Five Relationship Styles

Five Relationship Styles

There is a lot of gatekeeping and WON TWOO WAYism in poly communities I frequent online.

It’s not always overt, but it’s always there.

It’s like Polyamory, rather than meaning “multiple loves” is actually an indication of character, and represents an agree-upon set of rules that we all must follow to be Enlightened humans.

I think this is a bunch of bull caca.

Sure,t here are some things that are generally pretty shitty.

But not as many as people often make it out to be.

After all, what’s perfectly acceptable in one relationship could be abusive in another, and merely uncomfortable in a third.

For example, many polyamory groups give serious side-eye to swingers, but then totally accept “polyfuckery” as OK.

Because swingers bad, MMM-kay?

And the swing community has it’s own share of hang-ups, claiming to never allow emotions into the mix, while creating family groups and vacationing together, and holding backyard barbecues for multiple groups of kids.

But that’s NOT polyamory, of course.


I’m not one to tell people how to define themselves.

(I AM one to try to bring communities together, which is why I’m working with the fine folk of Swinky Life to help us connect poly/kink/swing people together with better understanding.)

I’m more the type to suggest that there are many ways of looking at how we relationship.

And this is a framework I’ve been thinking on for a while:

•Deep dive into one partner

•Deep dive into multiple partners

•Deep & shallow with multiple partners

•Shallow with multiple partners

•Shallow with one partner

Where the top and bottom of the framework are monogamous, while the other three are various shades of nonmonogamy.

Some poly communities seem to hold “deep dives with multiple partners” as the pinnacle of poly acheivement (whatever that is), while others prefer “deep and shallow with multiple partners” as showing that someone is really exploring who they are as a person, and partaking of all that nonmonogamy has to offer.

“Shallow with multiple partners” is often poo-poohed by many as a “player,” and not taken seriously.

But why? Is their personal value system somehow flawed because we don’t share it?

I don’t think so.

I tend to think more that we ourselves are flawed (because humans are not perfect), and we look to see flaws in others for exactly that reason. Often, the more flawed we think we are, the more we try to find the flaws in others, so we don’t feel so alone.

But I digress.

I offer this to you as a thought exercise. What style do you identify with?

I personally identify with “deep and shallow with multiple partners,” as a cuckoldress who is also polyamorous, but finds my romance being tied deeply to one person only.

Not prom saying it must be so, but from finding it is so, thus far in my life.

And you?

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