We are living in an age where people are finally starting to deal with their sexuality instead of pushing it out of their minds.
Self discovery is on the rise, and some people have come to the conclusion that they are non-monogamous. This is great, but it’s good to know what kind of a relationship could work for them.
Open relationships have often been held up as something that guys might find an ideal – especially those living the playboy lifestyle. After all, more women the better. But is it all that?
The difference between polyamory and an open relationship
Many don’t understand that when it comes to non-monogamy you have several different options. Collectively they are named polyamory and an open relationship, but you need to discuss which one could work with your partner(s).
And although you might think that one of these relationship models might help to spice up your love life, the truth is it can be complicated. So what is the difference, and how do they work?
This type of relationship happens when there are more than 2 people in a committed relationship. Throuples are in this category for example. In a polyamorous relationship all people included have feelings and chemistry with every other person in the relationship. However, they don’t sleep with anyone outside of that.
This results in a very tight bond among a couple of people, making them loyal and committed to each other and a life with them.
In this case, the actual relationship only consists of two people. They are committed to each other and want to have a life together. However, because of some reason they would still prefer to explore sexually and so, they sleep with others outside of their relationship. They usually don’t bring these other people around their partner and oftentimes only sleep with individuals once.
For a partnership to work this way there need to be rules, some couples tell each other everything about their hookups, while for others it’s a bit of a hush-hush topic.
The pros and cons
Now that we know the difference between polyamory and an open relationship, it’s time to weigh them out and figure out which could be best for which situation.
When it comes to polyamory you have several people that you can turn to. These people can work together and help you through tough situations. Unfortunately, the more people there are, the more issues will be brought home. For example, in a three person household there is more likely to be someone who had issues throughout the day than in a two person household. This frequency might be offset by the fact that there are more people consoling each problem, but it’s difficult to say, as these things differ.
Open relationships offer the same emotional stability as a regular monogamous relationship. As long as your partner makes themselves available to you and doesn’t put their sexual partners before your relationship you should be at the same point emotional stability-wise.
In polyamory you are bound to have people with different kinks and fetishes, if you’re lucky you will have quite a few of them in common with the other people. This way you can thoroughly explore each person’s sexuality, the same way they will explore yours and hopefully help you realize a few things about yourself.
Meanwhile, open relationships are all about being emotionally committed to your partner, so sleeping with the same person several times might not be a good idea. It can lead to feelings, which is considered cheating in a lot of open relationships (unless it was talked about and okayed by both parties, of course). However, this way you can rack up your body count quite nicely, which is what the goal is for many people, as they want to experience what sex is like with a lot of different kinds of people.
The making of…
Creating a polyamorous relationship is quite difficult. You need to have at least three people who all like each other and have sexual chemistry and are also non-monogamous. They also need to be emotionally mature enough to handle conversations about such a relationship, as you likely won’t find thorough guides for polyamorous relationship problems that could help you through difficulties.
Open relationships can come to be in two ways. One, is that the relationship was monogamous, then opened up. Two, the couple already established their non-monogamy during dating and were never physically committed to each other. The latter is quite simple, you only need to find one other person who is non-monogamous and you click with. Unfortunately though, many relationships and marriages that are opened up later on end up failing. This is because many people use open relationships as a desperate attempt to fix things between them and their partner, which isn’t really the way to go about it.
Before we get into this part, let me just state that feelings of jealousy are completely normal and valid, even if you are non-monogamous. It’s a matter of how you deal with that feeling and how you communicate it to your partner(s).
Within a balanced polyamory there usually isn’t jealousy. All of the partners engage with each other, nobody gets left out and everyone gets group activity and one-on-one time too. However, things rarely go perfectly. Sometimes two out of the group grow closer together, or someone doesn’t have enough time to engage as much as they want. It happens, and it’s okay. As long as everyone is in agreement that they need to work on including everyone and they actually put in the effort, the jealous person should start feeling more secure in the relationship.
Open relationships are a bit harder to deal with when it comes to jealousy. Obviously, your partner should be spending most of their time with you, not their flings and hookups, but even if both parties abide by this, they can still get jealous.
To avoid negative emotions and the hurt or fallout you still need to communicate.
There is a chance that you would feel better if both of you limited the outside dating time, talked less about your flings or just spent more quality time together.
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