Polyamory, or the practice of having more than one regular, steady, or permanent mate that functions together as part a harmonious group, is an often misunderstood relationship structure. For monogamous folks or people that have never experienced more than one partner at one time, polyamory can be seen as scandalous, difficult to manage, and something that is only based on sex. But for those who have lived this lifestyle, it is something more. Polyamory can be one of the most fulfilling and satisfying types of relationships a person can engage in, and it allows people to develop deeper, more connected bonds of true love and affection than they could otherwise experience in the monogamous world.

There are, of course, different types of polyamory. Some are lifelong relationships akin to marriage while others are arrangements that allow for partners to seek supplemental attention and affection from outside the core relationship. Many people think of polyamory as a group of 3 bonded individuals, but the number can be anything over 2 as long as it is agreed upon by the individuals involved. The main thing is that whatever the arrangement, it is a mutual agreement that suits all the participants in the polyamorous relationship.

When this is the case, the polyamorous relationship is the most powerful, most fulfilling relationship available to these individuals as it provides more diverse, more inclusive ways for people to bond to one another. It opens up the scope of what a relationship can be, and it can provide many additional ways for individuals to experience love that just arenít possible in vanilla relationships. The advantages of this type of relationship are numerous, and they encompass a wide spectrum of emotional and physical needs.

One of the easiest advantages to understand with polyamory is the increased level of social interaction, something that people in these types of relationships desire. With polyamory, there is always someone to talk to, always someone to go out with, and always an outlet for oneís social needs. This is something many people struggle with in monogamous relationships, particularly when busy lives, and family obligations are factored in. Most people just simply donít get enough time to socially interact with their significant other, and that can quickly lead to problems within the coupling. But with polyamory, there is someone available to talk with or go out with more often, and this helps individuals with high social needs to not feel lonely or neglected, and it improves overall happiness and satisfaction within the relationship.

Polyamory also helps to meet different social needs of different members of the grouping. If one person always likes to go out, but the other doesnít, there is going to be a third (or fourth or fifth) person to take care of this social need unlike in a couple where one partner might feel pressured to go out or the other might feel bored from always having to stay home. In polyamory, there is always someone to join you in the activity that you are in the mood for at the time.

Polyamorous groups need to be careful, however, that one person isnít always excluded or left out during social activities as this can lead to resentment and anger. However, if everyone makes a conscious effort, polyamory is like a good party where there is always someone interesting and exciting to spend time socializing with.

Along the same lines of social stimulation, polyamory provides a person with more than one partner to relate to. Each partner is going to have a different personality, demeanor, and view point, and this can be extremely beneficial. Each partner will be able to relate to the others on different levels, fulfilling different social needs all at the same time. So if one partner, for example, were feeling depressed, they are more likely to find another loving, caring individual that can help them through the pain. Someone in a monogamous relationship might find that their significant other just doesnít understand, just doesnít get what theyíre going through. But that is rarely the case with polyamory. If one partner isnít sympathetic or understanding or just isnít able to relate to another partner, there are more personalities within the grouping that can step up and provide comfort and support. A person in polyamory is never left alone or in the cold, and this can provide a person with a great sense of love and comfort, knowing that they will always have someone within their core group that they can turn to.

Another huge benefit of a polyamorous relationship is the ability of the group to diffuse arguments and to come to a consensus much more easily. Most arguments in traditional monogamous relationships quickly get blown out of proportion, and with no one to mediate, resentment can flare up and cause serious issues in the relationship. With a grouping of more than two, if an argument or dispute arises, the members of the relationship that are not involved in the conflict can weigh in, almost like an impartial jury, and they can quickly turn a stressful, argumentative situation into nothing more than a brief disagreement. These situations can also bring the group closer together as they are forced to look at things from all sides and weigh every memberís opinions and ideas.

It would a shame not to mention the sexual benefits of polyamory, although they are not typically the sole or main driving factor of entering into this type of relationship. But the sexual possibilities are, of course, increased. There are more opportunities for people to engage in sexual activity and more possibilities in bed with more than just two people engaging with each other at the same time. Polyamory can be a way for a person with a much higher and adventurous sexual nature to meet their needs while still remaining faithful to a partner that doesnít have such exotic desires. Polyamory can also fulfill bisexual needs, and many polyamorous relationships involve people of both the male and female gender bonded together. Having these additional possibilities can lead to a stronger overall relationship where every member feels satisfied and complete.

It is true that there are many struggles in polyamory, but the advantages are numerous. These types of group relationships can bring about increased love, joy, connection, and harmony, and they allow people with greater social, emotional, and sexual needs to be truly happy and fulfilled in a way that a traditional monogamous relationship just canít quite manage.

A Polyamory Relationship refers to a group of people involved in a relationship. The group may consist of three or more. The term Polyamory, comes from the Greek poly, meaning more then one and the Latin amor, meaning love. In effect, Polyamory involves having an intimate relationship with more then one person, but with the consent and knowledge of all those who are part of what is happening.

The term, Polyamory is often shortened to Poly, hence the term Poly Household. Different people have different opinions about what a Polyamory Relationship means. In fact there is no exact meaning or set of rules, just a broad definition of the meaning of a Polyamory Relationship.

A Polyamory Relationship may be regarded as an umbrella term that covers the various forms of relationships. The term Polyamory should not be confused with the term polygamy, they are two different meanings. Polygamy refers to multiple spouses.

People who are part of a polyamory relationship reject the principle that you must be in a monogamous relationship to be truly in love and happy. A polyamory relationship involves multiple partners showing and feeling love and respect. Those involved in a polyamory relationship may be involved in multiple long term relationships such as a triad, quad, or intimate network.

One of the questions many people ask is when does swinging become polyamory. In fact there is a very large and obvious difference between the two. Also a Polyamory Relationship may sometimes define a hierarchy within their various relationships. One may be referred to as the primary partner while another as the secondary partner. However, many people are opposed to this and feel it is really not part of what a polyamory relationship is all about. It is felt one of the important factors in a polyamory relationship is equality.

Forms of Polyamory
Polyfidelity: this involves multiple romantic relationships with sexual contact restricted to specific partners in the relationship.

Sub-relationships: this means a type of hierarchy within the poly household where one relationship within the household may be primary while another may be secondary and so on.

Triad Polyamory Relationship: Where three people are involved in a relationship.

Quad Polyamory Relationship: Where there is a couple and another couple in the household all involved in a relationship.

Networks of interconnecting relationships: where a person may have relationships with various people of varying degrees of importance.

Mono/Polyamory Relationship: where one of the partners is monogamous but agrees to the other having outside relationships.

Polyamory Relationship Symbols
A number of symbols have been adopted by those living in a Polyamory Relationship. One such popular symbol is the red and white heart with the blue infinity sign. There is also the Polyamory Relationship pride flag that consists of three equal horizontal colored stripes, blue, red, black with a gold Greek symbol in the center of the flag. Another popular polarmory is the image of a parrot, since Polly is a common name for these birds.

Exploring Polyamory
People who are Exploring Polyamory are often seeking alternatives to marriage or a monogamous relationship. Polyamory offers them something new and exciting. They see it as more suitable to their life and see there are good benefits from the polyamory lifestyle.

If you are exploring polyarmy it is a good idea to do some study on the subject first. You may want to join some of the online poly groups on the Internet and ask questions. Don`t rush into Polyamory, make sure it is the right path for you. Some people just focus on the sex part, but it involves a lot more then that. A Polyamory Relationship involves a lot of honesty, communication and trust.

Swingers verse Polyamory
There is a big difference between Swingers verse Polyamory, but there is also an overlap between the two. Many people often get confused by the difference. In swingers the primary role is around that of sexual pleasure with numerous partners. The primary role of polyamory is that of a loving relationship built around more then one partner. Often the two overlap. Many people start out as swingers and progress into polyamory.

It is often said that most swingers are heterosexual and most involved in polyamory are same sex couples. There are no statistics in regards to this so it is impossible to say. For unknown reasons there is often hostility between those who are swingers and those involved in polyamory. In the end, it is simply everyone's choice to do what they want in their own life.

Refers to a marriage or relationship where the couple are faithful to each other. They have no other sexual partners and are not engaged in dating other people. This is regarded as the most common form of relationship or marriage. The word monogamy derives from the Greek words, monos which means one or alone, and gamos which means marriage. It may be said that Monogamy has been the basic family and relationship model in most civilizations for thousands of years. For many people monogamy is the popular choice of relationships. But it is a matter of personal choice. Many others prefer other types of relationships such as polyamory, swingers, open marriage or other types of relationships. There is no right or wrong and in a free society it is up to people to choice their own path in relationships. Types of Monogamy
Marital Monogamy : This refers to two people who are married.
Genetic Monogamy : When two people have offspring, but are not married and do not engage in a relationship.
Social Monogamy : refers to two people that live together, are intimate, and cooperate in acquiring basic resources.
Sequential Monogamy : Refers to when a person engages in one monogamous relationship after another after another. This type of person may engage in dozens or even hundreds of monogamous relationships during their life.
Sexual Monogamy : This refers to two people that remain sexually exclusive to each other. Monogamy Values
In many cultures monogamy is regarded as the ideal for of relationship and the basis of a family. In modern terms monogamy as the basis for a family organization does not always mean married. Many people view monogamy as the basis for society and believe without it that society would fail.

Open Marriage
When both have openly agreed to have other sexual partners. This is done with the full knowledge and consent of the other. Sometimes only one may have other sexual partners. Although frowned upon in the past, these days it is becoming more accepted in society. It should be noted there are several styles of open marriage. Sometimes jealousy becomes an issue with an open marriage and sometimes it can cause the marriage to break. At other times one partner may change their mind and no longer wish to have an open marriage. In some jurisdictions adultery is illegal. Sometimes in an open marriage a partner may have some level of input in their partners activities. There is no clear source for when or how the term Open Marriage started or developed. The early origins of the term Open Marriage where much different from now. The early meaning of the term was based on a persona rights to choose a partner based on personal preferences. Over time the meaning of an open marriage has changed along with trends in society. The success or failure of an open marriage will vary from couple to couple. Some couples have gained long term happiness and success from an open marriage while others have ended up separating. Often couples engaged in an open marriage may agree to some ground rules to help guide their lifestyle. These ground rules may change over time. There are no reliable statistics on the percentage of open marriage couples, but some research has suggested it may be in the area of 1 to 2%. Due to a lack of social acceptance in many societies it is hard to gain an accurate figure on the percentage of open marriage.

Refers to a group of people that decide to be only sexually active within the group with the other members of the group. The origins of the term Polyfidelity can be traced to the Kerista Village commune in San Francisco which practiced polyfidelity. Polyfidelity is also sometimes called, Polyexclusivity. Exclusive relationships within the group are not allowed. If a couple do develop towards an exclusive relationship they must leave the group. Everyone within a polyfidelity group agrees to not be sexually active outside of the group. New members can only join the group by unanimous consensus of the current members. Some people regard Polyfidelity as a different style of polyamory. Some people feel that Polyfidelity is a form of monogamy, the only difference being that there is more than two people. Many people see positive experiences from belonging to a polyfidelity group. One is the closed nature of the polyfidelity group.

Very ancient in its meaning and refers to a woman that has two or more husbands at the same time. History shows us that Polyandry dates back many thousands of years to ancient civilizations where it was often a common practice. Polyandry during history has occurred in Tibet, Nepal, Nigeria, India, Sri Lanka, Polynesian societies, Sichuan regions of China, Sub-Saharan Africans and American indigenous communities. Polyandry was often an accepted part of life in many ancient cultures due to the fact that many husbands were away for long periods at war. Sometimes Polyandry was necessary in order to retain aristocratic titles. At other times it was needed as a way to retain agricultural lands within kin groups. Fraternal Polyandry
This was another ancient form of polyandry where two or more brothers shared the same wife. Sometimes the Father and sons all shared the same wife.

The first written use of the term Cicisbeo appears to be a letter that was written in 1718 by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. A cicisbeo was the lover and escort of a married woman. The cicisbeo accompanied the married woman to public outings. The cicisbeo also served sometimes as the lover of the wife. The cicisbeo arrangement was common during 18th and 19th-century Italy as well as in Spain and France. The cicisbeo arrangement was done with the full consent of the husband. The practice was common among the nobility. The cicisbeo were governed by a set of strict rules. They were not allowed to engage in any sort of relationship with other women and they were not allow to show signs of affection to the married woman in public. Either the cicisbeo or the wife had the right to end the arrangement.

Down through the centuries many men in a position of power maintained a Concubine. The generally accepted definition of a concubine is that of a woman who is involved in a marriage-like relationship with a man that she is not able to marry. The Concubine relationship often occurred because the man was already married. But in other cases it was for reasons such as lower social rank or something else. In most cases the concubinage was a voluntary arrangement, sometimes arranged by the woman's family. Often the concubinage arrangement was a way of economic security for the woman. Sometimes a man would use a concubine to bear children when his own wife was unable. In ancient China the children of a concubine were legally recognized as the offspring of the father. In ancient China very powerful men often had several concubines. Imperial concubines were housed in the Forbidden City and often guarded by eunuchs.

In most relationships there is usually an expectation of faithfulness both in emotional and sexual. Infidelity occurs when there is a breach of that faithfulness. When the infidelity involves a marriage partner it is commonly referred to as adultery. But just what constitutes an act of infidelity will vary from relationship to relationship, from culture to culture. Even within an open relationship the act of Infidelity may occur when one partner steps outside the boundaries of the relationship. It is thought by researchers that more then 50% of people who are married will commit an act of infidelity during the marriage. Researchers feel that there are a number of defense mechanisms that people will use to prevent infidelity in relationships. One theory is that jealousy acts in a certain way that may prevent infidelity. Another theory is that extensive monitoring of the partner is a mechanism against infidelity. Another theory revolves around having the cheaters reputation damaged.

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The many advantages and benefits of polyamory
While being in a polyamorous relationship can be hard work for all involved, there are some clear benefits that come from living in such a multi-person intimate and emotional arrangement. From better emotional stability and liberation, to a bigger support net, polyamorous relationships can really benefit you. Even though monogamous relationships are the most common, one canít deny the advantages the alternative has to offer.

There are many people out there having successful polyamorous relationships, but to first see what the advantages are, one should understand why people enter such an arrangement. People enter poly relationships out of a variety of reasons, the primary being that being with just one partner at a time and devoting their whole emotional energies to them doesnít feel quite right or natural. Also, many people love diversity and not having to settle. Because of this, a few clear advantages of polyamory can be counted
The possibility to experience multiple types of feelings across a varied spectrum of people. People in polyamorous relationships donít have to limit their feelings to one person. Thus, they can explore the facets of all their many relationships with all the people they feel about, discovering different relationships in unique ways and learning something new out of each. Thus, the polyamorous has the opportunity to develop and juggle complex emotional bonds, and learn quicker what works and what doesnít in general, than the monogamous who only can learn from one person and one relationship at a time.

Bigger intimate support net
A net advantage that polyamorous people have is that they have more intimate relationships which provide a larger number of people they can go to for emotional support, and for their needs. The vast majority of people in todayís society engage in serial monogamy, going from partner to partner in the search for the one that can provide the perfect blend of compatibility, support and lifestyle. Polyamorous people can obtain these from different people, thus leading to less pressure to find Mr/Mrs Right.
Due to the nature of poly relationships, there is no more pressure to find the exact person for you. Polyamorists can just find what they need in different people, and feel perfectly happy with things as they are, not feeling dissatisfied with partner one lacking something, because partner two can supply it. Thus, polyamourous people are exempt from the chase for the ďOneĒ, because if anything, there isnít only one of those for them in the world, and because they have the advantage of not needing to settle.

Polyamorous people can pick and choose their relationships and go from one to another, partner to partner, much more easily than monogamous people, who to experience need to break their one-on-one relationship. Polyamorists have an easier time looking for people they match with, and they donít need to settle as much to make things work as their monogamous counterparts who need to do it to make the relationship with that particular person work perfectly on the long term.

In this type of relationship, you are no longer pressured to satisfy your partnerís every needs, because they can satisfy those you cannot, by going to the other people in the poly system. You can also complete your needs with multiple partners, thus eliminating the need to find one that matches you exactly.

Relationships in a polyamory settings are easier to keep alive due to the constant spark that multiple partners bring to the table. Thus, when one dynamic stagnates, the other comes to revive it and complete it. There is a certain constant change of play that occurs between a group of people that makes the relationship not stagnate as easily as if there were only two.

If you are a polyamorist, chances are you have a bigger chance at expanding how you relate to other people intimately, because you have a bigger relationship pool to explore. Being in a poly system will make you be more open and flexible, which will help you also in your life outside the relationship.

Due to the challenges you will have to deal with during your relationships, you will have to grow a lot as a person, at a rate much bigger than that of monogamous people, who can only learn from one relationship at a time. Thus, you have the opportunity of riding your polyamory and not only getting emotional satisfaction, but also learning how to deal and handle complex human interactions and relationships, which will help you in all walks of life.

In the end, polyamorous relationships are definitely advantageous for those who donít feel that monogamy comes natural to them. Polygamists have a bigger support group, and they get to experience a wider range of feelings across a wider spectrum of people. They also feel less pressure to find 100% compatibility in a partner, thus leading more stress free dating lives. In a polyamorous relationship there is also less sexual pressure due to the fact that multiple partners complete each other, and thus there is less worry about finding Mr/Mrs Right and having to settle. All of the dynamics in a polyamorous relationship can lead to great inner growth.

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