Being extremely open about the fact that I’m polyamorous, I’m often asked what exactly it is. They want to know the rules and guidelines and they are often shocked to know that there aren’t really any that fit every relationship.
I mean we have a few basic working definitions. The one I like is saying that poly is multiple relationships in which all parties have INITIALLY consented to there existence. In other words, no secret relationships. Lets note that secret and I don’t want to know anything other than you have a partner, i don’t want to know if you have a partner and such are technically quite different.
I would however like to add that poly relationships should include open communication, trust, support, and respect, even if it’s learned over time.
But really, beyond multiple consensual relationships, there is no set way to do poly, only preferences.
Every aspect is basically a spectrum.
There are many dynamics that range in some variation of egalitarian style poly to the different types of hierarchical poly. That’s based on the people in that relationship or grouping of relationships.
There are so many dynamics and configurations; so many types of people that are poly. All of these people come with with varying backgrounds and beliefs systems, so trying to find a definition and guidelines that are all encompassing aside from multiple consensual relationships would be near impossible. It would pretty much be the opposite of the nature of non monogamous relationships and poly in general which is the freedom to be our authentic selves.