Monogamy and Non-Monogamy

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Join us for a spirited discussion on the virtues and drawbacks of monogamy and non-monogamy in romantic relationships. Should monogamy be "the gold standard" in long term, romantic relationships? Or should the basis of a relationship be something else?

Traditionalists argue that monogamy is what makes relationships work. It promotes stability and reliability, which in turn, creates greater happiness for couples in the long term. Without monogamy, you don't have trust. And without trust, you don't have a relationship.

Others argue that monogamy is an outdated straitjacket that creates unrealistic expectations, often resulting in cheating, dishonesty and disappointment. Monogamy is a product of heterosexual norms and doesn't work for gay men and the nature of male sexuality.

What should be the criteria for deciding such an issue? What experiences in which you've participated or observed, which suggest answers?

And we might ask, if a couple decides to "open up" their relationship, how can they negotiate the terms of doing so?

Some folks make the distinction between emotional and physical monogamy which lead to agreements where sex outside the relationship is allowed but no dating.

Some couples allow for "threesomes" as a way to make sure both partners are aware of who the other is with. Some folks allow for a day where the other partner can do what he wants, no questions asked.

Are open relationships more likely, the longer a couple has been together?

Below are some links that discuss some of the pros and cons on this subject. Please note that the reading is optional and is not required to participate in the discussion.