What is Polyamory? 9 Types of Polyamory Relationship to Know

Polyamory is a lifestyle and philosophy of loving more than one person at a time, in an honest, trustworthy, and open relationship with each person. All partners are considered equal and communication is encouraged to create new relationships. However, as with many things in life, there are different types of Polyamory and the expression of these forms varies from culture. In this article we will explain everything about Polyamory.

What is Polyamory?

The simple answer is that it’s the act of being in an intimate relationship with more than one person at a time. The more complicated answer is that the definition varies depending on whom you ask, and because the term isn’t exactly mainstream, different people define it differently.

The concept of being in a relationship with multiple people at once isn’t necessarily new. Throughout history and across various cultures, there have been groups of people who have practiced polygamy—which means “many spouses”—or other forms of non-monogamous relationships.

In some cases, these relationships were accepted by their community; in others, they were seen as taboo or frowned upon. But over time, our culture has evolved to be more open about alternate ways of loving and relating to others.

How Does Polyamory Work?

Polyamory is the practice of being open to having more than one romantic relationship at a time. This can be a bit different from the popular conception of “open relationships,” which are typically closed to any additional partners. In many cases, polyamorous people form triads or larger groups (or “polycules”) with their partners as well.

The majority of modern polyamorous relationships fall into something called “primary/secondary” arrangements, where everyone in the group has a partner that they consider their primary partner and everyone else considers their partner secondary.

The idea is that you still have the same emotional connection with all of your partners, but you don’t necessarily have to spend all of your time with them or do everything together.

This can be very important in making sure that everyone feels like they have adequate time and attention from their partners — if you’re always spending time with one partner and not another, there’s a chance that person will feel like they’re not seeing enough of you and might seek attention elsewhere.

Additionally, it helps if everyone has their own space and interests—this way, people aren’t trying to cram all of their schedules into a small amount of time.

9 Types Of Polyamory

1: Hierarchical Poly

In a hierarchical polyamory relationship, one person assumes a lead role in managing the other partners in their network. They have an authority structure that their partners must answer to, and they set rules that everyone is expected to follow.

2: Anchor Partners

This can either take the form of two men and one woman who each consider themselves primary partners and share equal rights and responsibilities—or two women and one man with the same structure. The point of these groupings is that each person is equally important and valued, even if the exact nature of their relationship.

3: Relationship Anarchy

In a Relationship Anarchy, all partners have equal say in the relationships and there are no rules or regulations about how to conduct them. If you want to sleep with someone else, you just do it without consulting your partner(s) or informing them of your intentions. There are no rules about how often you do it and no rules about who you sleep with. You don’t have to tell your partner(s) anything and they don’t have to tell you anything; however, they need to be open to the idea that they might find out something at any time.

4: Solo Polyamory

Solo polyamory is a form of polyamory in which a person has multiple romantic partners but does not have a partner who is also romantically involved with anyone else. A solo polyamorous person may have one or more secondary partners, but they do not have what are commonly referred to as primary partners.

5: Polyfidelity

Polyfidelity is a form of polyamory in which a group of people have an emotional connection with one another that is not open to others. The members of a polyfidelity relationship may be sexually active with each other, but they recognize the emotional commitment they have with one another as being exclusive. It is different from monogamy because while they are emotionally committed to one another, they are permitted to experience emotional and/or sexual relationships outside of the group.

6: Polycule

The polycule is a visual representation of the many relationships that can exist in a polyamorous situation. This includes the relationships between people who are romantically involved, those who are involved in family-like relationships, those who are friends, and others. The purpose of the polycule is to provide a framework for all of these relationships to be seen and understood, as well as to provide visual representation of the interconnected nature of many polyamorous relationships.

7: Triad

One form of polyamory is triads. Triads involve three partners (hence the name) who may or may not all be romantically involved with each other at the same time. One or more partners may have dated each other previously before deciding to add in a new person. This can be any combination of three people, and it does not have to include all genders (i.e., two men and one woman). It can also include three of the same gender.

8: Quad

A quad consists of two couples in which all members are romantically involved with each other. It’s possible for there to be a male/male, female/female, male/female pairings as well as opposite-sex/same-sex pairings—but these kinds of quads are much less common. There’s usually an even number of people in this kind of arrangement so that everyone can go on dates together or spend time with one another without having to worry about who’s dating whom or how those dynamics would affect the group.

9: Vee

One of the most common setups for polyamory is for a person to be in two separate relationships. It’s not uncommon at all to have someone who dates one person and then their significant other starts dating another person, and the person that was dating both people now has a new relationship with just one of those people. This is called “Vee,” and it’s the most typical way of doing things.

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