It's Complicated

Written on 08/31/2021
Jayme Tucker

Last week we went over some terms on the asexual and aromantic spectrum, and this week we’re going to take a look at some relationship styles.

An awful lot of people grow up with the idea of a ‘one true love,’ with the idea of the partner, who becomes the spouse, who is your entire world. However, there are, in fact, a multitude of relationship styles that don’t fit a mould.

Polyamory has been getting a lot of attention over the last few years as a relationship style. Polyamory is a relationship style that is consensually non-monogamous, meaning that the people involved have multiple relationships with any number of people. It’s not specific to any orientation and can involve a vast amount of configurations. It can involve 2 or more people, and connections can be casual or as deeply intimate as marriage.

Polyamory is a term that falls under the ethical non-monogamy umbrella, which includes other styles like swinging (couples swapping partners), monogamish (primarily monogamous with some sexual freedom), and polyfidelity (wherein every person has an equitable role in the relationships and they are all committed to each other).

Ethical non-monogamy, in all its forms, is built on a system of trust, honesty, and communication. Every partner in a healthy relationship, monogamous or not, agrees on the boundaries of the relationship and the care put into decisions. Cheating can still happen in non-monogamous relationships and is usually the violation of expressed boundaries. Sleeping with someone with protection is a common boundary, and violating that constitutes cheating within the bounds of that relationship.

For those on the ace or aro spectrum or under the queer umbrella, queerplatonic relationships are gaining ground as a common connection. More than friends, but not partners, queerplatonic relationships can vary. Some people are lifelong roommates, while others have married their platonic partners and raised families. QPRs are deeply loyal and can come out of the sense of family that many queer youths may have lost. Found families of friends, roommates, and partners also fall under the queerplatonic umbrella.

Relationships have evolved to encompass much more than just one style, and from monogamy to open relationships, people are building foundations of trust and communication to build a lasting relationship.

Now that we’ve gone over communication and relationships, next week, we’ll be taking a look at a primer on consent!

Jayme D. Tucker is a journalist, writer, and performer settled on unceded Syilx territory. They're queer, tall, and tired of answering all the same token questions when they come out; So they're answering those questions and more for thehub.LGBT Kelowna. They've written for Daily Hive Calgary, won a scholarship for fiction writing with Eat North, and is the founder of The Queer Agenda, a non-profit social group focused on sober friendly, all-ages networking for LGBTQ2IA+ individuals (currently on COVID hiatus).

(Image Credit: Star Observer)