Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin


  • Geri D. WeitzmanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_495


Non-Monogamy, Consensual Non-Monogamy, Open Relationships


The term polyamory means “many loves.” It is a relationship style in which partners offer one another the freedom to pursue multiple romantic connections, in addition to their own (Weitzman 2006). This differs from monogamy, in which partners practice romantic exclusivity. This also differs from infidelity, in which additional romantic connections are secretly pursued.


Polyamory can be practiced in numerous ways. It often begins with a couple who opens up their relationship to take other lovers, who in turn often have existing relationships of their own. The original couples often share typical relationship trappings such as cohabitation, common property, and child raising, whereas the dates with lovers are often more occasional and less centered around home and family. As time passes, these distinctions can blur. Dating partners often become more involved in one another’s lives (Veaux and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Los AltosUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mudita Rastogi
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Argosy UniversitySchaumburgUSA