It is always possible to revise the rules, expand the boundaries, or even play the marriage alone.

Some people think that the need for a lifelong relationship is just a social construct created during the transition from hunting and gathering to farming. And by nature, we tend to spread our genes around as much as possible. The more partners there are, the greater the genetic diversity and the "sperm wars", and therefore the stronger the species as a whole.

On the other hand, even in animals, it is not all about sex. Pregnant females and offspring must be cared for, and a partner is necessary: someone must provide food and building materials for the nest. Some species stay together for a short time, and others, such as swans, cannot live without each other.

As for humans, it is difficult to say with certainty: "How we do it". Evolution and the Future of Human Reproductive Behaviour, whether we are inherently polygamous or monogamous. After all, we are biosocial beings.

Our wants and needs are a complex conglomeration of evolutionary tasks, natural temperament, emotional traits, cultural attitudes and personal principles.

In practice, monogamy suits some and makes some unhappy. Only you can choose how to build a relationship. Here are some alternatives you can try (with the agreement of the other people involved, of course).

1. Polygamy

In polygamy, one partner is in a relationship with more than one person.

Polygamous marriages, namely polygamy (polygyny), are practiced in various cultures, including Muslim societies and also in some African societies. Polygamy (polyandry) is less common, but it also exists among national minorities who maintain traditions. For example, among Tibetans in NepalResearching Gender-Role Ideologies Internationally and Cross-Culturally-and among some tribes in IndiaP. K. Mohanty. Encyclopedia of Scheduled Tribes in India.

Polygamy differs from adultery, in which one spouse has another relationship or a secret second family, in its openness, social acceptance, and embeddedness.

A man in a polygynous marriage is expected to care for and be faithful to his wives. No promiscuity is expected. The "if I were a sultan" fantasy has its downside: commitment. Many scholars consider Bruce M. Metzger. The Oxford Companions to the Bible (Oxford Companions) Wealth is a prerequisite for polygamy.

In general, polygamy is closely linked to certain religious and national traditions of a given society. It should therefore be recommended as a possible form of relationship only to those who feel bound to a particular tradition. We are talking, as a general rule, about marriage relationships. In the secular version, a romantic and sexual relationship with several people would be more akin to an open marriage or polyamory.

It is also important to note that classical polygamy involves an imbalance of opportunity. A single person, usually a man, has more rights. He can have several wives, while they are expected to be committed only to their husbands.

2. Polyamory

In contemporary Western culture, the romantic idea that everyone is destined for a soul mate is popular. And serial monogamy, which consists of cycles of love, exclusive relationship and separation, becomes a way to find a soulmate. In this case, a new love or strong attraction to someone else usually means either the collapse of intimacy or a life of lies and suffering.

However, should you break up with your loved one if you have developed romantic feelings for someone else? Proponents of polyamory don't think so.

When it comes to polyamory, it is perfectly legal to love more than one person. The main condition is transparency, that is, the consent and approval of all participants.

If one wants to maintain the principles of polyamory without turning one's behavior into ordinary adultery, one informs one's potential partner in advance that one is doing so. If new variables emerge in a previously exclusive relationship, this should also be discussed.

A polyamorous relationship involves more than two people, but the type of relationship they have with each other depends on the particular case. For example, person A may have a sexual and romantic relationship with persons B and C. In this case, B and C know about each other, but there is nothing between them. It is also possible that B and C have a relationship with each other. Or, there is a separate partner of their own.

It is difficult to list all the possible variations. The basic principle is the awareness of all participants.

3. Open relationship

This is a union between two people who remain a permanent couple but who admit the possibility of sexual relations with others.

An open relationship differs from a polyamorous relationship in that there is a power couple here who may not reveal all details to the other partners.

Another possible difference concerns attitudes toward romantic feelings. As a rule, the couple does not consider it possible to fall in love with another person, otherwise such a relationship would already become polyamorous.

An open relationship can be established at the beginning, when two people start to meet and discuss things that are important to them. Some people, on the other hand, decide to move into this format after many years of monogamous marriage. These couples have the opportunity to have a new sexual experience without giving up their permanent partner or their family. At the same time, both people continue to have a priority emotional attachment to each other. 

4. Friendship with privilege

A slightly sloppy translation of the phrase "friendship with benefits" describes a situation that can also be described as "friendship sex."

This type of relationship simply does not contain a romantic component and does not involve the creation of a family. These people do everything like ordinary friends, but they still have sex.

Also, the term "non-committal relationship" is sometimes used, but it should be understood correctly. In fact, we have quite a few obligations to our friends: supporting them in difficult situations, trusting them, being honest. Even if there is a sexual component to friendship, these things don't go anywhere. However, friends who are lovers do not have the same commitment as couples, and the boundaries in friendships are usually stricter.

Such relationships are suitable for those who know how to separate sex and romantic feelings. However, there is some risk involved: if one is more sensitive than the other, you may have problems.

5. Loneliness, or sologamy

Loneliness has a bad reputation, and many people consider it their greatest fear. However, suffering from loneliness and being lonely are not at all the same thing. Feeling unwanted and not feeling connected to another person can also be married or have a large number of sexual partners. While being single gives a lot of freedom for personal growth, allowing you to do exactly what you want.

In this case, your personal space, material resources and time belong only to you.

Remember, the main character in the movie "Girls" said, "I decided not to get married at all. It's quieter on my own. I want to eat halva, I want to eat gingerbread." Given how often domestic disputes become a problem, this doesn't sound so naive.

If you feel good about being alone, the only thing that can stop you from enjoying this state of mind is public opinion. However, sociologists are increasingly pointing outBella Depaulo. Loneliness is no longer considered a prejudice. There is even a phenomenon such as sologamy - marriage with oneself. If there is no stamp in the passport, it is possible to organize a celebration and make vows to yourself, as thousands of people around the world have already done.

However, it is not at all necessary to make such public appearances. To become a conscious loner, all you have to do is give up the attitude of seeking and building a new relationship. At least until you change your mind (it may never happen, so what?). 

Celibacy does not have to mean asexuality. People who choose to be single can date and have sex, but they are not committed to building a relationship and starting a family. If you are single, the people with whom you have something planned, it is best to tell them honestly, so as not to hurt others.


Polygamy - the "head of the family" has several wives or husbands, depending on gender. Practiced primarily in traditional cultures.
Polyamory - more than two people are in a romantic and sexual relationship. The relationship is equal, and everyone is aware of and approves of this.
Open relationship - each member of the couple can have sex with another person with the agreement of their partner.
Friendship with privilege - like a normal friendship. Only with sex.
Ideal celibacy, or sologamy - a conscious rejection of romantic and sometimes sexual relationships.

There is no limit to monogamous marriage. But it is not so easy to build a harmonious relationship, even with one person. So, when you start a relationship with several people at the same time, it is important to know whether your resources are sufficient for this.