Polyamory, another way of understanding relationships

Polyamory, another way of understanding relationships

TO polyamory it is called trend or preference of a relationship with more than one person at a time and in a context in which all the people involved are aware of this situation.

It is a mode of relationship that is maintained over time and is not limited to short intervals such as in couples exchanges. Its practitioners emphasize transparency and honesty in their relationships and describe it as Consensual non-monogamy, ethical and responsible. It is not the same as polygamy, the latter is a marriage of an individual of one sex (usually man) with several people of the opposite sex.

The term polyamorous can refer to the nature of a relationship at some point in time or to a philosophy that marks the identity of the person. The term has a Greco-Latin origin; of "poli" which is a lot and from the Latin "love."

People who identify as polyamorous reject the vision of sexual exclusivity and they think they are not necessary to have deep and committed love relationships. In this type of relationship sex is not a primary interest. In practice, polyamorous relationships are very diverse according to those who participate in them, for most, these relationships are built on the basis of loyalty, negotiation of boundaries and understanding.


  • 1 Forms of polyamory
  • 2 Values ​​within polyamory
  • 3 Criticisms of polyamory

Polyamory forms

The existence of diffuse limits on what can be done and what cannot be done in a polyamorous relationship, has made this type of relationship known as non-monogamous

Even so, we can find some polyamorous relationships more frequent than others:

  1. Hierarchical polyamory: In which there is a main relationship and other secondary or peripheral. Among the different types of polyamory, this is the one that most closely resembles traditional couple relationships in Western countries.
  2. Polifidelity: In this case intimate relationships are restricted to a certain group of people in which outside this circle of people, sexual contact is not allowed.
  3. Relational anarchy: Here the people involved do not have any type of restriction, although it is always based on consensus and requires a degree of commitment, these are not based on the creation of expectations from traditional gender roles.

Values ​​within polyamory

Although polyamory can have many different forms, there are some basic principles that all participants share

  • Fidelity: They define fidelity as honesty with their loves regarding their relationships, fulfilling the commitments established with each of them
  • Honesty and respect: Most polyamorous people emphasize the importance of respect and communication with all their love-lovers
  • Communication and negotiation: There is no uniform polyamorous relationship model, practitioners decide how they want to develop the relationship. The important thing is that it is clearly defined among all its members, polyamorous people take negotiation as a continuous process throughout the life of the relationship.
  • Detachment: They shy away from owning the other person, they pursue love as an enrichment rather than a threat to their bond, they see it as the possessive view of relationships as something to avoid, although some alternatives include possessive primary relationships in combination with other secondary relationships detached, common in open marriage, or asymmetric relationships in which possession is only applied in one sense.
  • Compression: It is defined as an emotional state of empathic happiness when seeing another person being happy, would be the opposite state to jealousy. This term applies to when a person experiences positive feelings when they see their partner enjoying another relationship.

Criticisms of polyamory

Most societies and religions expect the person to choose a single person to form a partner, so they are contrary to this type of relationship. People say that, by dividing love between several couples, love decreases, every relationship implies time, space and dedication.

From polyamory this vision is rejected, arguing that love is not destroyed by division, they say that it is a too pragmatic and utilitarian vision and that according to that idea they could not make new friends since they would lose time to be with the old.

Polyamory practitioners often see at monogamous relationships often based on the thoughtless acceptance of social and harmful mandates such as possessiveness, dependence and jealousy, to be polyamorous it is necessary to transcend this cultural imposition and reach a deeper and wider understanding of what the concept of love means, and thus, to be able to experience a sincere respect for individual freedom. They consider it a way of loving superior to monogamy, a more evolved way.

Polyamory is much more fluid than the traditional monogamous relationship, so polyamorous relationships end to the extent that its participants deem appropriate. This is part of the polyamory flow and may end are the bitterness that accompanies many of the ruptures of monogamous relationships.

Bibliographic references

Easton, D and Hardy, J. (2013). Promiscuous ethics. Spain: Melusina.

Sheff, E. (2019). Notes on polyamory. Spain: ConTinta You have me.

Barker, M., and Langdridge, D. (2010). What ever happened to non-monogamies? Critical reflections on recent research and theory. Sexualities, 13, pp. 748-772.