Types Of Polyamory

Beyond Monogamy: Exploring The Different Types Of Polyamory

Polyamorous relationships are becoming more and more common, and many people are considering different types of polyamory, or open relationships, as a way to explore intimate connections with more than one person.

The more we see polyamory being presented in the media, the easier it is for people to understand how polyamory works, which can lead to a spiked interest in non-monogamy. It may seem as if polyamory has sprung out of nowhere, but polyamory has been practised for centuries.

Over the years, polyamory has evolved, and there are now different types of polyamory.

In this article, we will explore the different types of polyamory and explain a little bit about how they work. Follow along to find out more.

Are There Different Types of Polyamory?

Polyamory is more complex than you think; just because polyamory is about having multiple different relationships doesn’t mean that all of those relationships are the same. Everyone is different and unique, so not all poly people will want the same thing.

As you will learn in this article, being in a polyamorous relationship will mean something different to everyone; there is no rulebook that dictates how polyamory should work.

Understanding the different types of polyamory can help you learn more about the community and whether polyamory could be for you. 

Hierarchical Polyamory

The first type of polyamory we are going to discuss is hierarchical polyamory. As the name suggests, this type of relationship means that there are primary partners and secondary partners.

Often, the primary partners will live together (nesting partner), share finances, and even have children together. As the primary couple, you will establish the ground rules for your relationship early on and define the ways in which polyamory works for you.

This works well for people if they still want to experience living and sharing a life with a partner but they also want to enjoy polyamory

Non-hierarchical Polyamory

A non-hierarchical polyamorous relationship differs from the above point as there is no emphasis on primary or secondary partners. Instead of having a partner that is your main priority and someone you live with, you will have multiple relationships that do not have any hierarchy or ranking.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you love all of your partners in exactly the same way, but it just means that there isn’t one partner who is more important than the other.

For someone who doesn’t want to live with someone else or follow conventional relationship standards, non-hierarchical polyamory can work well.

Parallel Polyamory

Parallel polyamory is a type of relationship where everyone is aware of each other’s partners and relationships, but there is no real contact between everyone. In some polyamorous relationships, all partners intermingle and chat with each other, but this is not the case for parallel polyamory.

If you don’t want to interact with your partner’s partner, then parallel polyamory could be good for you, as it means you won’t have to deal with any awkward conversations or small talk.

Everyone just tends to keep their distance and focus on their own relationships instead of worrying about other people.

Kitchen Table Polyamory

While the name may seem a little strange, it will make sense when you hear the definition. Kitchen table polyamory is where all partners within a polycule can sit together around a table and have open and honest conversations about their romantic or sexual relationship.

Instead of having different chats happening separately, being in a kitchen table polyamorous relationship just means that everyone is able to be direct and honest about how they are feeling.

The conversations could really be about anything, but being able to address issues or concerns in the relationship is a main priority. 

Solo Polyamory

Solo polyamory is more for people who like their own space and like to maintain relationships on their own terms. If you are in a solo polyamorous relationship, then chances are you live alone but have multiple relationships that are not connected with each other.

Your multiple relationships will not be defined or ruled by any type of hierarchy either, as everyone is equal to each other, and no one is considered to be the primary partner.

Solo polyamory is great for someone who is new to the community, as it doesn’t have as much pressure or rules as other polyamorous relationships can have. 

Mono-poly Relationships

You may have already guessed by the name, but within a mono-poly relationship, one partner will identify as polyamorous while the other partner identifies as monogamous. This is an interesting type of relationship, and you may think it sounds a little contradictory, but it can work for a lot of people.

As with all types of relationships, mono-poly can only be effective if both partners establish ground rules and boundaries, as well as have regular, open communication.

Monogamy and polyamory can work side by side as long as both partners are willing to put in the effort to make it work. 

Triad and Quad Relationships

A triad relationship is when there are three people in a couple together. Often, these three people will live together and share finances, but they will also each have multiple relationships of their own.

This type of relationship is commonly referred to as a throuple, and it essentially just means three people together instead of two. 

A quad relationship is when two polyamorous couples decide to date each other, and they build that relationship together as a foursome instead of two separate couples. Once the decision to become a quad is made, the original two couples do not really exist, as everyone coexists in one healthy relationship anarchy.

Might I Be Polyamorous?

Polyamory has become more popular over time, which has led to more people questioning whether or not they are polyamorous. The conventional types of relationships still exist, but there is definitely more room in society now for things like polyamory and general non-monogamy.

Living a polyamorous life can be incredibly fulfilling so long as you communicate and establish boundaries with your partners. So, how can you tell if you are polyamorous?

Let’s look at some of the signs!

Signs You Just Might Be Polyamorous

  1. You have never felt fulfilled in a monogamous relationship, and have always wanted something more
  2. You like having freedom to love whoever you want, even if that is multiple people
  3. You don’t get jealous easily, and would be fine with your partner being in love with someone else
  4. You can easily fancy multiple people at once and struggle to choose between them
  5. All your monogamous relationships have failed in the past

If any of the above signs ring true to you, then there could be a chance that you are polyamorous.

While this may seem a little scary at first, Illicit Encounters has plenty of informative blog posts that you can read to understand what polyamory might mean for you. 


Are there different types of polyamory?

There are many different types of polyamory, and they all mean different things. Polyamorous relationships work differently from monogamous relationships, as there are multiple people involved.

Because of this, it is only natural that, over time, different types of polyamorous relationships will form, for example solo polyamory, quads, and triads.

What is the most common form of polyamory?

It is difficult to say which is the most common form of polyamory as everyone is so different, but perhaps the most common type is a polycule.

A polycule essentially encompasses everyone within the relationship, whether or not those people interact. Polycules allow everyone to get together and speak openly about the relationship without any fear of judgement.

What is V type polyamory?

V type polyamory refers to when one person dates two people separately. The two partners will often not have anything to do with one another, and the only thing they share in common is the person they are dating.

However, in some cases, the two separate partners do interact, and they can even become friends, but they do not go beyond a platonic relationship.

What is solo poly?

Solo poly is when one person has multiple partners, but they do not define them in any hierarchical way. Often, a solo poly person will live alone and will enjoy their independence, all while benefiting from having multiple partners. This is often how most polyamorous people will start, before perhaps moving on to a quad or triad situation.

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