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A few months ago, we talked in another post about relational diversity, what polyamory is and what non-monogamous relationships consist of. And it is that polyamory and non-monogamous relationships are receiving more and more attention from the media and they are beginning to be talked about more frequently, although these relational models are not something new. But there are still many myths that exist around this type of relationship. In this new post we will talk about some of the myths surrounding non-monogamous relationships.
Myth one: monogamy is natural. In nature there is a great variety of ways of organizing and relating, both monogamous and non-monogamous. Thus, some species organize themselves in monogamous pairs for life, as is the case with some birds, for example penguins; and other communities are organized in non-monogamy, such as bonobos.
As for human beings, the monogamous model has prevailed in Western societies for many centuries, but this does not necessarily mean that it is natural. In fact, in the case of human beings it would be more a question of social and cultural organization. In other parts of the world there are also societies and cultures in which the form of organization is non-monogamous. Some examples of this, whose organization is also matriarchal, are the Mosuo ethnic group in China or the Wodaabe tribe in West Africa.
Second myth: if you want to be with another person, it is because you do not love your partner or something is wrong in the relationship. It is common to hear the idea that if you look at other people than your partner it is because something is wrong in your relationship. This belief is based on myths of romantic love, such as that of the better half, which ensures that there is only one person to whom we are predestined; the myth of exclusivity, and that the couple must cover all our needs and complement us absolutely. But the reality is that it is possible to feel desire and love for other people also when we are comfortable with a partner and we continue to love them.
Myth 3: Non-monogamous relationships are consensual infidelity. Consensual non-monogamous relationships are based, as the name suggests, on consensus. All the people involved in the relationship must have information about the situation and choose it freely and by consensus. Choosing it freely means wanting to be in a relationship of these characteristics by own desire, conviction and by choice, without external pressure or coercion. The situations in which you agree to have an open relationship to prevent the partner from leaving the relationship are not situations in which this model is chosen because you really want to be in a relationship of this type, but to avoid a greater evil. In these situations, there is information and even consensus to some extent, but they are not chosen out of desire and conviction, which can end up causing suffering to one of the parties. All this is different from infidelity, in which there is no consensus and on many occasions some of the people involved lack information.
Myth Four: Non-monogamous people are unable to commit. Non-monogamous relationships imply the establishment of several affective, sexual or love ties, with greater, lesser or the same degree of commitment in each of them. Especially non-monogamous relationships that involve love or affection ties, beyond openness on a sexual level, are usually based on the importance of care and emotional responsibility. With which, it is possible to establish relationships that involve commitment with more than one person at a time.
Myth 5: Non-monogamous people are promiscuous and have more sexually transmitted infections. Having sex with a greater or lesser number of partners does not depend so much on the relational orientation, but on how a person is. Polyamorous relationships in particular tend to be based more on love relationships than on having sex with many people. Within polyamory, there are also polyfidel relationships, of three or more people who have exclusivity between them. And regarding sexually transmitted infections, the possibility of transmission does not depend on the number or type of practices that are carried out, but on the use of barrier methods (condoms, latex quadrants, etc.). Using methods to prevent infection is often an important topic that is discussed and agreed upon in most non-monogamous relationships.
Myth Six: People in non-monogamous relationships don't feel jealous. People in non-monogamous relationships can feel jealous just like people in monogamous relationships. The question is not in whether they feel jealous or not, but in how to manage these emotions, going to the source of them, working on insecurities and trust in our relationships.
These are just a few of the myths that exist around non-monogamous relationships. As in other relationships, there is no right and wrong non-monogamy model. The key would be to adapt our relationships to our wishes and needs, taking care of the wishes and needs of the other people involved, rather than adapting ourselves to a rigid relational model, whether monogamous or non-monogamous. That is, choose the relationships that make us happier in a free, informed and consensual way.