Polyamory is a term that has not been around for that long. In fact, it was only first introduced in the 1990s. After that, it slowly started to gain popularity among the society. Couples started to get curious about its meaning and began to raise more questions.
In a nutshell, polyamory is a relationship where two people in a relationship have intimate relationships with other people. Of course, unlike cheating, here both partners in the relationship give their informed consent. Many people might confuse this with an open relationship.
However, the difference is that while an open relationship also requires consent, it is mainly sexual. On the other hand, a polyamorous relationship is not just about sex. It is often also about sharing a romantic and intimate experience with someone else other than your partner. In addition, it also differs from polygamy as it is not in any way religion-based like polygamy is.
This being said, we usually use polyamory as the general term to explain all non-monogamous and non-exclusive relationships. Thus, the following article will attempt to help you better understand the different types of polyamorous relationships.
Main Structures of Polyamory
There exist three main structures of a polyamorous relationship: vee, triad, and quad. For many of us, these are pretty new words. So let’s look at what these polyamory structures actually mean!
1. Vee Relationship
A vee relationship consists of three people out of whom one is dating the other two. However, these other two people, also called metamours, are not romantically or sexually involved with each other.
2. Triad Relationship
A triad is a relationship that is also composed of three people. The difference to a vee relationship here is that all three people are romantically or sexually involved with each other. In this way, a vee relationship can potentially become a triad relationship.
3. Quad Relationship
Finally, a quad is described as four partners who are connected either in a romantic or a sexual way. Most often, this type of relationship is the outcome of two swinging couples that connect together and begin dating.
So How Does Kitchen Table Polyamory Come Into Play?
Kitchen table polyamory is a relatively new term in the polyamory world. It has been around only for few years. It refers to polyamorous relationships where all the people involved are friends with each other. The term literally means that they are all comfortable enough to sit together at the kitchen table.
On some occasions, this also leads to their children becoming friends and spending time together. It is similar to a quad relationship, but not quite. In a quad relationship, everyone is involved with each other. While in this type of relationship, each partner has different metamours with who they are having a romantic or a sexual relationship with.
Contrarily to this, there exists also the term parallel polyamory. Here, what happens outside the relationship stays separate. Both partners do not know who the other person is seeing and vice versa. In this case, all relationships stay separate and people do not interact.
However, there is also a balance between the two. There is also the situation where your partner knows about your metamours and might exchange a message or two with them on Facebook. However, all of you will not be comfortable to sit together and have a coffee or a meal together.
Is It Possible for Kitchen Table Polyamory to Work?
The answer to this is not simple. Polyamorous relationship in itself, regardless of whether kitchen table or parallel is not simple. Not everyone is able to be in a non-monogamous relationship. It is not about the fact that they do not trust their partner, it is simply their understanding of how the world works.
Let’s say that a successful polyamorous relationship is possible but it requires a lot of work and trust. You really need to have an open mind. You also need to say goodbye to jealousy, because jealousy and multiple partners contradict each other.
There is also no right and no wrong way of a polyamorous relationship. Each is unique and depends on the couple. For some couples, it is better to know who the other one is dating. It might make them more secure and give them the chance to get to know their partner better. On the other hand, for other couples knowing the other partner might spark some feelings of jealousy and uncertainty.
Food for Thought
So, if you are looking at becoming polyamorous, my advice would be to really sit down and think about what would be best for you. If your partner is open to a kitchen table polyamory, but you are not hundred percent sure, do not jump into it just for him. It might bring damage to your relationship with your partner if it is not what you want.
It is simple, for something to work, both parties involved must want it. Every relationship is unique and it requires sacrifices and dedication. Monogamous or polyamorous, it does not matter. What matters is to be on the same page with your partner and understand each other’s needs.
“Love means a partnership, not ownership. Appreciation, no possession.”– Unknown
If your views and needs move in the same direction, great! If they do not, then you need to have some further discussion on whether you can make it work or not. Forcing yourself into doing something you do not feel comfortable with will be bad for you in the long term.
We hope this article helped you understand the complexity behind polyamorous relationships a little bit better.