24th September 2023

EMN Relationships: Ethical Non-Monogamy and Polyamory Explained

EMN Relationships: Ethical Non-Monogamy and Polyamory Explained

There is a specific type of relationship where you won’t be limited to having one romantic partner. For example, people in non-monogamous relationships can have sexual relationships next to their primary partner. For some people, it’s an ideal relationship, and for others seems like secondary partners are the worst lifestyle choice ever. Read about non-monogamous relationships, ethical non-monogamy, and polyamorous relationships.

When to engage in nonmonogamous relationships?

Sometimes, your partner can explain that they are unhappy with their current relationship and wish to have ethical non-monogamous relationships with other people. Some partners are in such a committed relationship claim that they are comfortable with these types of relationships.

It’s possible that you embarked on your first serious relationship at a young age. Still, despite your best efforts to keep things as they are, you’ve realized that there are other people with whom you may have greater sexual and romantic experiences.

Ethical connections that do not involve monogamy can go either way, just like monogamous relationships can have both positive and negative aspects. The desires of both parties are the only things that are considered.

What Does ENM Stand For?

ENM stands for ethical non-monogamous relationships. The term “ethical non-monogamy” describes the pattern of having several romantic connections or romantic relationships with persons who are all comfortable with and accepting of this arrangement (ENM). Officially, ENM is just another form of relationship. However, it can be a healthy relationship type if you make it work with your partner.

The societal pressure of having numerous partners or multiple sexual connections.

ENM is not necessarily a bad thing. Due to societal expectations, this term for couples often makes people uncomfortable. Non-monogamous folks experience feelings of jealousy, especially in case of a lack of communication skills and realistic expectations. However, polyamorous couples claim that their sexual experiences with other sexual connections have helped them create more meaningful attachments to their partners.

ENM versus Cheating

a couple talking to each other

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Isn’t it just another way of expressing cheating?” But the answer is no. All forms of ethical non-monogamy require the consent of both parties (consensual non-monogamy) and need your primary relationship’s current partner’s consent to broaden your sex life with additional connections. Of course, these people can also be in non-monogamous relationships, but a single person qualifies.

The partner does not put up with infidelity. Since you and your partner have already agreed to engage in non-monogamy, engaging in ENM is not cheating. When engaging in ENM, your relationship structure is just different.

The term “ethical” describes a situation in which all parties involved agree, and the process is carried out in a mutually beneficial way.

Still, some people might enjoy flirting with others while in a relationship. Do you think flirting is cheating?

Contradictory Social Attitudes Towards Non-Monogamy

Non-monogamous pairings are rarely seen favorably.

Ethical non-monogamy is stereotyped as a path to greater promiscuity and distrust than monogamy.

However, studies show that dissatisfied, and hence unfaithful, monogamous couples are more likely to engage in dangerous sexual encounters. There is no basis for this incorrect categorization of non-monogamous people. This is primarily due to a lack of familiarity with the dynamics of non-monogamous relationships. Polyamorous folks often claim that their relationship dynamic has improved and their levels of relationship satisfaction have improved.

It’s worth noting that non-monogamy is often seen as a protest against the heteronormative and monogamous norms of traditional marriages. This could be because people automatically associate polygamy with one guy having many wives with non-monogamy. Feminist ideology, which holds that people of both sexes should be free to have relationships with whomever they like, isn’t opposed to polygamy.

Relationship anarchy is a niche of non-monogamous individuals who do not like to give a conventional definition to their relationship. Instead, relationship anarchists apply anarchist principles to emotional relationships, combining values like autonomy. Relationship anarchists respect your sexual partner and have an emotional connection, but your fundamental beliefs differ. In addition, relationship anarchy could lead to having multiple intimate partners.

It is also possible to have connections that are not hierarchical.

Some people who practice non-monogamy ethically do not have or want a primary partner. Instead, they may place more or less value on one another depending on who they’re with. Regarding non-hierarchical processes, Taylor notes that “connections are not always categorized based on the degree of relevance or priority.”

Someone may, for instance, have many “serious” friends but no “serious” romantic partners. Some people are capable of having simultaneous, undivided devotion to two loves. A triad is a relationship between three people who are romantically connected, and a quad is a connection between four people who are romantically involved. However, some people may have more than two couples dating each other.

To some extent, you probably do experience feelings of envy.

That “people who consent to enter ENM partnerships aren’t jealous” is a “common fallacy,” according to Taylor. Because of this, open communication and honesty are crucial.

Some people in ethically non-monogamous relationships may develop a higher tolerance for jealousy over time or learn more effective strategies to deal with it when it arises.

Wright thinks unlearning and self-reflection are the most extraordinary habits one can develop. There is a long adjustment process into an ENM frame of mind since “we are completely conditioned for monogamy, and even when we choose to practice otherwise, the impulses and sensations we experience are delayed.”

Connections that are still open

two women sitting on white bench

A couple in an open relationship, in contrast to a polyamorous person, often does not involve a commitment to anybody outside of the pair itself. Although romantic and emotional ties can be a component of this relationship, the couples’ ability to explore other types of connections is what gives this connection type its name.

Nonetheless, these are routinely carried out because the most direct, two-person interaction is vital.


Is ENM the same as an open relationship?

EMN is different from an open relationship. However, genuine relationships can be a part of ethical non-monogamy. This is because people in open relationships maintain mutual consent to having sexual or romantic relationships with people other than their partners.

Is ENM the same as poly?

False. Ethical non-monogamy encompasses many relationships, of which polyamory is just one. Therefore, having many intimate relationships at once is called polyamory.

How common is ENM?

It is estimated that 4 to 5% of the U.S. population has engaged in non-monogamy relationships. However, in their findings, Moors, Conley, Edelstein, and Chopik, W. J. (2015), those in ENM relationships are more likely to experience feelings of trust, honesty, closeness, and even friendship with their partners.

What is ENM on tinder?

The acronym ENM describes a relationship style that rejects monogamy out of moral conviction. Having romantic relationships with more than two people at once is considered ethically questionable (ENM). You might encounter this kind of statement in many different shapes or forms across various accounts.

Read here about what guys to avoid when dating!

How can I be ok with ENM?

The most important thing is to set clear boundaries. It would be best if you constantly communicated with your partner what you are comfortable with. Setting fair limits on oneself is an example of self-care. This tool makes it easy to create clear rules for how you wish to be handled. They teach people what kinds of conduct are acceptable and which are not. It considers our preferences, giving us the impression that our rights are being protected. Here are some other tips to be ok with ENM.

  1. Establish how much you want to share (about your intimate adventures).
  2. Respect your partner’s wishes.
  3. Keep your expectations realistic.
  4. Maintain open communication.
About Author

Chari Bong'osa

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: