In a world that grows increasingly open-minded and diverse, it is no surprise that we now see variations in the traditional monogamous relationships. Enter, monogamish and open relationships. Two distinct alternatives to monogamy that offer couples the freedom to explore their desires while maintaining a stable partnership. This article will explore each practice, guiding you to understand the differences between the two, discussing what works for different types of people, and allowing you to make an informed decision as to whether either is a right fit for you and your relationship.
Monogamish Vs Open Relationship Table of Contents
Monogamish, a term coined by sex columnist Dan Savage, refers to relationships that are predominantly monogamous, with occasional exceptions. These exceptions typically come in the form of occasional flirtations or sexual experiences outside of the primary relationship. A monogamish couple might have a "play partner" they incorporate into their intimate life from time to time, or they may allow each other to explore sexual experiences on a separate basis. Monogamish relationships prioritize emotional exclusivity, and partners may have boundaries or "rules" to ensure that any non-monogamous experiences are purely physical rather than emotional in nature.
On the other hand, open relationships refer to relationships where both partners agree upon a non-monogamous arrangement. Emotional connections may or may not be involved, and the level of transparency varies. Open relationships often involve "primary" and "secondary" partners, distinguished by the level of emotional and practical commitment. Some couples might prioritize their primary relationship and reserve specific activities or feelings for that partner, while others see each connection as equally valid and dispense with the hierarchy altogether.
Monogamish Vs Open Relationship Examples
Let's take a look at an example of a monogamish couple, James and Lisa. They have been together for several years and have a great emotional connection. Both of them enjoy the company of others from time to time, making their relationship monogamish. Lisa might invite a female friend over for an evening of intimacy with both her and James, but the focus remains on their primary relationship. Any encounters with this friend occur only with the explicit consent and involvement of both partners.
Now, consider another hypothetical couple, Mark and Steph, who are in an open relationship. They have carefully negotiated boundaries and have agreed that they enjoy exploring relationships with others independently. Mark might have a girlfriend in another city he visits sporadically, while Steph might have a casual boyfriend she sees every few weeks. Openness, honest communication, and trust are the foundations of their partnership, and they believe that experiencing connections with other people only enhances their primary bond.
Making the choice between monogamish and open relationships will likely involve self-reflection, open communication with your partner, and a mutual willingness to explore. It is important to remember that relationships are a constantly-evolving practice, and what works for a couple at one point in their life might not work at another. Discussing desires, setting boundaries, and establishing open lines of communication are essential for couples considering either monogamish or open relationships.
As you navigate the world of non-monogamy, always remember that The Monogamy Experiment is here to support, educate and enlighten you and your partner. If you enjoyed this guide, share it with others, and browse through our other articles to continue your journey.