Poly Relationship Shapes

Polyamorous relationship constellation shape

The shape of poly relationships never ceases to capture my interest and they seem to have a life of their very own.

The simple ‘Vee’, union of three ‘Triad’, two-couple’Quad’ and anarchistic ‘Network’. But I then started wondering about other shapes  like the  five interconnecting relationship. I suppose this is really a network, or is it?

I’ve tried to describe each of the well known relationship structures in a little more detail, but generally if it works why worry too much about names and titles 🙂


Is a polyamorous relationship involving three people, in this form one person is romantically or sexually involved with two partners who are not romantically or sexually involved with each other.


This polyamorous relationship structure is formed by three people, as the name might suggest.

The term ‘Triad’ is applied to a relationship in which all three people are sexually and emotionally engaged with all of the other members of the triad.

Triad commonly consist of one man and two pan/bisexual women (MFF) or one woman and two pan/bisexual men (FMM).

The term is sometimes also applied to vee relationships, but I’m not sure its strictly correct.


I must admit that this polyamorous relationship structure seems quite interesting, it of course involving four people, who may or may not be sexually and emotionally involved with all the other members.

The most common way for a quad to form is when two polyamorous couples begin a romantic relationships in a cross-couple nature.


This is where it gets complicated, this can be an interconnection of any shape and form don’t ask me to even try and define some of the structures let alone name them, but if it works call it what ever you like 🙂

Examples of polyamorous relationship structures

Image can be found at -“A touch of flavor”

Relationship Anarchy

Its probably worth also touching on the subject of ‘Relationship Anarchy’, which I mentioned earlier.

This is a a philosophy in which all people are seen as completely free to engage in any relationships they choose. The principles of freedom and spontaneity are desirable and considered necessary traits in forming healthy relationships.

It also suggests that no relationship should be entered into or restricted by any form of duty or obligation and that any relationship choice should be allowable.

Ideally there will never be any necessity  for distinction between “partner” and “non-partner.”

The loner

There is perhaps one more form that I haven’t mentioned, but may give pause for thought and is that of ‘Solo Poly’, which is basically an approach to polyamory that emphasises a persons agency. Practitioners of this type chose to not seek any form of ‘couple centric’ engagement within their relationships.

Many people who identify as solo poly, prefer to exercise their own autonomy and the freedom to choose their own relationships without seeking permission from others. Relationship in their view should have flexibility in whatever form they take.

Such people generally don’t want or feel the need for relationships that look like or take the traditional couples structure and may often not seek to live or combine finances with a partner(s).



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