Welcome to our Polyamorous Dictionary! Here you will find some words unique to the world of Ethical Non-Monogamy, the umbrella Polyamory falls under. This glossary is by no means exhaustive. And it will be updated as often as needed. These definitions are how I understand and use the terms, based on my many years in the Polyamorous Community. If you come across a word that isn’t here, and you feel it should be included, please send me a message here.
A large umbrella of relationship styles that includes (but is not limited to) swinging, open relationships, monogam-ish, and polyamory.
Many loves. A relationship style that falls under the umbrella of Ethical Non-Monogamy, where one has many romantic, loving, & consensual relationships.
My partner’s partner.
The partner I am living with.
Your metamour’s pets. While it is not a widely used phrase in the poly world, I find it absolutely adorable and worth mentioning. Because who doesn’t love more animals to cuddle?
A way to describe a group of polyamorous relationship that includes partners and metamours. This can manifest in many shapes from a simple V or T, all the way to a complex full page map with many lines and circles and intersections!
Polyamorous folx sometimes refer to it as the opposite of jealousy. It is a feeling of happiness and joy in your partner’s relationship with another. For example, instead of being jealous that my partner is having a night out with their other partner, I am happy that they get to have some alone time together to focus on their relationship.
Kitchen Table Poly
A style of polyamory where all partners & metamours hang out together often and build close friendships with each other.
Alternate spelling of folks, meant to be more inclusive and non-gendered.
Legally (but not always) relationships between two people who live together but are not married. It typically allows the couple to share the same or similar benefits as married couples. Polyamorous Domestic Partnerships would open the definition to include more than 2 people in the relationship.
Cis refers to cisgender, identifying with the gender they were assigned at birth. Het refers to heteroromantic, being romantically attracted to people of the opposite sex/gender.
the belief that heterosexuality, predicated on the gender binary, is the default, preferred, or normal mode of sexual orientation. (for more, check this link.)
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