The way we date has changed with the beginning and end of each era. It’s 2020, and increasingly, people are starting to embrace the non-traditional dating lifestyle. These days people don’t like putting a label on a lot of things, including their relationship with others.

If you look around your area now you would notice that a lot of people that are sleeping with each other are not actually in a relationship with those people they’re sleeping with.

To explain what a non-traditional relationship is, we have to explain what traditional relationship is. A traditional relationship is one where the man does the courting, pays for the meals, and where only two people, a male, and a female are in a relationship. Non-traditional relationships are anything but that.

Here are some of the non-traditional relationships people are in:


Confusing these two types of non-traditional relationships is easy to do because they sound similar. Though both terms describe multiple partner relationships, they are both quite different. Polyamory can be described as consensual monogamy where intimate relationships which can be sexual or romantic or both is allowed amongst multiple people. Polygamy, on the other hand, is where a person marries multiple people, usually of the opposite gender. The gender of the parties in the relationship is the biggest difference between polygamy and polyamory. Anyone of any gender can have multiple partners in polyamory, notwithstanding their gender. In polygamy, only one person marries multiple spouses of a different gender. Polygyny and polyandry are two forms of polygamy. In polyandry, one woman marries multiple men (this is a rare social form), and in polygyny, one man marries multiple women (this is a more common social form).

In history, unless a woman and either a prostitute,  rich or eccentric, only men had multiple women. In some religions, like Islam and Mormon, men are allowed to have multiple wives.

While polygamy has been around since marriage was created, polyamory is a somewhat new concept. It began as an advocated cure for capital oppression, men’s tyrannical rule over women, and everything in between; then hippies, disco dancers, and swingers adopted it, which began the free love sexual revolution of the 1960s.

Late-night booty call

This relationship is purely sexual and mostly between two people that don’t want to be seen in public together or between two people that are not interested in a serious relationship. Sometimes one person in the relationship has no idea that they are a booty call. Most times, the female partner is in denial about the status of her relationship with the other partner.

Ways to know if you’re just a booty call

  • If dates with your partner usually end up turning into just sex.
  • If texting your partner is the only way you can get hold of them.
  • If he always has excuses why he can’t spend time with you.
  • If you have not met any of his friends or family
  • If he isn’t interested in making it official
  • If he always leaves immediately after you have sex

Open Relationships

Two people who want to be together are said to be in an open relationship when they decide to date or/and have physical/sexual relationships with other people too. This is where two people in a relationship are not exclusive to each other. In other words, both partners are openly allowed to have other romantic or sexual partners. Most people who are in support of open relationships see it as a favorable situation that can lead to people in the relationship expressing themselves more. Others view it as something negative that should be frowned upon.

In open relationships, consenting partners determine the rules and parameters that apply in their relationship. Every relationship is different, and so only the consenting couple can decide what open relationship means to them and how they would like to go about it in their own unique way. The only similar thing in all open relationships is the fact that while these partners are free and allowed to enter into romantic or/and sexual relationships with other people, they would still be in a relationship with their partner.

In a book on open relationships, written by Tristan Taormino and titled opening up,  the author stated that to make it easier for couples to determine what is acceptable or not in their relationships, they need to set boundaries.

There are so many different forms of open relationships, and they are:

  • A married couple that agreed to date other people casually..
  • A married couple that agreed to be in serious relationships with others.
  • A  couple that agreed to casually date other people.
  • A committed couple that agreed to be in a serious relationship with others.
  • A committed or married couple that agreed to be having sexual relationships with others.

No strings attached

In a no strings attached relationship, you are not accountable to your partner in any way or form. Note the difference between it and open relationship, which involves and includes both partners agreeing to the arrangement and a certain level of accountability by both partners.


To people in a throuple, three is not a crowd. A throuple is when three people are in a romantic relationship as opposed to the traditional two people to one relationship.

A lot of people believe that you can love more than one person at once, and that is what throuple stands for. Why have one when you can have two people who you’re in love with and who love you back. A throuple is not about a threesome or even mere sex between three partners. It is deeper than that. It is where three partners are in a balanced, consensual, and committed relationship with the exclusion of anybody else. Throuple also falls under polyamory.

There is no formula to a throuple. Three people of any gender identity and any sexual orientation who choose to be together to the exclusion of everybody else are in a throuple.

The answer to the above-asked question is yes. There are so many different variations of non-traditional relationships, and it is hard to keep track of all of them. There is no indication whatsoever that non-traditional relationships are going anywhere.