Polyamory & Non-Monogamy


What is polyamory?

Basically, polyis a Greek word meaning many, and amor is a Latin word meaning love: thus, polyamory means many loves. However, in practice, polyamory (sometimes referred to as poly) is often defined as consensual non-monogamy, which means open, honest, transparent agreement among partners to love more than one (for more info, see Resources). Polyamorous relationships can include people of all races, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations.

Other non-monogamous, lifestyle choices and relationship agreements like swinging, polygamy and open relationships may or may not overlap with polyamory.

Who is poly?

While it is a matter of controversy, some people believe that they are hard-wired or born polyamorous, and for or others, it is seen as a lifestyle choice. Polyamory may be a practice, a lifestyle, an identity or an orientation.

How do I know if I am poly?

If you find yourself wanting more than one relationship at a time, you might be poly. For some people, it is clear from their inner experiences and earliest memories that they want or are most fulfilled loving more than one person.  For others, the path to identifying as polyamorous is discovered over time as they become aware of their preferences and needs in relationships.

Whether we identify as monogamous or polyamorous, exploring an unconventional relationship, or are married, living together or living apart – we all long for respect, support and encouragement.  We recognize that as we endeavor to live in any relationship, we often need more support and help than our culture and extended social networks may provide.  We also know that when attempting to live in a non-mainstream relationship, we may face special difficulties and challenges that sometimes complicate or aggravate our personal lives.

LifeWorks clinicians are poly friendly, knowledgeable about open relationships, and have many years of experience working with diverse relationship constellations, issues and conflicts.  If you are seeking support to find more fulfillment and acceptance for yourself and/or your relationship, we can help.

Download the Polyamory Information brochure (PDF) here.

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