Open Relationships, Polyamory and Swinging each have unique traits and identifiers.

Open Relationship, Polyamory and Swinging Differences

Once you spend some time learning about them you will have a much better understanding of where you “fit in”. It’s not to say that everyone has the same definition of Open Relationships, Polyamory and Swinging though and this can cause some confusion based on how people define their own unique style of the lifestyle. So let’s take an initial dive into what each can mean based on our experience and how each might be a fit for you or allow you to create your own definition to identify by. Keep in mind that there is MUCH more to learn and there are some amazing resources out there to help you better understand your perfect lifestyle relationship type.

Open Relationships

Open Relationships are very much in the Ethical Non Monogamy world when partners who are in an established relationship with each other and openly agree to see other people.  They may do this together, separately, or a combination of both.  The connections they make outside of their relationship may or may not be romantic, sexual or emotionally involved.  It is common for couples to establish agreements on what they can and cannot do with other people.

These agreements will vary from couple to couple and may change over time, depending on the needs and desires of all parties involved. It should never be assumed that a couple who has an open relationship define their way of doing things as others or yourself might. This is where open conversations about likes, wants and desires are a must and they should include getting to know what ground rules all might have prior to entering into any kind of lifestyle relationship scenario.


Polyamory could be defined as the practice of loving more than one person and the practice of loving in many ways.  An amazing trait of this type of dynamic is that it allows for everyone involved to be who they are and find healthy ways of being in a relationship with others.  Like open relationships, polyamory will take on the form of the people who choose this lifestyle.  Poly stands out from other forms of ethical non-monogamy in that polyamorous people are drawn to relationships that are emotionally involved (think “in love”).  People in poly relationships tend to view their relationships equally rather than assign labels like “primary” and “secondary”.


Swinging is a form of social sex and has been around since our parents lived through the 60’s and 70’s. Singles and couples, called swingers, engage in different kinds of sexual sharing or swapping with each other.  The degree of intimacy and sexual involvement differs with every encounter and is typically determined by boundaries and agreements with all parties.  This lifestyle can be a great way to enhance sexual energy and connection in any relationship.  As with any form of ethical non-monogamy, open honest communication is essential.


Ethical non-monogamy is becoming more widespread and valued as a way to openly express love in the way that is right for you and not determined by archaic societal “norms”.  The fact that people are talking more openly about their sexuality and sexual desires is just a small piece of our entire planet becoming more harmonious and able to have conversations that matter.  The fact that you are here reading and learning more about ethical non monogamy speaks volumes about who you are as a caring person looking to expand their presence on the planet.  It’s not to say that these types of relationships are not hard work but is anything worthwhile completely easy to achieve?