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Jennifer Seip, MA Individual, Couples & Sex Therapy
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Love, Sex & Life Blog

MAKING A DECISION TO BE IN A POLYAMOROUS RELATIONSHIP? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FIRST

MAKING A DECISION TO BE IN A POLYAMOROUS RELATIONSHIP? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FIRST

I get a lot of questions about Polamory. The big ones are, what is it and how do I know if it’s for me? For those of you who are interested in basic information about what being polyamorous means, look no further.

 

What Polyamory Isn’t

Being Polyamorous isn’t about having a secret affair. Nor is it about getting some on the side while you’re pretending to work late and it’s definitely not about a husband who has ten wives, that’s polygamy.

 

What Polyamory Is

Polyamorous means being in a loving, consensual, non-monogamous relationship that is “honest, responsible, and ethical.” It involves all of the commitment to your partner(s) without the sexual exclusivity. So whatever commitment means to you, i.e. showing up on time, being transparent, being present with your partner, trusting that you will be there for your partner when they need you most, building a life and creating happiness, this is what polyamory is.

Polyamorous relationships come in many different forms. For example, when one person is romantically involved with two different partners, this is called a “vee” relationship. When three people are all romantically involved with each other, that is referred to as a “triad.” Also, when four people are together, but may or may not be romantically involved, it is a “quad” relationship. Some polyamorous relationships involve primary partners and secondary partners. Others have no ranking at all and “polyfidelitous” is a term used to describe people who do not pursue other partners.

 

Why Choose to be Polyamorous

There are many different reasons. Some people say its a kin to an orientation. They just can’t be with the same person for their entire lives. Like they are missing out on meeting all of the different kinds of people in the world. Sex is another reason. Sex is a skill that is learned and for the same reason as I just mentioned, being with different partners invites different experiences. Another reason is for financial and practical benefits. We live in a society where the more financial providers to a family, the more money you make, the more fiscally safe you might feel.

 

Here are some great questions to determine if polyamory might be good for you from More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert

  1. .”Have I ever felt romantic love for more than one person at the same time?”
  2. “Do I feel there can be only one true love of one real soulmate?”
  3. “How important is my desire for multiple romantic relationships?”
  4. “What do I want from my romantic life? Am I open to multiple sexual relationships, romantic relationships, or both? If I want more than one lover, what degree of closeness and intimacy do I expect, and what do I offer?”
  5. “How do I define commitment? Is it possible for me to commit to more than one person at a time, and if so, what would those commitments look like?”
  6. If I am already in a relationship, does my desire for others come from dissatisfaction or unhappiness with my current relationship? If I were in a relationship that met my needs, would I still want multiple partners?”