For most people, it's excruciating to learn that the person they are involved with is seeing someone else. In other words, non-monogamy is not for everyone. That is why we are asking: do non-monogamous relationships work?
The concept of an open relationship is really gaining some traction throughout the world. This goes to show how common non-monogamous relationships are today.
But, Are Non-Monogamous Relationships Healthy?
In some ways, yes. But in many others, no – non-monogamous relationships are not healthy.
We have non-monogamous relationship types and then we have those who can only handle monogamy.
So, before you decide to jump on the polyamorous relationship bandwagon and claim you are open to non-monogamy on OkCupid, know yourself and your capacity to handle this unique form of romantic arrangement. There is nothing attractive about misplaced non-monogamy jealousy.
First of all, if you really love an introverted life, non-monogamy can be quite overwhelming. Similarly, people who still need to work on their communication skills are better off avoiding non-monogamous arrangements.
All these are very clear signs a monogamous relationship isn't for you.
But if you are super busy, or like challenging emotional rollercoasters, then you might have what it takes to dip your toe into the non-monogamous waters.
So, before going into a non-monogamous relationship, understand all these factors. Some are so open to the idea that they even get into an open marriage, which goes to show that open relationships really work if you know deep in your heart you can handle the sharing.
Communication In Non-Monogamous Relationships Can Determine If They Work Or Not
According to research, non-monogamous relationships can work, but only if you know how to deal with a non-monogamous relationship. You see, this relationship is different in lots of ways.
For starters, you will be dealing with a whole spectrum of unusual challenges. For instance, in a society that champions monogamy, you will inevitably find yourself having to hide your liberal sexual relationships. That can take a toll.
On a personal level, you will also find yourself grappling with feelings of neglect, jealousy, rejection, and even betrayal.
No wonder studies have shown that the factors that make a monogamous relationship thrive are the very same factors that tear a non-monogamous relationship apart.
In monogamy, you have ownership over your partner's attention and affection, and feelings of jealousy are justified. That is not the case with consensual non-monogamy (CNM) where your partner is also someone else's partner, and jealousy has no place in the equation.
This is usually the dark side of polyamory nobody talks about, and one of the few things people wish they had learned before choosing non-monogamous relationships.
If you go into a polyamorous relationship expecting undivided attention from your partner and all the perks that come with a stable and healthy monogamous relationship, you will be bitterly disappointed.
Such expectations clearly define when consensual non-monogamy won't work.
What Consensual Non-Monogamy Teaches People
In studies, it was discovered that both monogamous and consensual non-monogamous relationships were very satisfying, healthy, and quite functional.
Non consensual non-monogamy made relationships dysfunctional.
But the researchers also noted that non-monogamous relationships also significantly increased the chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
Unlike a monogamous relationship where the partners only get intimate with each other, in non-monogamous relationships, over ten people might have indirect contact with sexual diseases even when each partner has only two or three other partners.
Additionally, many of the people in consensual non-monogamous relationships were likely to be open to bisexuality or homosexuality. Yep, non-monogamy is a big hit in the LBGT community.
However, in one-sided non-monogamous relationships, even when they were consensual, there were up to three times the level of dissatisfaction seen in monogamous relationships.
Also, for those wishing to give the non-monogamous relationship a try, it's important to understand that bringing in another partner cannot solve relationship problems. If anything, that will only make things worse.
Before venturing into a non-monogamous arrangement, the partners need to be very comfortable with each other. There also needs to be an immense level of love, trust, and acceptance. Otherwise, when the extra partner takes away some of these virtues, the relationship might not have a chance.
Non-Monogamous Relationships Work, If Handled Right
Finally, the terms of these unique romantic arrangements need to be discussed beforehand. You don't have to come up with a long list of rules, but there should at least be guidelines on how the arrangement will work. In particular, the dos and don'ts should be clearly explained or at least understood.
For instance, will a don't ask, don't tell policy ever apply?
Finally, there has to be constant communication and an increased concern for sexual health.
In the U.S. alone, more than a hundred million people have an STI at any given time. You can bet that having an extra partner who has other partners makes the chances of catching something pretty high.
In short, non-monogamous relationships work, but they require a lot of effort and planning, and of course, the right personality. Polyamorous relationships will never work for everyone, but they do work for those who can handle all the challenges involved.