Imagine a world where every relationship you have - whether it be sexual or non-sexual, long-term or short-term - satisfies your deepest desires, connection, playfulness and love. Like the Beetles say, “All you need is love, love is all you need.”

If you’re intrigued and a little curious, this article is for you!

Is a monogamous relationship realistic in the modern world? Despite what we see on rom-coms, both men and women often desire partnerships that don’t fall within the confines of a one-on-one dynamic. According to some experts the realities of modern life have helped steer some couples in the direction of non-traditional arrangements. “Monogamy was easy when most of the population died by the age of 40”, says Dr. David Ezell, therapist and Clinical Director of Darien Wellness. “Now that people live twice that age, the idea of being with one person forever is a very high wall.”

The concept of non-monogamy is definitely out there. If infidelity alone is what tears so many couples apart, then giving fidelity a broader definition might help to keep some relationships alive. Off course, there’s also the possibility that it won’t.

Non-traditional relationships include open marriages or relationships. In an open relationship sexual encounters with people other than the spouse are accepted as part of the relationship agreement. Friends with benefits” or “no strings attached” comes to mind. Open relationships place a primary focus on sex with the avoidance of an emotional or loving connection.

Polyamory comes from the Greek word meaning “many” and from the Latin word “amour”, which means “love.” So, yes, “many loves.” This is different from an open marriage in that it is not just “sex for fun” but it involves loving, romantic and emotional connections with others outside the relationship. Poly couples believe that they can love more than one person and maintain a primary partner at the same time. Swingers on the other hand, swap partners for a fun, sexual experience, purely for eroticism.

What would it take to cultivate relationships such as these? Well, here’s where it gets muddy pretty quickly. Being in a non-traditional relationship isn’t just a carefree romp. It requires you to unpick the messy yarn of human emotions, especially the most familiar knot of all: jealousy.

One of the biggest challenges arises when only one partner wants to open the relationship. It is imperative that both partners want to make changes to the relationship. Boundaries should be clear, respected and honoured. Communication and transparency is key. And off course, anytime a partner ventures outside of the agreement will be a breach of the agreement.

Although monogamy is regarded as the social norm and is the most widely accepted form of romantic relationships, it is not the only fair or valid type of relationship out there. Non-traditional relationships are not for everyone, but for some, it’s the only way to go.

So, bottom line? Regardless of what kind of label you want to put on your relationship, the healthiest relationships you’ll find are those where people treat one another well.



DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.