Six Benefits of Polyamorous Relationships

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Polyamorous relationships are a form of consensual non-monogamy. They most often involve more than one partner. And, they can come with a wide range of surprising benefits.  In this article, we’re going to talk about them. 

In another blog post, I used a study to identify some pitfalls of these relationships. That blog should not be your only impression of poly relationships, though. They are not only full of challenges and hardships. In fact, that is far from the case.

This blog will share the six top benefits of polyamorous relationships. These benefits are not universal; not all polyamorous folks will experience them all.

The lucky and skillful ones do. And you can be one of them.

group of polyamorous lovers having fun

6 Benefits of Polyamorous Relationships

1. Polyamorous Relationships Improve Personal Growth

Diverging from social expectations can require people to confront their differences.  And, questioning modern conventions (like monogamy) can force people to think about the way they do things.

Polyamorous couples are often faced with bouts of jealousy and insecurity. And this encourages them to examine themselves and their feelings. These relationships also require an open chain of communication with everyone involved. And this requires the frequent sharing of feelings and personal difficulties.

2. Polyamory Provides Diverse Role Models

Polyamorous relationships provide a broad range of parenting and sexual role models. And the exposure happens doesn’t only happen from their own dates. The dates of their partners help as well. This exposure helps polyamorous folks observe and interact with many different people.

And, the high-communication style of this life also provides learning opportunities. That’s because the sharing of ideas allows you to choose new ways to be. That way, you can avoid the pitfalls they see ensnaring others.

3. Polyamorous Folks Enjoy Sexual Variety

One of the big draws of polyamorous relationships is the lure of having sex with new partners. The lifestyle is not a great choice if this is your primary motivation. This is because sex takes a backseat to the energy spent communicating about it. Those who want sexual variety with fewer emotional expectations can try swinging. This lifestyle provides a greater number of partners who are happy to have sex with no strings.

When establishing a continuous relationship though, the sexual aspect can be a lot of fun. And, it can take a wide range of different forms. From having sex with new people to group sex, polyamory allows you to experience it all. Some poly folks even report learning fresh sexual skills with their partners.

polyamorous people on a date

4. Polyamory Increases Emotional Intimacy & Support

It makes sense that many loving relationships equates to more support for everyone. This is especially true in a network that pools its many resources. What surprised me in my research on polyamorous families was the power of the polycule. Those connected within the same polyamorous relationships are referred to as a polycule. They are not lovers themselves but are often primary sources of support for each other.

These folks often share a partner in common, though they may not live together. And, they are incredibly connected with each other. It doesn’t matter whether their relationships are like siblings, friends, or co-husbands. These non-sexual partners provide the glue that keeps these polycules together.

5. Polyamory Leads to an Expanded Community

Many folks in polyamorous relationships enjoy their local poly community. This goes beyond the connections of their polycules. It remedies the pitfalls of modern life, which often leaves many people feeling disconnected. Polyamory can help fill both the hunger for community and drive to find partners.

6. Polyamorous Relationships Improve Bonds with Children

Both children and parents in polyamorous families report a high emotional intimacy. It’s one that’s often borne of truth and accountability. This is because honesty and communication are hallmarks of most polyamorous relationships. And, many poly parents take those same principles and skills and apply them to their parenting practices. This creates a family environment where kids feel safe to ask questions because their parents allow them the freedom to do so.

Young adults raised in polyamorous families actually report more openness from their parents. There seems to be a willingness to admit mistakes and communicate honestly. And this contributes to emotional intimacy. This is even true after the adult children leave home.

If you need support in navigating your polyamorous relationships, join SwingTowns groups today.

Members of the SwingTowns Community can discuss this article and its implications on the lifestyle community forum. If you’re not a member, you can sign up today and see what you’re missing.

Dr. Elisabeth Sheff
Dr. Elisabeth “Eli” Sheff is the foremost academic expert on polyamorous families with children. Sheff’s first book, The Polyamorists Next Door (2014), details her 15-year study of poly families with kids and was just reprinted in paperback, and her second book Stories from the Polycule (2015) is an edited anthology of writings by poly folks. When Someone You Love is Polyamorous (2016) is Sheff’s shortest book that guides family members and significant others who are trying to understand a polyamorous loved one. Dr. Sheff specializes in gender and sexual minority families, kink/BDSM, and issues facing trans* people. She is the CEO and Director of Legal Services at the Sheff Consulting Group, a think-tank of experts specializing in unconventional and underserved populations. Visit Dr. Elisabeth “Eli” Sheff for more information.

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