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The Basics Of Polyamory For Beginners

Polyamory is a non-monogamous relationship style in which people have multiple romantic partners. Polyamory can involve one person in multiple relationships with other people or it can involve several people who are all connected by their feelings for each other but don't necessarily want to be romantically involved with each other. The word “polyamory” comes from Greek roots meaning “many loves,” and it involves consensual arrangements between all parties involved.

Polyamory for beginners

Polyamory is often considered taboo or unconventional, even though there have been many polyamorous couples throughout history. But what exactly does it mean to be poly? Is it cheating? Can anyone be poly? Here's everything you need to know about practising this unconventional relationship style!

What is polyamory?

Polyamory, which is often shortened to “poly,” is defined as the practice of engaging in multiple romantic relationships simultaneously with the consent and knowledge of all parties. Polyamory is the practice of engaging in multiple romantic relationships simultaneously with the consent and understanding of all parties involved.


While many people think of polyamory as an extension of swinging or open relationships (which are non-monogamous by definition), this is not true. Practitioners of polyamory believe that there should be no hierarchy between partners; polyamorous people tend to seek to create a relationship structure that involves multiple partners but does not prioritise one person over another.

Polyamory is not cheating

Polyamorous people are often accused of being cheaters and liars, but polyamory is not cheating. Polyamory relationships tend to be more communicative than monogamous ones.

Dating multiple people consensually is not the same as having an affair. Poly relationships require more honesty than monogamous ones because there are no secrets! If you’re in a poly relationship, you should always be open about your other relationships with your partner(s).


People who practice polyamory or ethical non-monogamy will often be very honest about their feelings with their partner. They are not out to hurt their partner when telling a partner they are in love with someone else. Something that many polyamorous couples experience is a phenomenon called “compersion”. If a partner of a primary is told that the new person they’re seeing is great, they’ve been having a good time and their latest date went overwhelmingly great, the primary partner may feel compersion for their partner. This is the feeling of participation in the happiness of others. Honesty is key to building strong bonds which leads us directly to our next point...

Polyamory does not mean you have sex with everyone

One of the big misconceptions about polyamory is that it means you have sex with multiple people. While some poly relationships do involve sex, it is not a requirement. Polyamory allows for deep emotional connections between people while respecting their boundaries and desires, which can be expressed in any way they like, including by having sex!


Polyamorous relationships may look different depending on who's involved and what they're seeking out of each relationship. Some couples look for connections and friendships with others that may lead to a sexual relationship while others may bond with someone with the same interests that their partner isn’t too keen on. There's no one way to do it; whatever works for those involved is what makes up their unique configuration of love and commitment!



Polyamory is different for everyone.

Polyamory is a relationship style. It’s a choice to love more than one person at a time, and those relationships can be different from what you may be used to, but that doesn’t make them any less valid.

Polyamory is all about being open and honest about your feelings for others and allowing people in on your relationships. It allows you to get close with people without feeling like you’re compromising or giving up something significant for them to become part of your life.

Monogamy isn't right for everyone

Just as polyamory isn’t for everyone, neither is monogamy. If you're someone who wants to date more than one person at a time, polyamory might be the way to go. But, it’s important to be communicative and have the consent of all involved parties.

Polyamorous people can bring different things to their relationship(s), which may or may not include sexual intimacy. It's all about what your style is, how comfortable you feel doing it, and how much communication goes into setting up your boundaries around dating decisions (and everything else).

You can have a primary partner and secondary partners

Polyamory may include

  • A primary partner is a person you live with, who is your lover and/or friend.

  • Secondary partners, are usually people you see on the weekends. They can be friends or lovers, but they aren't living with you.

  • Some polyamorous people identify as solo poly — meaning they don't consider their partners as primaries or secondaries but rather as equals in their relationships.

Solo poly people may have multiple partners, but they do not have a primary/secondary relationship with any of them. They might, for example, have one close relationship who is also dating other people and isn't his or her primary partner. In this case, he or she would still be considered solo poly because the two are not in a primary/secondary relationship with each other.

Polyamory isn't always going to be easy

It's a good idea to remember that polyamory doesn't always mean rainbows and butterflies. It can be difficult, stressful, and frustrating at times. Sometimes you'll be jealous of a partner's other partners or they'll be jealous of yours. Sometimes you'll have conflicts with the people your partner is seeing or sleeping with. Sometimes you'll feel guilty about being in love with someone else while still being committed to another person (or group).

Polyamory isn't for everyone. And as we discussed above, some people are more suited for monogamy than others. But if it does work for you and your partner(s), many benefits come from having multiple romantic relationships at once:

  • You may have more sex!

  • You have more love in your life

  • Your other partners will often make an effort to respect your relationship with their significant others; this means less drama between all parties involved!

Not everyone can do polyamory — and that's OK!

It's important to note that not everyone can do polyamory. A lot of people are monogamous by nature (or at least have a preference for one partner), so if you're not comfortable with the idea of multiple partners or feel like you'd be unable to make sure everyone involved is happy, don't force yourself into a situation where you might end up hurting someone else.


But if the concept doesn't scare you, that's great! There are plenty of benefits to being in a polyamorous relationship. It is crucial when beginning this journey that all participants discuss their expectations and boundaries clearly so no one gets hurt down the line.



Polyamory can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for everyone involved. It's important to remember that polyamory is not for everyone and the best way to get started is by doing what works for you. If you're interested in learning more about polyamory or getting some professional advice about this relationship style, getting guidance from a relationship counsellor at Aly’s Place may be a good place to start.

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