Monogamish: The new relationship status you need to know

It’s monogamy, but not quite. Find out about the new alteration in the world’s most popular relationship structure.

When it comes to alternative relationship structures, there are a few terms you might already know: open relationships, swinging, polyamory, etc. While each of these relationship structures come with their own unique benefits, none of these labels are quite right for someone who wants to explore multiple partnerships, but still identifies as mostly monogamous. If this describes you, then you may resonate with being “monogamish.”

To break it down simply, partners who are in monogamish relationships have agreed to a mostly exclusive relationship, but with flexible boundaries that allow for connections outside the relationship occasionally.

These boundaries are important and are respected by both parties to keep trust in the relationship.

Ground rules for this status can include:

1) Sexual limit: Meaning that each person has a set number of explorations they can make outside of the main relationship. Some maybe once a month, some maybe once a quarter.

2) Emotional limit: This means catching feelings for any third-party player may be prohibited.

3) Friend limit: Basically rules outlining please do not sleep with close friends or family members.

Although they may sound similar to polyamory or open relationships, in monogamish relationships, participants are almost given a “hall pass,” meaning that under certain circumstances clearly communicated between parties, one or both partners can be free to sexually or emotionally “step out.”

A monogamish relationship can feel less restrictive than monogamy, but less relaxed than something like an open relationship, where there is a shared understanding that infidelity is an ongoing norm as opposed to a special circumstance. 

A monogamish relationship is not an excuse to cheat on your partner outside of the set boundaries, and in fact, there are many reasons why this relationship style may benefit a lot of people.

People with mismatched libidos may benefit, as will those who identify as asexual within the relationship if their partner doesn’t. Or, one or both may have a desire to explore different people or genders outside of their usual. All reasons are completely valid as long as both parties are consensual to the structure and follow the rules outlined by both sides.

So, how would you go about asking your partner to be monogamish.

For some, it’ll be a hard no as many people have very clear definitions of what they classify as cheating. However, for those more open-minded the situation still needs to be approached carefully and with respect.

The main reason to look at this structure is that your current partner isn’t addressing your needs, not because you have a random crush with someone at the gym and you want to get it out of your system. Coming to them honestly and explaining that “I believe I want to explore other genders sexually, but remain as our unit” as an example, is a way to not put your partner on the defensive.

Bear in mind before running headfirst into this conversation that you should never convince or persuade a partner to open a relationship if this makes them feel unsafe.

Monogamish relationships should aim to strengthen your bond, not diminish it.

However, there is enough space in this world for us to explore and be considerate of those we love.