So many of us are convinced if we know little to nothing else, we know the right way to poly… I mean it’s so obvious. Quite frankly, those infidels deserve to fall at the razor wit of the poly pure. Here is a field guide to a few different types of poly.
Relationship Anarchist (Ido Whateverus)
Thought to be free ranging, home wrecking, callous, and flighty, RA’s seem immune to commitment leaving behind a trail of broken hearts. In actuality RA may be the purest expression of relationships in general, underscored by the belief that no norms or rules other than those agreed upon by those involved apply. Many relationships exist nebulously, defying categorization like Beck stuck in a recording studio with only kazoos and synths. If you’re going to date a RA be ready to define terms, negotiate boundaries, and renegotiate boundaries on a regular basis.
Hierarchical (Defiined Structoralis)
Often used by those in established marriages or polyfidelity (see below), members exist in orders of super / sub ordination determined by varying factors of commitment or time in the relationship. Thought to be judgmental, insecure, and disrespectful of the true love found between them, HR’s seem to not notice the trail of broken hearts of naïve lovers sucked in and spit out like Chaplin in a factory machine. In truth, NRE is often a grueling process which leads lovers drunkenly bashing right into the lighthouse of established expectations without a care. Those practicing HR must be ready to define terms, negotiate boundaries, and renegotiate boundaries on a regular basis.
Polyfidelity (Poly Oxy Moranus)
After finding their true two to ninety plus loves, those practicing PF close ranks. Anyone dating anyone new must get such a relationship approved via whatever trial by combat or bureaucratic paperwork deemed suitable by the group or face banishment. Those crushing on members in a PF, whether the collective is RA or HR, will often find themselves stiff armed by the impenetrable wall of relationship offensive linebackers protecting their beloved running back. One must also put their dating card in a lockbox kept by the collective. Seen as holier than thou, judgmental, hostage takers often oblivious to the string of broken hearts catapulted and squished against their castle spires for their Rapunzel’s. Truthfully PF relationship partakers enjoy stability and dependability in those they love and may represent the purest form of community in relationships. If you are going to participate in PF one must be ready to define terms, negotiate boundaries, and renegotiate boundaries on a regular basis.
Kitchen Poly (Knifen Forkus)
Resembling a family of choice with benefits, KP is the seeming antithesis of Parallel Poly (see below). Blurring the lines of all the previous types mentioned, KP exists as an organic family in which members and those connected to them (lovers or actual families) know and interact with each other in much the same way Reagan’s fantasy Nuclear Family should. Seen by outsiders as gossipy, over involved, and invasive they fail to see the string of broken hearts by those who do not want in the glue trap that is KP. If one is looking to be adopted into a KP, one must be ready to define terms, negotiate boundaries, and renegotiate boundaries on a regular basis.
Serial Monogamist (Not Monogamous)
By far the most ubiquitous form of non-monogamy, this evolved form of monogamy chooses to sluggishly date partners one at a time like a Comp. Sci. freshman’s already past the due date sorting algorithm. Many do not even understand they are not actually monogamous and find themselves Groundhog Daying to the bottom of the Relationship Escalator often. One perk however is SM are acutely aware of the string of broken hearts left in their trial and error brute force attack version of relationships, though this does not stop some. If one is likely to engage in a Poly/ “Mono” relationship, be ready to define terms, negotiate boundaries, and renegotiate boundaries on a regular basis.
Parallel Poly (404 Serial | Parallel Tech Joke not found)
All relationships established by PP are separated and non-entangling, the extreme version being Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell arrangements. Even in a PF triad, each dyad exists as unconnected relationships. In extended chains of polycules, one may see overlapping members of triads unengaged from the ordeals of parallel triads. Due to the walls built, many do not see the links between broken hearts unable to properly tupperware their feelings in the deep freeze for later rehydration and cooking. Members of PP prefer simplicity and a degree of privacy not found in KP. If one chooses to engage PP please be ready to define terms, negotiate boundaries, and renegotiate boundaries on a regular basis.
General Poly (Gen Polus)
Any consensual non-monogamous, often seen as non-committal, homewrecking, culture wrecking, non-ironic spawns of the Devil just in it for the sex while also throwing more shade than two Rainforest Jungles on those not enlightened enough to engage in open relationships. The backbone of any relationship is clear, open, honest communication, a healthy dose of humility, empathy, and so much time people would swear you jacked Hermione is exponentially important as others are included. As well meaning as every brick laid for the highway to hell, many flounder their best until they reach the level of master observed by toddlers without training wheels. A good community seeks to grow themselves as well as their members into fulfilling, happy, and healthy lives however that is defined by the individual while mitigating the Tasmanian Devil levels of destruction which may be found from a string of broken hearts. If one is going to engage in any relationship, and perhaps much more so in ethical nonmonogamy, PLEASE be ready to define terms, negotiate boundaries, and renegotiate boundaries on a regular basis with a commitment to patience, positivity, and growth.
If this resonates with you or someone you know and you’d like to explore some options for support, let me know below.