Ethical Nonmonogamy: Unraveling the Morality

Doublelist Team

July 14, 2023 11 minutes read
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Have you been surfing the web to find out what ethical nonmonogamy is? Search no more! In today’s article, we’ll explore the nitty gritty and intricacies of ethical nonmonogamy (ENM).

Love, confined to monogamous traditions, now stretches beyond conventional boundaries. In recent years, ethical nonmonogamy has shown an upward trend.  

According to a 2023 poll conducted by YouGov, around one-third of Americans prefer non-monogamous relationships.  This type of relationship is rapidly breaking into the mainstream cultural media. From The Washington Post to movies, TV Shows and celebrities. It’s everywhere!

By the end of this article, you’ll have a firm understanding of what this kind of relationship involves. Let’s delve together into the tapestry of ENM without any further ado.


What is Ethical Nonmonogamy? (It’s Different Than You Think!)

At first, ethical nonmonogamy may seem like a strange concept. In simple terms, ethical nonmonogamy means to have multiple romantic and/or sexual connections consensually. This means that you inform your partner or partners of this arrangement and both agree on it.

The word “consensual” is key in ENM. Wondering more about ‘What is ethical nonmonogamy?’ Keep reading!

Consensual Nonmonogamy vs. Monogamy

Monogamy is staying committed to only one person in a relationship. Both partners are exclusive to each other. If one person delves outside of the relationship, it’s cheating.

In consensual nonmonogamy, both partners are together, but not exclusively. In this case, exploring with others outside of the relationship isn’t cheating. 

Nonmonogamy Definition in Relationships

Ethical nonmonogamy fosters honesty, transparency, and consensual agreement. 

Cheating, on the other hand, is symbolic of betrayal of trust. It doesn’t seek to involve an agreed consensus. Nonmonogamy definition in relationships relies on both partners discussing their intentions and being clear. It doesn’t work if only one person believed they were in a nonmonogamous relationship. 

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The Spectrum of Ethical Nonmonogamy

In essence, ethical nonmonogamy is an umbrella term. There’s no specified code for it. You and the party make the rules! That said, let’s explore the diverse types of ethical nonmonogamy relationships:

Open Relationships: Freedom and Emotional Attachments

Open Relationships signify a committed relationship between two people, where both individuals are free to pursue outside emotional or sexual connections. 

Typically, the primary partner receives the most priority. These types of relationships are more susceptible to developing emotional attachments to others.

Moreover, they require a strong level of communication between the primary partners. Consequently, you and your partner may end up setting boundaries and specific conditions.

Ethical Non Monogamy vs. Polyamory: Love in Different Forms

Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between ethical non monogamy vs. polyamory? The short answer is that Polyamory is a category within ethical nonmonogamy. 

ENM just means that you’re not monogamous and you have consent and understanding from all parties involved. In polyamory, you have multiple partners at the same time.

There are three types of polyamory: Type A, Type B, and Type C. In Type A, Multiple people can forge a relationship simultaneously together. 

In Type B, two individuals sharing a romantic connection can have further partners. 

In Type C, An individual in a relationship may have multiple partners. However, other people may not have or want an additional partner.


Polygamy v. Polyamory

While Polygamy and Polyamory may seem similar and confusing at times, they are very different.

Polygamy involves multiple marriages, meaning having numerous wives or husbands. It has appeared several times in the bible and other religious texts. It’s important to note polygamy is illegal in the United States.

Closed V: A Unique V-Shaped Connection

The “closed V” emerges as another form of ethical nonmonogamy, ranking as the second most prevalent relationship style.

Picture three individuals occupying the vertices of a V-shaped formation. However, there’s a twist. The person positioned at the bottom of the V shares a romantic connection with the two individuals at the top. The latter two remain uninvolved with each other.

Monogamous Relationships Looking to Explore Boundaries

Monogamous relationships, as intriguing as they sound, defy conventional notions of complete Monogamy or full-blown non-monogamy.

They navigate a beautiful middle ground where partners occasionally welcome the presence of an additional person or even multiple individuals. 

Remarkably, these encounters primarily serve to fulfill sexual desires rather than forge deep emotional connections.

Relationship Anarchy: Challenging Conventional Norms

Don’t let the word “anarchy” frighten you. It isn’t trying to dismantle the societal structures but rather challenge conventional norms concerning sexual connections.

There are no priority levels. Equality reigns supreme, just like friendship. Unlike relationship hierarchy, it reinforces the principles of autonomy, in which a primary relationship is the center of attraction.

Why Do People Choose to Practice Ethical Nonmonogamy?

Great! You now know what ethical nonmonogamy is and its types. But, you might be questioning, why practice it at all? There are many reasons for it. However, in this section, we will cover the most fundamental ones.

Bridge the “Needs” Gap With Ethical Nonmonogamy

There are numerous reasons why people form monogamous relationships. But, most fundamentally, you have expectations from your partner to fulfill your every need.

Sometimes, a single person can’t suffice for everything you want or need. Or, you don’t want your partner to bear all the burden and potentially avoid relationship breakdowns. This is where ethical nonmonogamy takes the spotlight. 

People practicing ethical nonmonogamy enjoy the liberty to explore connections beyond their existing relationships. They seek companions who align with their sexual or romantic desires.

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Unveil Sexual Exploration With Ethical Nonmonogamy

Sexuality is dynamic, meaning it can change over time. Some individuals want to learn more about their sexuality. Despite being genuinely content with their partner, they might harbor a sense of missed experiences with individuals of different genders. 

Ethical non-monogamy provides a solution, allowing them to embark on a journey of self-discovery without sacrificing their existing relationship.

Embracing Multiple Connections: Ethical Nonmonogamy’s Beauty

What if you find someone else attractive other than your current sexual partner? You don’t want to hurt their feelings (unless you are deciding on cheating). However, ethical nonmonogamy saves you from this trouble as long as you discuss everything with your primary partner.

How to Practice Ethical Nonmonogamy the Right Way

Embarking on the journey of ethical nonmonogamy requires open communication, honesty, and a deep understanding of oneself and feelings. While it can be a liberating experience, it’s crucial to approach it with care and respect for all involved.

If you share a loving connection with your primary partner and want to try ethical nonmonogamy, here are some steps:

Emotional Capacity in Ethical Nonmonogamy: Love or Let Go

The first and foremost step is to ask yourself whether you want additional connections in your life.

While love is not a finite resource, your time and emotional bandwidth are. Prepare your mind mentally, and go for it only if it sounds right.

Build a Solid Ethical Nonmonogamy Relationship by Mutuality

As the renowned therapist Rachel Wright, LMFT said, there are no specific rules for practicing ethical nonmonogamy.

Instead, you mutually agree to your relationship dynamics. The agreements include what types of connections they’ll form, whether the relationship would be long-term, short-term, etc.

Wright explains, “Every relationship has its agreements, and that’s really up to each relationship to figure out.” Some prioritize STIs due to health issues. Others establish rules for emotional connections and non-live-in partner interactions, explains Wright.

Honestly Is the Ultimate Key in Ethical Nonmonogamy

Honesty is the backbone of the successful practice of ethical nonmonogamy. 

Wright elaborates on this: “Being clear about your boundaries, limits, and expectations is crucial when working to facilitate a healthy and sustainable relationship.”

You should be very attentive to people’s feelings, needs, and desires. Among the most important aspects of ENM is empathy. 

So, take the time to communicate insecurities and biases before transitioning to ethical nonmonogamy!

Ethical Nonmonogamy Demands Equal Emotional Investment

Remember, you’re in multiple relationships! Therefore, all your sexual partners deserve equal treatment. 

Being non-monogamous implies considering your partner’s emotions and showing them equal affection and care. You spend time with them equally and display no discriminatory behavior.

Ethical Nonmonogamy Is a Rollercoaster Ride

Ups and downs are common. What matters the most is how you tackle those.

Whatever type of relationship you share, you are bound to face setbacks. But here’s the good news: those setbacks are not an indicator of a bad relationship. Remember that every person has a different perspective. So, conflicts of interest could arise. 

You may feel insecure, doubtful, or fearful; at other times, you’ll feel happy, excited, and loved. It’s just how ethical nonmonogamy works. Moreover, you will likely feel jealousy at some point because it’s in our nature. 

Check In With Each Other’s Feelings Frequently

The last yet essential step is frequently asking each other about your feelings. 

Discuss your emotional status and make notes of any changes you’d like to make. If you’re performing well, great. If there’s something you want to work on, better get at it! 

Reassure and motivate each other. This will help lay down the foundations for a strong and healthy relationship.

Is Ethical Nonmonogamy Right for You?

If you’ve made it this far, we give you a massive round of applause! So far, we have covered all the basics of ethical nonmonogamy. The thought, ‘Is it right for me,’ might startle you. We’ll enlist some points for you to consider!

Attachment Style’s Influence on Ethical Nonmonogamy

It’s no surprise that Ethical Non-Monogamous relationships resonate quite closely to secure attachment relationships.

These extraordinary bonds serve as a bedrock of safety, emotional stability, and unwavering support. Interestingly, a significant fraction of individuals involved in ethical nonmonogamy relationships possess a secure attachment style. 

The captivating link between open-mindedness towards ethical nonmonogamy and avoidant attachment styles becomes apparent. Men are more inclined towards non-monogamous relationships compared to women, as they exhibit characteristics of the avoidant attachment style. 

However, individuals with anxious attachment styles may struggle with the level of physical and sexual freedom in non-monogamous relationships. This is primarily because they are more susceptible to jealousy.

Likewise, the non-monogamous lifestyle may present challenges for individuals with disorganized attachment styles. Their attachment traits vary between anxious and avoidant, depending on their mood.

Jealousy Is an Enemy to Ethical Nonmonogamy

As we discussed, jealousy is a common human emotion. It depends on how well you handle it. If you don’t get too overwhelmed by it, ethical nonmonogamy will work for you!

Non-monogamous individuals are not immune to feelings of jealousy. However, when engaged in a healthy and adaptive non-monogamous relationship, they tend to handle these emotions in distinct ways.

It’s likely that individuals who practice non-monogamy acknowledge, process, and express jealousy in ways that don’t undermine their relationships. 

Their relationships thrive on understanding and embracing the formation of multiple emotional and physical connections with others.

This transparent and honest approach to managing expectations may serve as a constructive way of addressing jealousy.

Don’t Underestimate Communication in Relationships

Effective communication is a crucial ingredient for success.

Interestingly, research suggests that individuals in Ethical Non-Monogamous relationships experience heightened levels of trust, honesty, and intimacy. So, what makes communication thrive in ethical nonmonogamy relationships?

Non-monogamous individuals consistently experience higher satisfaction with communication and openness in their relationships than monogamous couples.

Moreover, ENM relationships strongly emphasize open discussions regarding sexual desires and experiences. This helps partners navigate any feelings of insecurity or negativity. 

If you’re willing to cultivate such a level of openness, ethical nonmonogamy will work out for you!

Practice Ethical Nonmonogamy With DoubleList

Great! You made it to the end. Stay with us because we have a special surprise for you!

Now that you know deeply and understand ethical nonmonogamy, let’s get you a partner! Through DoubleList’s easy-to-use platform, finding your sexual partner(s) is much easier.

With over 3 million active users, users can explore tons of personal ads by other users. You can even create an ad for yourself and wait for your dream sexual partner(s).

Moreover, DoubleList has an integrated comment and like section, much like the other social media platforms. You can like and comment to express your intentions for ENM.

We have a super easy registration process. If you want to dive right in and try ethical nonmonogamy, you can quickly sign up using an anonymous account. The free account is a great starting point for browsing, enticing profiles, and sending messages. However, you can only text a limited number of times per day.

If you’re feeling lucky, you can unlock additional features by subscribing to our package for as low as $10. The paid version gives you access to a larger number of posts and messages daily. 

Hence, your chances of finding your dream sexual partner increase significantly.

So, what are you waiting for? Join DoubleList today!

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