Have you ever thought that traditional marriage wasn’t right for you? Maybe you love someone, and maybe you even want to be with that person for the rest of your life, but not just that person?
Well, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans and people from around the world are starting to embrace the idea of open relationships and many believe it makes relationships happier, stronger, and last longer.
An open relationship is where a couple is committed to one another, yet open about the possibility of having sex with others. Open relationships come in many forms, from a husband and wife that sometimes swing with friends, to polyamorous relationships that can get rather complex: “This is my wife, her boyfriend, my boyfriend, and our girlfriend. Her husband will be joining us later.” While both of these examples feature non-monogamous open relationships, they are very different.
Here’s a large graph that illustrates the many types of relationships people can have:
Within each of these divisions, there’s so much more and the lines become blurrier. There are couples that swing or have threesomes. Some of these threesomes are just for fun, while some form into relationships. There are some couples that have sex in front of others, but not with others.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common forms of non-monogamy.
Here’s another graph to illustrate the different types of relationships:
Just because someone is non-monogamous does not label them a cheater. Often the relationships, although different from traditional, still have structure and rules that each partner follows. Sometimes, even in open relationships, there’s still cheating. The difference is consent. Partners in open relationship practice consensual non-monogamy. Cheaters practice non-consensual non-monogamy. Huge difference.
So what do you think about non-monogamy? Is it the next great move in modern relationships, or a catastrophe waiting to happen?