The society is based on monogamy, but the reality is few people are actually in a monogamous relationship. One in five Americans is dating multiple people at the same time. Polyamorous relationships can be structured in many ways, the most common one being that of a couple where the partners can date other people.

Despite the prevalence of real-life non-monogamous relationships, there are many people who still don't get the grip on them.

Here are five things you've been dying to ask about polyamorous relationships.

1. Polyamorous relationships don't start because one partner is unhappy

We are used to seeing people dating outside the couple when one of the partners is unhappy, so we might assume this is how polyamorous dating starts. The reality is most non-monogamous relationships start as poly and remain like this for a long time, if not forever. The partners are committed to each other and to the poly lifestyle from the beginning, so everyone knows what to expect.

2. Couples don't suffer from jealousy

People who are in poly relationships are not jealous when the other one is with someone else. They know their couple is strong and that being with another person doesn't alter their own love. Poly couples communicate better than monogamous couples, which makes their relationship stronger. This enables them to cope better with jealousy, as well as with regular issues which show up between two partners. People in poly couples are vocal about their feelings, so they will talk to their main partner if they think something is wrong.

3. STDs are not a problem

One of the major drawbacks for people who want to engage in polyamorous dating is the STD issue. Being in a poly relationship doesn't mean the partners are having sexual intercourse with everyone they meet in the club. When you are in a non-monogamous relationship you are careful who you sleep with and you always use protection. Moreover, most poly couples get tested more often than regular couples.

3. Poly relationships are serious

A common myth about polyamorous relationships is that they are not serious; the partners are not committed to each other. This is not true. A poly couple is just like a regular couple. The partners live together, care for each other, share their best and worst moments, as well as money. There are also poly households, where there are multiple partners, all committed to each other. They raise their kids together and provide support to all the people involved in the relationship.

5. Having a poly relationship is not cheating

Cheating your spouse involves lying. Being in a non-monogamous relationship doesn't, so it is not cheating. Both partners are open about their other relationships and follow the rules they've set from the beginning of the relationship. Compared to monogamy, polyamory is flexible. Both partners have the flexibility and freedom they need to explore, which makes them even more committed to the main relationship.

Polyamorous relationships are not everyone's cup of cake, but they are definitely not the negative, ill relationships we've been fooled to believe they are. Being poly enables each partner to reveal their personality and establish a set of rules which make both partners comfortable with their future choices.

Photo by Alejandra Quiroz on Unsplash