There is a subtle difference between poly and open relationships. However, most people believe the two are the same because they both fall under non-monogamy.
Open or Poly Relationship
If you are sure you cannot settle for a monogamous relationship, then you are free to explore the non-monogamy options. You can consider being in an open or poly relationship, depending on your needs. Here is how you determine the right one for you:
- An open or poly relationship can be fulfilling if you are interested in having multiple sex partners. However, emotions are involved in a poly relationship, and you should be careful not to hurt your partners intentionally.
- When you do not get satisfaction from your partner, an open or poly relationship can help remedy the situation. However, your partner should be aware you are getting sexual pleasures from someone else and be comfortable with it.
- You want to have a primary relationship with one partner. You can be in an open relationship when you want to have casual sex with other people without being romantically involved.
- When your sex life needs rekindling. If you are a couple and have a boring sex life, one or both of you can be in an open relationship so you can spice things up to avoid a break-up.
- If you can love several people at a go. Not everybody can manage to share their love equally among different people without bias. A poly relationship can work for you if you can maintain all the partners and treat them as equals.
Poly vs. Open Relationships
Poly and open relationships are unique in that they do not conform to societal standards of a relationship. Because both involve having sexual partners with consent from your partner, somehow, they are contradicting.
In a polyamorous relationship, it is always more than sex. People looking for partners for such relationships can be asexual. That is, they want romance, care, companionship, and support from their partners. It is often a long term connection with strong bonding.
A polyamorous relationship can be open or closed. When open, partners are allowed to have other partners sexually and romantically engaged. But, when closed, those in the group are not allowed to see other people sexually or romantically outside the group.
The difference between poly and open relationships is the rules. Poly people set rules that each group member should follow. However, open relationships have no such rules. The only thing you need from your partner when in an open relationship is consent.
In an open relationship, your primary partner does not have to know about who you are having sex with. In fact, unlike poly relationships, sex partners of an open relationship rarely meet. This, of course, might seem unpleasant, but most of the times people get used to it and avoid the unnecessary drama whenever they see each other.
Also, when you are in an open relationship, you are only sexually connected. Otherwise, you cannot have stronger emotional connection with your secondary partner than with your primary partner. In this case, your primary partner is always your priority. If not, a lot of jealousy can creep in, leading to an ugly situation.
If you are not sure about poly vs. open relationships, online and offline dating services/communities can help you get the difference. Meet a perfect group online to join and enjoy the comfort of being with compatible partners.
Do you want to find poly relationships where you can confidently date like-minded people? Go through different dating sites before signing up to determine whether they can deliver what you want.