Monogamy vs Polyamory has been a topic that has come up often on social media and in some of the spaces I have occupied. As we become aware and educate about sexuality, gender and sex, we are also investigating the types of relationships that work for us.
Many people are finding that have a single partner is not for them and are exploring other forms of relationships such as polyamorous relationships. Polyamory is understood as; loving more than one, being with more than one partner whereas monogamy is having a single partner at a time.
I, personally prefer monogamous relationships however as I have to come learn through introspection and auditing of my previous relationship that it may not necessarily be what works for me. All my monogamous relationship ended as there were hints of cheating and jealousy, which is possibly the reason why I have considered a polyamorous relationship. However even polyamory would not work for me because of my jealousy (which I am working on) it would not be easy for me to challenge those feelings easily if I were to get into such a set-up. Even though the thought of being in a polyamorous relationship has crossed my mind quite a number of times, I don’t think I am ready for such until I tackle my feelings of jealousy. Where does that leave someone like me who is trying to figure out which set-up would work for them factoring in one’s insecurities and needs?
How does one know which one between Monogamy and Polyamory works for them? I have come up with a few tips I got from my friends that I am also using to base my decision.
Know your reason for wanting either relationship option
Firstly, comes the reason for entering into monogamy or polygamy. Entering into any relationship for the wrong reasons is a bad idea. Sadly, many individuals feel terrified of being alone and therefore rush into relationships that non turn never last. Figure out your “Why” and you will know which set-up will work for you. If you want to have multiple partners to meet multiple needs then maybe poly is for you or maybe you want to have a single partner but still go on dates? Figuring this out is the first step to knowing what will work for you.
Do an audit on your previous relationships
How will you know what works for you if you have not figured out what did not work out in your previous relationships? Once you know what did not work you can also have an informed “reason” for which set-up will work for you. Looking at what did not work in that set-up whilst comparing with the pros and cons of each set-up is also another way to go in your audit.
Have conversations with people in polyamorous/monogamous relationships
It’s best to also get first-hand information from people who are currently in either poly or mono relationships to help you make an informed decision. This could also help with any questions that you may have or any fears that you may have. Trust me, this is NB! My friends in polyamorous relationships helped curb my anxiety about having multiple partners by telling me that people assume poly set-ups mean going for anyone and sleeping around when that’s not the case because you actually date other people but your primary partner always knows the other partners which is why communication is important.
These 3 things have helped me in deciding which set-up will work for me, however because I am aware that I am not ready for any kind of relationship at the moment I will just keep this information for future sakes.
Monogamy and polyamory each come with their series of benefits and setbacks. Not everyone will agree with the various aspects of the relationships above, nor are they entitled to. All involved parties are consenting adults, therefore there is no right or wrong, good or bad when it comes to deciding to enter into monogamy or polyamorous relationships. Each person is better suited for certain relationships and according to what will work depending on their insecurities. Sometimes this changes over time; sometimes it does not. Some people may switch between monogamy and polygamy at one time or on multiple occasions whilst trying to figure out what will work for them and that is okay. People should be allowed to figure this out without feeling any shame.
Which set-up do you think would work for you? Tweet us your thoughts @WeTheBraveSA
Phumlani Kango is a contributing writer for the Anova Health Institute and these are his views, which may or may not reflect those of Anova and its affiliates.