and form agreements about what each relationship should look like, and these agreements can be beneficial to monogamous relationships, where partners leave things on assumption on what monogamy means to both individuals.
When deciding to enter a relationship, there might be a conversation around “What does it mean to be monogamous”?For some people, even mere thoughts of attraction to someone else can be defined as infidelity. For other people, anything but intercourse is acceptable.
Polyamorous relationships can take many different forms. Sometimes, partners will know each other and form a family-like network sometimes called “kitchen table polyamory.”
Another style, called “parallel polyamory,” means that all of the partners are aware of each other, but have little to no contact.
One thing that certainly cannot be ignored is the biggest challenges faced by polyamorous couples is time management.
Yes everyone jokes that love is not a finite resource, but time certainly is. You can have multiple partners you want to see at the same time and therefore you have to negotiate time and space to do that.
Practicing safe sex
A study published in 2012 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine discovered that individuals in polyamorous relationships were more likely to practice safe sex than those who cheat in monogamous relationships.
The study showed that monogamous individuals often consider monogamy a safe sex practice in itself, so sexually unfaithful individuals may reject safer sex strategies because of the presence of a stable relationship.
But in monogamous relationships, couples often stop using condoms and other birth control as a covert message of intimacy. But the problem lies if a monogamous individual decides to cheat their partner, there’s no guarantee he or she will practice safe sex.
One may think that having multiple romantic partners would elicit more jealousy than being in a monogamous relationship. But according to a study published in 2017 in Perspectives on Psychological Science, that’s really not the case.
The study, which surveyed 1,507 people in monogamous relationships and 617 people in consensual non-monogamous relationships, found that people in consensual non-monogamous relationships, including those who engaged in polyamory and swinging, scored lower on jealousy and higher on trust than those in monogamous relationships.
People in monogamous relationships were really off the charts high on jealousy. They were more likely to check their partner’s phones, go through their emails, their handbags, etc. But people in consensual non-monogamous relationships were really low on this behaviour .
Often its seen that monogamous couples avoid addressing jealousy altogether as an area of concern, whereas consensual non-monogamous couples might be more vocal with their feelings.
In consensual non-monogamous relationships, jealousy is expected, but its expressed addressed and navigated in a creative proactive manner.
Maintaining a sense of independence
Another area where polyamorous couples tend to excel is allowing their partners to maintain a sense of independence outside of their relationship. Monogamous couples are more likely to sacrifice their own needs for the sake of their relationship, while polyamorous couples put their own personal fulfillment first.
The biggest thing that is worthy of appreciation about the polyamorous couple is that they focus on knowing what their needs are and get their needs met in creative ways relying more on friends or multiple partners instead of putting it all on one person’s shoulders.
Once [monogamists] get into a relationship, they tend to value their romantic partner above everyone else and rest all their expectations from their significant other.
The idea here is not to endorse any one kind of relationship and also there is no one size fits all when it comes to love and intimacy.