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All about ENM Relationship or Ethical Non-Monogamy Relationships

All about ENM Relationship or Ethical Non-Monogamy Relationships

Updated on May 27, 2022 | Published on Feb 03, 2022

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

ENM Relationship or Ethical Non-Monogamy Relationships - Things To Know

You’re here to know about ENM relationships

Perhaps, you are willing to explore something “new”.

Sounds great, after all, I’ve got everything you possibly need to know in this think-piece.

Oh… I forgot, thanks for not jumping to conclusions and actually doing some research. 

If you’re in a relationship, your partner is quite lucky to date someone as level-headed as you. After all, you considered this over cheating because you care.

Well, ENM relationships include various kinds of relationships, and once you find your kind of relationship, don’t forget to do a detailed research on that as well.

Getting impatient? Let’s skip the small-talk and learn…

Ethical Non-Monogamy Relationship Infographics

Ethical Non-Monogamy Relationship - Definitiona & Types
Ethical Non-Monogamy Relationship – Definitiona & Types
Ethical Non-Monogamy Relationship - How to Practice & Talk about it with Partner
Ethical Non-Monogamy Relationship – How to Practice & Talk about it with Partner

What is an ENM Relationship?

Summary
Ethical non-monogamy is an umbrella term for all kinds of non-exclusive relationships among partners with each other’s consent. Partners might have emotional, sexual, or any other kind of relationship with outsiders.

Ethical nonmonogamy (ENM) is a type of relationship where romantic partners aren’t exclusive to each other, i.e., people can have multiple sexual or romantic relationships.

The people who practice ENM in a relationship make each other aware of their relationship dynamic and follow ENM only with both sides’ consent, so ENM is also termed consensual non-monogamy (CNM).

Swinging, polyamory, and open relationships are each distinct types of ethically non-monogamous relationships.

In a relationship, both people involved might engage in ENM or only one might. The people who practice ethical nonmonogamy might look for sexual partners only, get romantically involved, or both.

When a couple practices ENM, the form of relationship they seek might be different depending on their emotional or sexual needs.

All ethical or consensual non-monogamous relationships begin with good communication, consent, and consideration of each other, without any force, dishonesty, or blaming.

Many people perceive ENM as a lifestyle, while others feel it’s their identity or orientation.

Though ENM needs consent, people still confuse it with cheating, so let’s learn…


ENM vs Cheating

The difference in ENM is very strict, i.e., you need your partner’s consent to begin a relationship outside of your current relationship.

The same rule is applicable when your partner wants to practice ENM.

The first term in ENM – ethical – means the consent of all the people involved in the relationship.

While cheating, the person does not ask for their partner’s consent, or the partner doesn’t consent to it.

Once both parties decide to change their relationship structures, it’s ENM, which isn’t cheating.

If you think ENM only implies open relationships, let’s find out more…


Ethical Non-monogamy vs Open Relationship

ENM is an umbrella term for all kinds of consensually nonmonogamous relationships (CNM).

An open relationship is a form of relationship where primary partners “open” their relationship to other romantic or sexual relationships.

All kinds of ENM are not open relationships – say, a triad (a relationship or three) might not be open to others outside the three, so they have a closed relationship, but it’s ENM.

If anybody thinks ENM is a synonym for Polyamory, think again…


Ethical Non-monogamy vs Polyamory

Polyamory is another relationship under the ENM umbrella.

People involved in polyamorous relationships have numerous romantic partners simultaneously.

Say a couple engages in a sexual relationship with another couple like in swinging. However, both couples might not love or date each other, so it’s not polyamory, yet ENM.

Love is a necessary factor in polyamory so people practice polyamory only when they love multiple partners simultaneously.

If you can’t differentiate between ENM and swinging, check this…


Ethical Non-monogamy vs Swinging

When couples exchange partners with other couples, it’s partner swapping or swinging – another sub-category under ENM.

However, swinging focuses more on sex life than romantic or emotional bonds. Nowadays, swingers also try out sexual activities with both couples simultaneously with one another.

Swingers might also include more than two couples engaging altogether. So the picture of swinging is slowly merging with orgies.

Orgies are more like open relationships rather than only partner exchanging.

But that’s not all, let’s learn the…


Types of ENM relationships

You’re up for a big surprise if you thought there were the only types of ENM. In reality, ENM is much more vast than people think.

Furthermore, researchers find unique kinds of relationship dynamics and the types keep increasing. 

So let’s check out the ones found till now…

1. Polyamory

In polyamory, the primary partners decide to extend their relationships romantically and emotionally with multiple partners.

However, it might also be a group of people loving each other romantically – this is a polycule.

Or, only one of the two primary partners might engage in polyamory and the other one practices monogamy.

A polyamorous relationship involves a lot of emotional, romantic, physical or even sexual commitment to multiple partners, even for a long duration.

Though, a primary partner might demand more commitment.

2. Throuples

Throuples include three partners with each romantically and sexually involved with the remaining two. The ENM community prefers to call it triads.

Many people believe that throuples and threesomes are the same. However, that’s not always the case because a throuple can decide if they want a threesome based on their comfort.

A throuple might include people of any combination of any gender orientation, unlike the media’s depiction of – a straight male with two bisexual women.

3. V relationships

V relationships also include three partners, however, all of them don’t need to love the remaining two.

The relationship structure in a V relationship has one person in the center – who loves the remaining two and gets love from the remaining two.

Though those remaining two might be friends, cohabitating partners, or any two people on good terms and know each other, don’t love each other romantically.

Hence, they don’t have any emotional or sexual bond.

4. Threesomes

In threesomes, a couple involves another person in their relationship solely for sexual purposes. They might engage in a one-time sexual relationship, which is a one-night stand.

However, they can have a regular sexual relationship too. All sides must consent to the arrangement.

5. Open relationships

Open relationships involve sexual involvement outside of the primary relationship.

However, there is usually no commitment with the person outside of the primary relationship… but it might involve emotional or romantic connections if the primary partners consent to it.

Open relationships don’t have a hard-core formula other than prioritizing primary partners above all. The rest depends on the type of your relationship.

6. Relationship Hierarchy

Relationship hierarchy or hierarchical relationship is a relationship style where the primary partners prioritize one another.

The primary partner(s) may follow any kind of ENM relationship listed here, but there is a fixed “top” position for the primary partners.

For instance, if both the primary partner and a secondary partner(s) request something contradicting, the primary partner’s requests gain favor.

7. Relationship Anarchy

Relationship anarchy is a relationship style without any hierarchy.

So, you might have a primary partner and multiple secondary partners, but you don’t need to accept all of your primary partner’s wishes.

All the involved people decide on the rules and boundaries before they begin the ENM arrangement and follow any ENM relationship form.

There is no pressure on any party to follow someone because they’re the primary partner.

8. Polyfidelity

Polyfidelity is a romantic and/or sexual relationship between multiple people.

However, the group of people stays exclusive to the group. They don’t engage in any kind of relationship – sexual or romantic – outside of their clan or group.

It might include any number of people but with equal status in the relationship. Nobody is a primary or a secondary partner.

Though there are no group marriage laws, the partners figure out their relationship rules and boundaries themselves for equality towards everyone.

9. Casual sex

In casual sex, the parties engage in sexual relationships without any romantic or emotional attachment with their partners.

One person might have multiple sexual partners, and all involved parties know about the situation they are in.

Casual sexual relationships must begin with complete consent to eradicate any chance of misunderstandings.

10. Casual dating

When people date casually without any intentions of emotional or romantic attachment to one another, it’s called casual dating.

You might casually date one or more people simultaneously, but all the people involved with you must know that it’s a casual arrangement.

Your relationship might or might not result in anything serious from casual dating, it depends on the feelings of the people involved.

11. Swinging

In swinging, couples exchange partners for sexual connections only, so it is also known as partner swapping.

By default it implies two couples exchange their partners, though it might be multiple couples.

Also, they might engage in sexual activities in different rooms or all of them might engage in a single room, which is similar to foursomes and orgies.

12. Cuckolding

Cuckolding is when a couple adds another person to their relationship for sexual activities.

However, it’s far from throuples or V relationships, because one primary partner watches the other partner have sex with the third party.

This activity brings joy and sexual excitement to the observer. Depending on the relationship, they might engage in a threesome, or not.

13. Monogamish

A monogamish is when a couple usually follows monogamy but sometimes, they might involve with other people sexually, depending on the situation or mood.

Both sides give consent and know when they’re engaging with another person. Furthermore, outside relationships don’t result in any emotional or romantic bonding.

14. Polygamy

Polygamy is a relationship with one husband and multiple wives (polygyny) or one wife with multiple husbands (polyandry). Polygyny is the more common form of polygamy worldwide.

This falls under ENM but is illegal in the USA because there were many cases of forcing and manipulation.

If so many kinds of ENM exist, then people must need them for different reasons. So, let’s know…


Why people choose ENM?

Everyone has valid personal reasons behind choosing ENM… yes, it’s not always sex. Most people don’t engage in ENM because they want to get back at their cheating partner… like many assume. 

So let’s get down to business…

1. They believe in exploring their sexuality

Gender and sexuality are two different things.  Many of us need time to understand our sexuality and that’s normal. Moreover, your sexuality can change with time, which makes people choose ENM.

You don’t need to ditch your partner and start over a relationship from scratch every time you feel your sexuality changed.

People who consider ENM, play fair with their current partner, and also their sexuality.

2. They fall in love with multiple people

Some people can share love with several people at the same time. When they have more people to love, they become happier and love their partners even more.

They feel they can be more honest with their feelings towards their lover if they practice ENM than monogamy.

3. They don’t have faith in monogamy

People think monogamous relationships confine you with boundaries like jealousy, possessiveness, or territoriality.

They think the social binds of monogamy keep them from experiencing true limitless love and satisfaction, and there’s no meaning behind following monogamy when your heart desires something more.

4. They want an adventurous sex life

Many people want different kinds of sexual encounters with different people even when they stay in a fixed relationship.

ENM with some basic rules and boundaries allows them to realize their desires.

They might also use the ENM relationships tag so that society doesn’t judge them or face any downsides for their lifestyle choices.

5. They’re not satisfied

Sometimes, people might not receive enough physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, or spiritual attention from one partner.

People with different beliefs or attachment styles can fall in love too. However, they don’t receive enough love in their desired form.

With ENM, they can fill up the gap in love and attention they require. For instance, if one partner is into anal play, but the other isn’t, they can reside with another partner for it.

However, to make things work, there must be some…


ENM Relationship rules

If you think hard and fast rules will ruin your ENM, well don’t worry. Don’t follow rules because society or this think-piece demands it from you.

Follow it because you must cherish everyone in the relationship. 

People might unintentionally hurt their loved ones. These rules will help you from not committing some regular mistakes.

So, let’s roll down…

Whether you’re in a relationship already, or you want to begin a new relationship, always ask for your current partner’s consent.

If your partner accepts the arrangement, inform your prospective secondary partner(s) about the situation.

Tell them that you’re already with someone and inform them of the kind of relationship you want.

When you don’t get consent, it’s immoral and unethical.

Be it a primary partner or a prospective secondary partner, never force them. Rather, introduce them to some sources about your preferred ENM type.

2. Keep them in the loop

If you have a primary partner, and you just began your ENM journey, always inform your partner about important information.

Your partner might not be entirely comfortable with the idea of sharing you with others.

When you inform them about when you’re mingling in other relationships, going on dates with others, or sleeping with someone, you’ll build trust between you two.

Even if you told your partner weeks prior that you’ll go on a date, remind them on the day too. Always step forward cautiously, and be ready for a refusal.

3. Establish boundaries

Once you begin your ENM, define some boundaries for your relationship. Identify what boundaries you guys can compromise, and which ones are non-negotiable.

Discuss the boundaries with your primary partner first, and then share them with your secondary partner(s). If your primary partner consents, you can all catch up together to set boundaries.

Perhaps your primary partner holds precious memories about you guys regarding some sexual act, romantic gesture, or even a place.

Discuss what they won’t tolerate or want to keep exclusive to themselves.

4. Set your priorities straight

If you had a primary partner in the beginning, they were your first love and priority in life. Only after they give you the consent, begin your ENM journey. So prioritize them to show your gratitude.

Your actions will express that you care about them and following ENM doesn’t mean you dismiss them.

If you both are in a close relationship with another person like a throuple, be clear that you and your primary partner prioritize one another a little more.

5. Decide on hierarchy or anarchy

If you and your primary partner want, you can follow a hierarchical relationship, where you must always tend to your primary partner’s needs first.

Suppose you do, share this info with all the secondary partners so you don’t hurt anybody’s emotions.

Or, if your primary partner doesn’t prefer a hierarchy, you can ditch the idea. However, always be ready for a change of mind.

Your partner might demand a hierarchy if they feel they’re at a disadvantage.

6. Calm the green-eyed monster

Like monogamous people, people practicing ENM feel jealous too. So, never assume that any of your partners will not feel jealous.

Even if you propose ENM, you might feel jealous too. However, don’t get blinded by jealousy and hurt your partners.

Rather, tend to the situation rationally… What do you really want from your partner? What hurts you? What can heal you? Or what do you need to feel secure?

If you focus on the topic and handle it with a level head, you’ll balance your relationships well.

7. Discuss how you want to face the world

Many workplaces don’t find ENM ethical leading to high unemployment rates in the ENM community. Society isn’t that cool with ENM either.

So before you hop in your ENM, discuss how much you’re ready to share with the world.

For instance, if you must keep it to yourselves, how will you introduce the other partners publicly? How will you keep your physical distance in public to prevent them from catching on?

Suppose you guys want to share your happiness, who would you share it with first?

8. Practice safe sex practices

Before you sexually involve yourself with multiple partners, decide on the different barriers you might use.

Will both parties use condoms? Will the females use oral contraceptives for preventing pregnancy? Will you use dental dams for orals?

Also, test your STI status before you engage in any sexual relationships. Ensure that you check STI status after fixed intervals to confirm everyone’s safety.

Decide who amongst the partners wants to know others’ STI status, possibly everyone will want to check for themselves.

9. Prepare more answers

Your choice of ENM defines the relationship type. However, you must still be ready to explain and convey to your partners the kind of relationship you want.

  • Will you only have sex outside of the primary relationship?
  • Will you romantically or emotionally engage with secondary partners?
  • Will you have babies from secondary relationships?
  • Are your secondary partners allowed in your house (where your primary partner stays)?
  • What will your children know about the relationship?
  • When will you disclose the facts to your children?
  • If someone trash-talks your relationships to your children who aren’t of age, how will you explain things?

10. Always check-in

When your ENM relationship structure is still fresh, you must check-in as frequently as possible. Weekly check-ins with your primary partner regarding the arrangement is a good idea.

Perhaps make a chart about what’s okay and not, make multiple copies and fill them out to accelerate the process.

However, face-to-face conversations are also important because your partner might not be really alright.

Ensure their feelings with a proper discussion.

When your ENM gets old, you can reduce the check-in to every alternate week. Also, don’t forget to check in with your secondary partners.

Got the rules down? Still not confident? Let’s find out…


How to get started with ENM relationships?

Summary
Share your idea with your partner, get consent, choose any ENM style that attracts you. Communicate and see people from the ENM community.

Despite the type of ENM relationship, your ENM might differ from another person’s. Similarly, the way you begin might be unique.

If you have a partner currently, begin with their consent. They might dismiss your idea, then you decide whether you want the current relationship or the new lifestyle.

Whether you want to engage emotionally and romantically or just sexually, that’s up to your current situation.

Share some ideas about ENM with legit sources and learn together. Make sure you don’t make your partner feel inadequate. Share your reasons behind this new interest

You might add another person to your current relationship, or join another couple to form a triad. You might meet another couple and decide to swap partners.

Befriend people from the ENM community online groups or dating apps to learn more. Understand your feelings beyond society’s mean remarks about your decisions.

Various relationship styles evolve with time in the ENM community, so always study about them to keep complications at bay.

Found the ones, but unsure about how everything works? That’s normal, so learn…


How to practice Ethical non-monogamy?

Though there aren’t any steadfast rules, this is a real community, and also, don’t take humans lightly.

Take every opportunity to learn to cherish the people around you. Practice ENM properly to keep it ethical and everyone satisfied.

So let’s move on without any delay….

1. Define your expectations

There are reasons behind your choosing the ENM lifestyle. Nobody engages in ENM because they saw it in a movie and felt it was cool.

Perhaps, you always like multiple people at once. Or, your libido is too high and you always want more. Or, you feel your sexual orientation changed.

And you definitely want something from your relationship, be clear about it. Share your motives and preferred outcomes from your ENM. Lead a happy ENM relationship with honesty.

2. Time your relationships well

All of your partners need time and attention.

Whether you want to keep the weekends exclusive to your primary relationship or share your weekends equally with all partners, that depends on you, your partners, and your relationship type.

Either allocate everyone equal time or make more time for your primary partner.

If you don’t time your relationship properly, you might easily get tired from managing multiple relationships.

Also, if you follow a schedule, you will always have time for yourself.

3. Prioritize health and safety

If you sexually bond with multiple partners, then some days you might feel more adventurous. However, before you try out a new position, kind of sex, toys, or anything new in the bed – ensure your safety.

Don’t engage in something which might harm you in any way.

Also, don’t skip on protection or procrastinate about cleaning your sex toys, else you’ll risk getting STIs. 

4. Communicate like a flowing river.

Always communicate with all of your partners. As long as you honestly communicate with everyone, you won’t have trouble in your ENM.

In fact, if anybody feels jealous, figure out a solution with communication.

Any form of ENM is not only about love, sex, or just bonding. Many people will be/are involved with you, so it’s your duty to ensure everyone feels safe, heard, and respected in the relationship.

With regular check-in,  you can build stronger bonds and long-lasting friendships.

5. Never overstep boundaries

After deep thoughts, each of you decides on the boundaries which keep you all strong like a unit. However, crossing one boundary implies breaking someone’s trust.

You might debate that your partner at home won’t have any idea about it… that’s when you question your intentions.

Instead of negotiating the boundaries, why must you do something behind their back?

And then what part of your relationship stays ethical? Even if you overstep boundaries mistakenly, confess immediately if you want to keep things ethical and moral.

All set for the next move? Oh wait, you’re committed? Then check this before proceeding….


How to talk about it with your partner?

If you say “I need someone else or an open relationship or ENM” to your partner… they might not understand what you’re talking about or feel inadequate. Both of them are undesirable reactions.

So, you need a proper plan like this…

1. Talk to yourself

Before you begin the conversation, figure out your goals to engage in ENM. For instance, do you really feel you want polyamory because you can love multiple people?

Or, is there some underlying issue (like sexual or emotional dissatisfaction) in your relationship and you want to escape that?

Eliminate any complications in your life with full honesty.

2. Figure out the timing

Before you begin talking, read the mood. Is your partner ready for it? Are they facing difficulties in their life? Are they emotionally hurt? Are they tired from a long day at work?

If they don’t seem in the mood for a proper conversation, push your conversation back. They might react defensively if you force a conversation at the wrong moment.

3. Pen down the key topics

Usually, you’ll feel nervous thinking about disclosing your ideas… and if you do, then write down your thoughts.

What topics do you want to cover? How will you explain yourself? What are the probable answers? How will you prove your loyalty to your partner?

4. Share with honesty

When you have the conversation, talk truthfully. Refrain from excuses. If you feel you need more sexual attention, emotional bonding, or want to love more people, speak honestly.

Remember to treat them gently, and give them enough time to process the news and make a well-informed decision.

5. Don’t expect magic

Your partner might not express it, but have some deep insecurities about themselves. So, when you discuss this topic with your partner, they might react, cry, scream, or yell.

They might be some strong independent person in their professional life, but a complete wreck inside.

So don’t dismiss their feelings or try to calm them with “You’re a strong person, you can’t break down like this”.

If they won’t break down now, then when and in front of whom?

6. Stay calm

When you share your thoughts about ENM, your partner might speak utter garbage about you. But you began the conversation, so keep control over your senses.

Maybe they said something very hurtful because they can’t imagine someone else with you.

Or they can’t express their feelings properly. If you love them, figure out what they mean slowly.

Don’t give into provocative words.

7. Highlight “I”

You want to engage in multiple relationships because you feel you can use more support from other relationships.

Never blame them or indirectly say that your partner can’t fulfill your needs entirely. A hint of blame can ruin your relationship completely. So choose your words very carefully.

Focus on your needs instead of how they can’t satisfy you.

8. Share some materials

You learned about ENM from books, magazines, movies, online articles, etc. Share the materials with your partner. Introduce them to this new world.

If your partner feels the same, they might join you on this journey or support you like always.

9. Don’t coerce

Share the info because you want to express yourself better. Don’t expect them to accept your ideas immediately because you shared the info.

Your partner isn’t indebted to you, you both are equals. So don’t force them into accepting you, it’s no more ethical or moral if you force them.

10. Bet on time and space

Once you show up all the cards on the table, it’s time to wait. They’ll consider the situation while you give them space.

They might accept your situation or not, but they need time to grasp the whole idea. Also, prepare your answer if they refuse ENM. Will you forget about ENM or your partner?

That’s not all, if your partner considers it, they might want to know…


What does it mean to be in an ENM relationship?

If you or your partner feels curious about how a real-life ENM works, well, it’s a lot of work… because everyone must protect their partner from emotional or physical hurt. 

Since more people imply more complications, ENM begins with great strategies.

Let’s take a sneak peek…

1. You’ll have an agreement

ENM relationships begin with rules and boundaries. Though, some people think rules are extremely limiting.

Some think that rules snatch away the essence of ENM because ENM is all about breaking social rules.

But rules exist so that you don’t unknowingly hurt anybody’s feelings. Your partner might not think the same about ENM. You also protect their faith with the rules.

Your relationship is unique, and you’ll have unique rules or boundaries. Settle on common grounds with some ground rules, so that each of you can be happy and confident about your relationships.

2. You’ll beat jealousy with honesty

Monogamy or non-monogamy, jealousy will be present in every relationship. For those moments, honestly express what bothers you and how you want to fix it.

Communicate honestly about what rubs you the wrong way and figure out what works the best for your relationship.

Also, understand your nature and desires with ENM.

3. You must be more caring

More partners and more relationships imply more emotional investment. Many people might depend on you if your ENM includes an emotional component.

Say, if your partners feel down, cater to their emotions and support them through the difficulties. ENM increases your responsibilities… It isn’t an escape route from responsibilities.

4. Hierarchy or Anarchy, your call

If you had a partner before you chose ENM, discuss whether your partner wants a hierarchy or anarchy.

It entirely depends on you two whether you want to prioritize your relationship (hierarchy) or treat everyone equally (anarchy).

Also, understand your primary partner’s needs better with this decision. They might still feel insecure if they demand hierarchy.

5. The journey isn’t entirely flowery

Despite your type of relationship, you’ll face misunderstandings, negative emotions, stress, pain, and immense joy and compersion.

The ENM journey isn’t beyond regular human relationships, so never expect a fairytale from ENM.

You might satisfy yourself emotionally, romantically, or sexually, but the possibilities of difficulties remain. After all, each of you is a human being filled with emotions and feelings.

If anybody told you something negative about ENM, time to bust some…


Myths about ENM relationships

Society and its standards… always have something to say about everything. Even when you don’t ask for them. They’ll say women are child-bearing machines, men can’t cry, blacks are forever slaves. 

The list is endless, so let’s know more about their opinion…. Versus the truth….

1. ENM is for sex-addicts

Human beings are unique, so one person might engage in sex with multiple people… while another is only for emotional bonding.

Also, the ENM community is quite aware of the risks of sex. So they gear up properly to protect their sexual health, before involving in any kind of relationship. The ENM community prioritizes safety over lust.

2. ENM community doesn’t feel jealousy

Jealousy has nothing to do with ENM. One person might feel it, another person might not. Jealousy implies dissatisfaction with your relationship.

Whether you follow monogamy or ENM, you can solve jealousy with honest communication.

3. ENM is healthier than monogamy

Everyone in this world has personal preferences, and your relationship dynamic depends on your choices. It’s about what makes you happy. ENM isn’t some veggie and monogamy isn’t fast food.

You might face abuse or cheating both in monogamy and ENM. ENM doesn’t guarantee protection from possible mistreatment.

4. ENM relationships don’t last

From much research, it is evident that whether your relationship is monogamous or nonmonogamous, it doesn’t impact the contentment, joy, sexual activities, or relationship validity.

In both cases, the quality of the relationship is somewhat the same. If the partners agree, the relationship can last long.

5. You only lose from ENM

With clear set boundaries and partners abiding by them, nobody loses anything from ENM.

Rather, if you’re in a relationship with the wrong person, whether it’s monogamy or ENM, you’ll lose either way.

However, if an outsider defines something in your ENM as a “loss”, they need to understand that your values aren’t the same as theirs.

Wanna ace in your ENM?  Check some…


Tips for ENM relationships

If you want to be happy yourself, and not flow with a trend or dance according to your partner’s whims, learn some secret tips. And yes, refusing anything doesn’t mean you’ll fight.

Learn to deal with your issues properly with these…

1. Don’t nod to everything

If you feel something is wrong with your partner’s claims, don’t give consent. When your partner’s demands disturb you, be honest about it.

You’re an important part of their life, so if they value you, they’ll focus on your concerns.

2. ENM is not a solution

Possibly a misunderstanding from fiction, but many think ENM is your answer to relationship issues like infidelity.

If you’re broken from your relationship, heal before you engage with someone new, else you’ll hurt the new person too.

3. ENM is an improvement

Seek ENM when your relationship can’t satisfy you in any way. Or, if you just feel that’s how you swing, go ahead.

Look forward to ENM only when you want something more from your relationship, not replace something defective.

4. Communicate…

As long as you’re honest, communicate frequently with your partners, or successfully check in with everyone in your ENM, your relationship mustn’t face many difficulties.

Extinguish flames of jealousy or misunderstandings with communication. Stay in touch with every partner to ensure your arrangement doesn’t hurt anybody.

5. Enjoy together

ENM isn’t for only one side’s satisfaction. Though, don’t force a monogamist to actively participate in an ENM, but ensure that both sides are happy with the arrangement.

If anybody is dissatisfied or unhappy, that destroys the entire point of ENM.

The world of tips and strategies doesn’t end here, read these…


ENM relationship Books

So many kinds of ENM relationships with possible difficulties and unique situations, perhaps you need more than this think-piece… After all, your relationships are unique.

Also, introduce your partner to ENM with some of these wonderful books…

1. The Ethical Slut (Dossie Easton)

Society names anybody who sleeps with multiple partners slut… they don’t seem to change. But this book will change your life about “sluthood” and show you new possibilities to succeed in ENM.

2. Opening Up (Tristan Taormino)

This book deals with the honest real-life challenges and benefits of ENM, lots of tips to deal with jealousy, making your ENM work, boundary negotiation, parenting, and so on.

3. Building Open Relationships (Liz Powell)

It might refer to open relationships but this book is an all-rounder guide for any kind of ENM relationship present to date. It will remove any misconceptions or doubts about ENM and invite you to a new world.

4. Polysecure (Jessica Fern)

The author shows how attachment and trauma can impact your relationship. She provides you with different strategies to cope in your ENM relationship and form secure bonds with your partners.

5. Mating in Captivity (Esther Perel)

The author describes how to deal with domestic conflicts and anxiety when seeking multiple relationships and how to lead a harmonious life with ENM.

You’ll grab the books later, but for now, I’ll try to reveal some more secrets about ENM…


FAQs about ENM relationships

A new kind of relationship implies new challenges and doubts. You’re new to this world, and there’s nothing to feel shy about. Increase your knowledge about ENM relationships with these…

1. How common is ENM?

According to 2016 Google trends, a web search on ENM drastically increased through the last few decades.

Currently, many researchers study ENM, but how many people practice ENM is still unknown… mostly because of social stigma against ENM.

Also, the research emphasizes more on hierarchical poly relationships than ENM as a whole.

Australian research (2014) stated that 1/100 hetero couples followed ENM.
Two American studies found that 4to 5/100 respondents followed the ENM lifestyle.

A 2016 American research found 21/100 single respondents engaged in ENM at some point in their life.

Many people follow the ENM lifestyle despite age, gender, race, education, income, nationality, political or spiritual beliefs.

2. Does consensual non-monogamy work for everyone?

In successful ENM or CNM, people have a great comprehension of boundaries, communication skills, and overflowing empathy. This is a necessity to succeed in ENMs.

If you’re bad at any of these, it doesn’t imply you can’t have an ENM. Rather,  improve these skills to enjoy a fruitful ENM relationship.

ENM can suit you if you can verbally and honestly ask for what you desire and don’t.

More people in the relationship don’t suggest you’ll receive less love. Instead, your partner might love you more for understanding them.

However, CNM isn’t for everybody out there, and that’s normal. If your partner disrespects you and uses CNM as a shield, don’t stay in the relationship.

3. What does ENM signify in a relationship?

Many people think the ENM lifestyle symbolizes disharmony or dissatisfaction in the original relationship, but that’s false.

However, the ENM community leads to more satisfaction in all aspects of their relationship.

Some say ENM is to fulfill unmet desires, but the polyamorous community states that they never had such intentions. They find all relationships fulfilling in different ways.

4. What is the law doing for ENM?

Though people don’t discuss much, ENM is slowly gaining legal recognition.

– In 2020, the city council of Somerville (Massachusetts) voted for polyamorous domestic relationship recognition. Recently Cambridge also showed similar results.

– In Newfoundland (2018), two males and a female gained legal parenthood of their child.

– In Colombia (2017), three men got legally married.

These examples show that the law might be slow, but they’re accepting ENM.

5. Is child-rearing possible in ENM?

In ENM, depending on the bonding between the child and the other partners of the parents, they might receive more love and attention than monogamous parents.

However, people break up both in monogamy and ENM. During such trying times, children are hurt equally.

With more relationships and bonding between the child and different partners… the chances of breakups leading to the child’s hurting increase.

But in the end, child upbringing is possible in ENM.

ENM Relationships Statistics

ENM Relationships Statistics
ENM Relationships Statistics (Sources – CSIRO Publishing, APA PsycNet, Deepblue)

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

ENM relationships are wonderful yet different, so always step forward cautiously… you don’t want to hurt your precious ones, right?

Though you might be a perfect fit for an ENM relationship, the other person might not. Just as they mustn’t judge you for your choices, don’t judge their choice or force ENM on them.

Remember, ENM follows the words of God, respect and love everyone, don’t hurt anyone. Treat the world as you treat yourself. 

If anyone told you, God doesn’t support your choices or you’re a sinner, ask them to check Matthew (22:39) and Matthew (7:12)… don’t let them impact your mental health.

You’re unique, and you have all the right to write your story yourself.

Are you interested to know more about ‘Biromantic’ then click here?

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