With young people moving toward a more liberating way of life than ever before — from jobs to travel and even relationships — the 2010s have become anything but traditional. With the decade coming to an end, a guide to all the alternative types of relationships currently in the mainstream is necessary for anyone wanting to navigate what’s out there.
Here are some things you may not know about nontraditional relationships.
This isn’t to say that nontraditional relationships are completely the norm. There’s just more of a move towards what counterculture was originally preaching in the 1960s and 1970s: “free love.” Interestingly, millenials are statistically having less sex than their predecessors! It seems that this may be one way younger people are switching up the dating game.
There are several reasons why millennials may be trying different romantic and sexual avenues. Technology is always re-shaping the way we communicate, and we have more dating options than ever before. Millennials are also less quick to settle down. Factors like mounting debt, stagnant wage growth, and more diagnosed cases of anxiety and depression may influence their ability to do so.
This changing norm toward non-traditionality is very liberating. It allows the younger generation to enjoy all that dating has to offer with as much (or as little) commitment as may be comfortable. Seemingly, the more open and accepting we become about different lifestyles, the more we push the culture around these topics forward.
In our culture, some people believe that monogamy is not a part of human nature. That’s where non-monogamy comes into play.
You may have seen the words “ethically non-monogamous” on dating apps or heard them in a conversation. It defines a a relationship that involves more than two people who are open to engaging with others emotionally, sexually, or both. Seems pretty self-explanatory, but its application can be complicated.
Successful ethically non-monogamous relationships usually come with a lot of agreed-upon rules and boundaries. These rules must be put in place to keep the relationship as open and honest as possible, and to combat against any distrust or jealousy that may arise.
If non-monogamy is something you’re interested in, but you’re not sure where to start, you might like to hear success stories from those who live it.
Polyamorous relationships are a type of nontraditional relationships where more than two people are romantically and sexually with each other. This means that instead of having relationships outside of your primary, you and your partner bring another partner into the relationship for you both to be involved with. It tends to be more popular among those who identify as LGBTQ+.
Many of those who identify as polyamorous — or “poly” for short — also identify as ethically non-monogamous. Polyamorous relationships also thrive from open communication, honesty, and some type of rulemaking between partners. Learn more about how to do polyamory.
It’s important to note that for every label that comes along with non-monogamy, there are at least a dozen ways to do it. The best thing you can do is ask questions, try to stay informed, and keep an open mind! Who knows what happiness might await you as you discover more about yourself and the world of ethical non-monogamy?