What is the difference between an open relationship and a polyamorous one?

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8:00 Topic: What is the difference between an open relationship and polyamory?

Thanks to listener Donner (?) for calling this one in. Both open relationships and polyamory are ways of practicing non-mongamy. The main difference is that an “open relationship” tends to assume a couple at the base, whereas “polyamorous” can describe both a lifestyle and a personal philosophy or orientation. I.e., I’m single and poly, but I couldn’t be single and in an open relationship. Additionally, polyamory tends to have “multiple long-term, committed relationships with the full knowledge and consent of all parties involved,” while open relationships are more loosely defined.

Also, while we’re at it, let’s define polygamy, polygyny, polyandry and polyfidelity! Franklin Veaux has a well-researched glossary of terms if you are ever in doubt.

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Commenting area

  1. nice article, and I must aggree with the basics.

  2. I think Polyamory isn’t a seperate relation and is actually a subset of open relationships. Also, I personally think being polyamorous doesn’t mean you have to both be in a relationship with the same people, just that you have emotionally significant connections with more than one person.

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