Everything you need to know about non-monogamy

Relationships are changing! We take a look at three types of non-monogamy that might interest you.

Everything you need to know about non-monogamy
© Cavan, Getty Images
Everything you need to know about non-monogamy

For anyone not part of Generation Z, it was likely that growing up you too were surrounded by the societal ideal of finding the one!’ However, in 2022, monogamy is no longer your only option!

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Despite much of the population not having been exposed to the different ways of being non-monogamous until later in their dating lives, a growing number of people (up to 1 in 5, according to a 2017) are starting to explore non-conventional relationships.

We looked at the top 3 types of non-monogamous relationships to help you decide which ones might appeal to you.

Open relationships

While non-monogamy is an umbrella term there are many different types of non-monogamy. The most common practice is having an open relationship. This is when a couple agrees to one or both of them having more than one romantic or sexual partner at once.

Importantly, both parties in the open relationship consent to this agreement (otherwise it is infidelity), but the amount of information shared about other partners is up to the couple to decide.

Another term for this set-up is ‘Monogamish’ which describes couples who are committed to each other but will allow for certain sexual exceptions to monogamy, for example, during work trips.

Ever thought of opening up your relationship? Discover how now! Getty Images


The word polyamory literally translates as ‘many loves’. This is because polyamory (sometimes shortened to Polyam) is founded on the belief that it is possible to love more than one person at once.

Polyamorous relationships typically involve a couple or one person having more than one romantic or sexual relationship simultaneously, with the full knowledge and consent of all parties involved. Polyamory can be practised hierarchically (where one person has a primary partner who is ranked of higher importance than secondary partners), or non-hierarchically (all partners are of equal importance).

As with Open Relationships, Polyamorous relationships do not come in a one size fits all. Rather, the people involved in any relationship create their own boundaries and agreements to honour. In polyamory, good communication skills are therefore of the utmost importance!

Relational anarchy

Finally, according to Cosmopolitan magazine, some people simply prefer to not define their relationships! Considering it necessary to categorise certain relationships as romantic and others asplatonic, or even to refer to certain people as 'friends' and others as 'partners' is seen as harmful to varying degrees by relationship anarchists.

Instead, relationship anarchy (sometimes referred to as RA) rejects the rules and expectations dictated by society, allowing its practitioners to form the shape of their relationships based on their own core beliefs and desires.

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