Cheating vs. Polyamory: Merged Threads, General Discussion

Suppose a previously-monogamous couple opens up their relationship, but as the years go by, neither person feels inclined to start any new relationships (nor have sex with any third party). If this continues to be the case until both people pass away, then do we call that monogamy or polyamory? (I'm not sure what the right answer is.)

I think that's an irrelevant mental exercise focused on how best to categorize relationships which require no categorizing.

In an *ideal* open relationship, cheating wouldn't occur, for the reasons you cite.... I don't think their differences are as clear-cut as that.

"Cheating" is a function of someone acting against an agreed upon rule, whether the rule was explicit or assumed. If these boards have a story to tell there are AMPLE opportunities to cheat in a poly relationship, possibly even more opportunities than in a monogamous relationship.

Granted, that's not a form of relating I will be associated with, because my goal is "less rules" not "more partners". As always, any perspective about polyamory is either confirmed or denied by *which* polyamory you are talking about.
I think mono and poly relationships are funtamentally different, not the same with a different number of partners.

In an open relationship cheating is less likely to occur simply because there is no reason to cheat against your main partner. You can be sincere with them without fear. That's unless you start making norms about stuff being off limits, something I'm against if it's not for health concerns.

Except people do cheat in poly relationship.

They hide a partner because they think their other partner(s) wouldn't like the new one.
They lie about having sex because they think their partner(s) would think it's too soon (or they know it's too soon but do it any way and then lie about it)
They enjoy the thrill of a secret relationship.
They date people who are cheating and don't want anyone to know.

And that's just off the top of my head. I've certainly heard from people who did all of the above and a lot of other things. All of them definitely cheating, all of them in poly relationships.

About the couple who opens up but never practices... Polyamorous in spirit, de facto monogamous, but it really doesn't matter as long as they were both happy about the whole thing.