Ethical Non-Monogamy in Madrid and Spain

June 27, 2024

Let’s talk about ethical non-monogamy in Madrid.

(And elsewhere in Spain. Love knows no boundaries, after all…)

This is a guest post from Esme – not her real name – who’s living in Madrid, and recently decided to take the leap into non-monogamous relationships. You can find more from Esme at her blog, Abundance in Love. (Links below.)

ethical non monogamy in madrid and spain

So, without further ado, here’s a bit about Esme’s journey…

What I’ve learned from Ethical Non-Monogamy so far

Five months ago, my boyfriend and I intentionally decided to become an ethically non-monogamous couple, and what a journey it has been so far!

So many questions about love and relationships have surfaced, things I’d never thought about when I believed that monogamy was the only way.

But, before I get to the things I’m learning, let’s talk about what ethical non-monogamy (ENM) is.

All the rage in places like New York, ENM is a relatively small scene for now in Madrid, Spain.

Ethical non-monogamy is a conscious and intentional decision between all parties involved to explore and hold more than one connection at a time. The connections can be emotional, mental, or sexual, or a mix of them.

This is vague for a reason – there is no one-size-fits-all in ENM. Swingers, triads, open relationships, etc. Ethical non-monogamy is an umbrella term for any type of relationship that is not monogamous. Each relationship is unique to the persons involved.

Just two months ago, I had my first date outside of my relationship with my boyfriend, who is currently in New York. It was one of the best dates I’ve had, short of those with my boyfriend (who we can call R).

As the date was ending, I became nervous about the potential first kiss. Would I feel like I was cheating on R? Would I be able to be fully present with my date, J? How would this impact my feelings towards R?

This is when I learned:

Lesson #1: There’s no need to limit love.

The first big lesson I’ve learned from ethical non-monogamy: there is enough space to hold feelings and care for more than one romantic partner at a time.

Who decided love had to have a limit?

We don’t limit love to one family member or one friend. Why do we limit it to one romantic partner?

My feelings for R aren’t less because of my growing feelings for J. These two men bring different and yet equally fulfilling things to my life.

It gets better.

Lesson #2 – Multiple relationships can help deepen one another.

As I grow intimate with both men, I find that my appreciation for each of them grows as well.

I appreciate R for his groundedness, reflection, and the deep understanding we have of one another.

I appreciate J for his light-heartedness, clarity, and wit.

That’s not to say that one is lacking in either of those qualities. Rather, seeing how they unfold in two unique individuals, in two distinct relationships, helps me to appreciate each of them even more. It also helps me approach each relationship in a new way, with a fresh and bright perspective.

The biggest lesson of all, though?

Lesson # 3 – There is no one right way to be in a romantic relationship.

Whether it’s traditional monogamy, monogamous but living apart, or any of the many types of non-monogamy, I’m learning that as long as there is joy, love, care, honesty and trust, then you’re doing it “right”.

After all, the most important thing is that any relationship brings more light and joy into your life.

If you’re interested in connecting with people who are exploring non-traditional and non-monogamous relationships in Spain, check out the following on IG: @hablamosdepoliamor, @poliamormadrid and @poliactivismo

(Those organizations hold events where you can find others interested in living the ENM lifestyle.)

To read more about my personal journey in ENM, head over to Abundance in Love.

Yours,

Esme.

P.S. Note from Daniel (AKA Mr Chorizo): I have some thoughts of my own here, but I’ll save them for another article. For now, check out our other articles about sex, love and dating – which always tend to be popular, for some reason. For example, take a look at Sex in Spain, or Dating Spanish Girls, or even Dating British Men (that’s another guest post). Enjoy!

P.P.S. If you’re new in town and learning the language (in bed or elsewhere) feel free to check out my post on Spanish Relationship Vocabulary. That may help you with the inevitable “What are we?” conversation.

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