Hailey Gill, 26, realized they were polyamorous during their sophomore year of high school. They’ve been navigating being polyamorous in a monogamous world ever since.
But having more than one partner doesn’t mean Gill’s relationships are a free-for-all. Gill, who has a husband and another partner, said cheating could occur in their relationship if they started seeing someone else without telling their husband or boyfriend.
“Cheating is frowned upon in my relationships structure much like a monogamous relationship,” Gill said. “We don’t mind fooling around and loving others outside of the relationship as long as communication is maintained and due notice is given that we have an interest in someone new.”
Gill and their partners have clear boundaries around what cheating looks like in their relationship, but not all polyamorous people do.
Polyamory can take many different forms, from triads, where three people all date each other monogamously, to entire webs of people dating each other openly and without rigid boundaries.
This makes the definition of cheating different depending on the relationship, similarly to how the definition can vary in monogamous relationships.
Like Gill, some people have firm boundaries on communication, while others opt for a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to seeing others.