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Jun 13, 2024

Jun 13, 2024

Jun 13, 2024

Understanding Polyamory, Polygamy, and Ethical Non-Monogamy

Understanding Polyamory, Polygamy, and Ethical Non-Monogamy

Understanding Polyamory, Polygamy, and Ethical Non-Monogamy

Polyamory, polygamy, and ethical non-monogamy are terms that often get mixed up. Let's break down what each one means and why they can be confusing.

Polyamory vs. Polygamy

Polygamy and polyamory are commonly mistaken for one another, but they are quite different:

  • Polygamy: This word comes from "poly" (many) and "gamy" (marriage). It's about having multiple marriages and is often tied to religious practices. For instance, in some forms of traditional Islam, a man can have up to four wives. Polygamy is mostly illegal and usually involves one man married to multiple women, who typically don't have the same right to marry multiple partners.

  • Polyamory: This term combines "poly" (many) and "amory" (love). It's about having multiple loving relationships without the legal ties of marriage. Polyamory is all about love and equality, where everyone can have as many romantic partners as they wish, regardless of gender. While it's legal to love multiple people, polyamorous relationships don’t have legal recognition.

The confusion arises partly because "monogamy" (one + marriage) is used to describe any exclusive relationship, whether married or not. Technically, if two people aren’t married, it should be called "monoamory" (one + love), but society has shaped the meanings of these words.

Polyamory vs. Ethical Non-Monogamy

Polyamory is a form of ethical non-monogamy (ENM). All polyamory is ENM, but not all ENM is polyamory.

  • Polyamory: Specifically refers to having multiple loving relationships.

  • Ethical Non-Monogamy: Encompasses any consensual romantic or sexual relationships involving more than two people. The key here is consent and honesty, making sure everyone involved is aware and agrees.

People emphasize "ethical" to differentiate from cheating, where partners are deceitful. You might also hear **Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM)**, which is just another way to describe the same practice.

Types of Polyamory and ENM/CNM

Polyamory can take several forms:

  • Hierarchical Polyamory: A primary couple prioritizes their relationship over secondary partners, often with specific rules.

  • Non-Hierarchical Polyamory: Everyone is treated equally, with no primary couple.

  • Polyfidelity: A committed relationship involving three or more people who are exclusive to each other.

  • Solo Polyamory: Individuals have multiple relationships without seeking a primary partner or following traditional relationship milestones.

Other forms of ENM/CNM include:

  • Swinging: Couples have recreational sex with others, often involving partner swapping.

  • Monogamish: Couples are mostly monogamous but occasionally engage in casual sex.

  • Open Relationships: Couples are free to date others, with some variations on romantic and sexual exclusivity.

  • Relationship Anarchy: A philosophy where relationships are customized without ranking romantic connections as more important than others.

Enhance Your Poly Relationships with Waffle

So, how do you identify yourself and approach your relationships? If you’re exploring or already in polyamorous relationships, consider using Waffle, a shared journal designed to strengthen poly relationships with specially crafted journal prompts. Waffle helps you and your partners communicate better, reflect on your experiences, and grow together. Give it a try and see how it can enhance your journey!

Polyamory, polygamy, and ethical non-monogamy are terms that often get mixed up. Let's break down what each one means and why they can be confusing.

Polyamory vs. Polygamy

Polygamy and polyamory are commonly mistaken for one another, but they are quite different:

  • Polygamy: This word comes from "poly" (many) and "gamy" (marriage). It's about having multiple marriages and is often tied to religious practices. For instance, in some forms of traditional Islam, a man can have up to four wives. Polygamy is mostly illegal and usually involves one man married to multiple women, who typically don't have the same right to marry multiple partners.

  • Polyamory: This term combines "poly" (many) and "amory" (love). It's about having multiple loving relationships without the legal ties of marriage. Polyamory is all about love and equality, where everyone can have as many romantic partners as they wish, regardless of gender. While it's legal to love multiple people, polyamorous relationships don’t have legal recognition.

The confusion arises partly because "monogamy" (one + marriage) is used to describe any exclusive relationship, whether married or not. Technically, if two people aren’t married, it should be called "monoamory" (one + love), but society has shaped the meanings of these words.

Polyamory vs. Ethical Non-Monogamy

Polyamory is a form of ethical non-monogamy (ENM). All polyamory is ENM, but not all ENM is polyamory.

  • Polyamory: Specifically refers to having multiple loving relationships.

  • Ethical Non-Monogamy: Encompasses any consensual romantic or sexual relationships involving more than two people. The key here is consent and honesty, making sure everyone involved is aware and agrees.

People emphasize "ethical" to differentiate from cheating, where partners are deceitful. You might also hear **Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM)**, which is just another way to describe the same practice.

Types of Polyamory and ENM/CNM

Polyamory can take several forms:

  • Hierarchical Polyamory: A primary couple prioritizes their relationship over secondary partners, often with specific rules.

  • Non-Hierarchical Polyamory: Everyone is treated equally, with no primary couple.

  • Polyfidelity: A committed relationship involving three or more people who are exclusive to each other.

  • Solo Polyamory: Individuals have multiple relationships without seeking a primary partner or following traditional relationship milestones.

Other forms of ENM/CNM include:

  • Swinging: Couples have recreational sex with others, often involving partner swapping.

  • Monogamish: Couples are mostly monogamous but occasionally engage in casual sex.

  • Open Relationships: Couples are free to date others, with some variations on romantic and sexual exclusivity.

  • Relationship Anarchy: A philosophy where relationships are customized without ranking romantic connections as more important than others.

Enhance Your Poly Relationships with Waffle

So, how do you identify yourself and approach your relationships? If you’re exploring or already in polyamorous relationships, consider using Waffle, a shared journal designed to strengthen poly relationships with specially crafted journal prompts. Waffle helps you and your partners communicate better, reflect on your experiences, and grow together. Give it a try and see how it can enhance your journey!

Polyamory, polygamy, and ethical non-monogamy are terms that often get mixed up. Let's break down what each one means and why they can be confusing.

Polyamory vs. Polygamy

Polygamy and polyamory are commonly mistaken for one another, but they are quite different:

  • Polygamy: This word comes from "poly" (many) and "gamy" (marriage). It's about having multiple marriages and is often tied to religious practices. For instance, in some forms of traditional Islam, a man can have up to four wives. Polygamy is mostly illegal and usually involves one man married to multiple women, who typically don't have the same right to marry multiple partners.

  • Polyamory: This term combines "poly" (many) and "amory" (love). It's about having multiple loving relationships without the legal ties of marriage. Polyamory is all about love and equality, where everyone can have as many romantic partners as they wish, regardless of gender. While it's legal to love multiple people, polyamorous relationships don’t have legal recognition.

The confusion arises partly because "monogamy" (one + marriage) is used to describe any exclusive relationship, whether married or not. Technically, if two people aren’t married, it should be called "monoamory" (one + love), but society has shaped the meanings of these words.

Polyamory vs. Ethical Non-Monogamy

Polyamory is a form of ethical non-monogamy (ENM). All polyamory is ENM, but not all ENM is polyamory.

  • Polyamory: Specifically refers to having multiple loving relationships.

  • Ethical Non-Monogamy: Encompasses any consensual romantic or sexual relationships involving more than two people. The key here is consent and honesty, making sure everyone involved is aware and agrees.

People emphasize "ethical" to differentiate from cheating, where partners are deceitful. You might also hear **Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM)**, which is just another way to describe the same practice.

Types of Polyamory and ENM/CNM

Polyamory can take several forms:

  • Hierarchical Polyamory: A primary couple prioritizes their relationship over secondary partners, often with specific rules.

  • Non-Hierarchical Polyamory: Everyone is treated equally, with no primary couple.

  • Polyfidelity: A committed relationship involving three or more people who are exclusive to each other.

  • Solo Polyamory: Individuals have multiple relationships without seeking a primary partner or following traditional relationship milestones.

Other forms of ENM/CNM include:

  • Swinging: Couples have recreational sex with others, often involving partner swapping.

  • Monogamish: Couples are mostly monogamous but occasionally engage in casual sex.

  • Open Relationships: Couples are free to date others, with some variations on romantic and sexual exclusivity.

  • Relationship Anarchy: A philosophy where relationships are customized without ranking romantic connections as more important than others.

Enhance Your Poly Relationships with Waffle

So, how do you identify yourself and approach your relationships? If you’re exploring or already in polyamorous relationships, consider using Waffle, a shared journal designed to strengthen poly relationships with specially crafted journal prompts. Waffle helps you and your partners communicate better, reflect on your experiences, and grow together. Give it a try and see how it can enhance your journey!

Waffle: #1 Shared Journal App

Connect, bond, and share emotional support

4.8 • 4K Ratings

Download Today

Waffle: #1 Shared Journal App

Bond and share emotional support

4.8 • 4K Ratings

Download

Waffle: #1 Shared Journal App

Connect, bond, and share emotional support

4.8 • 4K Ratings

Download Today