What Does It Mean to Be Polyamorous?

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You might picture a romantic relationship as two people committed exclusively to one another — also known as monogamy. Consensual non-monogamy, on the other hand, involves relationships with more than one person, with the consent of everyone involved. Polyamory is just one of the ways to practice consensual non-monogamy. You may have also heard of other forms, like open relationships and swinging. But this is a common misconception. Cheating includes deception and betrayal, like if you and your partner have agreed not to have sex with other people, but your partner breaks that promise. The difference between cheating and polyamory is that people who are polyamorous have shared agreements about sex and relationships with other people. In fact, one research study showed no difference in relationship satisfaction between people who are monogamous or consensually non-monogamous. Commitment for monogamous people can mean expressing love by putting time, trust, and respect for shared agreements into a relationship with another person.

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