They say that love does not understand ages, colors or races, but love is not limited, rare or finite either. The norm in our society, when it comes to relationships, is monogamy, closed relationships. Therefore, any relationship that defies this standard will be controversial, morbid, stigmatized … Some will embrace it, saying they have found something that finally fits with their life, others will criticize and demonize which idea of Satan, and others will not even have found out about the scheme. Polyamory is, without a doubt, one of these forms of the transgression of the norm, and one that is becoming more and more the order of the day. But do we really know what polyamory is? Its definition? What types are there? In Psychology-Online we explain it to you.
What is polyamory
Many myths and misconceptions about what polyamory is run among those who talk about it. A good way to explain polyamory is by making it clear what it is not:
- It is not polygamy. Polygamy refers to the family regime whereby, in practically all the cultures that allow it, the man has more than one spouse of the other sex, while in polyamory all the members have the same conditions and the ties do not have to be necessarily heterosexual.
- It is not infidelity. While it is true that in polyamory you can have more than one mistress, all the people involved are aware of the game and all accept it. It’s not about having an official partner that you cheat on with others, without them knowing, “because you’re polyamorous,” my friend!
- They are not rollers. And neither go from flower to flower. Many believe that people who are in this type of relationship is because they are unable to commit, but the truth is that polyamory, like any other type of relationship, requires a commitment to the people involved.
We begin to see that polyamory is about something more serious and complex than we would have imagined. So what would your definition be?
What is the meaning of polyamory? Polyamory etymologically means “plurality of love” or “abundance of love.” Polyamory is a type of non-monogamous relationship in which there is no sexual and/or emotional exclusivity. That is, they are relationships where the people involved may have more than one only sexual, only affective (yes, sexless relationships can also be maintained) or affective sex with other people.
This is possible since one of the principles of polyamory is based on the fact that no one is owned by anyone and the love that we can give and receive has no limit but multiplies itself with each relationship that makes us richer.
What is polyamory? Definition and types – Polyamory: definition
Types of polyamory
Around non-monogamous relationships, countless names have begun to appear that designate many subtypes of relationships: polyamory, free love, open relationship, relational anarchy, etc. A thousand classifications do not quite coincide because in reality many of these terms overlap and the limits are not completely clear. Where there seems to be the most consensus is the separation between polyamory and open relationships. The latter refers more to the plurality of sexual bonds and not so much effective as polyamory and would include, for example, swingers, polysexual, … Within polyamory, we find two types, according to the organization of relationships:
- Hierarchical polyamory: in which there is a primary relationship and the others are secondary.
- Non-hierarchical polyamory: in which all relationships are at the same level.
Polyamory from psychology
These types of relationships, like the monogamous ones we are used to, are complicated and do not always go well. In polyamory, a lot of consensuses is necessary, you have to talk about it and agree on everything since there is nothing pre-established and the relationship must adapt to the needs of each member. Therefore, a high level of communication and assertiveness is required between the people involved, a lot of introspective work, knowing ourselves, having good self-esteem, empathy and knowing how to manage emotions: work on dependency, jealousy, etc.
It is not that in monogamous relationships it should not also be taken into account, but in polyamory, having to deal with more than one relationship at the same time, all these elements are magnified, and it can be easier to fall into bad practices.
In addition, these relationships must be ethical and embrace values such as respect, equality, acceptance, care, responsibility, among others. The parameters of each relationship are established by its members and, it must be clear that, if it works, the relationship is as valid as any other.
This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.