Types of Non-Monogamous Relationships

People in monogamous relationships often assume that non-monogamous relationships are all the same, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there’s a whole world of relationships that exist outside of mainstream, and some of the lifestyles may inspire you to open new doors in your own relationship. This guide will help you understand the most common types of non-monogamous relationships and all of their different shades and subtleties.


While no two polyamorous relationships are alike, they all share the common trait of allowing partners to have a relationship outside of their primary one. Many people who practice polyamory set clear goals beforehand to ensure that their central relationship continues to thrive. This may include opting for a completely open relationship where anything goes, or it may include a semi-open relationship with defined boundaries.

Some polyamorous couples are fine with their partner having one night stands with someone else, but they may not be happy about a second encounter. Some are OK with partners having a fully fleshed relationship outside of their own while others may be against emotional connections. Finally, while polyamory is often confused with polygamy, polygamy is quite different since it’s the practice of having multiple spouses at once.



Swinging is where partners in a committed relationship engage in sexual activities with others. It usually involves both partners attending a swinger parties or clubs where they are able to search for new play partners. Some couples may choose to swing in the same room as their partner, while others may choose to swing in separate rooms. With swinging, partners establish rules and boundaries that will help guide their relationship while involved in the lifestyle.


Polyfidelity is a more recent term for a closed polyamorous relationship. This often involves a group that knows each other and allows for partners to sleep with others inside of that group. This creates an open dynamic where partners can have sex with someone outside of their primary relationship, yet it’s still a semi-closed relationship since sex with strangers is not allowed.

Wife Sharing

Wife sharing is a more specific fetish and subset of swinging, and it’s essentially when a man encourages his wife to have multiple partners either on her own or in a threesome context. This often ties into cuckolding fantasies, although that is not a strict requirement. If cuckolding, the man may simply want to observe the act without engaging in it, and he may not ever seek another partner for himself.

These are some of the most common types of non-monogamous relationships today. As with anything in a relationship, the key to making it work is open communication, trust, and respect. Whether you’re looking into opening up your relationship or taking your open relationship further, there’s guaranteed to be a style that’s right for you!


Swinging and Polyamory

Is there a difference between swinging and polyamory? The answer is YES, but are they similar, kind of, let me explain. First off in polyamory  is a desire, practice or accepting the fact that you are in more than one relationship, whereas swinging you are in a relationship with a spouse/significant other and both allowed […]


Swingers Guide: Open Marriage vs. Swinging

Several readers thought it was the same thing and that there is no difference between the two. Just what exactly is the difference between an open marriage and swinging? At first it does appear on the surface that they are the same thing, but delve deeper into the intricacies of both options and you will soon find that there are indeed some differences especially to everyone involved. Open marriage basically involves a married READ MORE