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Is Ethical Non-Monogamy or Polyamory Right For You?

By: Cameron Willimson , June 29, 2023
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Is Ethical Non-Monogamy or Polyamory Right For You?

Within the last few years, more alternative ways of dating have made their way into the mainstream. Ethical non-monogamy, also known as consensual non-monogamy, is an approach to relationships that allows individuals to engage in multiple romantic or sexual connections with the knowledge and consent of all parties involved. However, without having experience, knowing people who practice an ENM lifestyle or understanding the intricacies of these types of relationships, it’s not that easy to figure out if it is right for you.

What does Ethical Non-Monogamy Really Look Like?


Openness, honesty, and consent are foundational principles of ethical non-monogamy. It isn’t simply about the pleasure of having multiple partners without accountability or connection. It acknowledges that individuals may have the capacity to love or be intimate with multiple people simultaneously, without it being a breach of trust or fidelity.

When someone has multiple partners without their partners’ knowledge, it’s infidelity. Infidelity is selfish and requires secrecy and deceiving the other partner. Ethical non-monogamy promotes a completely different approach to dating, centering transparency and active communication among all parties involved. It is essential to emphasize that ethical non-monogamy only exists when all participants provide informed consent and willingly participate.

It’s not only about whether or not you have the capacity to have sex with multiple people. You have to be secure enough to understand that your partners can and will also have a variety of degrees of intimacy with others. If you are typically a jealous partner or compare yourself to others your partner has been, is, or would be intimately involved with, being ethically non-monogamous may not be for you.


Types of Ethically Non-Monogamous Relationships



Ethical non-monogamy includes various relationship structures, each with its own general dynamics and expectations, which can also vary a bit based on each individual’s desires and what they’ve communicated and agreed to with their partners.


Open Relationships

In this arrangement, there is a primary partnership, and within that, each person has agreed to engage in relationships outside each other. Boundaries and rules are established within the primary partnership to ensure open communication and respect for all parties involved. This can look like a couple that lives together or is in a committed long-term relationship but dates others outside of the relationship.


Some examples of boundaries and rules can be no sleepovers with individuals outside the primary relationship, an agreement about whether or not they discuss the other partners within the primary partnership or only dating others in different geographical locations.


Polyamorous relationships involve individuals forming multiple loving and emotionally committed connections simultaneously. This would be like having multiple significant others as opposed to a primary partner and relationships with less significance. Each relationship may have different levels of intimacy and commitment, but the emphasis is on ethical conduct, honesty, and respect.


This could look like being in a relationship with someone while each of your are also in romantic relationships with other people.


Swinging refers to consensual sexual interactions or exchanges between committed couples or groups. These encounters often take place within a designated community or with established rules to ensure the comfort and consent of all participants. This can look like a couple being intimate with a third or another couple.

Is Ethical Non-Monogamy Right For You?

Deciding if ethical non-monogamy is right for an individual requires thoughtful self-reflection and honesty with yourself, first and foremost. It’s crucial to understand your personal desires, values, and emotional capacity and be able to communicate them with multiple partners with different personalities, needs, and desires.


You must also assess your ability to manage jealousy, communicate openly, and balance those multiple emotional connections. Oftentimes, it requires individuals to navigate complex emotions, such as jealousy, insecurity, and fear of abandonment of their own and potentially multiple partners. Are you willing to support your partners through their own emotional journeys?


Evaluate your ability to invest time, energy, and resources into multiple relationships. Determine if you have the capacity to maintain healthy and fulfilling connections without neglecting your own well-being or compromising your existing commitments.


Lastly, do your research. Seek out online and offline communities, articles, and guidance related to ethical non-monogamy. Engaging with others who have experience in this lifestyle can provide valuable insights and support throughout your journey.

How To Let New And Potential Partners Know You Are Ethically Non-Monogamous

Open and honest communication is the cornerstone of ethical non-monogamy. If you know that is what you want, communicating that up front is how to go about getting it. You want to find someone that is aligned with your desired lifestyle, and you’ll also have to understand that it is not for everyone, so subsequently, you will not be for everyone.


You can be very clear in your dating app bio that you are ENM or ethically non-monogamous. If you already have a primary partner, it’s best to be upfront about them and how you date, whether that’s together or individually. You want other people to be informed and interested in the reality of you and your life.


Once you’ve matched or connected with new people, discuss both of your desires, boundaries, and expectations. Effective communication ensures that everyone involved has a clear understanding of each other’s needs, intentions and how to best enjoy each other. You should approach this and all relationships like it’s an ongoing process of getting to know one another and the ways you are aligned.

Final thoughts

Ethical non-monogamy challenges societal norms surrounding monogamy and provides individuals with an alternative approach to relationships. By emphasizing consent, honesty, and open communication, it allows for the exploration of multiple connections while maintaining integrity and respect. 


Deciding if ethical non-monogamy is right for you involves introspection, open communication with potential partners, and a willingness to navigate the complexities that may arise. Remember, the path to understanding your own relationship preferences is a personal and ongoing journey, and only you can determine what aligns best with your values and desires, as well as an honest consideration of what you can manage.

You can start swiping through profiles to look for like-minded individuals and potential partners on fling.com.

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