Acknowledging consensual non-monogamy and whether it’s right for you

Graphic by Kash Patel

Non-monogamy can sound daunting and uncomfortable, or it can sound exciting and fun. It is an umbrella term that refers to a relationship that isn’t exclusive. 

Many people have consensually non-monogamous relationships, but it’s still so taboo in our society. It can be referred to as an open relationship or a polyamorous relationship and can be delved into at many points in a relationship.

Some people might be extremely put off by the idea of an open relationship, and that’s ok. It’s not for everyone. However, for others, it’s a requirement for a relationship and something they crave. It is very important, when entering into an open relationship, that boundaries and rules are immediately laid down. 

Whether or not you can have repeat sexual partners, how many times a week you can be with someone other than your significant other, what kind of acts you can engage in, if you are going to discuss secondary partners with your primary partner, etc. These are all important and must be discussed before beginning to expand your sex life, otherwise, the open relationship will end in naught but heartbreak. 

Another important thing to remember is that you can call it off at any time. If you change your mind about how happy the open relationship makes you talk to your partner about it. In any relationship, communication is key. In an open relationship, it is vital. Any discomfort needs to be mentioned immediately, but you also need to make sure you discuss the happiness of the relationship.  

We need to remember when discussing monogamy and consensual non-monogamy that monogamy may be the norm, but it is not practical for some individuals. Just like monogamous relationships, if you are happy with your primary partner and happy in your relationship, that is what is important. 

Consensual non-monogamy doesn’t make a relationship any less important or special in your life.
    Just because you and your partner spend time with other sexual partners, doesn’t mean that your commitment to each other is any less than it was before. As long as it is open and honest, it is also ethical and responsible. 

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