How Polyamory Can Improve a Relationship

Polyamory…what is it?!

Well, it’s just a word for “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy“. That is, a poly person will openly engage in (or be open to engaging in) more than one intimate relationship at a time. One might have two girlfriends, or a husband and a boyfriend, or be casually dating multiple people. The scope and scale of what a poly life can look like is too vast to cover here, but if you’re interested in learning about different configurations then check out Tristan Taormino’s seminal book Opening Up or this wonderful column from Autostraddle about how queer women and non-binary people experience polyamory. Plus, the TV show You Me Her (on Netflix) is also a pretty decent portrayal of a three-way relationship or ‘throuple’.

My introduction to polyamory was one of necessity. When I got into my first serious relationship, I realized that I didn’t want to give up the emotional and sexual relationship that I had with one of my friends. Thus, it was agreed that I could continue to sleep with her whenever our paths crossed (we lived in different cities). This suited me because although I loved my partner, there were specific things about them that meant that they just couldn’t be everything that I needed in relation to my emotional and physical desires. I didn’t want to resent my partner for this, it certainly wasn’t their fault! Having someone else to turn to enabled me to feel more secure in my primary partnership, because I wasn’t as upset about the areas in which my partner couldn’t give me what I needed. This was the first wonderful aspect of being poly I experienced.

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