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More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory

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Can you love more than one person? Have multiple romantic partners, without jealousy or cheating? Absolutely! Polyamorous people have been paving the way, through trial and painful error. Now the new book More Than Two can help you find your own way. With completely new material and a fresh approach, Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert wrote More Than Two to expand on and update the themes and ideas in the wildly popular polyamory website morethantwo.com.

From partners, authors and practicing polyamorists Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert comes the long-awaited, wide-ranging resource exploring the often-complex world of living polyamorously.

Highlighting the nuances (no, this isn’t swinging), the relationship options (do you suit a V, an N, an open network?), the myths (don’t count on wild orgies and endless sex—but don’t rule them out, either!) and the expectations (communication, transparency and trust are paramount), the authors share not only their hard-won philosophies about polyamory, but also their hurts and embarrassments.

More Than Two is entirely without judgment and peppered with a good dose of humor. Franklin and Eve underscore the importance of engaging in ethical polyamory, while gently guiding readers through the thorny issues of jealousy and insecurity.

And no, they’re not trying to convert you: they know that polyamory isn’t for everyone. Franklin and Eve simply provide those who might be embarking on this lifestyle, or those who have already begun, with a toolkit to help them make informed decisions and set them on a path to enjoying multiple happy, strong, enriching relationships.

More Than Two is the book the polyamory community has been waiting for. And who knows? It may just be the book you didn’t even know you were waiting for.

480 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 2014

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Franklin Veaux

13 books144 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 432 reviews
Profile Image for Quinn Daley.
45 reviews10 followers
August 8, 2014
My Kindle tells me I've made 141 notes and highlights in this book. That's how much valuable advice and anecdote More Than Two contains.

This isn't a "poly is awesome, la la la" book like most of the less scary ones out there. This is a book about how to do poly well, and how to avoid hurting people unnecessarily.

Poly people are on their own when it comes to good advice. Most of our friends don't know any better than us how to live our relationships well, and we can forget about novels, TV series, romantic comedies that dispel wisdom about how not to fuck up someone else's life when you have more than one partner.

Like the authors I'm sad to say I've made several of these mistakes on a number of occasions, especially around the whole "couple privilege" thing. And this is why it's so great there's now the first book on the road to teaching poly people better life lessons.

Let this be the benchmark from which poly books are rated!
Profile Image for Rose.
438 reviews
August 2, 2019
Edit 8/1/2019: Anyone who wants to read this book should be made aware that one of the authors has been called out for harm to various of his exes, including his co-author, and that it should be read with a mindful and critical eye. Many folks have said it better than I can and I want to leave up my old review for record's sake, but please visit this website (https://polyamory-metoo.com/) to learn more.

This is it. This is now the book that I will suggest to just about anybody that wants to learn more about polyamory and conducting ethical nonmonogamous relationships.

The authors start from a place of consent and ethics and build all of the knowledge in the book from there, working from the axioms "The people in a relationship are more important than the relationship," and "Don't treat people as things."

Even for those experienced in polyamory, this book will challenge a lot of assumptions and habits that we have in the ways we think about and experience relationships. Fortunately, it does so in a gentle and non-judgmental way for the most part, and seeks to educate about and encourage relationships based in love and courage, rather than being caustic twoard poly folk making decisions and restrictions that may be based in fear.

I think this book is a must-read for anyone who is involved in or curious about polyamory. The ideas are laid out fairly clearly and concisely for the most part, and lots of important ground is covered, including information about safer sex and the stigma and fear associated with STIs.

I can't say enough good about this book. I haven't been this impressed with a work in quite a while.
Profile Image for Kaila.
807 reviews99 followers
November 15, 2017
Take these stars with a big grain of salt.

This book is the new gospel for polyamory. You can’t go two steps in a polyamory circle without someone mentioning it, swearing by it, living it. Every time I would sit down to read a chapter of this book, my mind went wild, and I would start making connections and going “ooooh!” I started keeping a processing journal next to the book, because I would suddenly be seized by an idea that I had never realized is absolutely me and how I am in relationships and I had to write it down so I wouldn’t forget it. Then I would run down this rabbit hole path and ended up places like, “I don’t think I’m worthy,” “I connect my worthiness to my sexiness,” “I don’t trust a new person in my partner’s life because I believe I’m no longer good enough – insecurity.”

This is heavy stuff, man. It felt good to expose it.


I’m still new to polyamory. It’s been two years, and that is really no time at all to uncover buried assumptions and dreams I didn’t even know I had. I made every polyamory mistake in the book in those two years. Just like we made silly mistakes with our high school or college relationships, but it was ok to make them at that time because that’s kind of what everyone expects. Everyone is learning how to be a person in the world at that age. There is no road map for polyamory, no sitcom to grow up watching, modeling ourselves after it.

I hope you’re ready to feel ashamed about all those mistakes you made, thinking you knew how to polyamory when you really didn’t, because Franklin Veaux is out to uncover every single one of them, point at them, and tell you how wrong you were. There was no sense of HOPE or ACCEPTANCE from this book. It was full of, “That’s a bad thing, don’t do that.” Quite literally, in some cases. Alright, it’s bad, but how about instead of making me feel like a shitty human and even shittier at polyamory, maybe we talk about options and how sometimes people make mistakes? I have never felt so guilty and ashamed while reading a relationship/self-help book.

This is the last paragraph, which is a good summation of the whole book:

Be flexible. Be compassionate. Rules can never cure insecurity. Integrity matters. Never try to script what your relationships will look like. Love is abundant. Compatibility matters. You cannot sacrifice your happiness for that of another. Own your own shit. Admit when you fuck up. Forgive when others fuck up. Don’t try to find people to stuff into the empty spaces in your life; instead make spaces for the people in your life. If you need a relationship to complete you, get a dog. It is almost impossible to be loving or compassionate when all you feel is fear of loss. Trust that your partners want to be with you, and that if given the freedom to do anything they please, they will choose to cherish and support you. Most relationship problems can be avoided by good partner selection. Nobody can give you security or self-esteem; you have to build that yourself.

“If you need a relationship to complete you, get a dog.” SERIOUSLY? Excuse me for trying to find someone to love and cherish me. I wish I could put it into better words how this book rubbed me in all the wrong ways. When someone says this is their polyamory bible, I stare at them, aghast. It’s not really about polyamorous relationships - it’s about doing polyamory the way Franklin Veaux does polyamory. If you stray, you are wrong. If you made a mistake, you are bad and you should feel bad.

I am glad it got my synapses firing and that I could come to realizations while reading it, but I feel awful for all the people taking this as the gospel truth. This is a great starting point and should not be ignored (especially with how many people love it), but I recommend doing research and making decisions about your loves and relationships with more sources than just this.

Edited to change all references to "polyamory" and not the truncated form. Learn more here.
Profile Image for Louisa Leontiades.
Author 6 books118 followers
May 8, 2020
As the unchartered map of open relationships takes another bound forward in its clarity with the new book More Than Two by Franklin Veaux & Eve Rickert, many worthy ideas and concepts are brought to the fore.

Some like consent and communication are the cornerstones to polyamory as we know it; they've been hashed, cartoonified, sliced and diced from every angle and in every forum. But More Than two explores other ideas in depth for the first time. Like so many reviewers, who have been invested in supporting this book to fruition, I intended to pay homage to it with a thorough evaluation, and yet with so many themes covered it's difficult to write one post to examine them all.

Take one on More than Two: Romantic Friendship in the Modern Era

I don't know Eve and her partner, Peter. But I do know how courageous it is to openly discuss your sex life in the public eye, knowing how harshly many might judge. And in a society where a romantic relationship, a loving relationship is equated with a sexual relationship, discussing your non-existent sex life with a romantic partner is even braver because it is tantamount to an admission of failure in our monogamy blinkered eyes.

But here's the difference. Eve and Peter are to all intents and purposes lovers, without the sex. It's not so-called 'friendship' (although I in no way denigrate this type of relationship), it's love. And though they struggled with it at first, they are now and have been for a long time, wholly appreciative of what they have together. They do not call it friendship, because indeed, it is not. It is a romantic relationship, without the sex.

In my open relationship work I talk to many individuals who identify as part of what you might call (for want of a better word), sub-cultures. Asexuals, demisexuals, transgender, transexuals, monogamish, kinky ~ well the list of flavours and orientations is endless. For many sex is a sticky, or rather non-sticky (if you'll pardon the pun) issue... and it always boils down to two common denominators. Incompatible drive. Incompatible preference.

Predominantly though (being heterosexual-ish myself), my work is with couples on the verge of opening their relationship. I've heard it time and again. The romance is dead. What they mean by that is that the sex has gone. Lessened, or just totally disappeared. But sex, I tell them, is not romance. Sex is only a small part of physical intimacy.
'But wouldn't you want to be with her even if you had no hope of sex?' I ask.

'What would be the point?' They reply.

'Because you still love her. In fact as far as I can tell you are still IN love with her.'

'It'll fade.' They say. 'If the sex doesn't come sooner or later. Sex is necessary for a long-term loving relationship.'

'So love can't be maintained without sex? What about asexuals? Are you saying that there's a significant proportion of the population who simply never fall in love because they aren't sexually attracted to anyone?'

I've fallen in love many times in my life. Love is, for me, abundant. But when I fell in love with Lucy*, I wasn't prepared for it. I was in love with her. I was not sexually attracted to her. Through agonizing weeks I wondered whether I was a lesbian or bisexual. I was infatuated, I wanted to kiss her, hold her and be with her. I glowed when I was in her presence. We gazed in each others eyes. Held hands over wine. But the sexual attraction? It just wasn't there.

It never occured to me that I could be in love without wanting sex. There wasn't a word for it...until as so many times before, wikipedia came to my rescue.
The term romantic friendship refers to a very close but non-sexual relationship between friends, often involving a degree of physical closeness beyond that which is common in the contemporary Western societies, and may include for example holding hands, hugging, kissing, and sharing a bed.

During the renaissance romantic friendship between men was exalted almost above love between and man and a woman. There have been examples of both female and male romantic friendship cited in the bible, in Shakespeare and vVctorian times. Feminist authors have used historical examples to demonstrate that romantic frienship can be mutually exclusive to homosexuality. In fact until the latter half of the 20th century romantic friendship was commonplace and lauded. Call it what you will, non-sexual romance or romantic friendship. They are different flavours of the same thing and once more proof that love does not always equal sex and sex, does not always equal love (hurrah).

Chaste romance has been documented throughout history to exist between individuals of the same sex. But perhaps it is only clearly now ~ in this groundbreaking piece of literature ~ that Eve and Franklin demonstrate the existence of love without sex between a man and a woman. It exists. Yes it's a love without sex.

And thanks to More than Two, it can now be a love without shame.

Review republished from author's own Book Reviews at Louisa Leontiades
Profile Image for Carrie.
24 reviews1 follower
December 29, 2016
I should probably know better than to read another intro to polyamory book, much of the book comprises of examples of "horrible things you should never ever do" that seemed fairly obvious to me. However, the treatment of ethics is very sound in this book and gave me some intellectual clarity on what "feels right" to me.

I also liked how they started with a foundation of personal work. I wish I had started with that when I began poly, it would have helped a lot. However, the practical side of actually doing the work is in other books. The ones I recognize are very good so I'm excited to look into some of the ones I don't know.

There's something a little off for me in the examples. The best way I can describe it is the set of needs the authors try to meet with their poly is a different set of needs than what I try to meet with my poly, which makes my poly look different than the poly they present in the book. So I feel a little unrepresented, but since much of the advice is from anecdotal evidence, it make sense that the kinds of poly you find in different areas will appear a bit different.

In summary, this is a good intro to poly book, especially for couples opening up, but I would also recommend Opening Up by Tristan Taormino to offer more breadth
of non-monogamy options.
Profile Image for Noel.
Author 2 books10 followers
September 2, 2014
“Polyamory is not the next wave in human evolution. Nor is is more enlightened, more spiritual, more progressive or more advanced than monogamy. Polyamorous people are not less jealous, more compassionate or better at communicating than monogamists.” – More Than Two

I’ve spent the last few weeks reading More Than Two by Eve Rickert and Franklin Veaux, and then making less than helpful cryptic comments about the book.

I hope that my faithful Facebook followers have gathered from my incredibly subtle comments that I approve of the book. Yes, I do like More Than Two. While the body of polyamory literature tends to be good, I think the message and presentation of More Than Two is my favorite.


Well, that’s exactly it. The authors take the time to explain the whys and wherefores of polyamory very well. They’re grounded in the real and the proveable. They explain the principles behind their thoughts. Then they do a great thing. At the end of each chapter are several questions to ask yourself and think about. I love this part the best. Sure, sure, you can read the book and get a great deal out of it without these questions, but if you really want to examine yourself, your relationships and truly understand what you’re about and what you want in relationships, this is an amazing guide to do so.

This book explains what polyamory is, helps you think about whether or not polyamory is for you, breaks down the skills necessary for a poly relationship (and in reality, they’re pretty similar to the skills required for any successful relationship), then discusses some of the problems encountered in polyamory, what to expect and gives some suggestions for coping.

Polyamory tends to value honesty, and I’m pleased to say that like any really great polyamory book, the authors don’t spare themselves. They talk about their screwups, what they learned from them and discuss their struggles as well as their triumphs.

And while I did read this book to support a friend, I also want to point out that More Than Two is on my re-read and annotate the heck out of list. I already have about twenty-odd notes and thoughts about the text that I’m still in the process of analyzing. Friends, this one makes you think. Any any book that encourages you to think clearly about emotionally charged subjects like romantic relationships can only be a positive.
Profile Image for Nathan "N.R." Gaddis.
1,342 reviews1,322 followers
April 25, 2019
If you're looking for some guidance for dealing with your crush on that cute barista, this book is probably overkill.

But you might note that even Mother Monster's Manifesto, which protects "No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life", no mention of poly. And though you probably know someone who is...
Profile Image for N.
190 reviews24 followers
September 7, 2016
A handbook on Mindfulness containing a guide to polyamory, or a guide to polyamory presented as a Mindfulness handbook.

I've been a fan of the website www.morethantwo.com for years, and I loved reading more from the site's author and his partner here in such a clear, friendly way. This book contains wonderful insights about relationships, confidence, overcoming anxiety, improving one's world view and communicating healthily. It's helpful for anyone, whether or not they're interested in polyamory.

I can't say I agree with every single word written here — I especially disliked the authors labelling some common ways of speaking as manipulative. The authors are so in love with direct, formulaic communication that they tend to see some other ways of speaking as harmful by default. (I feel that no single way of speaking is inherently harmful; it always depends on context and on the dynamics between people.) I also strongly disagree with some of their criticism of what they call "triangular" communication: the act of speaking to a third person about problems between you and someone else, when you don't want to talk to that someone else directly (yet) about what's going on. They seem to think that it's not okay to, for example, vent to a co-worker about another co-worker's views, or to hold a metamour equally responsible for decisions that they and your shared romantic partner make together, or to simply ask people online for relationship advice to get a fresh perspective. To me, these views are very restricting, and don't take into account individual circumstances and communication models, or the social grace that's occasionally needed when talking to someone directly just isn't the best option. That said, many of their views on communication are absolutely fantastic — the chapter on veto power in particular is a tour de force. I also really like the chapter on breakups, a topic which they treat with a lot of compassion.

The authors refer to hypothetical people in examples as "he" or "she" randomly, which I appreciate, but the book still has a strong bias towards the gender binary. Especially in bits about physical things, such as pregnancies and STI screenings, they default to describing bodies and relationships using very gendered language. (For example: when they talk about people getting pregnant, they explain that the primary partner often takes on the role of "the father", rather than use a phrase like "other parent".) Sometimes the exclusion is a sudden swerve: from using the neutral phrase "PIV sex" the authors then go on to explain that this is something "heterosexual people" do. It's odd to see that kind of normativity in the middle of the book which is, otherwise, exceptionally inclusive.

The little polyamory dictionary at the back is certainly very helpful, but the authors define some terms (such as "relationship anarchy") in ways I've never even heard before and which contradict definitions commonly used by polyamorous people. Other definitions given aren't very clear, or are written in such a way that they would confuse people who don't know the community. They also give some unusual, very personal definitions in the dictionary that they only explain further in the book's main text. It would have benefited the book's message if the authors had asked more people to proofread the glossary.

Overall, I highly appreciate this book for what it teaches, even if some bits need to be read critically — I especially like the fact that the authors encourage the reader to be critical of them. I hope that they continue to write guides like these, especially on the topic of personal growth.
July 10, 2021
Ok, so there is some amount of interesting (if dry and repetitive) ethical analysis in this, and if it just said it was a book about relationship anarchy up front that part would have been great, but it didn't. It said 'There are lots of good ways to do poly' and then systematically shamed literally every other type of relationship but RA. And not even RA with a good, liberatory, political grounding, just I DO WHAT I WAAAAANT, borderline abusive, jealousy chicken-type shit. The constant contorted self-contradiction, as well as the absurd one-sidedness of the "stories" and utter lack of any class, disability, race, etc analysis started to really get to me about a third of the way through, and whaddaya know, turns out the dude co-author has been accused of a whole bunch of fucked up behavior.
Profile Image for Alan.
1 review2 followers
August 24, 2014
Short version: This is exactly the poly book that's needed right now. With the concept of polyamory becoming widely known in the mainstream world, many new people are becoming intrigued by it who don't come from an alternative-culture context. The authors address exactly the array of blunders that people in this "second wave" are often making, and why.

Above all the book is practical, like it says in the subtitle. You can get inspiration and radical vision elsewhere; this is where to turn for what it takes to make multi-relationships work, especially if you're starting out as a pre-existing couple. There's much wisdom here for people in any kind of intimate relationship at all.
170 reviews
March 27, 2017
It was a slow read for me in the beginning until I found my way into the book. It provides a wealth of information and many good thought points that sometimes you can't understand that you've never considered before. I enjoyed a lot that the book focused on romantic relationships instead of on sex (though sex and sexual health get their chapters). All in all, a book that I'd definitely recommend for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of poly relationships and how to make them work.
August 25, 2022
I found this book helpful as a newbie but there are taints of the scandal around the co-author. In particular, you can tell from the stories he shares that his version of polyamory isn't as ethical as he would have us believe. It's a real shame, as the book is laid out well and could become a good reference guide. I still believe in their mantra around poly being about the people, not the framework of a lifestyle.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Michón Neal.
Author 28 books27 followers
July 6, 2019
I have one main point of contention: they state that a person who's suffered from abuse doesn't have a good sense of where their physical boundaries lie. They don't seem to be too familiar with people who fall into other categories like survivors, physically or mentally disabled, queer, people of color, and others but most of the information is more or less accurate, if brief.

This is a good starting book for regular people new to poly. It covers some basics. Though it won't help you with the day to day ins and outs or the particulars of each form of poly and non-monogamy it can help introduce you to common topics. It's couched in highly romantic language and asexuals, aromantics, kinky, people of color, and lgbtqi folks won't really get much detailed or relevant information.

The literature is still evolving and it's moving in the right direction. So if you're new to poly or romantic and poly it'll likely help you focus and start to work through the early shifts.
118 reviews10 followers
September 28, 2015
Long-winded, and in fact longer than it needs to be.

Also the most prescient analysis of ethics in relationships. Incredibly solid reasoning, profoundly compassionate, and just overall awesome. Everyone should read it - independently of their orientation or romantic inclinations. I simply cannot recommend this enough.

If you are looking for a softer, quicker introduction to polyamory, I'd go for Opening Up, but follow it up with this one.
18 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2016
kind of a crap book full of not that great, at time horribly mean advice. would not recommend. generally unwilling to accept responsibility towards others who have a different needs framework and framed heavily in "there isn't a right way to do poly, but this is the only way to do poly successfully."
1 review
September 2, 2014
The best book about polyamory I've read so far (and I have read quite a lot).

Living in polyamorous relationships for several years myself now, I really can't praise and recommend this book enough. It touches most of the topics I found important myself and reflects on them in a thoughtful, intelligent, ethical and humorous way.

Amongst other things the book talks about different polyamorous relationship types (hierarchical and non-hierarchical relationships, mono/poly-relationships, veto-power-agreements, "opening up" from a couple, ...), nurturing of relationships, communication strategies and pitfalls, how to deal with jealousy, the difference between rules, agreements and boundaries, self-empowerment in relationships, sexual health, the everyday sides of polyamory („Sex and Laundry", polyamorous relationships and being parents, coming out as polyamorous or not, ...), et cetera.

Based on the premise not to treat people as things, the authors examine which approaches to polyamory are most promising to be able to live (polyamorous) relationships in a way that is fulfilling for everyone involved. Unlike other books, "More Than Two" does not proclaim "the one true way" to polyamory, but empowers the readers to think and decide for themselves.

The authors use personal stories and the experiences of other people to illustrate the ways that can lead to happiness in polyamorous relationships or to the contrary. Instead of being judgmental, the authors assume that people are essentially good and that "bad behavior" in relationships is often the result of fear or ignorance, not malicious intent.

"More Than Two" is down-to-earth and non-esoteric, it's written intelligently, warmheartedly and humorously. It has everything, that I have missed in other books about polyamory and just speaks from my heart. I hope it will get translated into other languages soon and that plenty of people, who are interested in polyamory, will read it and enjoy it as much as I did.
Profile Image for Denise.
Author 1 book28 followers
June 3, 2018
Been a crazy three years while I’ve been reading this book. Mistakes have been made, growth has happened. If things were different in my life and I’d heard about poly sooner, Solo Poly fits my personality. But life requires adjustments. I’m married to a wonderful man and I have two awesome kids. That makes the navigation more tricky but books like this help tremendously. This book has been immensely helpful as a starting point in navigating polyamory. After reading it, I’d say I know a lot more about not knowing much.
Profile Image for Natasja.
87 reviews8 followers
January 1, 2019
Voluntary research has taken me to some wild places. Also, telling my boyfriend I'm reading a book on polyamory was very entertaining.

This was extremely educational, schooling me on some preconceived societal ideas and patterns about both monogamy and polygamy. The personal story examples of people in polyamorous relationships help with contextualizing and explicating the many forms of polyamory and the "good" and "bad" that comes with it.
Profile Image for Dominica.
Author 9 books38 followers
July 30, 2014
I think this a really important book, especially for anyone who is curious about polyamory, starting out/opening up their relationship, or for friends of polyamorous people wanting to understand what it's all about. I really liked the open approach Eve and Franklin took with this book, how honest they were about their past and current relationships, their trials and errors, so that hopefully readers who are new to polyamory can see how certain approaches might not work as well as others, and they can hopefully avoid those common pitfalls. This is the kind of book that I would have liked to have read years ago, when I read Opening Up by Tristan Taormino, and my husband and I started talking about polyamory and various styles of open relationships.

But having been polymorous for roughly 5 years hasn't made the book any less relevant to me. There were a lot of things I recognised from my relationship experiences, and brought back memories from other partners when things didn't work so well (for example, I was essentially vetoed by one of my partners' primary partner). It was a good refresher on communication, especially, as I've been struggling with that a lot more recently. I really liked and agreed with pretty much everything that was said about communication, consent, boundaries, and ethics, even if in practice it has sometimes been quite difficult for me to express my views. The only thing I felt was missing from my experiences is how to approach dealing with people who are in monogamous relationships who express interest in you, and see you as someone they could potentially cheat on their spouse with. That situation has cropped up for me far more than being approached by single or poly folks.

There was also a review I read that commented on how small the section was on "The Rest of the World." While I recognise that aspect isn't going to be a big focus on how to conduct ethical polyamorous relationships, I think I would like to see a book in the future that does focus more on dealing with the outside world as a polyamorous person. Especially in conservative places, and more helpful ways to debunk myths such as being in a polyamorous or open relationship means you're always open to more partners, or being seen as a threat to others in monogamous relationships. These topics were touched on, but I'd like to see them explored in more depth.

I guess the main part of the book I found hardest to judge/rate was any emphasis on being part of a poly community. I'm not someone who likes to join communities based on a certain life choice (relationship style, parenting, etc) or label I identify with (I'm bi, but I don't actively seek out LGBT communities), so I find it hard to think that might be beneficial for me. I do think it's important to find poly-friendly friends, though, who aren't likely to blame problems on polyamory itself. I have limited poly friends, but generally friends I have come out to have been poly-friendly, and even my siblings have been understanding.

Other parts I found valuable talked about being parents and poly, how to balance multiple partners and children (even though the authors don't have children themselves), and mentions of introverts, and having interests and activities outside of your relationship(s) to help cope with loneliness when your partner(s) are out with their other partner(s). I also liked the chapter on mono/poly relationships, not because of any direct experience (every guy I've dated/been with has either had another partner and/or been okay with me being married), but because I could see a lot in there that my husband had dealt with with one of his partners.

I also thought the advice on coming out to family and friends was really useful. Generally when I've used the good approaches they discussed, things have gone well for me. And though I'm actually not publicly out to everyone (surprise! if you're someone who knows me who didn't know I was poly and is reading this), I do hold an attitude that I'd prefer to be honest about it, and if anyone chooses to not like me because of it, then I'm better off without someone who doesn't accept me for who I am. It's one of the reasons I had become a little more vocal about the topic in Malaysia amongst my closest friends and even on stage just before I left. It was my topic of a storytelling event I spoke at, and though I didn't do as well as I'd have liked (I choked a bit because it was my first time talking about it in a public space), it was nice having a few people come talk to me afterwards about their experiences with polyamory/open relationships, which is similar to Franklin's anecdote about casually mentioning his various relationships in conversation with a stranger. For me, probably the hardest aspect about my poly relationships has been not having the freedom to disclose to anyone I wanted to about the nature of those relationships, because they themselves or someone important to them did not want me to. So I guess having that discussion with your partner(s) could have been explored in more depth in More Than Two.
Profile Image for Ray.
250 reviews
October 15, 2019
I started reading this book back in June and didn’t finish it until now. That’s not because I didn’t like. It wasn’t too long. Rather, I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t want it to end. From start to finish I was inundated with new information and relationship advice.
I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone in improving their communication skills for romantic relationships.

Yes, this book is about polyamory. Polyamory comes in many shapes and sizes but generally: “It's a form of romantic relationship where you have more than one romantic partner at the same time with everybody's knowledge and consent.” It means giving you or your partner the option to have other partners. They don’t necessarily have to be sexual partners, they can be strictly romantic, or anything in between. They don’t have to live together.

Below are a ton of quotes (some slightly contextualized) from the book. Not even all of the ones I noted but many of them.

My favorites:
The people in a relationship are more important than the relationship.
It is not ethical to hurt one person to protect another.
Try to leave people better than when you found them.
a lasting sense of security comes more from knowing a partner is free to go but chooses to stay than from attempting to obligate that partner to stay.
Don’t ask for respect, which is vague, spell out what your expectations are.
Passive communication also offers plausible deniability; if we state a desire for something indirectly, and we don't get it, it's easy to claim we didn't really want it.
Some poly people wear two wedding rings (one for each partner) to show their commitment


compersion - a feeling of joy at the happiness of a partner in a new relationship
new relationship energy (NRE) - the giddy, honeymoon phase of a newfound love
wibbles - minor twinges of jealousy
OSO - a person's "other significant other

“The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.” ~ NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON

vee - where one person has two partners who aren't romantically involved with each other
triad - where three are mutually involved
polyfidelitous - where the people agree not to pursue additional partners

commitment in polyamory doesn't mean commitment to sexual exclusivity. Instead, it means commitment to a romantic relationship

society has taught us to view commitment only through the lens of sexual exclusivity; this diminishes all the other important ways that we commit to one another

Our partners do not owe us a guarantee that they will never change, nor do we owe anyone such a guarantee

Happiness is a process, a side effect of doing other things.

it's perfectly possible to have more than one love of your life.

Loving more than one person at the same time is not an escape from intimacy; it is an enthusiastic embrace of intimacy

Some people go into poly to have more sex; some go into poly to have less sex.

If you disregard the needs and feelings of people you're sleeping with, you don't get to sleep with them anymore.

You may hear some poly people sighing about AFLE or AFOG: "another fucking learning experience" or "another fucking opportunity for growth.

No matter how much you may care for someone, no matter how much you may want to meet their needs, if sexual desire is not there, it's not

game changers happen; you may meet someone so amazing, so fantastic, that you are willing to rearrange parts of your life to create space for them

The danger here is seeing other people as need-fulfillment machines.

You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in.

To be a good person, you have to always want to be better than yourself right now

Learning to understand and express your needs, learning to take responsibility for your emotions...that's hard work.

You can come with baggage, but you're responsible for knowing what's in the suitcases.

Take care of yourself so you can take care of those around you

You'll sometimes hear poly people say things like "Don't give other people power to hurt you." But that ignores the very healthy impulse to seek feedback on our perceptions of the world.

the fear of losing it (a relationship) can become greater than the joy of having it.

we can feel entitled to have our partners experience new things with us first, and become hurt if a partner chooses to experience these things with someone else.

We function best when we're surrounded by people who care about us.

Who are my mirrors? Whom do I rely on to call me on my mistakes?

What's most fair is not necessarily an even division of resources, but rather a distribution that meets as many of the needs of all the people as possible.

If you don't enjoy what your partner does, you may say nothing to avoid making him feel bad. This tends to backfire in long-term relationships, because someone who doesn't know that his partner is unsatisfied will never improve, and an unsatisfying relationship is always under stress.

Life is better when you lead with your hopes, not your fears.

Directly asking for what you want creates vulnerability, and passive communication often comes from a desire to avoid this vulnerability.

Triangular communication - when two people are passing messages back and forth but between you. Don’t do it.

If you're afraid to say it, that means you need to say it.

nonviolent communication (NVC) involves separating observation from evaluation and judgment, and separating feelings and needs from strategies and actions.

NVC is taught as a four-step process: observation, feeling, need, request.
The request is usually a request for communication
use declarative statements rather than leading questions.
For example, say "I would like to go out tonight" rather than "Would you like to go out tonight?"
Asking for what we need, rather than what we think might be available, is kind to our partners, because it communicates what we want authentically—as long as we are ready to hear a no.
When you state your needs as they stand, and not with respect to what you believe other people want or have, your partners will find it easier to meet them.
When a partner has done the work of asking clearly for what she needs, take it seriously.
it can be even scarier to talk about why we want or need the things we want or need.
Feelings aren't fact. It's possible to feel threatened when there is no threat,
Take a deep breath from time to time and remind yourself that your lover is your partner, not the enemy.

Express what you want early and often.

develop the habit of letting your partners know where you're at emotionally, on an ongoing basis.

we can make it very expensive for people to be honest with us

Compassion, like communication, is one of those things that's most valuable when it's most difficult.

If I hear a hidden meaning in a statement or question, do I ask for clarification before acting on my assumptions?

Jealousy is the feeling we get when we drag tomorrow's rain cloud over today's sunshine.

When we transfer responsibility for our emotions to others, we yield control over our own lives.

Separate triggers from causes. The next step is harder. It involves disassembling the jealousy to find those places where you are afraid and insecure.

build your own hobbies and social circles, so you don't have to rely on your partner to provide for all your social needs.


All too often, our relationships do happen by default.

We find the "best" person we can (whatever "best" means) and then stick that person into the "relationship slot."

treasuring the things that make people who they are than about ranking people, is awesome, because it reminds us that people are not interchangeable.

understand that value in a relationship comes from who you are, not from what you do

Is sex the glue that holds our relationship together? If my partner has sex with someone else, do I think the relationship will come unglued?

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.

Rules tend to come from the idea that it's acceptable, or even desirable, for you to control someone else's behavior

Boundaries derive from the idea that the only person you really control is yourself

Love isn't supposed to hurt, and we should not and do not need to sacrifice our selves for good relationships

Because society so tightly conflates sex, relationships and life interconnection, this can be an easy mistake to make. (the mistake being the assumption that poly folks are only in it for the sex)

Our hormones are telling us we want to become one with our partners: share everything with them, love them forever.

Harriet Lerner's Dance of Intimacy (listed in the resources) is an excellent tool for anyone needing help with setting relationship boundaries.


Agreements also allow for renegotiation by any of the people they affect.


Leading with the need ("How can we help make sure I understand how I am valued by you?"), rather than the action, opens the door to finding ways to solve the problem without imposing rules.

Many people say, "I need rules in my relationship," but when they are asked why, it quickly becomes obvious that what they need is actually something else.

Many of us internalize the idea that the only way we can rely on people to behave with kindness, responsibility, respect and compassion is to create rigid codes compelling them to.

To understand relationships that are not rules-based, we need to go back to two of the themes we emphasize in this book: trust and boundaries.

The problem with rules, though, is we can never actually force our partners to abide by them.

It helps to think of agreements as mutable, organic things that will be revisited and modified as people grow and relationships change.

A good relationship is not something you have, it's something you do.

Intimacy is built by mutually consensual sharing, not by demands.

You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.

Watching a partner enter a wildly passionate, starry-eyed, intensely sexual new relationship can be quite uncomfortable.

Swapping one person for another in the hopes that the new person will meet the needs unfilled by the old really doesn't work.

A veto, for the purpose of this discussion, is a one-sided decision to halt a relationship between two other people.

Your partner is a person, and people can't be stolen. If some new shiny tries to "steal" him, he has to consent to being stolen. Veto or no veto, if he wants to stay with you, he will.

Another form of veto-by-another-name is what Eve likes to call "force of drama." This is a weapon you can use when you don't want your partner to do something


In the context of polyamory, an empowered relationship means that no one outside a relationship has the authority to place restrictions on that relationship.

Are there specific things I can ask my partners to do for me to help me feel loved and cared for?

Avoiding discomfort isn't really the same thing as creating happiness; real happiness is often on the other side of our comfort zone.

A game changer is a relationship that causes us to rethink all our relationships

It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you.

Sometimes opportunity knocks at the most inopportune times.

When people make distinctions between "love" and "being in love," what they describe as "being in love" is generally something like new relationship energy

consent to intimacy exists only right now, right here, in this moment.

A partner's other partner can easily trivialize a relationship that doesn't appear "committed" because it doesn't have the normal markers (such as moving in together) that society associates with commitment.

Often you'll see deeply committed, long-term LDRs—something that's fairly rare among monogamous people.

Long-distance relationships concentrate the fun, flashy parts of a relationship, but at the cost of all the small things that build intimacy every day.

I had a commitment ceremony attended by fifty or sixty of our friends and family. Vera is already legally married to her husband

Don't blame others for your choices; it's your choice to accept Sophie's demand or to go with Owen

time spent with a partner is a gift and not an entitlement

When my partners have competing desires, how well do I express what I need?

If you love someone, set them free. If they fly away, they were never yours to begin with. If they come back, be grateful and sweet and happy they are near you, and recognize that they can fly away any time, so just don't be an asshole, okay?

I realized that I have a hard time forming sexual connections with people I have no emotional connection with, so an open relationship that allowed only casual sex was not, for me, particularly open

We have a word in the poly world for monogamous people like Iris who knowingly pair up with a poly person, hoping to change them: cowgirls (or cowboys).

It can be difficult to shake the notion that commitment and exclusivity are the same thing.

Polyamory might look like a need for sexual variety, but a better way to think about it is in terms of openness to deep personal connection, not too different from the way most people are open to making new friends.

it's hard to trust someone whose motivations you don't fully understand

Your partner is poly because he is poly. There is nothing wrong with you.

Relationships live or die on the quality of the communication in them.

Consent is about intimacy, and in every moment of every day, we should feel that we have a choice in the intimacy we participate in.

What kinds of activities do you want to know about? At what point do you consider someone a sexual partner?

"Trust but verify" is a phrase you'll often hear. (referring to STI testing)

Spending time touching without an expectation of sex or orgasm at the end can also help.

Good relationships are a journey, not a destination. If someone shows us better ways to do things, that's okay. In fact, it's better than okay; it's marvelous! It can truly make our lives better.

though believe it or not, we've both been asked, "If you have two girlfriends and you lose one, it's still okay because you still have a girlfriend, right?" Which is a bit like saying, "If you have two children and one dies, it's still okay because you still have a child, right?

One good policy for partner selection is "'Fuck yes' or no."

Does this person have a history of leaving their social circle better or worse than they found it?

Unfortunately, the gay and lesbian communities have not always been accepting o
Profile Image for Heather.
690 reviews14 followers
September 5, 2017
More Than Two is, as its subtitle says, "a practical guide": there's a lot in this book about navigating particular kinds of relationship circumstances/scenarios/difficulties specific to polyamorous relationships, a lot of which didn't feel super-applicable to me (like: being polyamorous and having kids, or coming out to your family as non-monogamous when you've historically been in a monogamous relationship, or being in a couple in the midst of opening up a formerly monogamous relationship, or being in a relationship where one person self-identifies as monogamous and the other person doesn't). And Veaux and Rickert seem pretty judgmental about some things in ways that don't really make sense to me. (The main instance of this: I understand their point that a couple looking for someone to be involved with both of them can end up being coercive, if the price for continued involvement with one of the members of the couple is continued involvement with the other, even when that isn't what the third person ends up really wanting. But to me that doesn't translate to it being a bad idea for a couple to look for someone to be involved with both of them, and it seems like for them, it might. I feel like the answer can be "don't do it badly," rather than just "don't do it.")

But these are pretty minor quibbles, and I appreciated a lot of the main themes of the book, which I think are applicable to building good relationships of any type. The idea, for example, that "happiness is something we re-create every day" seems like a good thing to remember about life in general: you have to show up and you have to keep showing up, and if things aren't working you have to figure out what changes you can make to bring you towards the kind of life you want. I also liked the themes/values/ideas that Veaux and Rickert list near the start of the book, which, again, seem really broadly applicable/useful things to think about in a whole lot of contexts: trust, courage, abundance (as opposed to scarcity), ethics, and empowerment. Another highlight for me was the reminder of the concept of the "relationship escalator," i.e. the way that society tends to assume that a successful relationship is a series of increasing predefined commitments - dating, then living together and/or marriage and maybe children - and that it can take work to not buy into this, and to get other people to recognize the worth of relationships that don't fit this pattern—and also the related idea that there's a continuum of relationship styles from "solo" to "entwined," and the reminder that different relationship styles will lead to relationships that may look different, but that may still be serious, committed, etc. Also, the concept of "self-efficacy"—believing you can handle something even if something you've never dealt with before—seems like a good thing to think about/strive for in general, as do a lot of the principles/ideas/techniques related to boundaries, communication, and knowing your needs/working with your partner(s) to figure out how those needs can be met.
Profile Image for Sarah.
112 reviews34 followers
October 7, 2014
This book was a much-anticipated pre-order. Franklin Veaux writes one of my favorite polyamory blogs. I find his perspectives refreshingly balanced, sane, and unfluffy. He advocates strongly for self-care, viewing your partners as people first and relationships second, and examining your own preferences and prejudices in order to create the kinds of relationships you really want, not the kinds you're told to want.

The book skews strongly towards fully open, rules-free, family-style polyamory. Speaking as someone who enjoys the pair bonding process of relationships, I'm not sure if that relationship model is realistic for me (also OH MY GOD I can't imagine how awful it would be to live with more than two other human beings all the time), but I really enjoyed the continued focus on not using relationship structure as a shelter to avoid dealing with insecurity or low self esteem. The authors stress consent, honesty, communication, and self-reflection as tools for success while navigating any relationship. I loved the focus on personal responsibility, ethics, and independent attempts to solve your own problems before bringing them to a relationship.

The book doesn't sugar-coat anything, either--it goes into explicit detail about common pitfalls and bad assumptions even well-intentioned people make as they explore polyamory. It warns against the unicorn hunters (a heterosexual couple searching for an exclusive bisexual female companion), the "Don't ask, don't tell" arrangements, and relationships with built-in hierarchy (such as a married partner "coming first" and all non-married partners being "secondary").

Overall, the book offers a lot of very useful, very practical information on polyamory, from approaching it as a single person to opening an existing monogamous relationship to practicing polyamory while having a monogamous partner, to comprehensive, recent information on safe sex and STIs. There were also a lot of real-life stories about good and bad relationship events, including opening an existing marriage, ending a marriage with a monogamous partner while engaging in polyamory, and coming out to friends and family.

One quibble (and one I believe also applies to the blog)--the writing style is a bit laborious. I'm a picky bitch when it comes to style, so my opinion should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but overall I felt the book could have been 75% as long without sacrificing any of the real content. OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS.
Profile Image for Maria.
235 reviews10 followers
July 17, 2019
20190612 ◊ As someone who's repeatedly read (and owned) all three editions of The Ethical Slut since it first came out in the '90's, it was refreshing to read a different take on ethical polyamory. More Then Two does indeed offer up new perspectives and interesting ideas to chew on. However, some sections did make me go a bit squinty. The authors sound pretty confident that they know the One True Way to do poly; their attitude seems to be "Sure, others are free to do it differently, but just so you know... anything else is the WRONG WAY. Oh, and doing it the wrong way makes you a bad person, but hey! You do you."

I'd recommend this book with a generous helping of salt, and suggest a willingness to deeply consider which parts speak directly to you, and which parts need further investigation into whether or not what the authors suggest works in your own life. I feel very grateful to the Goodreads reviewer who suggested that readers also check out Opening Up by Tristan Taormino; I really feel that the two books together add up to a valuable, multi-perspective resource.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
245 reviews
November 28, 2016
I originally rated four stars because I think the writing style could've been more concise, but that's a quibble of a criticism. This book deserves five stars; it's the best book on polyamory I've read so far. It's my bible. This is the book I come back to again and again. It's the book that focuses on ETHICS,
on respecting all of the people in your life (that includes yourself!) while loving more than one person. If you're just starting out in non-monogamy, I recommend reading Tristan Taormino's Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships first; it's a fantastic overview of ALL forms of non-monogamy, polyamory being just one of them.
Profile Image for Liis Konovalov.
61 reviews7 followers
June 20, 2017
Other reviews have said, that they reccommend the book to anyone who wants to learn more about polyamory. I would shorten it a bit: I reccommend this book to anyone. Period. It is a must read to everyone, who has to deal with intimate relationships and the advice given in this book applies to most monogamous relationships as well. Be with someone who brings out the best of you. Think about your needs. Express your needs, but do it carefully. Word your needs in a way, that they don't hurt others. Learn to compromise. Take care of yourself. That is all universal advice. It is not an easy read, at least it wasn't for me, because I had to pause and think about myself constantly. Have I done this and that? How do I communicate? Is it something I have to ponder about? It took me a year to finish this book, but the time for sure was not wasted.
Profile Image for Eduardo Santiago.
603 reviews30 followers
April 6, 2015
Exceptional. This is the relationship manual for thinking adults. Equal parts stuff I’ve long known (be kind; recognize other people; listen), stuff I’ve learned the hard way (listen even more; talk, too; set boundaries), and stuff I didn’t yet know (on rules; on even better communication). The fact that Veaux and Rickert get the first two-thirds perfectly right assures me that they know what they’re talking about in the other third. They are deeply moral and highly intelligent, a combination I’m fond of. They’ve lived and felt and thought, and I’m grateful to them for sharing their wisdom.

Written in a no-bullshit yet deeply compassionate voice, More Than Two is a pleasure to read. I wish I’d had it twenty years ago but am ecstatic to have it today.
Profile Image for Laura Wallace.
186 reviews91 followers
August 15, 2016
this book is full of thoughtful advice that could be as useful for monogamous people as for poly people, since it's all about being ethical and intentional in your relationships, improving your communication, regarding other people as whole people, and other stuff that we should all strive to practice. it's probably one of my favorite self-help-type books I've read. and not just because it has a lot of juicy personal anecdotes and "case studies" which you know I love. and I guess that categorization (as "self-help-type") explains my enthusiasm for this book, since it avoids the chirpy, utopian tone of a lot of poly literature and reads more like a guide for seriously analyzing and improving your relationship(s).
Profile Image for Hugo.
13 reviews1 follower
February 13, 2017
This was a great book: provides extremely valuable insights into how to handle ethical non-monogamous relationships, challenges one runs into and how to overcome them.

Highly recommended for polyamorous people, but I would also suggest it for curious monogamists wanting to know more about the lifestyle: several chapters would be valuable and insightful for anyone who isn't a recluse. I would understand if some monogamists prefer to avoid exposure to non-conventional ideas, however my own subjective ideals hold that a conscious choice for monogamy is better than blindly following a predominant culture's prescriptions.
Profile Image for MaryAnn Vega.
12 reviews2 followers
July 21, 2015
As a fan of self-reflection and emotional integrity this book pleased me from the beginning by mentioning how important it is to make sure that you work at being emotionally vulnerable and emotionally intelligent.

The emphasis on feelings as things you feel instead of things that you are is something I feel the general population needs to be exposed to.

The advice about working at courage and working at feeling secure is invaluable and I would recommend this book to people even if they weren't considering polyamory.
Profile Image for Christopher Farrell.
436 reviews2 followers
November 16, 2016
I don't think I've ever had a book that has resonated this much with me in a very long time. A poly relationship is one that needs special work and attention, and this book provides a massive amount of information, help, and insight into how to make it work. As Veaux states in the last chapter, it all comes down to "Love more, be awesome." I'd add "Be mindful" at the end of that, but that's just me. This is a must read for poly relationships (I'd actually argue that this book would benefit all types and kinds of relationships).

Thanks, Liz.
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