6 Alternatives to Monogamy that Don’t Involve Cheating 

Today many people are looking for monogamy alternatives.

They are looking to explore alternatives to monogamy that are ethical, mutual, consensual, and practical. They are looking for reasonable and realistic lifestyles and relationship styles that offer alternative options from monogamy, which isn’t working for them for many different reasons.

Reasons to Explore Monogamy Alternatives

There are as many reasons why people choose alternatives to monogamy as there are people. Some have never identified with monogamy, even though society has imposed it on them.

The idea of a relationship with only one person at the exclusion of all others simply never resonated with them. If they followed the expectations of culture by dating in traditional monogamous ways, they may seek monogamy alternatives that more accurately reflect their identity.

Trying to Find What Works

Another reason to explore monogamy alternatives is the desire to experience a different paradigm for relationships. Some people feel they should try different ways of relating in love and sex so that their decisions in these areas ultimately reflect their true needs, having tried different lifestyles.

If you’re bored in a long-term relationship and feel stagnant, stuck, and like life is passing you by, you may decide that the relationship style simply isn’t working anymore. You might decide to experiment with alternatives to monogamy in hopes of a more fulfilling love life.

Read: ENM Relationships: 10 Examples of Ethical Non-Monogamy

triad in a relationship alternative to monogamy enjoying coffee together

A Non-Monogamous Love Interest

A big reason you may decide to explore an alternative to monogamy is if you happen to start dating someone with a different approach to relationships. Many of us were introduced to non-monogamy through a new partner.

Loving More Than One

If you happen to be in love with more than one person at the same time, you may reject the idea of having to choose or having to sacrifice someone. Sometimes, this is the fork in the road where people have an epiphany that monogamy is not the only way of having relationships.

Read: Polyamory is the Solution for Many Couples

Bisexual Freedom

Bisexual people who feel frustrated turning off a part of themselves in a relationship may choose alternatives to monogamy so that they can be their complete sexual selves.

Embracing Honesty and Avoiding Betrayal

Sometimes, you’ve been betrayed or cheated on and wondered why you bothered with monogamy, which now seems inferior to monogamy alternatives, because polyamory is very concerned with consent, ethics, and honesty, rather than trying to get away with something dishonestly.

Broadening Sexual and Emotional Horizons

Many people seek alternatives to monogamy because they want to have multiple sexual partners.

Some don’t want to limit relationships and the opportunity to connect with people on a deep level.

Another reason people choose alternatives to monogamy are because they are in a monogamous relationship and want to experience more sexual adventures together as a couple, with other couples or other lovers.

Is Monogamy Natural?

A common reason people seek out monogamy alternatives is their conviction or realization that monogamy is not natural to most animals, including humans, and they choose to view our true, natural sexuality in a positive and tolerant light. 

Read: How to Practice Ethical Non-Monogamy

6 Alternatives to Monogamy 

1. Monogamish Relationship 

The monogamish relationship is a romantic relationship where the couple continues to prioritize each other in their commitment, living arrangements, and day to day life. However, they open the door to extracurricular sexual liaisons outside the relationship for both parties.

This monogamy alternative is quite popular and monogamish lovers often feel liberated and relieved of the burden of dishonesty or guilt. They often feel more connected in their relationship because they don’t have to worry about the burdens of guilt and the limitations.

Read: 11 Types of Monogamy

2. Open Relationship 

An open relationship is sometimes a monogamish relationship. A couple is committed to each other but decides to open the bedroom doors. They may open the relationship to sexual encounters or even longer term sexual relationships, but the primary partnership is the priority.

Read: A Guide to Open Relationship Rules

3. Polyamory 

Polyamory means dating, commitment, marriage, or sex with many partners. There are a wide variety of ways that people practice polyamory, from cultural practices of marrying numerous wives to two couples living together in a polycule and raising kids as a foursome.

There are hierarchical forms of polyamory, and other forms that reject those and favor relationship anarchy.

Some people simply date more than one person at the same time, and some have numerous lovers but don’t have traditional relationships. Regardless of how they choose to practice poly, polyamory is concerned with consent, ethics, and honesty. 

Read: 5 Reasons to Switch from Monogamy to Polyamory

4. Polyfidelity 

Polyfidelity is where more than two people connect for romantic, sexual relationships, but do not seek sex or relationships outside of that core. Manifestations of this monogamy alternative have existed in different cultures and eras, once called “group marriage.”  

Read: Polyfidelity: FAQ

5. Swinging 

Swinging is a social and sexual lifestyle with a primary partnership where both members of that couple want to explore sexual activities with other people, together.

Swingers date other couples or attend swinger parties, exchanging partners. They may make love in the same room as their spouse or all together. They may double date to enjoy companionship and flirtation. The sexual adventures serve to strengthen the relationship as well as provide individual pleasures.

Read: How to Be Swingers: A Guide for Swinging Beginners

6. Hotwifing

The hotwife lifestyle is an alternative to monogamy that generally manifests in the hot female enjoying other lovers for her own pleasure and the pleasure of her husband.

Typically, the husband or stag does not take other lovers even though she does, because her affairs with bulls are what gets him off. He basically thrills to the fact that his wife is so hot and horny, enjoying her fantasies by proxy.

Read: Hotwife 101: What Is the Hotwife Lifestyle?

6. Staying Single 

Staying single is a monogamy alternative that offers an uncomplicated trajectory. Single people do not have obligations to partners and do not have rules. They can avoid dating and be celibate, or they can date when and who they choose, choosing not to date seriously.

Read: How to Enjoy the Single Life

Are you in an ethical non-monogamous relationship that works? Please share!

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