Romantic relationships have always fascinated me, simply because society is always in an uproar about them. In one instance we admonish each other for getting involved in another’s relationship and yet we judge people harshly when they do not get into relationships we approve of. And all while society is always trying to make people fit into the one relationship model of monogamy, I have come across many people happily living and thriving in different types of relationships and they remind me; your relationship is not for society, it is an art piece that you and your partner are creating and curating so you have the licence to create one that brings you joy and comfort.
To me there are two standout sections in which non-monogamous relationships fall into; those who develop on their monogamous relationship and those who don’t practice monogamy at all. The first group are those who don’t practice commonly known monogamy in their relationship;
Polygamy – (polygyny – refers to men/ polyandry – refers to women). This refers to relationships where the primary partner is married to multiple people. This relationship model is well known and practiced by many cultures and religions across the globe. And although it is more popularly known as a practice for men alone, there are quite a few cultures that are more matriarchal and practice this model of relationships for women.
Throuple – This term is fairly new but the concept of a throuple is not. A throuple is an upgraded version of a threesome, meaning instead of sending that extra person home, the couple choose to invite them into their whole lives and not just the bedroom. In lay man’s terms, a throuple is a three-way relationship in which all parties are in a committed relationship with one another.
There are also a few relationships that work off the common concept of monogamy, each adding a twist of its own to a mostly monogamous relationship.
Open Relationships – This one has been in the news a lot recently and is probably one of my favourite models of relationships. It refers to a monogamous relationship in which both partners have agreed to remain committed to one another but to also date other people outside their primary relationship. This relationship model seems to work best when the already established relationship is unwavering and long lasting and contrary to popular belief this relationship model is actually quite common and very successful.
Swinging – Although this term is used for situations in which couples swap partners, it has grown to become the blanket term to refer to monogamous relationships that are open to one off sexual interaction for both partners or one of them. This is ranging from the illustrious threesome to the lesser known ‘dogging’ (couple public voyeurism/exhibitionism). It allows couples who are otherwise monogamous in every other aspect to explore their sexual needs within agreed boundaries.
In conclusion, relationships are not one size fits all, so create what makes you happy.