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As do monogamous relationships, non-monogamous relationships require mutual trust and respect, while cheating undermines trust, respect and consent. On the contrary, non-monogamy can be just as challenging as monogamy is, if not more so at times, as it introduces challenges into relationships that monogamous folks don’t have to grapple with quite as much. Time Management For one thing, it isn’t as though non-monogamous people are suddenly granted more hours in a day, more days in the week, etc.

To wit, cheating may fit the criteria of non-monogamy to the extent that there are more than two. We’re managing jobs, friends, family, pets and even kids just like the rest of the world. Right away that necessitates a lot more planning than monogamous folk have to worry about.

Trust that a casual tryst will not threaten your love.

Trust that a new partner is truly an addition and not a replacement.

But scheduling is not even the most intense challenge that people who chose to practice non-monogamy find themselves faced with.

The biggest challenge non-monogamous folks face is rather monstrous, in fact. Jealousy Some may think that if you choose to be non-monogamous, it must mean you don’t get jealous.

That, however, is like saying that stealing is a type of trade.

While cheating does indeed exist and the people who cheat may declare themselves non- monogamous, it is not a relationship style in and of itself, but instead a clear breach of monogamy and/or non-monogamy depending on what style is being practiced by the parties involved and what agreements have been put in place.

It may feel like a more natural state of being, but nevertheless, as with all interpersonal relationships, hard work is not only expected but required. Example: I dated a man who was monogamous by nature, and was so with me, but was comfortable with my having a girlfriend in addition to our relationship, even though my relationship with her did not involve him [read: no threesomes.] On the other hand, perhaps the parties involved will form a compromise that looks more like one partner converting over to the other’s way of being.

In other words, when my partner is out on a date and I am at home with the cat, rather than stomping around in a jealous rage or torturing myself with what-if-he-leaves-me-for-her thoughts, I would aim to acknowledge my jealous pang as a normal feeling, but remind myself that my partner loves me, that they aren’t leaving, and to be happy that they’re enjoying themselves tonight and to enjoy my alone time with the cat. In comparison with monogamy, in fact, it forces a kind of work on trust that monogamous relationships bypass via the terms of monogamy.

Many take the trust experienced in monogamous relationships to be the epitome of the thing, but from another perspective, the “trust” experienced in monogamy isn’t trust exactly, but rather dutifully carrying out the terms of a treaty.

Trust that even as a secondary or tertiary lover, you are still cared for and respected.

Not to knock the merits or challenges of monogamy, but where time management, jealousy and trust are concerned, non-monogamous folk have a bit of a fuller plate, if I must say so myself.

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