What is a Polyamorous Relationship? Polyamory in its’ basic form means “many loves,” with Poly meaning many, and the root amour, meaning love. Polyamory essentially refers to the practice of loving more than one person at a time; or having a romantic and sexually fulfilling relationship with two or more people simultaneously. Polyamorous relationships are not for everyone. Contra Indications:
- Believe that sex always equal loves
- Difficulty being honest with partner
- Being intimate with someone who does not want to engage in an open relationship
The Three Primary Polyamorous Relationships Styles
We have created a list of the common styles of relationships. With that being said, every couple has their own idiosyncrasies, communication styles, sexual interests, and ways of relating to each other that makes their relationship unique. Each poly couple has their own preferred way of interacting with their partner.
Primary Partner: the first style of polyamorous relationships tends to reflect a hierarchical nature. One or both people may decide to take on outside lovers, but one relationship takes priority over the other. Your main partner is considered the primary partner, and your outside lover would become your secondary partner. The primary partner is devoted the most time, energy, loyalty, and shares the strongest bond. The primary partner is involved in establishing the guidelines of the relationship. Secondary lovers share a close emotional and sexual relationship. He or she is given less priority and the bond will not be as strong as the primary. In some cases, the secondary relationship may endure long term, but will always be on a casual level. If either person decides to take a third lover or tertiary, this person will be given even less priority. Tertiary lovers enjoy each other sporadically and there is no potential for the relationship to grow. Each consecutive lover after the tertiary is given less and less value or priority.
Triad or Quad: the second type of poly relationship refers to a triad or in some cases this may be a quad. One person may have two or more lovers, each relationship is given comparable weight, and neither partner takes priority over the other. Each relationship is considered equally important in the person’s life. He or she invests a significant amount of time and energy into both partners. One example is when all three people are enmeshed in one relationship, like a trio, or a “tri-relationship.” This would be if a couple decided to include a third person, man or woman, in their relationship full time. They may all sleep in one bed or have separate bedrooms. Alternatively, one person may have two separate partners. For example, a woman has a boyfriend and a separate female lover. While the woman is devoted to her two lovers, the two partners never meet and are not involved in each other’s lives.
Poly-Family: the third type of relationship is considered a poly-family. This is a relationship of three of more people in which there is a strong commitment and significant relationship between all partners. Each person spends quality time with each other individually and as a group. Household chores, children, finances are shared and most people are sexually involved. The well-being of each person is a priority within all members of the poly family.
This is not a definitive list; there are many variations that can coincide within each of these categories. In most cases, the couple collectively decides on the nature or style of their relationship. You will decide which relationship style best meets your own needs.