Ethical non-monogamy has been on the rise.
It seems to pop up everywhere now a days. Some studies have shown up to 1/5th of people in the States have either tried it or currently practice it. If you have 5 friends, chances are someone out here is living their best life with it.
We have been programmed as a society into the binary function of romantic relationships for a while now. Maybe you find that monogamy puts too much pressure to be the end all be all. Maybe you feel safer in packs. Maybe you want a 3+ person household income?
Whatever the reason may be to take the step into multiple partnership, one of the common mistakes made when jumping into to poly pool is that theres a one size fits all approach, or that the dynamic is the exact same as a monogamous relationship. Just like there's more than one relationship type out there in the world, there are different dynamics in play with a ENM relationship. The list below covers some of the basic dynamics available for poly consideration, but part of the exploration is discovering what works best for you and your partner(s).
Also make sure you read our blog on the meaning of being Safe, Sane, And consensual. Make sure it's what you want, and not just appeasing your partners needs.
What is an ENM Relationship?
An ENM (Ethical Non-Monogamy) relationship is a type of relationship where all parties involved agree to have multiple partners or engage in non-monogamous activities with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It is a consensual and ethical approach to relationships that challenges the traditional notion of monogamy.
1. Open Relationships
In an open relationship, partners are allowed to have sexual or romantic relationships with other people outside of their primary partnership. This type of dynamic often involves clear communication, boundaries, and rules to ensure the emotional well-being of all parties involved.
Polyamory is the practice of having multiple romantic relationships simultaneously, with the knowledge and consent of all partners involved. Unlike open relationships, polyamorous relationships focus on emotional connections and can involve deep and committed relationships with multiple partners.
Swinging is a type of ENM relationship where couples engage in sexual activities with other couples or individuals. It is often characterized by consensual non-monogamous sexual encounters and can involve various levels of emotional involvement.
4. Relationship Anarchy
Relationship anarchy is a philosophy that rejects the societal norms and expectations of traditional relationships. It emphasizes individual autonomy and freedom to define and shape relationships based on personal needs and desires. Relationship anarchists prioritize communication, consent, and the absence of hierarchy in their relationships.
5. Solo Polyamory
Solo polyamory refers to individuals who prioritize their autonomy and independence while engaging in multiple relationships. They may have committed and intimate connections with others but choose to maintain their own individuality and personal freedom.
Polyfidelity is a form of polyamory where a group of individuals form a committed and exclusive relationship with each other. It is often characterized by a closed group dynamic, where all members are equally involved and committed to each other.
ENM relationships offer a diverse range of dynamics that challenge the traditional notions of monogamy. These dynamics provide individuals with the freedom to explore and define their own unique relationship structures.
The key to any successful ENM relationship is open and honest communication, consent, and respect for the boundaries and needs of all parties involved.
Want to learn more? Read our article about how to navigate poly/ENM here.