Learning platform

Learning platform


Estimated reading: 12 minutes
  • Polyamory is a relationship structure, just like monogamy/open relationships/relationship anarchy, etc.
  • Polyamory has the underlying concept of having more romantic and/or sexual relationships at the same time.
  • Healthy relationships are based on clear communication, maintaining, and enforcing boundaries and customising relationships based on your needs.
  • Polyamory can be a great personal growth accelerator.


Relationships are based on personal choices (friendships, romantic/sexual relationships, etc.) and the structure you choose for those relationships, regardless of their type, is directly related to your values and the principles you consider important in the way you want to live your life. These relationship structures can influence your everyday life by influencing the way you perceive different types of connections (both emotional and physical) and by the environment you are creating for yourself.

Many social educators believe that the priority is to teach children how to build healthy relationships, regardless of whether they are monogamous or polyamorous (Poly Philia, 2022).

6.4.2. DEVELOPMENT OF THE TOPIC Healthy relationships

Building healthy relationships should be one of the number one priorities in everyone’s life. Healthy relationships are based on clear communication, maintaining, and enforcing personal boundaries and customizing your relationships according to your needs rather than following social convention, according to polyamorous educator, Leanne Yau. The same educator considers that young girls in particular should know that they are not defined by their relationship with men or are any less valuable for not wanting children, marriage, or cohabitation.

These principles can apply across various relationship styles and practices, from friendships to romantic/family/sexual/work relationships. Successful relationships are not defined by how long they last or how many values of social conventions they follow, but by how beneficial and healthy they are for the people involved. The relationship escalator (dating -> exclusivity -> marriage -> house -> kids) is not necessary to happiness and it’s not defining the success of a relationship (Poly Philia, 2022). What is Polyamory

Polyamory is the relationship structure that supports and encourages the exploration of multiple relationships, usually but not limited to romantic and/or sexual. Polyamory involves getting in touch with your wants and needs and learning how to openly communicate them with your partner(s). It normalises the idea that there is a different progression than in a monogamous relationship and that certain types of relationship do not make a relationship more or less valuable.

Friends/co-parents/co-workers can be just as valuable as romantic partners and the type of relationship does not define its “seriousness” (Poly Philia, 2022). Polyamorous relationships are not limited to certain types of connections that are placed in boxes (spouse, friend, co-worker, etc). Instead, they adapt to the needs of the people involved and can take a lot of different forms, such as co-parenting, co-habituating, sexual friendships, romantic friendships, etc. They are not defined by societal values but by the values and wants of the people shaping their relationship.

Even though polyamory can be a great choice for some people, it really depends on the person. Keep in mind that your mentality/priorities and wishes are allowed to change. Set clear boundaries with your partner(s)

Because no-one is a mind reader (and they should not be), learning how to set and communicate your boundaries is essential in any kind of relationship but can have a valuable impact on polyamorous structures because more people could be involved. Boundaries are guidelines that you place for yourself and for your interactions with people in order to protect your mental and/or physical wellbeing. Discussing what you define as a boundary and how you would like your boundaries to be respected is of great value, especially in the beginning of relationships. Customising relationships

Customizing relationships is an advantage of being polyamorous, by allowing you the liberty to have your needs met in a way that might have not been available to you before. It is often believed that romantic and sexual relationships are either the same or that they should go together as a package when people start a new relationship. While this can be true and valid in some cases, polyamory offers the chances to explore romantic and sexual relationships separately too. In this way, one can have partners that they are sexually active with but that they would not like to date romantically, or they can have exactly the opposite. There are people that you can have sexual chemistry with but that you would not see as romantic partners, maybe because you have different views on life or maybe because you do not have capacity for a romantic relationship

Regardless of the reason, the idea is that the connection and expectations are discussed and mutually agreed on. The opportunity of talking openly about what you want from the person in front of you takes away from the pressure of wanting and/or asking for one person to fulfil all of your needs.

After communicating your needs, the decision of the relationship type and the boundaries that come with it, is made together.

Everyone has the right to customise their relationships how they see fit. Taking this into account, there are two main structures that can help you have a bit of clarity:

  • Both polyamorous

When the two people involved are polyamorous, both have the liberty to explore any kind of romantic, sexual, or friendly connection with other partners. There are no limits in regards to the depth of the connection or the type of the relationship. However, there is no need or obligation to have more than one relationship of any type. As they are both polyamorous, they agree on having this liberty. However, nobody needs to have any type of connection if they do not want it or feel that they do not have the capacity to have it. It is all about the principle and about being open to the thought of having more than one relationship (sexual, romantic, etc.).

  • Mono polyamory

Mono-polyamory is the structure in which one of the partners is monogamous while the other one is polyamorous. This structure can be equally satisfactory and adapted to the needs of the people involved. By practicing this type of polyamory, one of the people involved is monogamous by choice and the other one is polyamorous, again, by choice. The most important thing is that this is mutually agreed on.

This can be an option for people who feel like they have capacity only for one relationship.

Although one of the structures might seem more appropriate for someone at a certain time in their life, they are not fixed for the entire duration of the relationship. They can change and adapt to the needs of everyone involved. If mono-polyamory was a good option for someone during a stressful period in their life, they can change to a structure where both partners are polyamorous in a less stressful period, for example, if they want to discover and explore different types of connections with other people. The key in polyamory is communication and adaptation.

Although every relationship is different in its own way and each new person contributes to your life in a way that nobody else can, try to avoid seeing people as machines for satisfying needs. Resource management

Polyamory requires honesty and resource planning. While love is an infinite resource, time and energy are not, so polyamory involves a lot of open and honest communication with the resources and availability one can offer and/or receive. It is important that you are honest with yourself and with your (potential) partners in how much you can actually invest in that connection. Growth accelerator

It is common for people inside of the polyamorous community to perceive polyamory as a personal growth accelerator. Due to the fact that it can involve a lot of adaptation, polyamory forces you to get out of your comfort zone and can put you in a lot of situations that you never experienced before. It can involve a lot of exploration and situations that you would not confront yourself with in a differently structured relationship. Therefore, it requires a lot of self-awareness in order for everyone to be able to openly communicate their needs and preferences. The more you know about yourself, the better you can express what you need, what you are comfortable with and what you would like to change inside of your relationship. Because the circumstances might push you to adapt a bit faster than in a monogamous structure, this can make you learn about yourself quicker and therefore, accelerate your personal growth process. Deconstructing misconceptions

Some of the most common misconception when learning/practicing polyamory are:

Polyamory is an excuse for cheating

Cheating is the breaking of an agreement. It can happen in any type of relationship structure (monogamous, polyamorous, open relationship, etc.) and it involves hiding information, dishonesty and/or behaviour that was not agreed on. Polyamorous people can also cheat if they hide a connection that they have with someone, if they hide their feelings or if they practice certain things that they agreed to not practice. Therefore, polyamory does not excuse cheating. Instead, it opens the floor for honest communication, by clearly stating needs, for example if something is missing or could be changed in their relationship. It underlines the need of discussing with your partner(s) what you define as cheating and if that definition changes in certain circumstances.

Polyamorous people are not willing/ready to commit to one partner

Polyamory can involve commitment to multiple people, which automatically dismisses the idea that polyamorous people are not ready to commit to one partner. Being polyamorous does not mean you are not ready for commitment; it only means that you would like to explore different types of connections and commitments with different people. By having multiple relationships, the needs, and boundaries you should consider also multiply (because every person has their own needs), which means that the level of commitment can also grow.

Polyamorous people are hypersexual/greedy

It is commonly believed that some people choose polyamory because they cannot have their sexual needs met by one partner. While this may be true for some, it can be completely wrong for others. Polyamory opens the possibility to having multiple sexual connections. However, there are also asexual polyamorous people or people who simply do not want/base their relationship on the sexual connection they have.


L. is 15 years old, and they decided to come out as polyamorous to their friends. They told their friends that they are trying different relationship types to see which one can work for them because they noticed that the idea of monogamy does not attract them at all. They were saying that during the last year, whenever everyone was talking about relationships, they were either wishing for exclusivity or were talking about jealousy and L. could not identify with either of the options. After reading a little bit about other relationship types, they decided that maybe not putting a label might help but it was actually confusing them more. So, they decided to try being polyamorous. Some of their friends were intrigued while others started to distance themselves from L., being afraid that L. might want to have something with all of them.

This is a common misconception about polyamory, and it can be harmful for polyamorous people because it reduces them to the number of connections they have and it objectifies those connections and people. Apart from this, it is also spreading misinformation.

What you could do as an educator or a parent in this case is to firstly educate yourself about polyamory. By doing this, you will be able to have a talk from an informed point of view and not count on the polyamorous person to educate you and to bring all of the information to the table. You could try to open the conversation with the child/teen and see if they feel comfortable in sharing. If they do not, try to respect their space and wishes. However, there are a few things that could help the process.

As an educator, you could try to offer access to information and to normalise the different relationship styles through your teaching. This can be done by sharing websites/blogs/informational content with your students, by choosing to talk about non monogamous examples/public and/or historical figures, or even by using non monogamous structures when creating imaginary content (like the context of a maths problem or the frame for a storytelling activity).

6.4.4. BEST PRACTICES Avoid perpetuating misconceptions

Considering that our thinking is shaped by our environments and by the content we consume, it is important to educate ourselves on the topic before talking/practicing it in order to avoid perpetuating misconceptions. You can do this by choosing your content wisely and by keeping yourself informed. Consume content created by polyamorous people

When learning about polyamory (and any other non-normative practice) it is really important to choose your sources wisely. Learning from people who are experiencing and choosing polyamory as a lifestyle or relationship structure could be more beneficial both for you and for the polyamorous community. By consuming content created by polyamorous people you are receiving access both to the logical and rational principles that form the base of polyamory as well as to the personal experience, feelings and emotion management of the people experiencing it, which can help you avoid or learn from some of their mistakes. Moreover, by following polyamorous content creators, you are also supporting the spread of information in a constructive and educational way, by avoiding to spread misinformation or to perpetuate stereotypes and misconceptions about it.


Poly Philia (2022). Frequently Asked Questions. Poly Philia. Retrieved from https://www.polyphilia.blog/faq.

Share this Doc


Or copy link