Polyamory is a practice of having multiple loving relationships at the same time. It is sometimes referred to as non-monogamy, or ethical non-monogamy. All relationships are consensual and each knows about the other. There are no secrets between any of the lovers.
Some polyamorous people will have relationships with separate individuals who do not have relationships with each other, any persons who are connected to someone, but not to that someones other partner(s) would be called a metamour, Others might have relationships that cross and have multiple connection points. No matter how the relationships are connected, these are commonly referred to as polycules.
Each polycule is different, some form a ‘V’ where one person is involved with two parties who do not have a connection between them (they would be metamours). Some form a Triad where three parties share a connection with all others. Some form a Quad where 4 parties are involved and in that environment it is possible for all parties to interact, but sometimes they do not.
My first poly relationship began as a ‘V’ and became a Triad, before returning to the V, then a Dyad, a one on one, with my husband. This established my first Dyad while living as an out Polyamorous man since I first began dating my husband formally.
As you can see from the diagram, Poly relationships can evolve into any number of polycule forms, and these are only a few examples of the relationship dynamics that can develop. Add more people, the polycule grows. The key to all of it is love and communication without exceptions.
Recently things have been evolving a bit, as they are prone to do, and while my husband and I share a closer orbit in my poly solar system, I have expanded my polycule to reflect developing relationships. I wouldn’t call any of my other relationships boyfriends at this time, we are still learning about one another more and that is okay, that doesn’t invalidate the polycule.
As you can see from the figure here, I am a central hinge to most of the polycule. The distance from me indicates how close the relationship is, as a secondary indicator, solid lines indicate established and mutually agreed upon long term connections, while dotted lines are developing relationships. The more space between the dots, the less established the connection at this point.
I like to call romantic relationships that haven’t taken the step toward being boyfriends “demi-partners”. My beta-partner is someone who is still learning and growing in their own journey and I am serving as their guide, a mentor if you will.
This isn’t meant to be an in depth look at Polyamory or Polycules, it is just to serve as an introduction to a part of my life and who I am. It isn’t the biggest part of me, nor is it the most minor part. It is just a part that may help you to understand me better.
I am at a place in my life right now where I am extremely happy in my current polycule. My love for my husband is beyond anything I have had for another person ever before. We communicate in a way that is so organic, and yet deliberate. We tell each other everything, we talk about our feelings. We check in with each other regularly.
I have some friendships that have transcended the common and entered into the romantic realms, but they would be best described as demi-partners or Pause and Resume relationships. When I get to see them, we can be as loving with one another as my husband and I, but we may go weeks or months without seeing one another, and sometimes even as long between talking or texting. But when we see one another, we know how we feel for each other and it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful because it is love and love is the most precious thing on earth.
If you are interested in learning more about Polyamory and non-monogamous relationships, there are many sites and books about the topic that can help you to understand more. One recommended site that I was pointed to is Poly.Land it’s a blog that talks about many different lifestyles, but has a rather extensive category of Poly 101 content. Just understand that polyamory is in no way a free pass to cheat, lie, or have sex with just anyone you want without consequences. Polyamory is work, it is communicating, and most especially, it is listening. Think that is hard with one person, now try adding more. If you aren’t ready for that, you aren’t ready for polyamory.