Polygamy vs Polyamory

The terms polygamy and polyamory are commonly confused and sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably. However, they are practiced very differently and we'll compare polygamy vs polyamory in this article.

What Is Polygamy?

Polygamy is the practice of having multiple spouses.

Although it has been shown in a religious context on TV shows like Big Love and Sister Wives, most polygamists are not doing it for religious reasons. Rather, the reasons are deeply personal.

3 polygamous women and 1 man.

Its growing popularity is largely due to the belief that it encourages building more stable relationships and stronger families.

Many women also find it appealing that polygamous relationships lack the shallow nonsense that can so easily cloud traditional dating.

The first thing most people notice is that everyone has long-term intentions. No one is looking to hookup, lead you on, or play with your heart.

You date because it may lead to something more serious, which may lead to marriage and a lifelong deep partnership.

Polygamy is all about commitment and building a life together.

What Is Polyamory?

Polyamory means having multiple simultaneous relationships, usually without any meaningful commitment.

The rise of polyamory is mainly political and ideological. Prior to this shift, if someone just wanted multiple partners they called themselves swingers and went on about their lives. But, the polyamorous community has clear and distinct ideological drivers and is not simply a "because I want this" kind of thing.

To understand the ideology and politics at the root of polyamory, refer to https://www.reddit.com/r/polyamory/.

The word polyamory written on a wall.

Polyamory is also, generally speaking, non-committal and even anti-relationship in the traditional sense.

Polygamy, on the other hand, is all about relationships in the traditional sense. Records of it go back to our earliest understanding of historical events. Although generally practiced by more conservative people, it is not attached to a specific ideology.

Because of this difference, polyamory is a much more volatile issue due to its political and ideological connections and lack of coherent family units.

The Key Differences

The difference between polyamory and polygamy is commitment. That is what really separates the two.

While polyamory is essentially rebranded swinging or open relationships with emotional support, the basis of polygamy is the exact opposite.

Where having random "relationships" with one-time or regular partners is celebrated in the polyamorous community, polygamy is an entirely closed relationship. And that is kind of the point.

It also seems to attract very different people, both philosophically and politically.

Polygamists are more likely to be traditionally minded and want a more traditional dynamic, or at least a "marriage" and commitment.

In contrast, much of the poly community abhors any kind of obligation between partners or compromising your own desires for what's best for your partner, especially if you are happy doing that.

What you will find they do have in common is supporting the right to choose to be married to more than one person at a time.

In that regard, polygamists share an interest with the polyamory community and one that both should embrace.

How To Get Started With Polygamy

Join a polygamy dating site like ModernPolygamy.com to meet other people from all over the world. It's free to join and dedicated to helping people with an interest in polygamy connect.