Poly Relationships

Open Relationships vs Polyamory

Guy and Two Women

Many people confuse open relationships with polyamory relationships. They may not know the standard definitions or they may have written their own rules. In each relationships there is usually a primary couple, but it’s how they interact socially and sexually with others that varies between open and poly couples.

Differences and Similarities

Open Relationships

1. Primary couples agree that they are both allowed to have sex outside the relationship.
2. Details of sexual encounters are often not to be discussed.
3. Couples are not looking for love in outside relationships.
4. Outside relationships are not usually long-term.
5. Casual hookups sometimes occur with friends.
6. Primaries don’t introduce their hookups to their partner.
7. There is not always are primary couple but individuals that have many casual partners.

Poly Relationships

1. Primary couples negotiate whether they want to date separately or together.
2. Couples talk about the feelings they have with thirds.
3. Couples look for love with more than their primary.
4. Partners seek long lasting deep relationships with others.
5. Sex is not casual and meaningles.
6. Primaries meet their partner’s lovers and form bonds with them as well.
7. There is usually a primary with a deep meaningful relationship.

You may define your relationship differently from other poly or open couples. That’s okay, what matters most in both poly and open relationships is that primaries and individuals involved discuss and agree on how their relationship(s) is defined.

How do you define your relationship?

Tell us what you think!

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Polyamory Today logo
Polyamory Today is your source for everything related to polyamory dating and poly relationships. We post tips and advice for polyamorous lovers, open relationships, and those seeking threesomes and group adventures. Enter the world of polyamory with exclusive articles, polls, site reviews, reader stories and more.

Polyamory Magazine
Join over 4,600 polyamorous people who receive Polyamory Today updates every two weeks.

Let's connect.

We share all of our polyamory advice, ideas, and articles on Facebook and Twitter. Follow along on your favorite network to get latest from Polyamory Today Magazine.

Polyamory Today on Facebook Polyamory Today on Twitter