Assuming that, broadly speaking, polyamory is what you want out of a consensually non-monogamous relationship - that you want multiple, loving relationships - there is still so much ground to cover in terms of how to do that. In the days of old, (ok, that’s enough dramatic old lady voice for me - until the last year or two) we only talked about Kitchen Table and Parallel Polyamory. These are still the most commonly used terms and categories, and can be used as kind of umbrella terms for these structures. So. What is kitchen table polyamory? Different people use many different definitions, but some of the most popular definitions are “the entire network gets along well enough that they could sit down at the kitchen table together” or “the network operates like a family and lives around the same kitchen table” - it’s being expected to have a close-friend or sibling-like relationship with your metas. This definition of kitchen table polyamory covers the parts of the spectrum we’re going to call Communal Polyamory, Lap-sitting Polyamory, Kitchen Table Polyamory, and half of the section Garden Party Polyamory.
Now, how about parallel polyamory? For years, parallel polyamory got presented as an “opposite” to kitchen table, or a situation where metamours never spoke, or dyadic relationships are extremely siloed. While all of this is possible - it’s definitely not the only thing that exists within the structures called “parallel polyamory.” Presenting parallel polyamory in stark opposition to a very close-knit and happy kitchen table dynamic can sometimes make it seem in the community like “parallel” is a dirty word - but that’s a changing phenomenon, and people are embracing alternate terms for portions of the parallel spectrum. It doesn’t say anything in particular about the relationships between the metamours or telemours - some of them may be friendly with one another - but it says there’s no particular effort to bring the polycule together in a greater entanglement than necessary, and there may be some relational or emotional distance between members of the polycule. That definition of parallel covers the rest of Garden Party Polyamory, Parallel Polyamory, Siloed Relationships, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Today, Laura discusses the various structures of polyamorous relationships, why you might select one over another, and benefits of different structures. Find some related content at the blog here: https://www.readyforpolyamory.com/home/categories/relationship-spectrum
You can find all the links to support Ready for Polyamory in all its forms (blog, podcast, book, social media, everything!) at the linktree: linktr.ee/readyforpolyamory , including the now launched-to-the-public non-monogamy coaching and peer support options, if you're so moved. We'd love to see you in the facebook group or interacting on the social media (@readyforpolyamory everywhere but twitter, where I'm @lauracb88); and we'll be back next week with a new episode.