Exploring Relationship Taboos

Date 8/23/2019

Sometimes three is better than two.

Sometimes three is better than two.

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Many of us have been raised to embrace relationships that are based on heteronormative values which consist of traditional Norman Rockwell family values, of a hard working dad, a domestic mom who raises a family of three kids in monogamous bliss. The idea is that everyone is attracted to only the opposite sex and stays married to each other until "death do us part" surrounded by their now grown up adult children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren. And for many this is wonderful, and by no means am I saying there is anything wrong with this type of family if that’s what you desire. 

However, while that works for many, the reality is not everyone is 100% straight, wants to have kids or be married to only one person forever. Every person has their own blueprint of the ideal relationship, but not everyone has the ability or desire to maintain a “traditional” relationship. There are many types of relationships that folks enjoy, even when considered taboo by mainstream standards.  

Presented without judgment, here is list of several non-traditional relationship styles that many consenting adults engage in, despite often being considered taboo:

Polyamory – The concept of long-term relationships with various partners.  Within Polyamory there are three variations:
  • Polyandry – A woman married to multiple male partners.
  • Polygyny – A man married to multiple female partners.
  • Polygynandry – Multiple marriages between multiple men and multiple women.
In a polyamory connection, there are various subgroups with primaries and secondaries. The primary partner takes the lead in a relationship and can decide the basic rules of engagement. The relationships are considered emotional links and not based on swinging or some kinky fantasy. Within a polyamory relationship, couples may even have children and raise them in a community style setting.

Open Relationship – What is the meaning of an open relationship?  Quite simply, an open relationship means married or committed couples are open to the possibility of seeing others for sexual encounters. The base of an open relationship is to allow each member to have sexual freedom, in order to avoid the betrayal associated with cheating.  Often confused, an open relationship is not the same swinging (see below for the key differences).

Friends with Benefits – A friendship with sexual options, but no romantic commitment. These types of relationships are platonic in nature and not romantic.  A 2011 film of the same name starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake takes a humorous and sexy look at Friends with Benefits. If you haven't watched it, it's worth streaming some Saturday night you have no plans. 

Love Triangle – Also known as a 3-way relationship, a threesome, or a “thruple.” A love triangle consists of a situation in which one individual is in love with two (or more) different people at the same time. They may all be of the same gender or any combination of both male and female partners. Typically, all members of the love triangle are given varying roles in the relationship, are romantically involved with one another and may even live together. However, it is possible for a 3-way relationship to consist of one individual who is involved with two different partners that know about each other but are not connected romantically to one another. These types of relationships can become complicated, so if you are seeking love triangle advice, a psychic love advisor may hold some answers. 

Swinging – A swinging relationship is when married or committed couples engage in mutual partner swapping for sexual gratification. Typically, the couples have no romantic association with their swinging partners, it’s purely done for pleasure and at the end of the day, they return home to their primary partner.  Although they sound similar, there is a difference between an open relationship vs. a swinging relationship.  With swinging the sexual escapades outside the primary relationship occur as a couple while in an open relationship they are performed as individuals and it is possible in an open relationship for one partner to seek outside sexual activity while the other remains monogamous by choice. 

Though the relationships above may be considered taboo by mainstream standards, the fact is monogamy is not for everyone. If you find someone who loves you and shares the same relationship values as you do, go for it. Do not let “traditional” relationship ideals stop you from finding your true love or loves. 

You only live once, so allow yourself to love as you desire. 

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