It's undeniable that the world of relationships and the way we understand them has been shifting for the past few years. From monogamy to non-monogamy, and everything in between, there are countless options for people to explore when it comes to romantic and sexual connections. This journey can be both enlightening and confusing, especially when trying to navigate the ever-expanding vocabulary surrounding these various relationship types. To help you out, we've come up with a Monogamy Dictionary that will cover all of the essential terms and phrases for anyone venturing into the world of monogamy, non-monogamy, and polyamory.
Monogamy Dictionary Table of Contents
A traditional relationship structure where two people commit to be romantically and sexually exclusive to one another. Many cultures around the world consider this the standard model, and it often coincides with marriage.
2. Serial Monogamy
A pattern where an individual engages in multiple consecutive, monogamous relationships, typically ending one before pursuing another.
Refers to a range of relationship styles that do not require sexual exclusivity between partners. This umbrella term encompasses diverse relationship types, including open relationships, swinging and polyamory.
4. Open Relationship
Often called “ethical non-monogamy,” an open relationship is typically characterized by a committed couple agreeing to form sexual connections with other people outside of their partnership. Ground rules and boundaries are set, since emotional attachment may vary depending on the couple's agreement.
A form of ethical non-monogamy where committed couples engage in recreational sex with other people, often within the context of swinger parties or clubs. Emotional connection between non-partners is typically minimized, and primary couples prioritize their bond.
While still under the non-monogamous umbrella, polyamory is unique in that it allows for emotional connections with multiple people. This relationship style has numerous variations, from triads to complex relationship networks, where each individual is free to explore romantic and sexual connections with mutual consent and communication.
A polyamorous relationship structure consisting of three people, all of whom share a connection with each other.
In a polyamorous network, your partner's other partner(s) are referred to as your metamours. While not romantically involved with one another, metamours may interact on a platonic level, depending on the relationship network's dynamics.
Monogamy Dictionary Example: The Complexities of Real-Life Relationships
Imagine Kara, who has been monogamous her entire life, and suddenly finds herself interested in exploring an open relationship with her partner, Dave. They've been together for years, feeling secure in their bond but eager to spice up their sex life. Communicating openly about their desires, they agree to allow for connections with others, provided they are transparent with each other about their experiences. This transition from monogamy to non-monogamy introduces them to a whole new world, from swinger parties to polyamorous friend groups. By understanding the terms and types of relationships, they are better equipped to communicate their needs and boundaries in this new adventure.
The Monogamy Dictionary is only the beginning of what there is to learn about monogamous, non-monogamous, and polyamorous relationships. Every person's journey is unique, and knowing the terminology can help provide a roadmap for the explorations ahead. Share this guide with friends or partners who are also embarking on this world of diverse romantic and sexual connections, and be sure to check out other insightful guides and articles available here on The Monogamy Experiment.