Open Monogamy means having a central relationship, a
spiritual relationship, one you honor above all others—while
at the same time recognizing that you each have your own
needs and desires. It requires being dedicated and loyal and
making a promise.
Some label this type of relationship consensual non-
monogamy or ethical nonmonogamy, or they call it being
monogamish. Others define it as an open relationship. I
have called it a new monogamy, a contemporary and creative
solution to partnership that aligns with honesty, mutual
respect, and a deep understanding of the nature of trust.
Some level of nonconformity is inherent in all of us; we
want to be independent while at the same time honoring our
commitments, our promises. Open monogamy is a way to
structure our most intimate relationship so that it’s agreeable to both partners as we search for a balance between
obligation and autonomy, between safety and adventure.
Creating an open monogamy agreement takes some
advanced communication skills. It’s not easy. Every open
monogamy agreement is unique and can change over time.
Couples may agree to any variation of a sexual or romantic
relationship, with any rules or boundaries, and these can
range and change from “slightly flexible” to “wide open.”
The central premise is that both partners are honest and share their feelings and their fears. If it is acceptable to
both, and is intentional and consensual, any behavior can be
a creative way for the partners to align their personal values
around sex and love, to recognize the generosity of the other,
and to be grateful for their trust.