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Monogamist vs Polyamorist: What Do These Terms Mean?

Monogamist vs Polyamorist: What Do These Terms Mean?

For most of us, having a relationship is having an intimate bond with one person. While not all relationships last for the rest of our lives, we do try our best to have one partner at a time. However, some people are starting to accept the idea that just having a single partner or being a monogamist, might not be for them.

But how exactly did these concepts come about, and how do you know if you’re one or the other? Find out the answers to these questions and more, here.

What Is a Monogamist?

Being a monogamist is defined as a person who practices monogamy. This means that they only marry or have one partner at any given time. One benefit of monogamy is that it allows couples to take better care of their children. Having both parents means that children can be better protected, and their needs can be provided for1.

Relationship-wise, monogamy makes people feel secure in their relationships, though of course infidelity and “cheating” also does happen. This is also partly the reason why some people get married, in order to strengthen the bond between a couple.

Monogamists are also present in the animal kingdom, as some birds and mammals practice single-partner relationships. Though, compared to humans, monogamy is fairly rare among animals. Still, there is precedent for it.

Interestingly, humans haven’t always had monogamous relationships. In fact, there are still some cultures who practice the opposite, which is polyamory. Throughout history, there is documentation of numerous cultures practicing polyamory. One study found that in places where females are scarce, men tend to be more monogamous. On the other hand, in places where females are abundant, men tend to be polyamorous2.

But what exactly does this mean?

What Is a Polyamorist?

Being a polyamorist means that a person has an intimate relationship with multiple persons. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is a polyamorist if they just sleep around or have multiple sexual partners. Polyamory involves having sexual and romantic relationships with multiple people.

While the idea of polyamory can still remain taboo in modern society, more and more people are surprisingly open to it, or are actively practicing polyamory. People in these type of relationships also report the same satisfaction, love, and attachment from monogamous relationships3.

Polyamorous relationships can be healthy, contrary to what some people might believe4. Polyamorists can also feel secure in their relationships, just like monogamists. However, it is important to know that these types of relationships are not for everyone.

Some people might just be cut out to be a monogamist, and should they try out polyamory, they might find that it’s not for them. Inversely, some polyamorists might have started out as a monogamist, but eventually realized that being in a monogamous relationship is not ideal.

Key Takeaways

At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that each and every one of us is different. This is especially true when it comes to our personal relationships. Some people might feel that they are more suited to a monogamist lifestyle, while others might be more inclined to explore polyamory.

Regardless of your choice, you need to also consider what other people might feel about it. Pushing a polyamorous relationship on someone who isn’t interested can ruin relationships, and the same goes for monogamy. So it is important to have clear lines of communication with your partner, and be very clear on what you want to get out of your relationship.

Learn more about Sexual Wellness here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

1 Frontiers | Are We Monogamous? A Review of the Evolution of Pair-Bonding in Humans and Its Contemporary Variation Cross-Culturally | Ecology and Evolution, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2019.00230/full, Accessed November 16, 2021

2 The evolution of monogamy in response to partner scarcity | Scientific Reports, https://www.nature.com/articles/srep32472, Accessed November 16, 2021

3 Polyamory is More Common Than You Think – Public Health Post, https://www.publichealthpost.org/research/polyamory/, Accessed November 16, 2021

4 Despite the negative stigma, polyamorous relationships are more common than we think, https://www.psypost.org/2021/05/despite-the-negative-stigma-polyamorous-relationships-are-more-common-than-we-think-60880, Accessed November 16, 2021

5 Is Monogamy Unnatural? | Institute for Family Studies, https://ifstudies.org/blog/is-monogamy-unnatural/, Accessed November 16, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated 2 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Cesar Beltran